Updated: Mar 14
The cargo van was rented and loaded the day prior, I knew it would be a long day in 36 degree weather & wanted to reserve all of my energy for the shoot. Its was quite obvious before I even left the Uhaul station that I would need a larger rental. I asked to swap out the van for a 10 or 15 footer but none were available. No drama, I owned small vehicles for years and consider myself a pro at loading what most would consider an impossible amount into the tiniest of spaces. I always envision circus clowns piling out of their miniature car in situations like this!
Odin road co-pilot unsure about the tall bucket seats. He spent an hour trying to climb onto my lap and I spent an hour trying to focus on driving while gently encouraging my four legged fur baby to reconsider his motives.
The weather was calling for 40% showers but I pushed forward optimistic with my only contingency plan being the clear umbrella I had on standby. My backup vision was my adorable couple in the rain, some wide shots of him holding the umbrella over her with the barns of Windsor Castle Park in the background. Some close ups of water drops on the umbrella with them underneath sharing some cute candid moments. All the while, me underneath the covered awning shooting with my 100-500mm lens protected from the downpour! It's not selfish when you've invested a few grand into a lens to capitalize on moments like this! Truth be told, I almost wanted it to rain so I could acquire these shots! Because I'm kinda crazy, I also brought a water bottle to create the scenario with less fuss! (If only I had remember once we got started!)
I arrive on location about an hour and a half prior to my bride and groom. It's during this time that I get into my zone & prepare for my day. First priority on the agenda is to walk Odin after an hour drive. I pounce on the opportunity to grab some detail shots of the bridal gown.
So there I was, gown hanging on a tree branch, water and fishing pier in the back drop, purple flowers sprouting up near the tall grass...beautiful, I can't wait shoot at 1.2 and blur all of that landscape into beautiful bokeh! I hear a soggy sinking sound, and then another. I look over my shoulder and there is Odin, sinking into the mud and trudging through the tall grass to get to the water. His intentions are clear, he's planning to swim out after the ducks about 100 yards out! Let me remind you that it's 36 degrees out, my dog gets cold easily and we're five minutes into a 6 plus hour day....nooooooo!!!
It's times like these that I pat myself on the back for all of the effort and training that's gone into emergency recalls! Like a good boy, he's at my side as quickly as I call! Like a dog, he begins to shake his entire body with enough force and momentum to fling mud toward me, my camera and my beautiful gown hanging just a foot away. Everything turns to slow motion, I look down at my lens, I scan toward my dress. In my periphery there is mud flying everywhere. My expression is calm, there's no point in panicking. I've already excepted that there's nothing I can do but wait for stillness.
He stops shaking, I take inventory of the wreckage. Not a drop. How is this possible?! I let my gaze drift toward Odin, he's sniffing nearby. I begin to laugh. He's already in his green puff jacket but now he's got four muddy boots to accessorize the look! It's a small price to pay to bring your dog to work!