Better or Worse...
Updated: Feb 12
My first paid photography gig was in March of 2017. I was approached by a friend of mine, to be the second shooter at a wedding which he was contracted to photograph. The fact he was hyping this up so much left me a bit nervous and quite frankly feeling a bit out of my league. Now, I had photographed a wedding for my pseudo sister back in the spring of 2012 but there wasn't an air of "Don't screw up" flying around my mind, back then, it was me seeing if I could simply step outside of the box and do something creative; this on the other hand was posh, "Is that caviar..."
IF you know me, you know that I'm not one to be swayed by worldly possessions, cars, houses, shoes, bags, etc, however, I do look at opulence when presented with it and think to myself, "Why all of this opulence..." (yeah, yeah, yeah, I'm in my head a lot, sue me). Needless to say, the opulence didn't stop at the house, the car, or the people. There were some known faces and some who the fawk is this guy attitudes as well, throughout the day, but hey that can be found anywhere I suppose.
During those days, my buddy was always attempting to make sure I was in-line with what he wanted to accomplish, these clients were his ticket to getting bigger jobs which would mean me riding his coattails in order to purchase more lenses and bow ties. "This bride wants a look that so and so did, where that bride showed off the red bottoms of her Chrisitan Louboutin shoes. Do you know how much Christian Louboutin shoes cost, bro" is what I was walking into and here I thought Jimmy Choo shoes were a bit over the top, price wise, for one day of usage. If you know me, you know I was unmoved and held on to the fact that I just needed to contribute one picture to the day, provide one moment that would give me a chance to continue shooting with the someone who was on his way to stardom. Well, the truth is, I was really there to hold lights and make sure the first shooter looked good when all was said and done, also to ensure the bottoms of those shoes were captured correctly.
As the ceremony began and the few guests present began to take their seats, I found my mind drifting a bit. I saw two people who appeared to be in some sort of liking with each other; I mean the groom was getting married for the first time and this was the bride's third or fourth wedding which I wasn't judging but definitely curious about given the shoes and all. Something felt off a bit but neither of them were my friend and I thought it would be tacky to raise my hand at the "If anyone should object, please raise your hand or forever hold your peace" part given I as just there to hold lights and all.
Please hold: lemme take this quick pick since my camera is on and all... (at bottom of page)
I'm really starting to wonder how many weddings I've been to and how many of them have had people sitting in the crowd betting against that whole Princess Bride marriage talk and such. Look, I'm a simple dude who simply put will probably not get married; my parents have to be happy I didn't use the word never, though you thought it and I did too. I mean truth is why can't folks just "Go-Around", here's my note, there's your note, I like you, "Will you go-around with me". Actually, I think the whole go-around thing means that we'll go around friends, family, teachers, and others in this innocent type of relationship deal. Man... marriage is a different idea all together.
Years ago, I do mean some years ago now, maybe 2004 or 2005, I had my ever so fragile heart broken by a gal who wasn't the greatest. I had thoughts of marriage and even told her once that I had enough love to carry the both of us even though she was more interested in the Jimmy Choo's (always heed the warnings). My mother found me sitting in my car crying, I'm not sure exactly I told her, "I'm not crying, you're crying" but she wasn't crying so by default the tears were on my face. As I sat there broken hearted, my mother smiled and gave me some advice which I still cling to, today. She said, "Son, no one is better than the other when it comes to a relationship, there are no competing parties, no pedestals, or trophy this or that, it's a partnership. IF someone doesn't value your partnership they're not worthy of being your partner, you deserve a worthy partner".
Since this time, I've had two girlfriends, one of four years and the other of seven and a half. It's crazy to imagine that seventeen and a half years of my life were spent feeling a certain way, to be fair, the four year relationship was okay but I had this commitment issue and the idea of kids and random chip eating didn't have me running to say, "I do", much to my family's chagrin but to my mom's delight, I told her that I was honest and didn't see a future with said person and I'm pretty sure I never mentioned the last, I've learned it's okay to let dead things lie.
Back to talk of pictures. I've had the pleasure of photographing a few weddings since 2017 and I've observed so much of the behind the scenes aspect of getting to the "BIG DAY", now I'm left thinking that every day is "big" when you're married to your best friend, dating your best friend, sippin' slurpees on a warm summer day, while pouring splashes of Vodka over said ice, with your best friend, or attempting to communicate with your best friend.
I feel as though I've been naive for far too long and then recently I figured out that life isn't overly complicated and our peace, supersedes our unhappiness, growth is greater than our decline. My picture of what happiness looks like isn't a field of butterflies and dandelions, it's me looking into the eyes of someone I care about and telling them, wholeheartedly, "For BETTER OR WORSE babe, I want to meet you here daily and ensure that each day granted is a BIG DAY lived".
In the end, I hope she is more of a relaxed shoes wearing woman and not into Christian Louboutin; wherever she might be, I hope she likes corny jokes, fast food (sometimes), music, dancing, the rain, possibly dancing in the rain, my parents, walks on the beach, movie night, Wu Tang, some of my friends, my two sons Jeff and Ben, and most importantly me, I hope she likes me.
IF they don't genuinely love you for you, you're basically left... left standing behind a tree attempting to take one good picture, all the while wondering if you should say, "Bruh, you might want to reconsider, read some literature" (I hope Andre 3000 is smiling somewhere). I'm pretty sure she's on marriage four or five by now if the gossip mill serves me correctly, my buddy hasn't cracked the photographers to hire list yet, to be fair neither have I.