Monthly Archives: August 2011

If I were President

I remember when I was a little boy bubble gum was the latest invention.  A piece of bubble gum would not even fit in some kids’ mouths.   Someone told me the other day that the Aztecs, or some Indians, invented it…and that the whores chewed it (and smacked it) as a signal that they were open for business!  If I were President I would make a law against chewing gum in public.

 I will never forget the wedding I was photographing downtown at the San Fernando Cathedral.  It was a large and very nice service.  The bride was standing with her father getting ready to start down the aisle.  I whispered to her, “Did you know you are still chewing gum?”  She said, “Oh, shit!”  She took the gum out of her mouth and handed it to ME.  I smiled (even though it was GROSS) and took it and laid it on a pew.  I continued to take pictures until all the bridesmaids were down the aisle.  I went and got a Kleenex, picked up the sticky piece of gum and threw it in a trash can…..which was very hard to find.  Churches never have trash cans!  That’s another story!

 A tip from an old grouchy photographer:  Don’t Chew Gum.  I know it makes your breath smell nice and tastes real good…but it doesn’t look classy.  And as your professional photographer, I’m going to make you look as GREAT as possible!  Your expression is going to be happy, your hair will be in place, the lighting will flatter you and you WON’T be chewing gum.  You’re welcome in advance J    



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Since when can a guy be a bridesman?!


The wedding was about to begin…..but I had not been able to take any photos of the bride nor the bridesmaids getting ready because the hairdresser was dominating the scene.  He was fixing this girl and then that girl in the same room.  The hairdresser was simply putting himself in charge.  He was good and all that….but he took his sweet time!

Finally, I said to the hairdresser, “You have to get finished, so that I can take some photos of the bridesmaids.”  He put his hands on his hips admonishing me, and said, “I am a bridesmaid!

I then noticed that he was dressed in the same colors, etc. as all of the bridesmaids who were in the wedding.  This hairdresser walked down the aisle with the girls and, truly, he was a bridesmaid!  Actually, a very nice guy!  And a good bridesmaid!  He even wore matching earrings.

There is more to the whole story.  It turns out that the bride’s father had been gay and he had died of AIDS.  But, he had some beautiful daughters.  This hairdresser had really helped the bride understand the gay issue, so she asked the hair dresser to be a bridesmaid in her wedding.  So there he was.  He finally got finished helping all the girls with their hair and the wedding started about thirty minutes late.  It could have been worse!

The moral of this story is… never know!


Just for the record, Mr.P is open minded and loves the gays.  However, he is 74 years old and very much stuck in the mindset of gender roles and titles.  Heaven forbid a male be a bride’s “maid” and a woman be a groom’s “man.”  What he doesn’t know is that these titles have changed to bridesman and groomswoman. 

Let’s get real!  Has anyone seen the movie Made of Honor??

Gay or not, men have weaseled their way into being bridesmaids (and vice-versa).  “When Harry Met Sally” might have advocated that men and women can’t be just friends, but the new trend of having some boys mixed in with the girls and the girls mixed in with the boys for a wedding party has proven us all wrong.

I happen to think it’s quite hip and trendy.  Let’s break down those stereotypes and rules we’ve been brainwashed with by the traditional wedding!  I’ve created this piece of artwork below to express my true feelings.

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Guest Etiquette aka Please Get Out of My Way

Dear Guest,

At big weddings, years ago, when I first started doing wedding pictures, nobody else had a camera.  We used this funny thing you youngsters may not remember called “film” and it had to be “developed” so it took a couple of weeks before anybody saw any pictures from the wedding. There was no editing or face correcting or photoshop magic. So if you were having a bad hair day, there wasn’t much I could do about it. After what came to be called “processing and printing”, the bride and groom finally got their pictures.

The film I used was 120 mm with a film speed of 400 – which was very fast.  “Fast” meant that I could take a good photo in dim light.  Now, with “digital” cameras the speed can be set anywhere from 60 to 6,000 which allows me to take pictures practically in total darkness…..without a “flash.” Talk about magic…   

Throughout my years in the business, amateur cameras have gotten very good.  A cheap, generic camera today is much better than the best film camera forty years ago.  Cameras are so cheap and so good that nearly everybody has one!   And, they bring them to weddings! My profession that has put food on the table for years is now everyone’s so called “hobby!”  This world is definitely keeping me on my toes!

My main concern at weddings is capturing the right moments (the kiss, the cake cutting, the first dance, etc) and getting the right people with the bride and groom for a photograph (the godparents, the aunt who came from Spain, the favorite niece, etc.)   It’s about bringing these nitwits together for a photo whether they like it or not!  Now I may be old and not 100% sure how the whole facebook thing works but I know how to be in the right place at the right time and to correctly read the social situation to grab the right people to set them up for a photo.  

My BIGGEST pet peeve is when I put all this effort into creating a photo and someone with their slick digital camera hops in front of me!  JB is always telling me to be nice but PLEASE get out of my way!

I’m old. I’m grouchy. I’m paid to be there.  I’m a professional.  And I promise I’ll have JB put this photo on spacebook or facehead or whatever you call it so you can see it.

I’m all about guests having a grand time and getting some silly shots (especially after a few drinks), but there is definitely an element of respect when it comes to an old person and also the photographer!

Advice:  Grab a glass of champagne, give a great toast, go get your groove on, and please stay out of my way.


Your Grouchy Old Photographer

 P.S.  I like to take pictures of other people taking pictures because I think it’s funny


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