I was never a Boy Scout.

Nisse is a friend of mine and she recently voiced the opinion that I talk a bit more about my equipment and the level of professionalism it helps me maintain. I’m not going to talk about specific camera gear (you can check out my list of gear HERE if you like) but, I am going to tell you what happened yesterday at Kristen and Matt’s wedding.

When the sun hits the horizon, the light is perfect for photography. This pristine light only lasts for 5 or so minutes each evening and during the summer months, also happens to be right in the middle of wedding day toasts, cake cuttings and father and daughter dances. So, suffice it to say, I’m forced to make the very most of this precious time. As Kristen, Matt and I hurried away from Eagle Castle Winery last night, I slammed my camera into a stone wall. Full on, swinging from my shoulder, fast walking with my head cocked the opposite direction – WHAM! And after one shutter click, I new something was wrong. Now, this isn’t that big a deal unless you understand that the cameras (with lenses attached) are anywhere from 6-8 thousand bucks. So, screwing one up is costly and having back-ups is even more costly.

I’ve dropped, banged, smashed, slipped, tripped a thousand times with my camera gear swinging about. In that time, I’ve broken a few lenses and cracked a couple of flashes. So, my practice has always been be overly prepared. I have 2 sets of equipment close at hand (and a 3rd, holy-cow-I-really-screwed-up-set near by) at every single wedding. I hear my photography buddies talk about having back-ups but, when questioned, often those backups are full of lesser gear and substandard equipment. Honestly, it has never occurred to me to have less than a 100% setup in reserve for when mistakes happen.

Being a professional in my mind consists of eliminating potential pitfalls that could lessen my couples experience or overall end product. Basically, I do my best each and every wedding day and that starts with how much rest I get the night before, making sure I’m well fed throughout the day and generally being at my best for each wedding.

When I realized last night that my camera was broke, I simply walked over to the other bag I had in my car, grabbed the exact same setup and continued doing my very best for the rest of the evening. I know that Kristen and Matt (unless they read this post) had no clue that there were any problems on my end as I was taking those precious end of day wedding pictures.

Check out the video I made as I was photographing Kristen and Matt’s wedding last night. A couple members of Still Time (a Central Coast favorite) pulled out a few incredible acoustic songs towards the end of the evening.

Photographer San Luis Obispo