Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Take a picture - it'll last longer.

In the last few days, I've had the "well, of course that's the photographer we'll use" wedding photographer tell me that she's already booked for our day. Bummer. But she did give us the names of three other photographers to try.

Of those, Photographer Number One evidently doesn't know how e-mail works. Photographer Number Two sent back a price list of the "are you kidding?" variety. And Photographer Number Three sent a very sweet e-mail:

Dear Cha Cha -

Congrats on your engagement! As it turns out, that day is also the day I am getting married. I would suggest other photographers to you, but they will all be at my wedding that day.

Good luck -
Photographer Number Three

And then my head exploded.

I pictured every photographer in the metro at one wedding, laughing at and toasting to the misfortune of every other bride in town. It would be the opposite of Mr. Ecologically Friendly Wedding's "you know, being in the agency world, we had three photographers covering our wedding" obnoxious-yet-well-documented nuptials. It would be me and a box of crappy disposable cameras taking crappy pictures.

My mom offered a better take on it. "No!" she exclaimed. "We can do Polaroids and old Instamatics!"

I considered. "The ones with the square bulbs? Totally!"

Then my mama really outdid herself. "You know ..." she said slyly. "We still have grandpa's movie camera."

And then I lost my mind.

My grandpa had this movie camera that had two huge lightbulbs on the top of it. The thing put off more heat than the sun, and more light, too. I vividly remember him documenting our family, holidays and get-togethers accompanied by the whirr of his camera.

The best part, though, was that the blinding lights meant that in every movie, all of us kids look like Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds with crazy, looking-glass eyes. We have no pupils. We are blind, frozen in our polyester plaid slacks. As the movies go on, we start to sweat, too.

I would love nothing more than to see those movies now.

Last weekend, My Guy and I had lunch with his grandma. She's sassy and I adore her. And, truth be told, I think I have a greater appreciation for her because all of my grandparents have passed.

As we said good-bye, My Guy's grandma asked if I had any grandmas. No. She asked if I had any grandpas. "No," I said, "but I was so lucky to grow up five minutes away from a set of my grandparents. They were such a big part of my life, and I was so fortunate."

As My Guy and I walked away, he asked me some question and I realized that I couldn't talk. I was crying. Hard.

We finally got to the car and all I could say was, "I miss my grandma."

Now, I think I've figured out some good options for the wedding photography. This little interlude has shown me how important the photos are to me, and the idea of my grandpa's movies reminds me of how precious all of these times are. But no wedding photographer in the world can put the people who are missing back in the picture. And that makes me sad.


slow panic said...

You'll get it figured out and it will be wonderful. Also it can not be worse than my wedding photographer. I let my mom choose her and she chose her because she was cheap and the woman was a nightmare! You can see the stress and horror on my face in the photos as the day progresses. It's funny now. Then I wanted to kill her. Or my mother.

hope505 said...

Here is a wild, unconventional idea. You'll probably hate it, especially if you want a Perfect Wedding, but here goes.

Buy a BUNCH of those little fuji "instant" cameras, and give them to all your guests, to photograph the Special Moments as they please. Even pass them out to the kids who are old enough to use them. Then entrust a REAL camera to someone like your dad or mom, or Your Guy's mom or dad, or a friend who is a photographer-person and enjoys taking photographs - to take some Stunning Shots of you going down the aisle, up at the altar, etc.

I am dead serious.

I think you'd love seeing pictures of the wedding that your guests took, and seeing the festivities from all different views...label the cameras ahead of time so you know whose pictures are whose, then you can include a picture that they took with your thank-you note to them, and they'll have a wedding picture memento too!

Jus tthink, you'll get sentimental shots, kissing shots, cake-eating shots, pics of the dogs, pics of other guests...EVERYTHING!

Well there's my crazy two cents!

And it wouldn't cost a zillion dollars, either.

* = D

Anonymous said...

Damn. I'm tearing up.
I love how you have such strong family ties--to both the good and the bad memories!
I hope you find a great photographer. I bet you will. And they'll be worth the effort.

Molly said...

That email is the funniest freaking thing ever. It's absurd and obnoxious and laughable at the same time.

I'll take your photos!