There's No Crying in Baseball
Do you remember the movie A League of Their Own, a film about an all-women's baseball team that replaced the men who had left the United States to fight in World War II? In the movie, Tom Hanks plays their grumpy coach who is disgusted by having to deal with these "girls." In one scene, Hanks berates a player for a bad throw and she starts crying, prompting him to yell, "THERE'S NO CRYING IN BASEBALL!"
Well, in the same vein, there's no crying in wedding photography. What I mean by that is when things go whack, when the conditions you expected get turned around, what are you going to do? Because if the only thing you can do is cry, that may mean a bride misses out on pictures of her special day.
And that is a strike out.
A Professional Photographer Can Handle Whatever the Situation Is
I recently photographed the wedding of Anna and Joe. When I spoke to her, I knew it would be lovely. It was a small wedding (and no less important than a large one) with an intimate gathering that would take place on the point at The Cove at Concord Park, overlooking Lake Loudon. Ahhh! I know it well and it is a beautiful spot. I could already picture how the backdrop of the water and the treeline across the way would figure in. After the wedding, all would drive across town to Schulz Brau, a wonderful German brewery in the Happy Holler section of Knoxville. I knew that location as well, and also knew that the loft that one could reserve had a low ceiling and would be dimly lit, great for human eyes but a struggle for even a professional camera sensor.
And so came the appointed time for the ceremony at The Cove. Except . . . something seemed to be brewing and it wasn't beer . . .
Uh-oh. The sky was darkening as the guests gathered. And it started to rain - at first, gently . . .
But then - the skies opened. And it POURED.
Oy! At one point, the bride's mother came to me and told me that the decision was made to pack it in and have everyone head to Schulz Brau where the ceremony would be held.
Ok, this is where things get real for a photographer. Did I mention that the loft at Schulz Brau is a challenge? I knew I needed to get over there and see where the best lighting would be. Wait, not the best background? Well, ideally, you want both but if there is a choice to be made, usually lighting wins. "Photography" means drawing or writing with light. Poor light = poor picture, often a grainy, dark image, not much better than a cellphone image. And that would mean bringing the light. The ambient light at Schulz Brau would just not be enough.
No crying in baseball, no crying in wedding photography. Time to bring your game.
On to Schulz Brau!
May I say, despite the monsoon that was still coming down, Anna and Joe were gracious and chill for a couple whose plans just got washed out. While it was not what they expected, they persevered because ultimately the goal was to get married. And in anticipation of that, just look at the excitement on Anna's face.
The rain did not - could not - stop the love!
It was still storming outside (later we learned that records had been broken for the amount of rain that fell) so that meant bridal portraits would need to be done inside. The good news is that Schulz Brau has a cool tank room where the beer is made, and the owner was gracious enough to let us use it.
If I had been a "natural light" photographer - one who relies on the ambient light, that is, whatever light is available - things would not have gone well. But I am not. I use light, whether it comes from the sun or from my flash, so I can handle what life threw at me here.
As can Anna and Joe - and that is what makes them a great couple, laughing at what life throws them and knowing they will face it together!