Weddings Through A Lens (1)

Some faces stick in your mind almost indefinitely even if you only saw them previously for avideographer short while. When I first worked for myself I was happy to spend my weekends filming weddings as, on the whole it was a good cash flow sideline when the commercial video side frequently meant waiting 6-9 months to get paid and a lot of outlay in terms of hiring in personnel and equipment. I enjoyed filming weddings and capturing the little nuances, the glances and incidences as I wandered amongst people as an invited stranger.

Filming a wedding is not like attending a wedding as a guest, friend or family member as I used to find I was experiencing the day from behind a large black and white viewfinder (yes viewfinders were b&w mostly). It was reportage and you soon developed a kind of sixth sense of events and virtual eyes in the back of your head. Some days were almost dream like in that I would line up a close up of someone at the precise moment something amusing or charming occurred, almost as if you unconsciously knew what was about to happen. You were an invisible spirit who nobody knew and everyone looked right through as if you weren’t even there. An almost Randall and Hopkirk experience.

I still live around the area where I filmed many of these wedding from the late 1980’s onwards and often see people and faces that I once framed in an electronic viewfinder. As soon as I see them and despite the sometimes large passage of time I know what wedding it was and the name of the couple and locations involved. I can instantly step back into my virtual shoes and relive the day.

Passing Strangers
I was on a bus earlier (International jet set bus traveller that I am) and saw the father of a Bride I filmed in 1991.He was walking his dog ,had inevitably aged (As have I. No picture of Dorian Gray in our attic .Actually no attic). As the bus passed him I looked straight at him and his eyes locked with mine (no doubt thinking ‘what’s she looking at?’). It was a long while ago. Did he remember me? Doubtful. Nobody ever does. I was invisible for a living.

Photo by thparkth under this creative commons license

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2 thoughts on “Weddings Through A Lens (1)

  1. Oh wow, that was lovely. You have a wonderful way of capturing something in very few words. And you are right about the invisibility thing – my photographer friend says the same, that it is as if he is just an extension of his camera, a walking tripod almost (except he does only have two legs!).

  2. Thanks RB-I’ve got a follow up which I’ll post sometime which is more specific memories. As your friend says there is a point at which the photographic observer and camera enter a slightly symbiotic relationship (there’s hardware you get on with and hardware you fight with so choice of gadgetry is also important). Tripod wise I suspect Jake the Peg would have made an excellent photographer (or at least took very steady bad photographs).

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