Sunday, May 17, 2009

Here Comes the Bride

So my friends Jeff and Vicky got married a week ago.

I’ve tooling around with the idea of shooting more weddings so I asked Vicky if I could shoot a few bridal portraits of her.

With the wedding date fast approaching and Vicky and my schedules getting tighter and tighter, we finally found a weekend when we could both be in the same city at the same time.

We had no set plans on where to shoot, so we drove around Wilmington and scoped out a few locations. We shot in front of a fountain downtown, under an overpass near the battleship, on a pier, in an Irish Pub called the Dubliner and in the now infamous photo booth.

All in all, we had fun. And that’s what made it a great shoot.


Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Thinking Inside the Box

I can’t take credit for coming up with the idea for my photo booth. It’s an idea I’ve had rolling around in my head for a few years ever since I saw Frank Micelotta use one to photograph stars backstage at the 5th Annual TV Land Awards.

Ever since then, I’ve been looking for an excuse to build one. That excuse happened this past Saturday.

My friends Jeff and Vicky got married this past weekend. For their wedding, we decided to build a photo booth.

There were a few logistical problems to be solved:

Portability - Since known of us owned a trailer or van, we had to be able to break it down and move it either in my Honda Element or Jeff’s pickup truck.

Sturdiness - It had to be able to handle drunk people. We knew there were going to be plenty of them around.

Looks - It had to have that photo booth look. I didn’t want to have a curtained off area and call it a photo booth. If we were going to do it, we had to do it right.

But the problem that loomed in front of us, and we really wouldn’t know the answer until the day before the wedding, how do we get it there? You see, my friends were getting married on an island.

Jeff and Vicky were getting married on Bald Head Island. It’s a small island off the coast of North Carolina near the town of Southport. You take a passenger ferry to the island and, since they don’t allow cars on the island, you either catch a tram to wherever you’re staying on the island or you take a golf cart.

At first we thought we were going to be able to get the photo booth on the ferry. That was until the porters got a look at it. They nixed that idea in a heartbeat.

The next possibility was the barge that makes daily trips to island carrying supplies. Only, it was about ten minutes away and our ferry was departing in about 25 minutes. It didn’t leave a lot of time to dilly-dally.

When we arrived at the loading area for the barge, we checked with the attendant to see if we could load it on the barge and ship it across. She wasn’t sure. It had to be secured on deck and if it couldn’t we were going to be out of luck.

We needed to check with Jack. “Where’s Jack?” “He’s on the barge.” “Where’s the barge?” “Hopefully on it’s way back from Bald Head.”
Precious minutes were ticking away and we had a nervous bride-to-be and five carloads of stuff that had yet to be loaded onto the ferry.

We didn’t have much time.

Luckily, the barge finally appeared and we were able to locate Jack. “No problem. We’ve got a few chocks that we can use to secure this and it won’t be any problem. Pay the attendant and bring me your receipt.”

We’re cooking with gas!

We got the photo booth to the island and over to the reception area.

On the day of the big wedding, Jeff and I raced over to the reception tent and set her up.

It was a huge hit! Bigger than we thought.

Originally we were going to make prints and give everyone a little souvenir to take home with them. No way now. We had over a 1000 photos taken in the photo booth at the reception. There was no way we could print that many photos.

We also learned that the maximum capacity is about 8.

All-in-all, it was well worth the effort. Now how do we get it back? We’re still working on that.