Wednesday, August 31, 2011

The Clothes Don't Make The Man... Right?

On Friday night I photographed a classic New York City wedding in Flushing, Queens. The bride and groom were passionate...

And ecstatic...

And gracious...

There was a Jewish ceremony and a Korean ceremony...

And the guests partied so hard they collapsed.

So given the significance and formality of the event, why in the world was I wearing this?

Photograph by Ryan Carville

Because until Friday afternoon, there was no wedding scheduled for that evening.

Brian and Lisa Hong contracted me several months ago to photograph their wedding on Saturday night, at the Chelsea Piers. But there was this little storm called Hurricane Irene chugging up the coast, scheduled to hit Manhattan right around the time of the first dance. On Friday afternoon Governor Cuomo shut down the Piers (has he no sense of romance?), and the Hongs were forced to scramble.

The rehearsal dinner became their wedding. My assistant, Ryan Carville, was scheduled to shoot the rehearsal, but they wanted me there as well. At 1:30pm, I received an urgent phone call from Brian.

"Can you please come tonight? Anything you can do!"

"Brian, I would love to but I'm completely booked with shoots already tonight. And I'm wearing shorts and a silly hat. And I only have one camera and lens. I'm so sorry."

"I'll call you back in 15 minutes." Click.

Five minutes later the phone rang. It was Lisa.

"I don't care when you arrive or what you're wearing. Bring a Polaroid camera if you have to. Just please be there."

Brian knew how to play me. I can't say no to a desperate bride.

I had a blast. The event's spontaneity gave it a whimsical and relaxed feeling that is unusual for a big city wedding. And excluding nudist ceremonies, I was probably the most under dressed wedding photographer in history.

After the wedding, Brian and Lisa did what everyone else was doing Friday night. They shopped for provisions.