I check over the stand and my camera. I always come early to a wedding to find the perfect spot for the bridal party’s pictures. The venue is at an apple orchard, with spring flowers, in full bloom. Photography started out as a hobby for me, but soon turned into a passion. I now run my own photography studio. For being a twenty-six-year-old male, I’d say, I’m doing pretty good.
I will have to admit, the ladies do love a photographer. Especially the bridesmaids. This weekend though, I’m just going to hang out and try to stay out of the drama. I walked around and saw that they were setting the cake up. It’s a massive cake with six tiers. The extravagant flowers and all the setup are one the fanciest I’d seen. It piqued my curiosity. I know the name the wedding party was under, but nothing stood out. I couldn’t help but think that maybe this was someone famous. They could have used a fake name to keep the paparazzi away. I looked over some of the appetizers and couldn’t even begin to tell exactly what they were. Fancy indeed I say out loud.
I watch the hustle and bustle of some of the bridal parties arriving. After a few years of doing weddings, I can always pick out the groom. Well, not a famous person, I thought. This groom looked both excited and sad, at the same time. I must be mistaken. I dismiss it and grab my portable camera. I started taking a few pictures of the groom and groomsmen. I found taking their picture without them realizing it, captured the best moments. I snapped a few and looked them over. I wasn’t mistaken after all. The groom was smiling, but his eyes gave him away. Most wouldn’t have noticed, but I could. His eyes seemed to hold a sadness in them. That is a first for me. The parents of the bride were the ones most common to show any sadness. Now my interest is really piqued. I continued snapping pictures and made my way back to the main area.
My momma always told me, it was impolite to eavesdrop. But, I find myself trying to catch snippets of the conversations around me. It seems the topic at hand is about how much they thought the wedding cost. Others just spoke of how beautiful it was, and if certain family members were coming. I make my rounds making sure I get some good pictures of the family.
I go to the bridal suite to ask if they would like any pictures done of them. The bride smiled sweetly and agreed. I took pictures of her and the bridesmaids and of her with her mother. She was a beautiful young lady. But, her eyes seemed tired. I took a few pictures of the dress and of her ring. As I head to leave I hear the bride's mother start to cry. Now, that is not unusual, but she was very upset. I had walked out before I could hear what was said.
This wedding was turning out to be quite perplexing. As I am making my way back down to the main area, I hear a couple servers talking. I act like I am looking through photos, so they don’t realize that I’m listening in. I stood there, struck. The bride, who was only twenty three, had cancer. I could tell her makeup looked a bit heavy, but didn’t think much of it. Her cancer was terminal. This wedding was to be her dying wish, to marry her long time boyfriend. It made sense now. That is why the groom seemed sad. I feel my hands tremble as I hold my camera. I couldn’t even imagine being in their shoes. I take a slow breath to calm my nerves.
I hurry to get in position, as I hear the ushers letting everyone know it was to start soon. I make sure to snap plenty of pictures as the wedding starts. When they start the bride's walking song, I almost tear up. She looked beautiful in her white ball gown dress. It had lots of intricate details. Even with this style dress, I could tell she seemed small in it. I took more photos than I normally would. After the main ceremony was the cutting of the cake, and the first dance. I made sure to have extras for the bride with her parents. It took several hours of getting the groups together to finish up some of the picture taking. I could tell the bride was starting to feel the effects of the day. I put a smile on my face and congratulated the happy couple before I headed out.
It had been quite a day, but I couldn’t rest until I saw how the photos turned out. I worked for hours developing the film. I found myself thinking back to some of my past relationships. I was usually the cause of the breakups. I just didn’t want to give up the bachelor lifestyle I guess. After seeing the love on the married couples faces, I questioned my reasons. Even though their time was limited, they refused to call it quits. My life choices looked childish versus them. In everyday life no one really thinks about just how short life can be. I slowly look over each and every photo. I managed to catch the little moments. I have one photo of the father looking down on his daughter, with so much love reading on his face. This is why I got into photography. I am able to capture those moments in time, forever.
I organize all the photos and make a whole portfolio for them. I don’t usually do multiple copies, but this was for a very special day. I made sure to have enough for both sides of the family. I included all the negatives as well. I decided when I go to give them their photos, they are free of charge. This will be my gift to the family. I wiped away a tear that tried to escape. I hope my pictures will bring some happiness for that family. I finally turn in for the night thinking about her special day.