The Blog

the toast . . .

  I've shot too many weddings where people who are less than eloquent have been chosen to be "best men" or "maid's of honor".

I suppose you can't pick your friends based on their speaking ability, but it would come in handy when that moment comes that the spotlight is on them representing you on one of your most special days.

The WORST is when someone who was not "appointed" decides that he or she is going to "honor" you by giving a speech of their own.

I don't know if you've ever experienced this, but I began to get so embarrassed, as if I was dropped in this room full of people completely naked.

I've actually caught myself looking through the lens, not surveying what else was going on in the room, not taking a single photo, as if to "hide" my giant body behind that little box that captures photographs. Maybe if I don't move, or make a sound, nobody will see me. But wait, this isn't about me.

Then the person giving the speech tries to be "funny". . . it's as if the guests were watching an execution. Like watching a car accident, I can't seem to turn away . . . a little sick, a little scared, but so curious.  The introduction of "the joke" seems to be the sure sign that alcohol is involved.

Then it hits me . . . (my inner voice) "my photographs don't capture sound!".  I have the benefit to shut this person's mouth in the photographs that I deliver. If I can get a great image, I may actually be able to SAVE this person. It's a huge challenge, but that's part of the fun too (after the color comes back in my face).

Then there are those people, COMPLETE STRANGERS, that are so well spoken, so clever, and so heartfelt, that they move you to tears. I swear, there have been a handful of times (out of 100 + weddings) , where I have welled up from listening to this person I have met that day, and maybe had a few interactions with, move me so much, it makes me think about my own life. It's an incredible skill, and the lucky Bride or Groom hit the toaster lottery.

Here's to the great toasters!



by Michael Clemens