TITLE: Photographic Memories 9/29/12
By Jana Kelley
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The tables were cleared and the guests at the wedding reception chatted happily as the band set up on stage. Time for the dancing!
This was my favorite part of wedding photography. The somber ceremony was over. The danger of having drinks or food spilled on my camera equipment was past. Now I could snap pictures of happy friends and family and, of course, the beautiful newlywed couple. The bride's first dance with her father was coming up soon. I reached under the table to grab my camera that I had stashed in its case near my feet in order to protect it from sloppy eaters. I felt nothing. I patted the ground near my feet and waved my arm helplessly in the air around my feet, but still felt nothing. The band began to play. I had to hurry if I was going to get my camera and position myself for great shots of the bride. This was my job, and my reputation as a wedding photographer was on the line. As nonchalantly as I could, while wearing a formal dress at a fancy wedding reception, I lifted the starched white table cloth and slid underneath. I was now underneath the table, so I decided that I might as well have a look around. Besides legs clad in fancy clothes and feet crammed into polished shoes, I saw nothing. No sign of my camera. The music was playing and then I heard someone announce the bride's first dance. What was I going to do? Before I had time to panic, I yelped in pain. Someone had a firm grip on my sixty-five dollar fancy hairdo and was pulling hard! I turned sharply to my left and came face-to-face with...a face! A handsome one at that. Someone I had not seen before had leaned down and stuck his head under the table too. He was still holding my hair firmly in his fist.
"OUCH!" Thankfully, my voice was drowned out by the band and the applaud of the guests as the bride and her father took their places on the dance floor. "Let go!"
"Not until you tell me what you are doing down here. I have a very expensive camera in my hand that I found under the table, and I think you were trying to steal it!"
"Steal it? Good grief! That is MY camera! I am the wedding photographer!"
"Then what are you doing under the table? This is the most important dance of the evening!"
"Don’t you think I know that?” I asked, my voice on the edge of panic. “I was looking for my camera, but now I am missing the dance! Quick! Since you are already out there, take my camera and snap a few shots!"
Thankfully, the handsome hair-grabber followed my instructions with no hesitation. His head disappeared and I was left alone again under the table. I waited a few moments until I was sure everyone was busy watching the dancing couple. Then, I carefully slipped out from under the table and smoothed out my dress, trying to regain my composure. I took a drink of water and attempted to shake off the embarrassment of my not-so-lady-like search for the camera.
The song ended and the mystery guy returned with the camera in his hand and a smile on his face. He showed me the pictures he'd captured and they were fantastic. In a matter of minutes this guy had rescued my camera, rescued my reputation as a photographer and was now asking me for my name. Hmmm, he sure was cute. Maybe I'd come away from this wedding assignment with more than a paycheck and an embarrassing memory. Maybe I'd come away with an invitation to dinner!
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