An iPhone Ceremony

Every time I think I’ve seen it all….I see something else!  That happened last weekend at a wedding we photographed.

The wedding was in the International Center and was supposed to start at 6 pm.  All the guests were there and seated.  The person who was supposed to officiate was not there.  There was no contact information with a phone number to call this person.

I told the mother of the bride that I could do the ceremony but that I had not brought the book with the information.  Jenna-Beth said that she could find a ceremony on her iPhone.  I said that would be great except the print was so small that I could not read it.  Jenna-Beth said that she would read it and I could sign the paper work.  The bride’s parents thought that was a great idea.  The bride and her father were walking down the aisle while Jenna-Beth was still searching on her iPhone!

The ceremony began only a few minutes late and everything turned out fine.  I signed the marriage license and had the two witnesses sign it, too.  The guests thought it was a beautiful ceremony and asked Jenna-Beth where her church was located! 



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What about body art?

I’ve been told that tattoos have been around since sailors had them in 1769.  Or, maybe people have had them in other parts of the world before that.  They have just become popular in the United States since the 1990’s.  Now, it seems that men and women have an equal number of tattoos.

People have these “pieces of art” all over their bodies.  When a bride and her bridesmaids put on their dresses, this “body art” becomes part of their costumes.  It is hard not to notice a bride with a tattoo walking down the aisle at her wedding.

I saw a groom who had his face painted on the back of his head.  When he was at the altar it looked as though he was facing the congregation!  It really made you think twice!

When the bride has this art on her legs, it makes quite a show when the groom is removing her garter.  She has to make sure that the garter matches the tattoos.

Maybe someday a bride and groom will have their rings tattooed on their fingers.  That would mean that they have to stay married because it would be practically impossible to have the tattoos removed!  Or, maybe they could put something in their marriage contract about who would have to pay for a tattooed ring removal!

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New owner, same traditions

As of March 1, 2012, Parish Photography belongs to Jenna-Beth Lyde.  We hammered out an agreement for the transfer of ownership of my 48 year old organization.

Parish Photography was started in 1964.  I had just graduated from Trinity and had completed my service in the Army.  I thought I would take a few pictures until I figured out which bank I was going to work for….since my major was “Commercial Banking.”

My uncle, George Parish, joined with me and we became so busy that I didn’t have time to worry about working for a bank.  Our studio was at 5021 Broadway for more than 20 years.  Then my uncle retired and I moved the studio to 7701 Broadway where the rent was lower!

I met Jenna-Beth at an Alamo Heights Chamber meeting a couple of years ago.  She had just graduated from Trinity University.  She came to work for me and after a short time, I was doing everything she told me to do!  She has great ideas and lots of energy.  So we just worked out a deal where she would own Parish Photography and I could work for her.

Now, I can come to work late!   We do weddings together….Jenna-Beth does all the modern things that brides love and I do all the old fashioned things that the parents love.  What a great deal for everybody!

Charles and JB



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A look back at wedding photography

In the “good ole days” (forty years before digital photography) producing a wedding album required different products and skills.  Good cameras were scarce and very expensive.  I used a 2 ¼ inch Rolleiflex that was recognized as one of the world’s best wedding cameras.  I owned five of them and always had two with me in case of a failure.  They had to be “manually” set for every exposure.  There was nothing “automatic” about anything in those days!  Even cars had just gotten automatic transmissions!

Flash units were very large, cumbersome and expensive.  They required a big battery that was attached to my belt or carried on a separate strap.  The flash output had to be great because the film speed was slow.  Film speed was ASA64 when I started taking pictures…which is about the same as blue print paper!  We were excited when film speed went to ASA100.  These slow film speeds required a lot of powerful flash.

Our film was Kodak 120 which made 12 exposures per roll.  Professional 120 color film wasn’t always available locally and it was very expensive.  Film processing was slow…..some labs only processed film once a week.  Proofs were printed 5” x 5” because the negatives were square.  These proofs were then put into books that had to be numbered by hand.  This took time and was labor intensive.

So the “good ole days” were really the “slow ole days” that required us photographers to have a really different set of skills.  We were much more mechanically oriented.  Now, with digital cameras everything is automatic….except remembering to be on time for the event!  If anyone ever has a question about anything, please ask me.

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Charles, himself

Charles, himself

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January 19, 2012 · 10:23 pm

Cameras at wedding ceremonies

Cameras at wedding ceremonies

Isn’t it interesting how all religious denominations have their own ways of doing things?  Everyone believes that their way is the right way!

Episcopalians have a rule that flash photos cannot be taken during their services.  Catholics want you to take photos (flash or not) during their services…..right up at the altar.  I had a priest ask me during the wedding service if I wanted him to move so that I could have a better angle!  I was already right up at their altar.

Catholics don’t mind if children run up and down their aisles during the ceremony.  Some other denominations have private “cry rooms” for their children so that they won’t be heard.

Fifty years ago nobody had a camera at a wedding except soldiers who had brought them back from overseas.  Now it seems as though everyone has a camera.  We even have a camera on our cell phones.  They take pretty good photos, too!

At a Methodist, Episcopalian or Presbyterian wedding ceremony, the professional photographer has to stay at the back of the church and can’t use a flash….while the guests bring flashes and cameras, sit at the front of the church and take all kinds of photos all during their services.

Many churches have a “Wedding Rules” document printed out.  It is given to the bride who is supposed to tell the photographers….and the guests!  Sometimes the rules are passed on and sometimes they aren’t.

Experienced professional photographers always know and follow the rules.  We also have long lenses so we can take a good photo without being close.  Bottom line, don’t use an amateur!  Hire us!


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Holiday decorations and New Year’s Eve

Getting married at Christmas time can save a lot of money for the bride’s family.  The church is already decorated.  In fact, sometimes the bride’s family is instructed not to put any more flowers in the church.  This is music to the ears of the bride’s father!

A very beautiful and well attended wedding that I did twenty-six years ago was at Christ Episcopal Church and the reception was at the St. Anthony Hotel on New Year’s Eve.  The reception was held in the entire part of the first floor of the hotel.  There were probably over 1000 guests.  The party went on until midnight and then much later.  The expensive Champagne was poured on and on.  They even served a huge breakfast!  Yum!  Many of the guests had booked hotel rooms even though they lived in San Antonio….they did not want to drive home…I don’t blame them.

 A long time ago it wasn’t unusual for a wedding to last until well after midnight.  Usually at a ranch wedding a big breakfast would be served about four o’clock in the morning.  I remember a wedding down in the Del Rio area….Val Verde County.  The four a.m. breakfast was a big bar-b-que.   They fried eggs in a huge pan over a big open fire.  That cooking pan was about three feet wide and six inches deep filled with boiling hot grease.  When an egg was thrown into the pan, it fried almost instantly!  I can tell you that it was the best tasting egg you have ever eaten!

 There was another large wedding on New Year’s Eve in a big south Texas city were the two children who walked down the aisle belonged to the bride and groom.  When I asked what their story was, they said, “We just wanted to make sure we were meant for each other before we tied the knot.”  Whatever!

 On holiday weddings you can save money on flowers and decorations, but you usually spend a lot more for wine, beer and Champagne!

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