The Joy of wedding photography.

The following item is an extract from my scrap book and is offered as a warning to those who may be sufficiently masochistic as to entertain the thought of entering into the vast mine field that is ‘wedding photography’. Should anyone wish to go ahead and do this regardless, don’t say I didn’t tell you.
The wedding in question took place many years ago in the dim dark ages of film photography.


If there’s one thing I absolutely hate; it’s photographing weddings. It’s total and utter chaos for a good couple of hours and gut wrenching fear for the next couple of days until you see the results. Why would anyone put themselves through this, you ask? Its got me beat, but being the caring and easy going (gullible) type that I am, I’ve somehow managed to be conned into taking quite a few over the years. So far I’ve survived intact and have actually taken a few passable pictures despite some fairly hairy situations.
Now most weddings are relatively straightforward affairs and not what you would call memorable, except maybe for the bride and groom, but the first wedding I ever photographed was definitely different.
The good wife and I were visiting family in Ballarat when one of her uncles announced that another relative, a young lady whom I had never actually heard of, was getting married. “We’d like you to come,” said the uncle and then he looked at me. “You’d better bring your camera,” he said. “We’ll get you to take a few snaps.” Being young and somewhat naive I nodded and said, “Yeah OK.” It wasn’t until later that I discovered I was to be ‘the wedding photographer.’ The wedding was held in the public gardens in Ballarat and apart from the fact that she was about to give birth at any minute, the bride brushed up pretty well. The groom was a real delight and regarded the whole procedure as an infringement on his personal liberty. In order to obtain his co-operation it became necessary for me to politely suggest that I might insert my camera into one of his body orifices. Despite this I managed to get most of the shots without any serious problems.
The cake and a few nibblies were on a table conveniently placed under a nearby tree, as ‘the cutting’ was to take place after the ceremony and before we left for the reception. The groom disappeared for a few minutes before the cake was assaulted and when he returned I was amazed to find he had changed into a dirty pair of jeans; which, I might add went very well with his suit jacket and tie. I shook my head and put the camera away. Things were starting to deteriorate.
The cutting over, the bride was left standing as the groom wandered over to join a couple of his bikie mates who, complete with jeans, leathers and esky, had materialised under some trees at a suitable distance from the wedding guests.
The reception actually went off pretty well, except for one minor technicality – No bride and groom. That’s right, no bride and groom. They were at the ‘other’ reception, weren’t they? It would appear that this had been organised as a riot control measure and it had been expected that the happy couple would have made a short visit to our do later in the evening. The groom however, had other intentions and the bride was not allowed to attend her family’s function at all. At least I wasn’t obliged to take any shots at the reception, so things weren’t all bad, were they?
If there is a lesson to be learnt from this little experience it probably goes something like this: When mixing in family circles, carry an instamatic camera and an album of your absolute worst disasters. Show these with pride and with a bit of luck some other sucker will cop the weddings.

This sorry affair took place quite a few years ago.
Some months after the wedding the groom went on a ‘bikie’ trip to Perth with some of his mates. On the way he was run down by a police car and killed.
Some time after, the bride met a decent young fellow and they are now married, with a family.
You may be relieved to find out that I had arranged to be in another State at the time of that wedding.


Instamatic : A very basic ‘pre-historic’ film camera.

Esky : A large insulated container full of ice and an abundant supply of beer.

The Joy of wedding photography.


Queanbeyan, Australia

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Artist's Description

Some pitfalls to avoid when photographing a family wedding and a
some-what dubious beginning to a ‘life of wedded bliss’.

Artwork Comments

  • Sherrianne Talon
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