I was out to dinner with my parents for my birthday in March, when my mom got a call from my grandfather, saying he was engaged."And, of course," he told my mom, "Molly will shoot the wedding."
I was definitely a little mind-blown. This wasn't exactly something I thought I would do in my lifetime.
"Of course I will," I told her, still kind of shocked.
Over the next few weeks, his wedding was on my mind a lot. My grandfather has meant so much to me - he's an amazing, successful businessperson, and he's taken me seriously and stood behind me 100% since starting my own business. When he was in his 20's and 30's, he was very interested in photography, and collected several cameras, which he gave to me when I was starting to get into photography in high school. He showed me the photos he had taken while on his honeymoon with my grandmother in Acapulco back in the day, which he later sold as postcards in some of the shops nearby for spending money.
I always thought of those cameras as fun relics, novelties that look nice on the shelf.... and they sat on my shelves forever. They were all caked in dust, the lenses clouded over with age. As soon I realized I'd be shooting his wedding (!), I started thinking about those cameras. I dusted them off, swabbed out the crevices with Q-tips, and ran some test film through two of them: the Argus and the Ciro-flex. Surprisingly, both of them worked (mostly). So, obviously I was going to use my grandpa's old cameras to shoot his wedding.
This was so different from the weddings I normally shoot, and it really made me look at weddings, and my job, in a completely different light. It wasn't about the trends, or the details - it was a day spent with family, celebrating the people closest to us. We didn't have really any time at all set aside for photos, and Jackie was surprised to hear that she might get several hundred pictures from the day. I learned that church regulations prohibited me from using flash indoors, or stepping on the carpet, or moving around during the ceremony, even if I stayed behind the guests. Or wearing anything other than all solid black, otherwise I WOULD BE KICKED OUT. So pretty much, I went into this wedding rethinking my entire style and approaching the day completely differently. This, in and of itself, was honestly such an amazing experience for me. A few days earlier, my grandfather went in for some tests, because his doctors were concerned he might have liver cancer. Needless to say, all of us were pretty emotionally overwhelmed, in so many ways. This day was so sweet and very raw, and I got to share it with my amazing family. I'm lucky to be so close to all of them.
Shooting this wedding changed me.
The rehearsal (and location of the reception), the LA Country Club:
One from the Ciro-Flex:
Fair warning: if you're not in the mood to see me & my siblings making a lot of stupid faces, you can probably stop now. That's just what we do.
My little bro & his girlfriend:
Checking out the gorgeous sunset:
And now, the wedding day:
My sweetheart grandfather:
My grandpa is the COOLEST. These next few are AWESOME!
Then me & my seester & my cousin get tired of being fancy, and head to the bathroom of this church on Rodeo Drive, where the reeeallly classy shots happen:
Beret & Jaime were the "greeters". This was an official title, which was kind of funny to us, because the vast majority of the 30 or so guests were family, and about half of those were in the wedding party. However, they took their job quite seriously, and greeted every.single.person. with... enthusiasm.
Two shots from the Argus:
Another Argus shot.
One from the Ciro-Flex.
My sweet grandpa with the Ciro-Flex:
Phew. I don't know what else to say. I love you all.