You know, being based in the Northeast, I really didn’t expect to shoot so many hurricane-affected weddings that I’d start to develop an expertise at it. But starting with Erika and Chip’s wedding that Hurricane Irene rolled through, to a slew of November weddings I shot in Sandy-ravaged parts of NY and New Jersey, I’m starting to feel like hurricanes are just another part of the job to deal with, like makeup artists who nonchalantly run an hour or more off schedule.*
Leigh and Bernie had the worst bit of the post-Sandy schedule, with their wedding date falling on the Friday just a few days after, and locations on either side of the New York/New Jersey border. In some ways they were lucky — the reception hall got their power back a couple hours before the reception. In some ways they weren’t — the ceremony church thought they’d have the power back, but didn’t, so they neither had lights nor preparations to deal with not having light, meaning that the photos you see from the ceremony were too dark for the naked eye to see in any detail (thank you, Nikon D3s and f/1.4 lenses). I also started shooting the ceremony at more or less of a full sprint because a downed power line blocked the only road that led to the church. After more than 300 weddings, you think you’ve seen it all, but there’s always more in store — so we make it work anyway. I was helped in this by Adeel Bukhari, who not only did a fantastic job as an assistant and took some great photos, but had the most important asset anyone could that day — a car with enough gas to get around.
So … Hurricane Sandy? Leigh and Bernie have a message for you. (NSFWish)
The important thing is that even a hurricane can’t get in the way of a fantastic couple and their loved ones having an amazing time. Their emotions were close to the surface all day, and these were emotions of fun and laughter and love, not frustration. And the reception was a wild release, people dancing and laughing even though some had just suffered massive damage to their homes, and no one cared that the reception flowers didn’t arrive, or tht cars were lined up in front of the reception hall in a futile attempt to find gasoline nearby. Weddings are celebration, and the rest is just stories for the grandkids.
*They didn’t here; that’s just an all-too-common occurance.