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The Big Leap

CPT Parish 100-2

Since this is Veterans Day, I have a story about Veterans.  While I was in the Army Reserves, I was a paratrooper and a pilot.  Somehow, I got involved with Army skydivers who all wanted to be dropped on weekends.  I must have dropped hundreds of them!  From my point of view it meant taking off and climbing up to about 12,000 feet, dropping about 8 people and then gliding back down to the landing strip….over and over again!

One time that I remember very well was on a Sunday afternoon.  A couple wanted to get married while they were free falling.  So, the minister, bride and groom all got in the plane with their parachutes on and off we went….to 12,000 feet.  After about a 20 minute climb they stood in the door and over the drop zone….out they went!

The preacher performed the ceremony in about 30 seconds.  They all pulled their rip chords and the glided down with the minister saying, “I now pronounce you man and wife.”  (I suppose that is what they said.  I was gliding down in the aircraft!)


My only advice about marriage is, “Look before you leap!”


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Only 5% have them

….a Family Portrait made by a professional photographer.  Statistically, that is a fact.  I mean a nice portrait in your home or our studio…..made with correct lighting and fine cameras.

It is the nature of man to leave something to the world that says he has been here.  The only material thing he can leave is the story of his life and accomplishments, and certainly a part of that story is his physical likeness.  Fine portraiture serves as a link between generations.  I say “he” but I mean “she” is part of this, too.

Day to day giving and receiving of portraits by family and friends is a symbol of love and closeness.  It is an expression that deepens human values, and lends emphasis to the unity of mankind.  That is pretty heavy, but it is the truth!

When are the most meaningful portrait times?  Our experience in the portrait field suggests a pattern which serves those who subscribe to it with a rich family history.

In my next few blogs I will suggest appropriate times and places for family portraits.  I will also make suggestions on what to wear and who should be included.

Stay tuned.

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Who should do my cake?

About 25 years ago, Parish Photography had already been in business for about 25 years.

In those days, brides were coming to talk about their photography and then they would ask us, “Who should do my cake?”  Or, who should do my flowers, my music, my food, my whatever…..and we would make suggestions because we had relationships with the best “vendors” as they are now called.

Then, one day, in 1988 I called 5 ladies together and said that I had registered the name “Wedding Planners.” I asked them to start offering seminars for potential brides on how to put a wedding together.  A couple of seminars were presented, but after each one, brides would come and ask for personal help with their weddings.  That’s when Wedding Planners, Inc. was born.

Today, Parish Photography and Wedding Planners share the same office at 7701 Broadway.  Many brides come to see Wedding Planners after they have already hired some of their vendors.  We sometimes joke that it should have been named Wedding Re-planners.  As a result, on Saturday night my Wedding Planner wife, Betty, and I go to different weddings.  That makes no sense.

So, we have a proposal.  A bride who uses Parish Photography and Wedding Planners for their wedding will receive a gift that the bride’s father will really understand and appreciate!  Come ask us about it!

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Aren’t you Mr. Parish?

The other day a lady came up to me in the grocery store and said, “Aren’t you Mr. Parish?”  I said that I was and she said, “You took my wedding photos in Ozona in 1997.”  She introduced me to her 13 year old son and said their family was moving to San Antonio so he could go to TMI.  I said that was great and maybe I could take their family portrait someday!

A few weeks ago we photographed a big wedding at Trinity University.  The mother of the bride said that I had photographed her wedding 31 years ago.   A couple standing nearby then said, “He did ours 36 years ago.”

Since Parish Photography first started in 1964, we have photographed over 4,000 weddings and events.  I run into people all the time who tell me that we did their event in the 60’s, 70’s or 80’s.

Here is a mother and daughter.  I photographed the mother 1n 1976 and the daughter in 2009.  The daughter was wearing her mother’s dress…with a different veil.  They were both photographed in the exact same place!

Now I am waiting on grandchildren to get married!

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Men in Uniforms

Two weeks in a row we photographed weddings at Trinity University Parker Chapel.  Both weddings the men wore uniforms.  Usually, the bride and her attendants are the colorful ones and the men just wear black.  These two weddings were very different.

In the first wedding the men wore Scottish kilts.  That is a tailored garment that is wrapped around the wearer’s body at the waist.  The fastenings are straps and buckles on both ends.   The association of particular patterns with individual clans and families can be traced back perhaps one or two centuries.  They make very colorful wedding attire!

This week some of the active and retired U.S. Army and Air Force men wore their dress uniforms.  These are very handsome outfits (guaranteed to have an effect on young ladies).  In the Army, the color that is shown denotes the branch of service.  Red is the Engineer’s color and it is my favorite because that was my branch (a long time ago)!

Added features on a uniform are medals and insignia.  In fact, if you know what you are doing you can know everything about someone in uniform.  You can tell their salary, their interests, where they have been and how brave they are!  It is a lot to explain, but it is much more than a name tag!

Whatever the free country, branch, color or uniform, we are proud of our service personnel.  They all provide the freedoms we too often take for granted!  And they make my pictures more colorful!

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Who are you?

Watch out… today’s world, if you aren’t careful, somebody will stick a name tag on you!  Name tags……they drive me up a wall.  I have heard that your career is in big trouble if you are over forty and you still wear a name tag.  Don’t misunderstand me, I know that name tags are necessary for security purposes in some organizations.

People in jail get an ID number….usually on their backs.  Dogs have a tag….usually on their necks.  Cattle get branded….on their rear ends.  Everything now has a serial number.  Cars have license plates….my plate reads “I SNAP M” and everybody knows that I am a photographer!  Incidentally, I have heard that people with personalized plates get fewer tickets.  Maybe that’s because if people know your name, you act nicer!

Our wonderful new rector at my church has name tags for us to wear on Sundays.  I can understand that….if it is temporary (I hope)!  It helps him learn our names.  It probably helps everybody in a temporary learning process.

 My point is this:  We need to get to KNOW each other….not just each other’s NAME.  A name tag allows people to appear more sociable in a group setting.   If a name can be really remembered, that’s even better.  But, we must take the next step……GET TO KNOW EACH OTHER…..not just their name.

Try this….can you tell me who you are without telling me your name? 

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Fiesta Medals!

King Antonio has had a Fiesta coin since the beginning in 1927.  Then in 1971, King Antonio Charles Orsinger had the great idea of making the coin into a medal that you could wear.  He had 500 coins put on fabric that could be pinned on your shirt and worn.  Those 500 medals lasted about 10 minutes!  Everybody wanted one.  He ordered 1,000 more and they were gone quickly.

Today, 41 years later, everybody and their dog has their own medal.  Medals come in plastic bags, on little cards and in boxes!  Originally, the King pinned your medal on you….personally!  Now, the Fiesta medal is a form of advertising for all sorts of businesses, cities, schools and clubs.  They are ordered by lots of people for lots of groups…..too many to name!

Yesterday, I saw this chef at the Westin Hotel wearing his collection.  Other people make hats with medals.  Every time I think I have seen it all, I see something else.

The funny thing is that after Fiesta is over, nobody wears a medal.  You would look like a nut walking down the street wearing a medal any other time of the year.  I have a framed collection of medals that goes back to the beginning.  Sometimes I use them for decorations at a party.  People say, “What in the world are those for?”

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