Back in 2013, I was asked to lunch with Chuck and Pat. I knew them both from T.A.P.P.A. (Tampa Area Professional Photographers Association) and I didn’t really think anything of the invitation. I didn’t know them well, but I knew them well enough to have figured them for the kind of people who would ask you to lunch just because they want to know you better. They’re very friendly and warm that way… instantly likeable.
So, we go to lunch and I’m talking a mile a minute as I always do when they drop the bomb. “We’re getting married and we want you to shoot the wedding.”
Totally caught me off guard. I said “yes’ of course (I mentioned the part about them being so warm, right?). We agreed to work out the details later and I drove home.
That’s when it hit me: Chuck’s a photographer. Most of his friends are photographers. I’m going to be shooting a wedding where everyone there can judge me.
St. Pete Coliseum
St. Petersburg Coliseum is this fantastic, classic venue. Built in 1924, it’s the dance hall you see in every Hollywood movie about WWII where the G.I.’s go to the U.S.O. show. The minute you walk in you want to hear Benny Goodman’s Orchestra strike up a tune. Men in tuxedo’s, women in long gloves.
The thing is, it’s not easy to photograph. The ceiling is about a million feet high (that’s a guess) so you can’t bounce any light off it. Wedding photographers are always bouncing light off walls and ceilings to light the room. So it requires several lights placed around the room with radio remote triggers and the experience to know how to use them. It was a challenge, I’ll admit, but that actually ended up being a good thing.
You see, because so many of the guests were photographers and friends, they all could see the challenges I faced. So they knew it was a tough job and didn’t judge me harshly. lol
I loved every minute of it and would love to work there again. There is no place else in Tampa Bay that has a look like the St. Pete Coliseum.
Here’s the wedding album, complete with my logo stamp to discourage people from stealing the images (the logo doesn’t appear on the actual album).
Oh, almost forgot… yes, that’s Pat belly dancing at her wedding. How cool is that?!