There are certain images which always bring a smile to my face, and this one I call “Wedding Album” is one of them.
The day is Thursday June 2, 2011, and Naples Italy is hot, humid, noisy and bustling with life. I’m roaming the streets photographing and I hear a loud noise around the corner. When I arrive, I observe a wedding party and their photographer surrounded by a large crowd. The photographer is shouting out directions and the wedding party is happily complying. I immediately begin taking pictures non-stop, standing near, and moving in unison, with their photographer. After ten minutes everyone takes a break and I begin walking away.
I feel a tap on my shoulder, and when I turn around the wedding party’s photographer is motioning me to move next to the wedding party. Suddenly, I’m surrounded by the women in the picture and their photographer is taking pictures of us. It turns out everyone in the wedding party saw me taking their picture and wanted to turn the tables on me and have my picture taken with them. The wedding party was laughing, the crowd was laughing, and not only was I laughing, but I was putting on quite the performance that day. Everyone was having a great time. It became a special moment!
When I look at this picture today it makes me think of two things. First, I wonder what others think was going on in this picture when I took it. I later learned there’s an Italian custom for the wedding party to rub the bride’s gown for good luck. The bride was certainly enjoying the moment. And then I also wonder if I somehow ended up in the final wedding album. On the one hand it would seem illogical for that to occur. On the other hand, that hot, humid, noisy memory, stopped forever in time, brought so much joy into so many people’s lives, that maybe the bride wanted to look at that image, remember that scene, and have it bring a smile to her face too!
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