Every photography website we have ever seen has an ABOUT section talking about how much the photographer loves to shoot and how he or she was born with a camera, and they are usually in the third person even though the photographer wrote it. Heck, even our old site had the same thing. But we decided this time out that it might be more interesting to share some of the adventures we have been through as photographers. Some of these were close calls, some of them were things we did wrong and learned from, and some of them were just plain cool opportunities that we were fortunate to be afforded and had a great time taking advantage of. None of them resulted in any severe injury, arrests, or ruining of a special day. This was originally intended to be a Top-10 list, but we only came up with 7. We are looking forward to adding to it, so give us a call and we can have an adventure together.
7) Lights out. 15 minutes before the ceremony started, the power in the church went out and stayed out through the entire ceremony. The venue, which usually did not allow photographers to use any flash made an exception that day and everything turned out alright. We also lucked out that this happened in a very old stone building, so it was well insulated and did not get too hot.
6) Water logged. We were shooting a pre-wedding session in Jamaica and decided to go into the Caribbean chest-deep to get the shots we wanted, with several thousand dollars worth of gear and no waterproof housings for any of it. We and our gear survived and the shots were amazing. The resort photographers said we were completely crazy and they had never before seen anyone do such a thing.
5) Delays. This is more of a group of events than a single event, but we have had delays for a deluge that hit seconds before our beach ceremony was slated to start, an injured guest who fell from a scooter he was parking for another guest, and even a groom who arrived late because he had to go back home after realizing he forgot the ring. Every bride we have ever worked with has surely heard Tom say at least once - I promise they will not start without you!
4) KISS. We shot several events for a local charity that staged concerts as one of its primary sources of fundraising. Shooting Kenny G was kind of fun, as was country star Phil Vassar, but shooting the iconic rock band KISS live on stage was incredible. And to our surprise the next morning, the band actually picked up a couple of our photos from the show and used them on its official website.
3) The accidental Cenote shoot. We drove for hours into the Mexican jungle with our clients thinking we were going to shoot at some Mayan ruins. Little did we know that photography is not allowed on any of the ruins in Mexico without a special permit that takes weeks (and big bucks) to get, and that this is the one rule in Mexico that even dead American presidents can not break. This could have been an total disaster, except that the entrance station for this particular set of ruins also offered access to a Cenote, which is basically a sinkhole in the jungle that is half full of water. To get to the Cenote from the entrance station, we boarded three-wheeled bicycles that had a seat in front of the rider and our peddlers pushed us a mile or more up a steep hill out into the jungle. On the ride out, we were pretty well convinced we were being taken out into the jungle to be robbed, murdered, or both - but other than being terribly hot and sweaty (although surely not as hot and sweaty as our riders doing all the work), everything turned out great, the clients got some really unique photos, and everyone left happy.
2) Navigating in Mexico. Mexico makes the list for a second time here, lots of craziness goes on down there. We arrived in Mexico late at night with no printed directions to our hotel because we expected the navigation on our phones to work. The only problem was that our US cell phone company had told us that to get data service when we got down there we needed to press * something something and follow the prompts. Well, to our dismay the prompts were in Spanish and we could not figure out what buttons to push to activate our phones. So we headed off in the rental car and eventually found our way with the help of some friendly locals and what we could remember from high school Spanish class.
1) The bus hijacking. The bridal party at a wedding we photographed in San Francisco had a private charter bus to get them to and from the ceremony location. While boarding the bus, a man who was not a member of the bridal party also boarded. After much debate about whether or not the man could stay on the bus, a couple of the groomsmen were forced to physically remove him from the bus. That part of the story is an adventure in itself, but it is not the end of this one - the bus went about a half a block and stopped at a red light, where the disgruntled would-be passenger managed to get in front of the bus and block it from moving any farther, even when the light changed. After considerably more heated debate between the man and the groomsmen, dead American presidents finally did solve this problem.