Tuesday, June 24, 2008

"Everyone needs to move closer together. I can't see you on the end."

I walked by the LDS temple near my house one warm Saturday morning. Wedding season was just firing up and the courtyard in front of the building was full of well-dressed people, including a few in white dresses and tuxedos. Near the front gate, a photographer bossed around a newly married couple as she worked, inflicting a variety of poses and expressions on them while she took pictures.

People often say the bride is in charge on the wedding day. From what I've seen, this is true, but the photographer is sort of an all-powerful regent of the bride, who is allowed complete power to boss around and, if necessary, destroy people, all for the sake of making sure not a second of the day goes by without a photo of it existing.

The bride, the groom, the best man, all wedding guests, and any innocent passersby are all subject to the whims of the wedding photographer. Group shots, family shots, shots with the subjects ordered tallest to shortest, shots with funny faces, shots with only the bride's former roommates, shots with the brides friends whose last names end in A through K, shots in which the groomsmen all hold hands and kiss each other. Anything the photographer wants, it will be done. And no one can leave before it's all over, because otherwise, they won't be in the picture which will mean that that person has been erased from existence.

If the photographer thinks it might be cute to have a photo in which the best man lies in the mud while the maid of honor inserts the tiny heel of her shoe into his eye and both families make funny faces, it will be done. Then, two weeks after the honeymoon, the couple's friends will see the photo and dutifully talk about how cute it is when they are compelled to sit on the new faux suede couch the bride's parents bought for them (as part of a whole living room set), and look through the wedding photos. Then they'll go play Halo with poor Brandon, who can't drive for another two weeks because he's lost depth perception with just the one eye.

On this occasion (the one where I was walking by the temple watching the wedding-day photo shoot), the photographer said something to the couple I couldn't hear from across the street. He nodded and moved toward his new wife. He then bent at the knees and put an arm behind her knees and the other behind her back. He clearly was going to try to pick her up and hold her in front of him. She wasn't a large person, but then neither was he. They were about the same size. As he went to hoist her up, nothing happened. She remained standing, unmoved, and he struggled and laughed nervously.

I walked on, laughing, and didn't see what happened next. But I'm willing to bet that, somehow, that couple's photo album contains a shot of them in front of the temple, with her hoisted into the air. Even if it meant forcing the groom to do six weeks of weight training on the spot — while each of the wedding guests waited in case they were needed for more photos— she got that shot.


Steph said...

great commentary and oh so ture!

Kimberly said...

But you see, it all really comes back to the bride, who told the photographer to take all those pictures in the first place.

Mike and Jessie Hylton said...

I'll have you know that Mike and I have no pictures in front of the temple or with him trying to lift me up.

Kelly G said...

Ah. Your impeccable ability to paint one of life's pictures in such a comedic and painfully accurate light leaves me at a loss for words. Except for those ones I just wrote.