Tuesday, 11 December 2012

No gifts by request

by Dale Neill

Weddings are funny things. I guess I've shot about 500 odd weddings in my life with the emphasis on odd. Weddings are days of high emotion and ,,,,   sometimes high drama.

I once photographed a wedding where the celebrant was a self-confessed witch, but a nice lady witch. She wore purple robes with gold sashes, got the happy couple to jump over swords and sprinkled magic sawdust on their heads. It became interesting when I learned the bride was an adviser to one of the country's leading federal femaIe pollies. It became even more interesting when I learned later that my lovely lady witch was in fact a man. I only ever shot one witch wedding.

Over four decades lots of things have changed about weddings - the fashions, the style, the photographs and the locations. But one thing remains constant - the madness. All brides seem slightly less sane on the day they marry. Its almost a pre-requisite. And its not just due to the quantity of champagne they have tucked away in the lead-up.

Highly intelligent women, bristling with confidence, organizational skills and creative ideas seem suddenly to have overdosed on 'silly' pills. The first sign of this madness is a complete loss of the concept of time. Either time no longer exists or they believe the earth has stopped rotating for their wedding day.

So when I wrote my 'Survival Guide for the Once-Off wedding Photographer' I listed time-management as a key skill. Not only does the photographer and assistants have to have a battle plan, they must be clever enough and convincing enough to coerce the bride and groom into the plan. This starts three moths out from M day!

That's not the case here at all. No, I didn't remarry, in fact its not even a wedding and not even a  bride. Please no gifts by request.

I took the pics on 11-12-2012 the day before the earth will end. This is my lovely neighbour who was having an end of earth, fancy-dress party for her work mates. She found a 'never used' wedding dress at Good Sammy's for $60 and her outfit was ready. ( 'wedding dresses - never used'  - there must be story or two!)

If you want to know another way to make money from photography (apart from selling all your camera gear) join me on 17 August 2013 for 'So You Want to Turn Pro' at UWA Extension. (note: not yet open for bookings but place your name on the waiting list)

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