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  By Mike Valeriani

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A Wedding Disaster After Another

A wedding photographer carrying numerous camerasEver seen a wedding disaster? I have! As a photographer I have seen lots of weddings and have met loads of photographers and assistants.

In my early days I also worked as an assistant for other photographers and I have seen things that would make you come out in goose bumps. This article is intended just for fun, so even though it contains all true stories, I will not name anyone.

The "Wine Lover" Wedding Disaster

I will never forget this French photographer for whom I worked as second photographer many years ago. He was based in London (he is quite popular today).

At a certain point of the reception he started shouting very loudly to the venue’s manager, because he wasn’t given any wine with his meal, but let's start from the beginning.

Shortly after the guests started having their dinner, I was busy taking pictures of them and this French photographer shouted at me to stop taking pictures and to go and arrange him some dinner.

Champaign corks on a bar counterI was astonished... dinner was a clear priority over the job. Dinner served, he wanted some wine. When I explained him that a bottle of wine would simply not be given to me, he ran out of the room manically looking for the manager with an expression on his face that would have scared a werewolf... by the time he got hold of the manager, most of the guests knew where the photographer was. I was so embarrassed that I didn’t dare have a bite of that roast dinner.

Do you think this was it? Eventually he went to the kitchen himself and stole a bottle of wine... then he had it all! After that he thought it would have been appropriate to go into the ladies washroom and take pictures of the bridesmaids sitting on the toilet... That was the last time I worked for him.

An old box of expired roll of Kodak filmThe "Tester" Wedding Disaster

This time I was in California, at the time in which I was a student photographer. I was assisting a wedding photographer that was shooting in medium format. In loading the magazine with film, I noticed that the film had expired two years earlier. Expired film isn't the best thing to use at a wedding, you know.

I knew that there was little to be done then, but I told the photographer anyway. He said that he wanted to test this expired film to see what an "interesting result" would come out. If it is of any comfort, he was (and still is) very cheap.

The "Cyclist" Wedding Disaster

A wedding photographer cycling to the church

Once I hired an assistant who claimed to have shot weddings before. As a rule, I never take assistants out on a job as the sole assistant without having seen how they work first.

Thank God for that! This guy arrived at the church at the same time as the bride on a bicycle and wearing all the cycling gear... he was following the Rolls Royce! As the bride was getting off the car, he candidly asked me: “is that our bride?”

I was petrified just at the look of him... while I was taking pictures of the bride together with my trusted formal assistant, he went to a corner and started stripping down.The next time I saw him 15 minutes later, he walked in the church wearing a suit and the helmet, sweaty and smelly. I told him not to bother taking the helmet off, as he could go home right away.









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