Over the weekend I had a wonderfully fun wedding full of beauty, love, good vibes, excitement, newness… and hitchhiking.
As a wedding photographer, I occasionally have nightmares of all of the things that could possibly go wrong, just as every other wedding photographer occasionally does. You know… your camera spontaneously combusts during the ceremony, you drop the rings off a 10th story balcony (ok, so that *may* have actually happened), your card magically erases itself in-between the last shot and when you go to upload them to your computer… that sort of thing. I take every possible measure to prevent catastrophes like these from happening, and so the only place anything like that has happened is in my nightmares.
The most serious things I’ve had happen have been interesting and make for good stories (or not so good, depending), but not anywhere near catastrophic (for example… falling off a chair during the family portraits and getting caught by the best man, having hot wax drip all over me from candles on a high-rise mantle, almost running over a dead body in the middle of the road post-wedding, getting “pushed” into the cake, etc)
After this wedding, I can add a new new to that list… Hitchhiking to a wedding. With all my equipment. In a decidedly not-so-good area of the island.
Life as a wedding photographer in Hawaii is never boring.
Because I’m basically alone on this island in that I don’t have anyone that I can call for help when, say, my car breaks down on the way to a wedding in a bad part of town, I have to come up with creative alternative solutions… such as abandoning my car along the side of the road and hoping it’s still there when I get back (and hoping that I’m able to get back), and then hitchhiking, with all my equipment and everything valuable from my car, the last 8 miles to a wedding.
I was picked up by four grimy haole guys and an even grimier dog in a very muddy truck. They were on their way back from a week spent camping in the mountains, but happily made room for me (and everything that came with me) and retraced their path back up the mountain 8 miles to my wedding site. Gotta love the Aloha spirit.
Despite everything that went wrong that day there were so many more things that could have gone catastrophically wrong that instead went incredibly right.
For example, I stayed alive.
Also, my car was still there when I caught a ride back down the mountain two hours later.
And even more amazing… it was still there when I came back from town with a new alternator and someone with the know-how to install it four hours after that, at 9pm. The windows weren’t even broken. That doesn’t happen. I’m feeling incredibly grateful right now.
I’m also hoping that I never again have to hitchhike with so much baggage. It’s a bit of a drag.