Wednesday, January 15, 2014

They can't all be easy ones...

i had two weddings all way across the island. I hate shooting at that church! Don't get me wrong, its a beautiful chapel, its just that the windows are tinted kind of blue/green so all the pictures come out horrible!! It takes me all night to finish my edit!! Think I went home at midnight...

The wedding couples were fun, BUT.... I had two videographers for both weddings!! I have hard enough time keeping one of them out of my pictures, so when I have two, I go crazy!! The company i shoot for doesn't want any of the videographers in the pictures, especially their tripod!! So you have to get some creative angles to hide them. I shoot in back at super low angles to get the chairs to block him, or set the couple at weird half of the frame to crop him off. But with two, you can't so that since they are on opposite sides. But, being that I'm not used to shooting with two videographers, one of them said I'm always in HER shot haha I kept trying to get out of way of one of them, and kept walking in front of the other... sorry...

I'm not used to shooting at that church either so during ceremony, I'm like a runner at start of a race, waiting to see whats going to happen next, then run like an idiot to try catch the shot.

The first wedding was small package so it was pretty easy, the second one, being large sucked. Two videographers AND my makeup artist from hell!! Joke, she's a nice lady, just that she is really slow, always gets in the way and talks about weird stuff..

We were doing pretty good timing wise. Usually I try keep my weddings on time because if one wedding runs late, it will effect the next and next weddings. I am always rushing and never take too long with any shots. We were done inside chapel and the makeup artist gets her time to do her thing. I was outside waiting and waiting... about 20 minutes later, the couple finally comes out!! So much for being on time. I rush as best as I can but its large package, so I need a lot of shots.. Fun part? The makeup artist comes up to me and asks me "Why are we running so late?".. I wanted to kick her lol

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

No pain, no gain

Yay, first weddings of 2014! I had to shoot two weddings today. Weather report said possible thunder showers, so I kept checking the sky...It was a beautiful day! Nice and sunny, not too hot...

Only crappy part was right during my wedding, a huge cloud drifted over the chapel and made it dark and ugly.... hate when that happens. Worse is when these fat clouds (never get small ones) drift in and out making it impossible to get the exposures correct! It would go from f8 1/250 to f5.6 1/125 in a second, then jump back up. Since I'm using a manual flash, I can't have my shutter speed go over 1/250 of a second, so I can't shoot aperture priority...

Not much happened, just nice easy weddings. Really great couples and 2 fun guests. Only thing that happened that gave ME a lasting memory was after the wedding ceremony, we were going to shoot a lei exchange. I set them up by the exit of the church by some railings. The couple face towards the road with the guests (two of them) face the couple. The company I shoot for wants me to catch the guests face, so I'm behind the couple. I couldn't get the second guest in the shot since the couple were on a small "hill", so I "tried" to stand on the railings and shoot down.

There are two railings that meet  perpendicular to each other, so I climbed up on them and right when I was going to shoot, my foot slipped off one of the rails and I fell down. Since I was straddling the one rail, guess where I hit? Nope, I missed the family jewels and hit my inner thigh ! My second camera (one with the long lens) swung around in circle and hit the railing. Everyone was asking "Are you Okay?" so I just said "PROFESSIONAL!!" and climbed back up and got my shot!!

Later that night when I was editing my pictures and tried to get up, my outer thigh was sore by my hip. I took peek in mirror and now i got a huge lump and bruise over there!! Winner!!


Sometimes when you're shooting, you get hurt trying to rush and get your shots fast. I once was taking a group shot and I wanted to get the group from the opposite direction. So I had to climb down to the beach by walking down some rocks. When I turned to get the shot, both of my feet slipped out from under me and I landed on the rocks on both knees! Cuts on both knees and holes in my pants...
And didn't miss the shot!! PROFESSIONAL!!

Once in a great while my back gets sore. Old injury involving carrying 200lb up some stairs.. so bending over is almost impossible! And it seems always on those days, I get the videographer who likes to set his tripod up really low! I always ask him to raise it, but he won't.. So getting under it is a real challenge when you have to carry two cameras and rush to get the next shot. Once as I was trying to get under him, my flash cable caught on his tripods leg clamp and dragged his video camera with me haha.

I remember one time I was shooting a wedding and during the ceremony, when I was getting my wide shot from the back, it felt like I got stabbed in the ribs with a knife! It was so sore, I was in the back of the church and I couldn't move! Funniest thing ever! The coordinator saw me and was wondering what I was doing . Pain went away but it happened again, All I could do was laugh since it was so sore

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Happy New Year! What a crappy day.....

Just short post since its now New Years day but on Monday I had a wedding with beach. Super nice couple but weather was kind of junk. Looked like it was going to pour. Hard part is it was a large package with only a couple! My worse nightmare!! So many shots with just a couple in such a short time.. We finished up at church and went to the beach. Luckily it stopped raining, just dark clouds overhead.

After a few shots on the beach, I went to do the bride sitting down on the sand. Usually the company I shoot for don't want any sticks or seaweed in the shots so I try to clean up the mess. It was low tide so there weren't too many. Right next to the bride was a piece of what I thought was soggy drift wood. I picked it up to toss it, and noticed it didn't look like drift wood. It looked like a piece of... doggy poo!!! As I slowly walked to my shooting spot and slowly raised my hand to take a whiff and... it was dog crap!!! Darn it!!!

 I kneeled and grabbed a handful of wet sand to try "wash" my hand off. It worked a bit, so I grabbed more and tried again but by now I had to start shooting. After my shots, I grabbed more sand to scrub away my hand and luckily the smell was gone!! Victory!!
When we were walking to the next shot location, I told my couple about my misfortune  and the bride said "OH MY GOD!" haha too funny!!

I remember another "crappy" wedding I had. I was at the same beach and when we finish the photoshoot, last thing I do is clean off the brides shoes so when she gets in the limo, the sand wont get all over the car.

As I was taking off the brides shoes, I saw what I hoped was mud on the bottom half of her shoe... turns out, it wasn't mud! The entire bottom half was covered in dog poo! Or maybe it was a horse because that mess was huge!! I held the shoe up to the couple and was like, what on earth are we going to do? They looked at me like I have to clean it!! The limo driver came over to rush me along and I showed him the mess and he looked at me like "what you want me to do" Ugh!!
Luckily I had some paper towels in my pocket so I asked the limo driver for some water and started to clean up that mess...

It took a while and when I got most of it off (it stained the shoes sides since they were made of silk and white), I said I give up. The bride was happy (I wasn't lol) and they left. Walking to my car I smelt my hand and sure enough, it smelled like dog crap...I walked over to the bathroom to wash up but they had no soap so I just cleaned as much as possible. As I got in the car, I kept smelling dog poo pretty strongly so I looked at the bottom of my shoes, and sure nuff, I stepped in it too!!!!

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Sorry for late post but hope your holidays were fun! I was lucky and no wedding on Christmas. Before I'd shoot 365 days a year since more then a few Japanese couples didn't celebrate Christmas. Usually there would be a few weddings that day but luckily now they just close for the day so I get to have the holiday off!!
Other things I missed were Superbowls! In the last 20 years or so I've seen maybe one superbowl! Before at our church we would have a Superbowl party with food, snacks, and fun. But, I'd be shooting the wedding, watch a few minutes of the game and right when it gets good, have to go back and shoot lol. Fun fun
I even had to shoot weddings on the day my daughter was born! I can't believe I missed it....She popped out early so it was quick birth..And by the time I turned around, she's 13 already!! I left house and come home to a grown woman.... My line of work we don't get vacations either. You don't work, you don't get paid... Hard to have anything planned since I don't get my schedule till the night before.

Monday, December 23, 2013

One ring to rule them all...

Wedding rings..... such small things but sometimes they can lead to big trouble!
Once I was shooting my ring shot (rings on the pillow with bouquet behind it). I usually shoot them in the waiting room by the door but since it was getting dark, I moved my chair to the exit. When I'm moving the chair, one of the rings falls off towards the ground! The ground is boards with spacing between the boards, but really small space. I decide to just let the ring fall and pick it up when it stops. So I watch it fall, bounce, bounce, turn sideways and like a coin in a piggy bank, falls right between the slots!!! I'm like OMG!! I look thru the slot and just by luck, thru the sliver of light I can see the ring laying on a board beneath the top boards!! Whew, I thought for sure it fell under the house with no way of getting under to get it!

Now I have to figure out how to get the ring out from under there before the wedding starts!! I hunt everywhere for something I can use and find a hanger! I bend it into a hook and slowly I drag the ring out!! Saved!!! After that I never went outside anymore!!

But, another photographer had same thing happen to them ( I wasnt there) and they couldnt get the rings out! They had to call maintenance to come and remove all the boards to fish the ring out!! Think the wedding started over an hour late.
Once one of the coordinators lost the rings when she walked from the waiting room to the chapel. They had to get all the coordinators to go hunt for it! Luckily they found it in some grass so now they carry the ring over in a basket in the ring box.
One of the other photographers told us about his ring shot. The brides ring cost $100,000!! It was a ring with 1 carat diamonds around the whole thing! Super beautiful ring but the groom wouldn't let it out of his sight!! When the photographer was shooting it, he had to follow him to guard the ring!! Is that crazy or what? How can the bride even wear the thing if he's going to be so worried about it?
 A couple of times my couples forget their wedding rings  at the hotel.  With a one hour timetable we don't have time to go back to hotel to get it so we "borrow" rings from anyone to use for the wedding. My rings (I wear two) have been married 3 or 4 times already!! Now, if the couple forgets their rings, they send someone back to get them, setting our weddings back a long, long time!!! One of the other chapels has a couple of fake rings for the to use. Smart idea!
I've had big rings (big enough for me to fit two fingers in it) and really tiny, tiny rings! So small I couldn't fit the first knuckle of my pinky thru it! I've had gold, platinum, silver, titanium, hand made rings, super fancy ones covered in diamonds, super cheap looking ones, even some I swear are made out of plastic. I've had blue rings, purple rings, yellow, pink, gold, white, black and even rainbow colored ones. Cartier, Gucci, Louis Vuitton, Tiffany, and a ton of Japanese designer ones. Beautiful ones and old worn, beat up ugly rings.  Its always exciting to see what kind of ring I get to play with each wedding!

Sunday, December 22, 2013

How do I love thee....

Today I had a really rare groom, an affectionate one!! Every time I told them to look at each other, he'd kiss the bride on the cheek! Id laugh and the bride would blush. Japanese men usually are never affectionate... hmmm more like Japanese people in general don't show it I guess in public so was a welcome change to have such a happy groom.
I sometimes get a groom who seems like they don't wanna be there at all. When they walk, the groom walks a few feet in front of the bride. I end up telling them"TOGETHER!!" lol.
I once had a groom that really didnt want to be there! I was doing the ring shots and the grooms ring was a washer! The kind you buy at the hardware store. I felt kind of funny shooting that as the ring shots but you gotta shoot what you're given. And, right after the wedding I saw him slide it off and put it in his pocket. He had no interest in picture taking but the bride was soo in love.... kind of felt sorry for her...
oo, off topic but I once had a groom whos "wedding ring" was a nice, new Rolex watch! Now thats what I call a good ring! Bet her never had a problem wearing that one every day!

Speaking of grooms, no clue why but I sometimes get grooms who are wearing makeup! I mean like a heavy foundation and lip stick!! No idea how the makeup artist or bride talked him into wearing that! And I used to get a ton of grooms who pluck their eyebrows! Is that a Japanese thing? I've never seen any white people doing that..

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Rainy days and mondays....

Checked the weather report night before and they said thunder showers!! Heavy rains!!! Next morning looked out side and it was pretty dark in town but not raining. Headed off to my wedding and was greeted with dark, black skies!! As I got closer to the church, the skies came darker and it was raining!!!  Nothing can make a wedding harder then rain!
So far out of all my weddings, I dont have very many rainouts. Usually it stops or theres a brief time when I can make a mad dash outside and get a few shots. Today sure didnt look like it would be stopping! There was even an occasional thunder..

The main problem shooting when it rains it rain! lol Cameras weren't made to be shot in pouring rain. I had my jacket on but the just keeps my dry, the camera would get soaked everytime I take it out for a shot. At some chapels, the coordinator will come hold an umbrella for you but not this chapel. You were on your own!! And, another bad thing is shooting flash with rain. Any rain gets into your flash and its fried! Had a few zap out on my in the rain.

Couple come and its pouring but this is a large album so I need a lot of shots! At least 800 or so, so I tell the coordinators that I need to shoot a few near the limo, nothing fancy. just pop a few of the bride and groom sitting in the car etc. I shoot and get soaked! then I run for some cover and try to get them walking but hard to focus thru the rain.

Fast forward and we are done with the ceremony and I look outside and its almost stopped! I shoot as fast as I can and say lets go!! We get them leaving chapel, then get the limo shot (wipes brow) since its one of the "important" shots. We skip the gazebo shots and make a mad dash towards the beach. I get a nice wide shot on some stairs with grey skies and coconut trees then move to the next shot with  a few more coconut trees, when this super cold, strong wind starts blowing. It was freezing! I felt sorry for the bride but I kept asking them if its okay! I was lucky and I had an awesome couple who didnt mind getting a bit wet!
We head off for the beach and by this time my poor couple are running with me haha. I tell them they don't have to run, I'm rushing to get in front to get a few walking shots. We get to the beach, get a few shots when here comes the rain!!! Suck part is we had ONE umbrella! It wouldn't even cover the poor bride.
I said lets go back to the gazebo and get shots under it since it had a roof. My poor bride is getting soaked so the videographer and me try to block the rain/wind with our jackets and bodies. It didn't work... We get under the gazebo and I set up bride for a few shots.Can you believe it the roof leaks? It didn't stop much rain at all and when I try to get a shot, I back up and the water running off the roof just soaks me and my poor camera! I rush a few shots of bride and groom and between shots Im trying to dry off the bride with some paper towels I carry in my pocket. I ask coordinator can she go get towel, but she doesnt so the videographer runs over and like superman saves the day!! Oh, don't get me wrong, the coordinator was doing her best trying to help, but usually on rainy days we get other coordinators to come over and help with umbrellas.... Not today !!
i check my cameras counter and im at like 500-600 shots! Really not enough but I said forget it already. My poor bride is a soaked mess but happy, my groom is wet but he was having fun so I tell them time to go!!
I'm so glad I had an awesome couple who didn't mind the weather to at least try get some nice .... kind of nice shots. I think it would have sucked to shoot all the shots in the chapel and they get zero outside...