Ayshe had been looking for a photographer for her wedding and a mutual friend suggested that I do it. There wasn’t that big of a budget and I had never shot a wedding before so it seemed like the perfect fit. Even more so when I found out that her husband-to-be was an old friend from high school. I went over her house and surveyed the area with her. Ayshe and Kasey wanted to get married at their house so their kids would one day see the pictures and know the history behind their own front yard. After our meeting we went out to eat, I signed a contract to do it and we proceeded to get drunk and become friends (I hope all photography contracts start like that). I met with her again before the wedding and then my job really started at her sisters house as I captured the moments before the wedding. By the end of the day I had taken over 1300 pictures but I’m just going to share a few with you.
This was one of the fastest weddings I’d ever been to. I’m not a big one for all of the drawn out sermons and it seemed like they weren’t either as they exchanged vows that actually related to each other. Even the typical “I do” was omitted in favor of “I will”. If I was a spectator it would have been my favorite kind of wedding, however, I was the photographer and had to move around and snap as fast as I could while the ceremony moved right from vows into rings and within 10 minutes had a brand new couple standing in front of family and friends.
Once the wedding was over, everything was in my full control and I had to position people, set up shots, and deal with the ever-changing sunlight. At one point instead of saying, “cheese” I was counting down to three so everyone would open their eyes for the shot. It was a fun challenge to organize compositions in a matter of seconds to create photos that are going to be cherished for a lifetime.
After keeping every one waiting for an hour or so, Mr. and Mrs. Bauer were announced to the waiting crowd. From there all the typical wedding stuff took place. The cake was cut, the money went in the apron, the bouquet was tossed, the garter changed legs, toasts were made, dances were had and the best man gave one of the shortest speeches I’d ever heard (he’d never been to a wedding before nor had he watched any YouTube videos on weddings as was suggested by the bridal party). The next morning the newlyweds left on their first cruise ever and I spent all day editing photos. I made it through half and finished the latter after another full day today. I don’t have any more weddings on the horizon but I feel a lot more prepared now and look forward to some more freelance work.
Finally met up with the creator of thebluthcompany. She posted on Facebook that she had an extra ticket to Virgin Freefest and after riding all the way back from Cornell, I headed over to Meriweather Post where it promised to rain all day. One patron put it nicely when they said, “It’s wetter than a whales vagina”. I got soaked but saw MGMT who kind of sucked. Then I had to sacrifice The Avett Brothers so I could get into the pit for Vampire Weekend. I think the decision was worth it even with having to stand under an umbrella for two hours (one that Sandy had found laying on the ground earlier in the day). It wasn’t until this show that I realized how much of a Vampire Weekend fan that I am. After their last album I said things like they’ve matured so much and now they’ve really come into their sound. Honestly though, I must have liked them before their maturity, considering I knew most all the words to every song they played. A-Punk was huge for me when I first started college. It amazed me that they could recreate all of the sounds in their albums without having any pre-recorded tracks. I left towards the end of their set feeling elated as I walked gingerly through the muddy hills out past the gates with my umbrella held high as Hannah Hunt played me out. It’s one of those moments that I’ll be able to feel for the rest of my life.
One of the most satisfying things about my job is actually seeing a final product. The efforts of individuals culminating in something brilliant that a sea of over 10,000 people can cheer and clap for is a spectacular feeling. I made half of the laser graphics (pumpkin on the clocktower as seen above) while we had another compile it and another to program fireworks then a crew of 7 set everything up. From the first moment I heard the soundtrack I created coming through huge speakers on the test day I started to get really excited. I’m not one that lets the size of the things I do get to me, I usually just shrug them off nonchalantly but this show had me on edge ready to show people what I could create. I love being on the other side of the curtain: a spectator of the spectators as I gauge their reaction to the things I’ve spent my time on. My job is exactly where I want to be right now.
While we waited for our taxi back into town we met the Morgan Freeman of Ithaca. Nowadays, he’s retired and goes fishing on Cayuga Lake when he has some time to spare. Some days he’ll catch so much that his wife has to come pick them up so he can continue fishing. He told us a great story about his brother’s responsibilities as an altar boy. He was a “clown” and when asked to pour the wine would only put a little splash in the cup causing the priest to ask for more every time. Even when he got changed to water duty he traded with the other altar boy to get the wine so he could pull the same trick. On Ash Wednesdays all the kids would get out early so they could go to church. Instead, he and his brothers would “go, you know…fuck off, (only time he cursed) have a great time. The only problem with their plan was that they’d get a good whooping if they came home without any ashes. Their solution was in the burner barrels that people used to keep in their backyard at the time. They, however, weren’t allowed to apply the ashes themselves because their brother, the altar clown, said it only counted if he did it. He still hadn’t caught anything by the time we left but fishing is about the company whether it’s done in solitude or while sharing a bit of your life with some strangers.
On the other side of the road to Taughannock Falls is Cayuga Lake which is one of the finger lakes. I made sure to send a snapchat of “all de way from de finger lakes” to my SNL watching friends. The water was crystal clear and you could see all of the fish swimming at the bottom of the lake, there must have been hundreds.
Usually when you go out on shows you’re so wiped by the work you have to do that there’s no time to actually enjoy the sights. Most often you’ll stay in the hotel room and go to the job site when needed. I do not like that. I plan to always get the most out of going to new places, so my co-worker and I took a cab out to Taughannock Falls; I knew about it because of a laser graphic that I created for the show. I was hoping the trees would have changed color a little more to get that perfect photo but the area was gorgeous all the same.
I had the absolute pleasure of working at Cornell this past week. We did some building projection throughout the week and at the end put on a huge laser and fireworks show that I’ve been working on for the past month. Having done a lot of research on the school I was really looking forward to visiting and getting that real college experience (minus the schoolwork). When I went to UMBC, I never lived on campus so I never felt a big sense of community that’s normally associated with college life. As much as I love chess, having that as your school’s number one team isn’t really something to rally around. There’s such a pride factor at Cornell that you start to feel proud of a school that you don’t even go to. By the time I left I knew most of the campus and had time to walk across their suspension bridge, around their clock tower and by their lakes and waterfalls. The campus was truly gorgeous and even had a five star buffet in the Appel Commons building where I ate every night. One of the buildings we lit up was the Johnson Museum which looked familiar to me. Somehow I knew it was designed by I.M. Pei and it wasn’t until the third day that I realized that I’d drawn it in ninth grade as part of a two-point perspective lesson. I don’t think I’d ever be able to afford going to Cornell but I would certainly love to go back.