Sunday, February 23, 2014

The Bride Wore Black

Kim and I were talking about how long we'd known each other.  She was one of the first people I met when I moved to South Texas almost 10 years ago.  We used to joke that she is my recently adopted daughter.  To say that she has been through hell and back is an understatement.  She has had a rough life, between poor choices and health problems.

Through it all, she always has a goofy smile that reminds me of Carol Burnett.  I was overjoyed when she told me that she was getting married, and I was honored that she wanted me to photograph the ceremony.

I got to meet Mario a few weeks ago, and I was impressed.  He's a good guy, and I could tell pretty quickly how much he adores Kim.

The ceremony was at a country pavilion in Blanco with beautiful views.  When I arrived, Kim told me that she had to re-do her bouquet last night since her dog ate the first one.

Sometimes the most simple ceremonies can be the most beautiful.  When Kim arrived in her dress, some people may have been surprised that she wore a black dress.  If you know Kim... it fits her personality perfectly.  And she wore it with style!  The purple feather earrings and white veil were gorgeous!

Rooster Chivalry

The Chinese have a saying "May your life be interesting"...  I had one of those interesting moments yesterday.  I grew up watching the Disney TV specials on Sunday nights where they would show wildlife films.  (We didn't have the Disney channel back then... we had THREE)

There's nothing more amazing than learning something about life in the animal kingdom by observing it.  To say that it surprised me is an understatement.

For those who don't know me, my wife Judi has a chicken farm in our backyard.  We have 5 adult chickens, and we just added a dozen or so babies.  Within the adults, we have one bad tempered rooster, and the rest are hens.

I had been doing some digging around Judi's greenhouse, and occasionally I'd find a big earthworm.  The chickens usually watch us when we dig in the hopes that we'll share those worms with them.  

I'd already shared a couple of worms with the hens.  Then I found a very large wiggling worm.  I looked around to see where the nearest chicken was, and the only one I saw was our rooster.  Judi named him "Frizzle" because of his feathers.

I tossed him the worm, and expected him to gobble it down quickly like the hens do.  He just stood over the worm looking at it.  I don't know if he communicated to them orally or telepathically, but within a few seconds he had three of his hens nearby.  He seemed to peck at the worm, but he didn't grab it.  It looked as if he were showing the worm to the female chickens.  The hens quickly attacked and each got a piece of the big earthworm.

I couldn't believe what I just saw.  I told Judi, "he didn't eat it... he waited and gave it to the hens!"  Judi looked at me like I was some city boy and said "he takes care of his girls".  Amazing.  Chivalry does survive in some men, and a few roosters.

Friday, February 14, 2014

Master Photographer

I met a "Master Photographer" tonight.  What is a "master photog" you ask?  I had the same question.  He told me that he's spent the last 40 years as a photographer, and I noticed that he had several medals around his neck.
No, he didn't look like Yoda.  He did look like he might have recently eaten Yoda.  He didn't sound or talk like Yoda, ...  more like Mr. Haney from the tv show "Green Acres". (sorry, for you young people... google it)

When asked how he became a "Master", he said that he'd won 4 prestigious awards from PPA, the Professional Photographers of America.  I'm a member of PPA, and have never been impressed with the organization.  It's a very pompous group who bestow awards and titles like an ivy league university.  All of their speakers have PhD's and MPA's, and whole alphabets of initials after their names.

The "master" was a guest speaker at a local photography club.  I don't attend many meetings.  A lot of them are on weekends, and I'm usually tied up on weddings during the weekend.  The club charged $10 to attend this presentation by the master.  I was somewhat intrigued, so I paid my $10 and anxiously awaited to hear what nuggets of wisdom the master would share with us about Wedding Photography.

He started out with a slideshow of some of his work.  "Not bad" I thought... but not what I thought a Jedi Master Photographer would present.  Then he started talking.  It took me a bit to get over his high pitched voice, and the way he talked reminded me of an insurance salesman.  Every sentence had a punchline, and he would slap the back of the nearest person as he laughed at how funny he was.

Then he started telling wedding horror stories.  I especially liked the one where he said the groom was so drunk, he kept unzipping his pants and showing his anatomy to anyone in the room.  (I'm thinking "did I really pay $10 for this?")  Let's get to the wisdom, master.

Finally he said, "Here's a little tip from me to you:  During the ceremony, if you're having trouble with something or someone blocking your shot, just hold your camera high over your head, and shoot down.  Sometimes you'll get a great shot that way."

Wait... it gets better.  Then he tells more stories, about the groom that passed out during the ceremony.  Then... it's over.  He told stories for 40 minutes, and now it's time for the door prizes.  Ooohh!! I like door prizes.  Too bad most of them were lens cloths, a flashlight, and the grand prize was a free 16x20 print from one of the photo labs in town.

I didn't win.  Bummer.  I didn't get any wisdom from the master.  The force was clearly not strong with this one, and these were NOT the droids I was looking for.

May the force be with you, Master.

Katy Perry's Wedding... sort of...

No, I didn't shoot Katy Perry's wedding.  I did however shoot an incredibly beautiful wedding with a couple that I have had the most fun with.  Congratulations to Sarah and Derek Matta!