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FORUMS Photography Talk by Genre Weddings & Other Family Events Talk 
Thread started 15 Oct 2008 (Wednesday) 06:10
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A stark reminder to us all

 
tim
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Oct 15, 2008 06:10 |  #1

The sudden and unexpected death of the mother of one of my wedding customers from this year prompts me to remind everyone about the importance of what we do. The wedding photos are the last taken of her, they're the only photos of the family taken in the past few years. The mother was a little shy, so there weren't many photos of her taken even at the wedding.

This isn't a rare occurrence, i've had a number of calls like this over the past few years.

We're not just there to take pretty pictures of the bride and groom, we're there to document the day and take photos of everyone close to the bride and groom. I know in future i'll put more emphasis on taking photos of the parents, the grandparents, and the elderly friends of family of the bride and groom. If people don't want their photo taken have the bride and groom come over and take their photo together.

The prints i'm having made for the family will be part of the way the husband and family remember her. Don't take the responsibility lightly, we're the guardians of precious memories for these families.


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egordon99
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Oct 15, 2008 06:52 |  #2

Nice post tim..... At my first wedding last weekend, the bride's father was having an absolute blast (bride was a bit older, so father was up there in age) on the dance floor so I made sure to get LOTS of pictures of him. I'm sure the bride will love them and I realize he won't be here forever (who is?) so I wanted to make sure she has some great memories of him....

Another quick story, I was at a holiday party at my wife's job and I got a quick snap of two employees, a man and a woman. A few months later my wife asks me if I can send a high res copy of that image to the woman since she remembered I took their picture. Turns out the man had just passed away from cancer (I had no idea he was sick at the time). She was so grateful to have that picture of her and her good friend. That alone makes all of this worth it for me.....




  
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Suedezu
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Oct 15, 2008 06:54 |  #3

This is an excellent reminder of the importance of what we do as wedding photographers and the responsibility we have to cover the event as perfectly as we can.

Also this reminds us not to focus solely on the bride and groom.

What a sad story, Tim!

I will try to keep this in mind for my future weddings. Thank you!


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shaggymatt
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Oct 15, 2008 07:14 |  #4

Similar for me. My grandmother passed away shortly after my wedding. Those were the last somewhat formal (beach wedding) pictures anyone had of her.

I was a second shooter at a wedding this past weekend, as my first paid gig. I made it a point to try and at least get a picture of every couple during the slow dances.


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Oct 15, 2008 08:59 |  #5

A good but sad post Tim, thanks for sharing.


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Robert16
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Oct 15, 2008 09:44 |  #6

A good point well made - something to think about.


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BOUNCINGNRG
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Oct 16, 2008 03:27 |  #7

Well said Tim. I did a wedding for a friend in a simular situation, they were brave enough to tell me in advance that there dad was ill, so i was able to get plenty of pic's of him, he passed away 2 weeks after the wedding.


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BeccaJ
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Oct 16, 2008 08:06 |  #8

I think this falls true for any family event...not just weddings. Before i got seriously into photography, i had brought a friend with me to my family christmas. I wasnt taking pictures of everyone individually, but i got the camera out for a group pic before everyone left. My friend took the picture of all of us. That was the last Christmas my cousin was here with us (2006), as he was killed in Iraq a few days prior to Christmas '07. I even have a pic of him, his brother, and 2 cousins from Easter 03 that i took with a point and shoot, not thinking anything of it... I dont know what I'd do if I ever lost either of those pictures.

Thanks for the reminder. I have a wedding coming up on the 25th.


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yuriyo923
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Oct 21, 2008 07:16 |  #9

I was at a Christmas party with my wife and her side of the family last year and took some pictures, group and individual. Took some pics of her mom and grandparents. Well about 2 months her grandpa passed away and when we got to the funeral I was surprised to see the picture that I took of her grandpa on the cascet... Very good point you made Tim!!!


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sando
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Oct 23, 2008 11:56 |  #10

tim wrote in post #6499153 (external link)
The sudden and unexpected death of the mother of one of my wedding customers from this year prompts me to remind everyone about the importance of what we do. The wedding photos are the last taken of her, they're the only photos of the family taken in the past few years. The mother was a little shy, so there weren't many photos of her taken even at the wedding.

This isn't a rare occurrence, i've had a number of calls like this over the past few years.

We're not just there to take pretty pictures of the bride and groom, we're there to document the day and take photos of everyone close to the bride and groom. I know in future i'll put more emphasis on taking photos of the parents, the grandparents, and the elderly friends of family of the bride and groom. If people don't want their photo taken have the bride and groom come over and take their photo together.

The prints i'm having made for the family will be part of the way the husband and family remember her. Don't take the responsibility lightly, we're the guardians of precious memories for these families.

You're a sentimental softie at heart, ain't ya, Tim. ;)

Good post. :D


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john ­ salgado
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Oct 27, 2008 12:27 |  #11

Well said , true professional.


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Wilt
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Oct 27, 2008 18:59 |  #12

tim wrote in post #6499153 (external link)
The sudden and unexpected death of the mother of one of my wedding customers from this year prompts me to remind everyone about the importance of what we do. The wedding photos are the last taken of her, they're the only photos of the family taken in the past few years. The mother was a little shy, so there weren't many photos of her taken even at the wedding.

This isn't a rare occurrence, i've had a number of calls like this over the past few years.

We're not just there to take pretty pictures of the bride and groom, we're there to document the day and take photos of everyone close to the bride and groom. I know in future i'll put more emphasis on taking photos of the parents, the grandparents, and the elderly friends of family of the bride and groom. If people don't want their photo taken have the bride and groom come over and take their photo together.

The prints i'm having made for the family will be part of the way the husband and family remember her. Don't take the responsibility lightly, we're the guardians of precious memories for these families.

Thanks for that reminder, Tim. I often think that photographers take too casually the wedding job, and tackle them before they are truly ready to undertake an important task. As you point out, as important as the bride and groom are on this day, even more important is the fact that the wedding serves as a reason why family members and close friends come very long distances at great cost or inconvenience. And our job is to chronicle that gathering because of the unknown about when, if ever, the group is assembled again. So while you can rent a tux and restage a wedding, the loved ones from far away cannot be 'restaged'! It really disturbs me to read "I'm shooting my first wedding, how do I use a flash?" or similar things, when the photographer is not a close friend or relative filling in when the budget is tight!


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LVPhotos
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Oct 29, 2008 00:14 |  #13

Very good points... we were just talking about this today... in the most basic sense, this is the order in which we "prioritize" our photo-taking time:

1. Bride
1a. Groom
2. B&G Together
3. Grandparents (for exactly the reason posted in the OP)
4. Parents
5. Cute little kids.

Of course there's a ton of things that go below #5 but I think most would agree these are pretty good priorities!


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ironchef31
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Oct 29, 2008 00:59 |  #14

This is a very good point. I love photography because I get to be a witness to peoples lives. The one wedding i helped with, i made a point to have some special shots of the brides 90 year old grandmother. She passed away shortly after the wedding.


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Oct 29, 2008 01:03 |  #15

Forgive me for horning in but I just wanted to say that I like the sentiment being expressed here...

It's not just "family" events where capturing images may be of some emotional benefit at a later time. The flying community is litterally peppered with instances where a quickie "snap shot" taken at a pancake fly in or barbeque turns out to be the last image captured of a friend and fellow pilot.

Cherish the moments .. Live in the moments .. Hold on the memories


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A stark reminder to us all
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