Misadventures in travel wedding photography

I was hired to shoot a wedding in San Francisco last weeked. The drive to the bay area went swimmingly. Before I left I swung by Samy's camera to pick up my Canon 50D that errored out on me during my first wedding and I was a happy camper with my camera back, my best friend and second shooter by my side and everything looking up.

Coco and I stayed the night at a friend's place in San Jose. We went out to dinner. I had two margaritas and got trashed. And when we got back from the restaurant my shoe broke! The sole of my black boots just came off completely. And then it was all downhill from there.

The next morning I awoke (a little hungover) and I took out my camera and turned it on to find that it was still broken! I was so screwed. This was my only camera, aside from my old Rebel that has difficulty keeping up with my pro lenses. So after a MAJOR panic attack, and a frantic call to Samy's, Coco and I worked out that I would just have to use her faster, newer Rebel (with a bigger screen) and she would use my older slower Rebel and we'd just have to make due.

So onwards and upwards! We headed to San Francisco to stop number two -- a friend of Coco's who was putting us up for the night. I dropped off all my stuff and then headed out to the door to do a maternity shoot at Golden Gate park with Ragani and Will. Wanna hear something wonderful about that shoot? The subject was the very first couple that asked me to do their engagement photos. Who then became the first couple who trusted me to shoot their wedding. (But I'll have more on that later.) The shoot went well, and I had a fun time with my buddies. But no lie, I was exhausted from travel and stress.

So then it was back to the apartment for an early bed time as the wedding was EARLY in the morning the next day.

We woke up and the first thing we did was get coffee, then headed to my wedding clients' home. They live in a really cool area that's practically under the Golden Gate Bridge. Of course I'm a total jackass and I missed their exit, thereby leaving me NO CHOICE but to go over the bridge and then come back. Of course I didn't have any cash on me so Coco had to fork over the $6. (Once again I thank my lucky stars for Coco.) So one useless trip and $6 later we finally arrive to our destination -- Djinnaya and Jason's house. Luckily we weren't late as they themselves were running late. ;)

So we take off to their wedding ceremony site, the Pulgass Water Temple. Of course the day I have a wedding to photograph at high noon is the one day that it's not overcast in the bay area. Just my luck, right? And there was NO SHADE at the spot where they were getting married. I cursed the lighting gods that day, let me tell you. At least I learned my lesson -- no weddings at high noon without telling my clients of the photo risks. Of course, the lack of clouds that made it impossible to get amazing shots of the ceremony did enable me to get this amazing shot as well. So, you know, give and take.

Anyway, on the drive over to the reception site my "flat tire" light one. FARK! So I got out at a gas station and checked them all out, none of them were flat, but I found this bubble on the side wall of one of my tires. So on the way to the reception I called my Dad to ask about just how dangerous that might be. I got my answer when he called me AS I WAS SHOOTING and told me that a bubble like that could cause my tire to explode. YIPES! So, what were we to do! I still had the entire reception to shoot and by the time it was over the tire place would be closed. We were going to have to spend another night in San Francisco and I'd have to pay for a hotel room. Of course my lovely and quick thinking Coco volunteered to take my car to the tire place while I stayed and shot the reception. Coco drove over an hour out of her way and in traffic to take my car in. $506 later (yup, there was another toll booth that Coco had to pay for) Coco arrived back at the reception just as it ended and we were ready to take off. (Seriously THANK YOU lucky stars for my Coco!!!)

Thankfully the drive home was totally uneventful and that was the end of my horrible luck. And Pulgass lighting issues aside, I do have some AWESOME shots from the wedding, so stay tuned for more wedding porn from me in the future.


Coco said...

misadventures are half the fun! and they make the best stories :)

Sevillalost said...

man, I can only imagine the shenanigans you two ladies will get up to when you come out to DC for me next January... :)