Tuesday, December 4, 2012


The Wedding Photographer

"It’s no longer enough to take wedding pictures that show a bride and groom in love — dancing, whispering during dinner, playing with a nephew or niece. These days, wedding pictures are elaborate, photographer-contrived setups that show the newlyweds kissing in a wheat field (as if it were a natural act to go wheat-harvesting on one’s wedding day) or aboard an old-time fire engine."

A wedding photographer checks back in with a few of the 451 couples he's photographed over the past dozen or so years, and although "most ... are still married," others are not: "As warning signs go, having one of your mother’s friends — whose husband had come out of the closet years earlier — whisper in your ear before your wedding, 'Courtney, you know you’re marrying a gay man, right?' is up there." Also, The Wedding Photographer could be the title of a potentially profitable romantic comedy (like the Singer and the Planner), although IMDb reveals it already is, in Sweden, where a young man's attempt to become a wedding photographer "changes not merely his outlook on life but also his hairstyle."


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In my parents' wedding album, there's a photograph of them signing the registry together in the church and there is a freaky disembodied hand clutching the edge of the altar. It looks like someone is crouched under the altar, hidden by the cloth, and is just sticking their hand out. It's hilarious and inexplicable.

The Lady of Shalott

@Decca That is AMAZING.


@The Lady of Shalott - I have just decided right now that, because I am the corniest person on earth, my wedding album will consist largely of me and the future (INSERT HER HONORIFIC+LASTNAME CONSTRUCTION HERE) recreating famous album covers & other works of art in our wedding clothes.

Also, the future (AGAIN) will only be the future (AGAIN) if she is comfortable with the fact that Tootsie Roll is probably going to have to be our 2nd Dance.

Sorry, future (AGAIN).


@leon s Please do Rumours


@Decca - Oh man, if only I could still grow my hair out long enough to need a ponytail.

fondue with cheddar

@leon s I love that idea! I might have to steal it. Get yourself a fake ponytail.


@leon s That is the best wedding picture album idea pretty much ever. The possibilities are endless! Your whole wedding, guests and all, could do Sgt Pepper!

Reginal T. Squirge

Paid In Full or GTFO.


@Reginal T. Squirge - Oh shit, that's a good one. I was also thinking Ghostface's "Bulletproof Wallets"

Reginal T. Squirge

Great idea! Also, Ironman, OBFCL and Blackout!


@leon s Hee, I had Mr. Scandyhoovian and his groomsmen mimic Abbey Road, but it's because the Beatles are my very favorite.

I also did Charlie's Angels with my bridesmaids.

fondue with cheddar

My boyfriend is a wedding photographer! He will like this.


The pullquote is so misleading! I thought it was going to be a snarky piece on how wedding photography has changed, and then I ended up crying about butterflies, so THANKS EDITH

fondue with cheddar

@PatatasBravas Oh, I didn't even read it yet, but I also thought it was going to be a snarky piece on how wedding photography has changed. At least now I'm prepared.


@PatatasBravas Yes, I found my cube getting intensely dusty while reading this.


@PatatasBravas Yes! I mean, she hints at it, but I thought I was going into an article more about wedding photography and maybe the whole wedding industry. And then it was all FEELINGS and BIG ISSUES and LIFE. Wonderful, though.


Matt Mendelsohn was my wedding photographer in 2009! He is exactly as thoughtful, caring, and talented as you think he'd be, based on this article.


@kentuckienne His pictures are GORGEOUS. I'm going to go through every wedding on his site today and cry about how beautiful they are and how I'll never be able to afford someone that amazing.

baked bean

@kentuckienne Oh my god, I am not a sappy person at all (and kind of hate weddings), but I started looking at his wedding photo galleries on his site and started to tear up. THAT is art, sir.


I don't have time to read this now, but I am looking forward to reading it later, because I am consistently amazed at how cheesy and posed most people's wedding photos I see on Facebook are (though I have also seen some that are quite beautiful and striking).

My favorite wedding photo story about my own wedding is this: My husband and I got married in a beautiful [public] park, and there was one of those massive, old wooden playgrounds (the ones that kind of look like castles with bridges and spires and what not). We took a ton of photos on the playground - on the swings, on the slide, monkey bars, etc. All the children and their mothers that were there playing had stopped to watch the photography happen. At one point, the photographer told us to kiss, and we did, and this whole group of children yelled, loudly, varying degrees of "EWWWW GROSSSS!!!!!" So my husband and I cracked up, and the photographer got this awesome photo of us laughing hysterically.

sudden but inevitable betrayal

"Oh, Gary, I'm so glad we made sure our photographer knew to take many dozens of photos of my shoes in a dusty sunbeam, and our rings balanced on a single blade of grass, and really committed to including a lens flare in every single image no matter what."

"Yes, Elaine, thank goodness we don't have one of those weird, non-artsy wedding albums full of pictures of our family and friends."

"Truly the best multi-thousand-dollar purchase of our married life!"



Can somebody please make a daguerreotype Pinterest happen?


@large__marge +1


This business with fire engines and wheat fields just reinforces my belief that all weddings should be reenactments of the Cruel to Be Kind music video.


I just noticed how dusty my office is after reading this... no, it's just allergies, I swear! Not emotions. Certainly not PMS...

Hamburger Hot Dog

I am not really interested in weddings at all, but dang if that didn't just give me all the emotions.

polka dots vs stripes

Wedding photographers now spend almost as much time shooting pictures of things like hors d’oeuvres, place cards, and rings—“details,” they’re called, a deliciously ironic term—as they do the bride and groom, the meaningless detail shots only masking the fact that there are precious few real details yet.

That and the last lines about "we just want to get married who cares about the tablecloths" I think were my favorites.

(but the whole thing was wonderful)


@polka dots vs stripes I really couldn't give a sh*t about the tablecloths.


@polka dots vs stripes The only really "arty" shot we did at our wedding was a close-up of our left hands with the wedding rings, hovering over my bouquet. And really, the only reason I insisted on it was because I'd managed to stop biting my nails for long enough to get a decent French manicure, and wanted that momentous occasion recorded for posterity.

superfluous consonants

@polka dots vs stripes i actually really love the detail shots from my wedding--the venue and my shiny, shiny shoes were beautiful, and i have a pretty terrible memory for those things. they certainly don't outweigh shots of actual *people*, but i'm grateful to have them nonetheless.


"Also, The Wedding Photographer could be the title of a potentially profitable romantic comedy (like the Singer and the Planner)..."

Wasn't there a terrible Jennifer Aniston romantic comedy where she ends up with a wedding videographer? Googling reveals it's Picture Perfect. Jay Mohr played the guy, I think. There were some shenanigans where they pretended to be together for some reason and then, of course, fell for each other. I say terrible but maybe it was profitable, too. Not mutually exclusive, as we know.


I loved, LOVED this article and am so thankful to the 'Pin for linking it. I know that part of my adoration is because I am sappy and about to celebrate our first anniversary, but damn, I absolutely loved everything about this piece. The pacing, the stories, the insights. Everything.

Also this:

But what Kara truly remembers has nothing to do with Hollywood stars who happened to be staying at the Fairmont. “I remember the moment I entered the room and Brian had this look on his face,” she says. “This look of excitement and joy and love. And I remember I wanted to etch this moment and that look in my mind. Pure bliss. I get chills thinking back to that moment.

When people ask me about my wedding, this is the moment I tell them about. And for the folks that were there, this was the moment for them, too. Nearly everyone who came to our wedding mentions "the gasp" from my husband when he first saw me coming towards him down the aisle. I remember the look on his face so vividly because it captured exactly what I was feeling.


@karion I remember looking at pictures from a friend's wedding -- he's a very sarcastic and unemotional guy, and the photo capturing the look on his face when he first saw his wife is so full of love and surprise, it just blew me away.


@thebestjasmine: I am a big puddle of mush today, so I will tell you this: I actually stopped, right at the beginning of the aisle, to take in the moment. My dad was, understandably, a little panicked, wondering why I would stop.

I whispered to him "I just want to take all of this in. Hold on."

It only took a split second, I would guess, but it was one of my favorite moments of all-time.


I loved this piece so very much, partly because the writing and the details were just so lovely, but also because of the range of humanity featured: the ones still happily married; the divorces for a variety of reasons; the poor tortured gay dude and his poor wife; the sad illnesses and deaths. And I loved him crashing a wedding.


I don't know why I thought it would be a good idea to read about weddings today. I'm a month out from the end of a 3 year relationship. I'm excited about the idea of eventually finding somebody new, of finding somebody more compatible than the last guy, but I'm so overwhelmed by the task of finding somebody good in a sea of terrible people. The idea that you can find that good person, go through all the years of courtship, go through with the wedding, have the children, and have it still all fall apart makes me feel so awful inside.

Davo Brown

Looking for wedding photographer in Spain. Your perfect wedding photographer (fotografo de bodas) matching your style and budget.


My fiance abruptly left 4 weeks ago .. since then, i've avoided all things wedding related like the plague. However, this is the first thing i've been able to read, because, unlike everything force fed to engaged ladies, this is REAL. So, thank you for that.

Also: Anyone know what to do with an engagement ring/wedding "stuff"? I'd sooner vomit on a crowded subway than deal with any of the weddingy websites...


@kariface ebay? Not too specifically weddingy due to its department-store-type nature.

baked bean

@kariface Craigslist? But then you have to talk to people.


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