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Original Writings, Images, Video and Artworks of Mike Hartley

At ease and wedding photography

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Won't be much longer till I'll be doing some ZZZ's here. Photo by Mike Hartley

Won’t be much longer till I’ll be doing some ZZZ’s here.
Photo by Mike Hartley

I can see the future. I can see my backside planted in that hammock on Sunday afternoon enjoying the heat and humidity. Anything beyond that is cake. Last night was a wedding that was a wonderful time. A co-worker of my wife invited us to see her daughter get hitched. Yeah another throwback term.

It was a great time and just what I needed. As with most weddings various generations were represented. It’s always great to see that couple that has stood the test of time. For instance there was a couple who was celebrating their 51st that same night as this wedding and reception. I though it was a nice touch when they were called out to take a picture with the newlyweds Sarah and Cory.

I was watching this hard-working crew of Wedding photographers/videographers and started to think of the pressure of making everything right that day and not having any people or hardware malfunctions. Then there is the weather to worry about and did I mention the people. I’ve thrown a wedding, I’ve been in weddings, I’ve gone to weddings. Each one is an adventure. All great, don’t get me wrong. Wouldn’t miss them for the world, but that balance between getting all the shots you need quickly with everything going on must be hectic. I’m sure it takes a lot of planning and being familiar with the venue.

Wedding photography. Photo by Mike Hartley

Wedding photography.
Photo by Mike Hartley

I admire all working photographers. Usually without exception I run into people who take great pride and enjoyment in their craft. I’m not sure I could do weddings for a business though. I’m imagining it’s quite competitive and challenging in many ways. I’m thinking it has its creative limitations, either because of what people want to see or by the event itself. But I’m sure as I find creativity in computing, wedding photographers are pushing different ideas so no insult intended at all.

But it is working weekends. Lots of them if your good. I don’t know too many people getting married on weekdays myself. And that is a sacrifice in itself. But the unique thing needed here is a good ability to communicate with people under stress and relax them. A unique ability to glide in an out of areas with stealth capabilities. The ability to organize and direct, with people responding while keeping it fun.

I used to see the staff photographers at PPC do this on studio shots. Not only would they take a posed situation and make it seem very natural by getting  a connection with their subjects. I’ve seen them get relaxed laughter one minute and strong intensity the next. So that rules me out of being a wedding or studio photographer. Not that I don’t try to be personable, but they had made it into a craft.


Just a word or two about weddings. Lots of wise words are said at the service. If couples are listening and remember well then they will do well. Me, I don’t remember squat but I have a wife who never forgets a thing so that keeps us in step. Now if I could keep from stepping on her feet when I’m slow dancing, I’m sure she would be happier with me.

No really, in regards to weddings. You hope each one last. Especially those close to you but you wish all couples starting out well. But after you have experienced a decade or two or three or more, you know a lot of them will fall apart because people don’t put in the hard-earned commitment, sacrifice and time. But each one I see I have that hope that it last a lifetime. That they have their health. That they share laughs and tears. That they share children and fears. That they set the way for their families to follow by becoming that next example that you can find your best friend and live together forever.

Well, time to hit that hammock and catch a few ZZZ’s.


Author: Mike Hartley

With a lifetime and a half in the Newspaper industry I'm preparing for my retirement career as an Artist, Writer, Photographer and Video content provider. I'm a proud father of two wonderful children and I'm still married to the first girl I fell in love with and probably only one that would have me.

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