When my wife the photographer, first shows up at your wedding (usually 2-3 hours before the “I Do’s) she is looking for the BRIDE to make sure all is well and if we can do anything to help things. The first time my wife “radios” to me, it’s usually to assist the BRIDE with some task that needs to get done. When Rebecca is ready to begin the pre-wedding photos, it is the BRIDE my wife wants me to help guide to that perfect place to capture her radiance. And when the ceremony begins…where is the “man behind the women behind the camera”… I am most likely with the BRIDE telling her some humorous story or some procedural detail that will be forgotten as soon as that special music begins. Not that I mind any of this…in fact I, “the man behind the women behind the camera”, have a lot of fun and enjoyment going that extra mile or two to make the day shine for all involved… But honestly…. the Bride… the BRide… the BRIDE!!!
Well this past Saturday, May 8th … The wedding day was not about the BRIDE!!! Well it wasn’t only about the BRide… Well okay, there was this one moment, while Rebecca, “the woman behind the camera” was creating just the right pose and transitioning on to the next “just the right pose” the groom… yes the other half of this matrimonial duo… stopped and wanted a picture with the bride… no i don’t think so…but wanted a picture with none other than the photographic assistant… the humorist of the day… the… yes one more time , a picture with the “man behind the women behind the camera”.
So I take this blog space to say thank you to Dave and Morgan…but mostly Dave…for taking this quiet, soft-spoken photography assistant out from behind the scenes and allowing him to feel celeberty-like… just like all those BRIDES!!!!
I love my job!
It was a Wednesday… a 3:30 afternoon appointment… a late October date… in a rice field… with the combine harvesters roaring in the background… a family session in the mist of the rice cultivation…and oh yah… the 18 month little girl, doesn’t necessarily take kindly to strangers… especially male strangers. GAME ON!!!!
For all those weddings and all those family photo sessions I’ve participated in, children were my least challenge to get a smile, a look, or a laugh out of. Armed with my bag of tricks containing various Pez dispensers, squeaker, bells and whistles, we have met very few pre-adolescence that fail to enjoy the quick wit or physical antics of the “man behind the woman behind the camera” (which is where I am usually performing this act for their individual amusement).
So…….when I was informed, in my pre-session briefing, to be cautiousness of being over the top and loud – I was thinking of alternative humorous tactics.
But lo and behold the slapstick won out. By sessions end, Ricki Lynn and I were great friends. We playing hide-in-go-seek in the rice field… raced through the tire tracks and best of all… Ricki Lynn let me hold her while her brother had his own photo session.
This Family Photography business could be hard stuff… but with moments like this one… we wouldn’t trade it for anything else!
“All the wedding stuff seems so complcated…what to do , when to do it…how to make the wedding party, the guests and the new in-laws happy, while making the day fun and stress-free… doesn’t it get old ?”
This was a comment/statement directed to us recently by a couple who came by with their 12 month old for a family session and reminisced about their wedding five years ago. How the images were great… how the help with the planning was invaluable… and yes… how it seemed Barry was everywhere… why do you still do it week after week for the last fifteen plus years?
The Man Behind the Woman Behind the Camera had a one phrase answer… “its fun… we still have fun”
The people are different, the venue is different, the theme is different, the mood can be different but all in all it is a happy day that we , Rebecca and I (the man behind the woman behind the camera) enjoy being a part of. To set the record straight, Rebecca does all the scheduling, communication, contacts and puts out the fires leading to the great day… then i show up on wedding day with the intent of having fun and letting the bride and groom have fun… and it happens effortlessly.
So, it’s not every day that we get to include bicycle riding in a wedding photo session but when the opportunity presented itself, we ran with it and captured the bride and grooms’ personalities while having fun on their great day.
Oh yea… when the bride finished riding her Pink Sand Cruiser, I saw an opening to have some fun with the groom. I hopped on and even though I had not rode on a pedal powered bike in years, it was fun and allowed the bride and groom to laugh.
So wedding day is like ridding a bike; a bike… is a bike… is a bike…. but as long as your laughing the ride is still fun!
When new customers are searching the internet for a photographer, they view hundreds, maybe thousands of images to try to calculate a company’s abilities and experience. They may be looking for senior/graduate, newborn, family or wedding photography but can one really tell whats the right fit based on a website? Can my wife or a studio explain in black & white terms why we … er … they will capture the moments in just the right way.
That’s where Ford Family Photography’s “GREY” area comes in…
On all our photo shoots we have one rule… maybe two. We will take quality images, actually Rebecca will, and the second emphasis will be to have fun, that’s where I come in. I don’t intend to become an entertainer or a sideshow act, but then, before I know it I’m feeding off the energy of our customers. In this case, Janell and Jordan, and the laughter is contagious. (side note…dont get the photographer laughing too much…she may give you “the” look)
We can be on our 10 acre ranch, a miniature golf course or San Francisco and recently, Monterey and the humor is all around us. Out comes the grey card. Our customers start with curiosity then they have a lot of fun with it. In steps the photographer’s assistant with this grey card that breaks the ice and starts the slap=stick comedy.
Side note… Time really does fly when you’re having fun
Hopefully, our past and current customers can share some stories in the comment section that will expose the truly “grey” side of Ford Family Photography with the newbies looking for the black and white facts.
It has always been my wife, Rebecca’s job … to focus … to ensure that the bride and groom’s (our clients) day is well organized, their timeline for the day makes sense and everyone is well informed and communicated to prevent any unwanted surprises.
So, a new client or unaware mother-in-law may wonder what the need would be for “the Man behind the Woman behind the Camera” might be? I agree, off-the-record of course, that I don’t contribute much to the final timing of the events (that’s between Rebecca, the bride & groom and the other vendors) or the inclusion or exclusion of festivities or even the list of images that must be captured for the special day. What I, “the Man Behind the Woman Behind the Camera”, hopes to bring to every wedding I attend is a sense of normalcy and trust from the bride and groom that we, Ford Family Photography, are watching and steering their day in the direction that allows them to enjoy the day…effortlessly. From the beginning of the interactions that we have with the parents when we arrive up to two hours before the ceremony to late into the reception when we leave our job, is to let everyone know it’s all going to be great and WE ALL WILL HAVE FUN. By the end of the day I have shared time with the venue coordinator, the parents, the wedding party, the officiate, the videographer, the caterer, the DJ/band, the guests, those giving toasts, the grandmas and of course, extensively, the bride and groom.
So, forgive me, “the Man Behind the Woman Behind the Camera” if occasionally an image is captured of a laughing moment or a guffaw being shared with a fellow vendor like Joe here at Sj’s Disc Jockey and think of it as a reflection of another wedding that has been enjoyable, well done and yes, FUN!
The growing excitement of the reception is heightened and the ladies are anticipating an invitation to the dance floor. The DJ opens the mic to announce that he needs all of the single girls to participate in a wonderful tradition, the tossing of the bridal bouquet. The women gather on the dance floor, the DJ’s music builds and the bride…the bride…WAIT…why is the bride whispering to this well dressed coordinator guy that works with the wedding photographer? Where did he come from?
You, as a guest or family member, may have seen him throughout the day. He’s helped organize the pre-wedding pictures (all awhile treating the bride like a princess) and he’s been seen hanging around the groom and his guys, laughing and keeping them on task. Then, as the wedding ceremony began, you see him again holding the bride’s gown & train while she and her dad make their way to the beginning of the aisle runner with her groom anxiously waiting at the other end.
But why is that “Man Behind the Woman Behind the Lens” talking to the bride NOW at the reception? The ladies begin organizing a ruckus crowd and start making demands…less talking and more action. This clamorous crowd commences chanting “throw the bouquet…throw the bouquet.” So, finally he wraps up his secret agent agenda and Rebecca, the photographer signals the DJ and the countdown begins…3…2…1 and…
…what happened? The girls are astounded and a gasped at what has taken place. Was it a mistake or something premeditated by the well dressed “Man Behind the Woman Behind the Lens?”
Well, all of our brides know what is said during the dance floor meeting. But, as for the rest of you…it wouldn’t be a “family” secret from Ford Family Photography if anybody was able to just pull it up on a plain ol’ blog and read about it. Would it?
Well, Hello Again… It’s time for what seems to be our monthly Blog from the “Man behind the Woman behind the lens”.
Today, we exhibit an artful display of customer service to our Bride and her three honored ladies by using a personal fan to keep her cool while telling jokes and entertaining the crowd of wedding party and onlookers alike at the Monte Verde Inn. Past brides will recognize the orange “Wedding Timeline” in my back pocket. This is a sort of script for the day that reminds me of relative’s names and relationships, picture requests, scheduled activities and, of course, the general timeline from arrival thru the reception events. This information has been gathered from the consultation we have with the Bride and Groom at least a month or so (somtimes even at the engagement session) before the wedding.
So, now you know… the “Man behind the Woman behind the lens” isn’t just a funny, cunning, dapper, and resourceful coordinator, but also an organized and determined individual focused on the task of having you enjoy your special day. Let us worry about the details.
Ford Family Photography will do more than just show up and take a couple of special “snapshots” for your wedding album. We, photographer and coordinator, look forward to making your day unique on many levels along with many cherrished images for all to share.
Here we are, ready for another issue from ‘The Man behind the Woman, behind the Camera”. Today we capture the male assistant species in his natural habitat. Well, someone has to hold all the expensive purses while the extended family pictures are in progress. An onlooker estimates several hundred…eh, thousand dollars of purses from Prada, Gucci and Coach (oh, and grandma’s from Target). But, as a quality service provider would do , I stood by patiently while the guys from the wedding party threatened to revoke my “Man-Card”.
Honestly, this is one of the many tasks that I, “the Man behind the Woman behind the Camera” find myself doing that usually surprises our brides and grooms and what our potential clients can’t even grasp is possible on wedding day.
So I challenge, or requst, that all of our existing and past customers could chime in with a couple examples of the “Man” assistant or the lady photographer exceeding your expectations on your fabulous wedding day and help all of our future brides and grooms understand that Ford Family Photography is more than just awsome images and a great day, it’s also about the service you will never forget.
So why should we create yet another BLOG? Aren’t there already enough BLOGs in our cyber world? And most of all…what could the man behind the woman, behind the camera offer to the general public to have an interesting BLOG?
But the answer to all these questions is the simple fact that we become involved with our customers’ experiences. We allow ourselves to become family for our brides and grooms, best friends to our engagement couples and trusted advisors to our graduating seniors.
We truly enjoy what we do, and I, as the man behind the woman, behind the camera, see, hear and participate in occurrences that may entertain, amuse, and baffle the average BLOG reader.
These above images are an example of my work off camera. As our customers can attest to, I hold the grey card, I am the reflector or blocker of light, and most of all, I add some humor to allow the customers to forget there is a big ugly camera pointed directly at them.
On this shot, Tim and Tracy had an extraordinary day with us in San Francisco and I couldn’t think of two better people that enjoy and deserve each other. Thanks guys for showing us your part of the city.
Welcome to my blog. As a native New Yorker, I chose to move from the noise and massive humanity of the island to rural Auburn, east of Sacramento in Northern California. I met my wonderful wife Rebecca and together we have two great (while they’re sleeping) boys, Zach and Sammy.
This city boy learned a lot about life on the ranch one lesson at a time. Like the time we left the cat food on the porch and found that we were supporting a very plump raccoon family of four. Or the time that we checked the water trought for the steer who apparently wasn’t as greatful that we entered his corral and charged at me head first…my feet never ran so fast.