Sunday, August 29, 2010

Emergency!! "Photographer Performs Ceremony" (or, "I still can't believe I wore that scarf.")


I don't think I've ever sent a text while I am photographing a wedding. But right after the ceremony of Casey & Lindsey Knopik yesterday at the Historical Orting Manor, I reached into my bag and sent this message to Katelyn, MUA extraordinare and owner of Salon Ish, who had been working with me that morning:


Me: "Katelyn, I'm not joking. I just officiated the wedding."

Katelyn: "Whhhhhaaaaaaat!!!"

I have always aspired to be the kind of photographer...well, the kind of person, who, wants to have the inner focus and passion and quick thinking to do whatever any situation requires. I really do secretly like living on the edge; I enjoy the rush of the pressure of wedding photography, and I have been focusing my intention a lot lately on being "in the flow" with where my dream of traveling to speak on passion, enthusiasm, and purpose. (I even spoke on a live tele-class just this summer on those very topics.

But you wanna know went down at Lindsey & Casey's Wedding last Saturday, right??!!

Right!

Well, it was a combination of faith and teamwork mixed together with suspense and a wedding to save! The officiant made an honest mistake and believed the ceremony to begin at 7pm. But the rehearsal had begun at 7pm; the ceremony was at 5pm. So by 5:30, there was some genuine concern building when there was no sign of the officiant and no one able to locate his cell phone number. "I'll call the Mayor," Dave, the owner of Orting Manor said, "If she's home maybe she will be able to come right over and perform the ceremony." Casey and Lindsey hesitantly agreed, as if it somehow meant reluctantly accepting the reality that this marriage ISN'T going to happen right now the way they have envisioned for months.

So as everyone is putting thought into what in the world to do at this point, still holding onto hope that the officiant will pull up at any moment...and I think to myself...

"Should I tell them that I'm ordained? I mean, I could do this....No, that would be crazy. They'll be able to solve this. I don't want to be creating one problem (no photographer) to replace the prior (no officiant)."

But as the clock ticked away and I heard that at this point it was about 5:38pm, and I'd already photographed a few more portraits of the waiting bridesmaids and bride, I found myself standing with Casey and his father, Al (who was also the best man). I had changed my mind. This problem needed to be solved now and I believed 110% that I could solve it. "Casey. I'm ordained, and I can perform your ceremony." You CAN?" was Casey Knopik's response...and within MOMENTS, I Casey replied with the sound of complete confidence in his voice, "Well then I want you to do it. At least you KNOW us."

Immediately plans went into action; Brandon Hansen, groomsmen extraordinare, readily accepts the daunting task of photographing the ceremony of his best friend's wedding. Now. With pounds of professional Nikon camera equipment loaded onto his shoulders, replacing his own um, smaller, camera. I threw it in "P" and said a little prayer. Brandon had absolutely NO instruction from me, except for where on the lens to grasp in order to zoom in and out.

Secondly, Brian Dilks, groomsman/brother-in-law to Casey-extraordinare, had the forethought to successfully locate some pretty fitting marriage vows via his iphone, which was the last critical piece necessary to pull this off without a hitch...

...once everyone was assembled, I did something I never thought I'd do in a million years...I walked up the center aisle, tall and calm enough, and turned around to face the guests. I welcomed everyone, thanked them for coming, explained who I was, what the current situation is, and what the solution we came up with was. I was answered by a wave of applause and whoops of good will! It felt so amazing to feel the support in the air!

As a photographer, I've been a part of over 60 wedding ceremonies. But to serve as the individual that leads the joining of a husband and wife...what an incredible honor! (And it was SO fun to get to be the one who gestures, "All Rise" for the entrance of the bride)


Check out these shots Brandon got? Turns out Brandon is quite the triple threat; beyond his groomsman skills and photography skills, he and Casey are journalism majors with a heart for sports...all you Seattle sports fans (of COURSE that's you Sounders FC diehards!) out to check out their sports blog, www.justson.blogspot.com .



A quiet moment of calm earlier in their wedding day....


On our way down the block to Orting's Summerfest in full swing, again, hours before the ceremony.

And proof that the reception went off without a hitch...and in case you were wondering, no, I hadn't planned ahead of time to coordinate my scarf that day with the color of the wedding. That was the first time I even WORE a scarf to shoot a wedding (already wearing 2 cameras around my neck and potentially risking fashion-inspired mild strangulation, I mentioned to the bridesmaids earlier in the day that the scarf was "experimental"). lol.
Sometimes the universe just knows what to do, and you if you listen in and go with it, remarkable things have a way of falling into place.
More images to follow!

11 comments:

Anonymous said...

I was one of the guests at the wedding (Casey's sister in law) and you really did a great job and everyone afterwards commented on how calm and composed you were! Wonderful job!

Misty said...

That is so AMAZING!!

Brandon Hansen said...

Best Wedding Photographer. Ever. Hands Downs.

Caryn said...

I love how something that could have been really tragic turned out to be one of the best wedding stories ever! You are a wonderful person Julie and someone our family will never forget!

Paula Lowe said...

Julie: Your hidden officiant credentials, amazing calm in a potentially frantic situation, combined with quick fingers on the iPhone and a fill-in photog, made the day. This is one of the most memorable wedding stories I've ever heard. Fabulous. Thanks for sharing. --Paula, South Sound Wedding & Event magazine

Casey Knopik said...

Brandon is absolutely correct, you are THE best wedding photographer EVER! :)

Kristin said...

Oh Julie, I love this story! Way to go!

Beth said...

What a great story!

Keri Kay said...

Amazing story that you can tell for years and years! And great photos, too, of course!

Karen Buckley said...

Julie,
Your spiritual depth and centeredness for sure made that wedding a lovely memory for the bride and groom and their family.
I LOVE officiating - an alternate life perhaps....

amz said...

That's so awesome! You totally saved the day and it was total fate you wore that scarf!