To add to my portfolio of photography exploits is a Scottish Wedding. One of my work colleagues was married several weeks ago and requested that I be the official wedding photographer. As with all things of life, there are climaxes and equally are there disappointments… to some extent I think this particular occasion falls into the latter category. There were several contributing factors which led to this outcome; the planning of the event, the communication and my technical competence which fell short of adequate in some respects.
Though my high standards of perfectionism were not met, others who saw the finished photographs could find no fault and praised the results with genuine respects. It was only a few closest to me who admitted that indeed the photos had not equaled my previously held high standards. Most importantly however, the married couple were elated with the photos and I walked away with a much more realistic concept of the slogan ‘failure is the ingredient of success.’
The wedding itself was set in a beautiful stone church in Fortitude Valley. The groom and groomsmen wore matching green tartan kilts and Scottish getup and the bride wore a simple but stunning dress of ivory. I viewed much of the wedding from the high organ balcony at the rear of the church. The long balcony gave a perfect outlook of the stage and took in the full scope of the church. High cathedral ceilings drew like curtains high slatted beams across the length of the building and the tall steeple was supported by large roman columns. From the rear of the church, these pillars lined the wooden pews like an ancient temple and provided a frame for the stunningly colourful stain glass window showcased behind the altar.
The ceremony was of a formal Catholic nature, yet in some ways I feel the formalities and religiosity downplayed the true symbolic nature of marriage. Rather than upholding the value of love and marriage in its holistic sense, the wedding was more focused on the institution and bylaws of matrimony. The priests’ mishaps of speech, disregard of program and forgetfulness of names also added colour and humor to the ceremony. Indeed, his whole persona inspired similarities drawn between him and Rowan Atkinson’s performance in ‘Four Weddings and a Funeral.’ The one error that caused many to stifle a laugh was the unforgettable moment when he wished upon the happy couple that they would live a happy life together filled with fidelity.
The wedding photos were taken on a golfing green at North Lakes Golf Course. I accompanied the wedding party as we drove carts to one of the farthest greens and with the setting sun throwing rays of gold upon the green horizon, champagne and tapas were offered and laughter was in no short supply. I had quite an effort trying to round up the wedding party and assemble them for photos. The green tartan kilts provided a constant inspiration for jokes and foolery and the wearing of them necessitated changing some of the groomsmen’s poses whilst at times shielding my eyes and stifling a laugh. With champagne glasses in one hand and a heightened laugh on every face, it was not hard to take photos that captured the amusement and fun of each moment.
It was a great opportunity and a fun day had by all. I have realised however the importance of having at least a handful of failures in our lives for it is only by these that the successes are measured. They are the stumbling blocks over which we can become better, try harder, learn more openly and succeed more extravagantly. Without them, we will simply tread a mediocre path of little progress which maintains steadily but never moves forward.