The year is 1991, and back in my Hasselblad days. I was assisting Denis Reggie, and yes, that's Senator Ted Kennedy, Ethel Kennedy and the father of the bride, as I hustled by to move a couple of chairs out of the way before Denis got a shot of the groomsmen.
Denis has been a good friend for most of my professional photography career. I had the privilege of helping him at two weddings over the years, both Kennedy events. It's incredible to watch him in action, and the friendship we have started with my respect for his complete understanding of the craft.
When the shutter clicked on the shot above, it was 95 degrees and probably 90% humidity on a July day in Philadelphia. Doing outside group shots in the heat would be enough to try anybody's patience, but Denis had an intermittent flash problem adding to the stress. He was shooting with the Hasselblad 503CX and one of those big "potato masher" Metz strobes. As president of Hasselblad at the time, it was frustrating for me, because there was absolutely nothing I could do to help.
And, here's the mark of a true professional. Remember, this is back in the film days - no digital screen to "chimp" for confirmation. Denis switched the strobe to manual and shot the entire wedding without an issue. However, we figured out later that having been in and out of air-conditioning there was condensation in the connection for the Metz SCA390 adapter that was causing the system to intermittently short out when shooting TTL.
But here's another quality Denis has that earned my respect - he stayed cool, calm and collected. A wedding, as our mutual friend Bambi Cantrell has described, "...is a time when logic doesn't reign as king!" No matter what the challenge, be it technical or just the natural stress with family and guests, his Zen gene kicks in. Denis builds a level of trust with his clients and then exceeds all expectations.
While I admit I don't have the patience to be a wedding photographer, I have so much respect for Denis and many of you who capture the stories of the start of new families all year long. It's a special skill set to tell a new couple's story with stunning images at a time that's so often completely out of your control.
And that brings me full circle, back to Throwback Thursday. I can look at this image and remember so many things that happened that day. It's a great flashback and a journey you should make sure you take at least once a week. It's also great content for your blog. This time of year, sharing a few old images, is the perfect way to remind "Mom" it's time to update the family portrait for the holidays!
Happy Throwback Thursday!