Having a Tall Photographer for your Wedding
Ok, ok this is a slightly satirical piece… I’ve toyed and toyed with the idea of including 6,7ft human selfie stick tall photographer as a bullet point in my pricing for a long time now and it’s come to the point where it needs to be in. I thought I’d write this piece to explain why I am going to start to include it…hang on before we start I need to check what the weather is like up here for all the people below me…
Back Story and Day-2-Day Life
Before we get into the nitty gritty I need to win you over with some back story. I’m one of 3 siblings who all breach the 6ft mark but both don’t come too close to my ‘achievements’. My father is 6ft odd and my mother is 5ft something, none of them are really extreme in either direction (See a family photograph here). So I hear you ask, “why am I so tall?” Who knows! The world isn’t designed for people like me and you’ve never quite known my pain until you’ve
- Had to pay more money to an airline just to get a seat you can fit in.
- Bent your legs to make yourself seem smaller so you don’t feel bad blocking a persons view.
- Realised sleeves are meant to go down past your wrists and the bottom of your trousers should go past your ankles.
- Banged your head on just about everything.
- Had to maintain a 10 minute squat just to get under the shower head.
- Realised that Jacamo might be your only option one day.
You don’t get tall over night so I’ve learnt how to deal with/exploit it since I landed in this beautiful place 27 years ago. I have an inkling that my superb humour in my personality has come as a by product of my height as I’ve always had to answer questions with a laugh to save myself from hurting someone. For my whole life I’ve wondered how normal height strangers start conversations. I can only imagine that it’s the most awkward conversation that they’ll experience. Imagine being me and knowing that the conversation that a stranger would approach you with could be one of a selection of pre determined conversations. It becomes Groundhog Day everyday and you get to try out new answers on every stranger you meet to see how they respond. If you get a weird stare, then maybe you don’t go in with the sarcasm dialed to 10. If you get a continuation of conversation about their friend of friends dogs friend who just happens to be like you then maybe you withdraw the sweetness. Whatever conversation they pick out of the limited selection, it’s hard to answer without some slight humour or sarcasm. Here are some examples of what I get asked on a day-2-day basis:
- Random Stranger #1: “Gosh aren’t you a tall photographer.”
- Random Stranger #2: “Hey do you play Basketball?”
- Random Stranger #3: “Hey, do you struggle to get clothes to fit you?”
- Random Stranger #4: “Hey, can you tell me what the weather is like up there?”
- Random Stranger #5: “Are your mum and dad tall?”
- Random Stranger #6: “I bet you are good for reaching the top shelf.”
- Random Stranger #7: “How tall is your partner?”
As much as it seems like this annoys me I actually secretly love it. I love people and love to talk so it marries up quite nicely. Also people crave to be different or unique and I don’t really have to try to achieve it.
Being a Tall Photographer
To be honest, I can only really relate to benefits when it comes to being a tall photographer, although I moan when I bang my head, etc. I’ve learnt to take it all in my stride over the years and use it to my benefits.
Angles are a fundamental piece of photography, a different angle can add a whole new perspective to an image.Here’s something to think about, I can crouch down but can a small person crouch up…? In a crowded room I’m half a foot to a foot above everyone else enabling me to get those natural shots of people enjoying themselves in closely knit crowds. During a traditional line up I can get right over the grooms/brides shoulder to get the best reactions from the guests faces as they greet you from that oh so pleasing selfie angle. I can hold my own reflectors and off camera flash without an assistant. With my tall photographer ways and my lanky unnatural walking you’ll never forget me in a hurry which sure does help with word of mouth recommendations.
From a young age I learnt a lot about others as they wanted to learn/joke so much about me. Other than being annoyed at being asked the same question on repeat I realised that conversation is such a strong tool in life, there’s the old saying that “It’s not about what you know but about who you know”. I listen to a lot of Snap Judgement, Story Corps and read a lot of the stories from Humans of New York as I love people and the stories that give them their personality. I feel that other than good marketing, kick ass photographs and a sound logo the one thing that will lift my passion greater is the people around me. Having that natural positive attitude to everyone I meet makes them comfortable in my presence enabling me to capture really natural images.
So yeah, being a Tall Photographer is pretty AWESOME.