Post Event Regrets
A week has gone by since your great event. The balloons have mostly deflated and been sent off on their journey to the great land fill in the sky, the extra furniture has been tucked back into their corners and the snacks all eaten.
As you discover an empty bottle hidden behind the couch and think back to that great night, what is your biggest regret?
Is it that you should have invited that distant friend you occassionally see? Or maybe you should have order 4 Kegs of your favourite brew instead of 2? Resulting in a semi sober scramble to the liquor store at 10pm to discover it closed?
For me it’s always been the same one.
It nagged me so much it eventually rubbed off and helped me develop my work ethic and process in photography.
What was this simple regret that made Pass The Salt Photography what it is today?
Or the lack thereof…
I would go back through my Sony Point-and-Shoot camera, flick through the photos and discover I had only taken ten photos from an event that was a few months in planning, that left a hefty hole in my wallet and a totally justified hole in my wall. (A few drinks down and a game of Pinata with a crowbar seemed like the greatest idea at the time.)
It always seemed a shame that I didn’t have a record of the great event to look back on in a few years time.
As great as our memory function may or may not be, they cannot match a collection of photos taken at the event.
With time the vivid memories will fade as daily occurances and other life fluff pile on top and the once sharp tip of those memories will be warn down to a nub.
We will definitely remember the crowbar pinata incident – thanks to an enthusiastic invoice from the Gib-stopper – but minor details like the elaborate decorating on the cake will often be forgotten down the track.
I’m a big sentimentalist so things like the time and effort taken into that said cake or dinner being forgotten in the sands of time is a big shame.
I feel all that time invested should be appreciated for longer than the few instances it takes to eat the food.
By taking the effort to take a few photos during preparation, as it’s laid out and maybe one of people enjoying it, I feel that food and the work is properly celebrated and remembered.
Of course it’s not just the food or decorations that I feel should be remembered. They make the event great, they provide the furniture to it but the real part, the soul of the event is the people you share it with.
You’ll have your closest friends and family, the one’s that life managed to keep close to you thanks to circumstances like work and accomodation. You will doubtlessly have plenty of photos with them enjoying the bright side of life as you’re able to spend more time together.
There will also be the old friends, the one’s that you don’t see as often as you’d like but they made it to the event and you’re busy recounting past adventures while sharing new ones (that crowbar Pinata game remember).
There will also be the new acquaintances that you met at the tap class, swimming lessons or whatever and you found you’re two peas in a pod and want to become proper friends.
All these people will be here sharing this event with you and their the living, breathing soul of the event. The mere fact you are all here together – finally – against all odds of clashes with other life events is a celebration in itself.
The joys of adult life with responsibilites and obligations often make it hard to attend someone’s birthday or engagement party. It could be cause Jo from accounting is having her birthday and it’d be extremely rude to not go cause she did such and such for your career or David’s kid needs a lift and your the only one that is available or…
You know what I mean
You’re thinking back to the last event you were late to or couldn’t attend because of something that had to happen at the same time. It’s painful but that’s the game of life. We just take a spin and hope for a good number.
The Burden of a Sentamentalist
I think about all these things as I cover any event. As I see my client hug each new arrival or laugh with someone I imagine their stories, if they had to make arrangements with a babysitter or maybe get a lift from their parents.
It’s why I endeavour to get a photo of every guest and that guest with my client. They’re here for a special reason and should be remembered for attending.
I realize I may be painting a picture of life being a grim dystopia and if you feel this way it’s not my intention. I am simply trying to convey the importance of remembering and embracing moments in our lives and for me the best way is through photos.
Each photo freezes life and keeps it safe for the life of that photograph which if kept properly, is forever. For you to enjoy, your kids and grand children. One of the great things of living in this age is how easy it is to take a multitude of photos and being able to have them everywhere and backed up on as many devices as our bank accounts allow.
Of course whether the photos are worth keeping are another matter in itself. If you want the best representation of your event and life’s moment, you get the service of someone like me to help.
That brings me to this event I am sharing with you.
Karen’s surprise 50th Birthday was painstakingly organized and brought to life by Karen’s loving family.
After I heard all the planning required to get everyone together without her knowing, of setting up a very elaborate event celebration in her own home while she was out for the day, it blew my mind.
Rome may not have been built in a day, but a birthday celebration to rival many weddings I attended certainly was.
A gazebo with elegant boquets of flowers arranged on tables overflowing with decorations was setup along with all the food and drink. All the decorations matched the theme and colour palette selected and looked amazing.
Bales of straw were brought in from a local farm to make comfortable seating with a rustic charm for the guests to relax on.
A archway over the main entrance over the house was erected and fastoned with balloons to create a cheerful portal into the other entertaining area.
It really was a labour of love and I was honoured and happy to be there to immortalise it with my camera.
When I think back to that event I don’t remember all the decorations that were there, there was simply to many great intricate little details that evade me.
After I opened up the album containing all the images however, I was promptly reminded of them and they effectively blew off the dust from my memories and I remembered a conversation I had with one of the guests. This lead to another memory and before long this one photo took me on a journey back in time.
This is the point I am trying to get across to you.
Great photos may not hold such weight to you as they do for me. Undoubtedly I have a bias because I made photos my career – but anyone can enjoy the gift a great photo will give you by taking you back to that day. That moment in time.
Life is a vast collection of moments, be it good or bad, some you will want to forget for various reasons, but the ones you want to remember should be preserved and protected.
As the event prep neared completion it became a race to finish before the guest of honour arrived. While the food cooked everyone pitched in to get everything in position.
I gave a hand inbetween photos as well, helping put balloons up and setting the table. I am never at an event just to take photos, often times I am giving practical help and more than once have I given people a lift in my car.
It’s just part of my work ethic and brand of Pass The Salt Photography.
After a frantic rush everything was in place and before long Karen arrived home to find her driveway surrounded by friends and family wishing her a Happy Birthday.
With that the event was on and the laughter begun.
I was there for the rest of the evening and like all events I was changing from one of those new aquaintances previously mentioned to a new friend.
My experiences with event photography have been furtunate ones as they often turn out to be less of a job I was hired to do but a party I was invited to. Invited with my camera of course.
In summary, I hope this post was insightful and inspiring for you.
After reading this you will know a little more about how I treat event photography and why I don’t treat it as just another job. Every event is unique and the people involved are as well with their individual lives and circles.
If you would like to hear what happens with your photos after the event is over, read about my editing process.
Or if you would like to know more, please feel free to contact me so we can discuss your next event photography booking. My passion is covering your event, from top to toe and everything inbetween. Holes in the gib included.
Thanks for reading.