That Russian wedding that left me speechless…

Have you ever had a moment that changed your life?

I did a few years ago. I was in Russia, (Moscow, to be exact) to photograph a friends wedding and of course take in all of the beautiful sites Russia had to offer. Even though I was shooting my friends wedding, I treated it like I do any other. Remaining professional is not something you only do when it’s convenient, you do it because your clients demand it. We agreed that during the photographs she would treat me not as a friend but as a photographer, and I promised her I would treat her just as I do any other bride.

It was the portrait session that took my breath away

If you are a photographer you will know what I’m talking about. We all have our ‘go to’ poses. It’s a hallmark of our style and who we are and where we fit in the industry. We take so many pictures we become experts at judging the quality of a photo before it’s even out of our camera.

When I looked at my screen I couldn’t believe what I saw

There I was, in Russia, surrounded mostly by people I didn’t know. I had a picture with that beautiful red Russian sky and I knew I had a beautiful. My white whale. It was amazing and I couldn’t contain myself.

Then I lost my SD card

It wasn’t until I was back at the hotel room. I couldn’t believe it happened. I always shoot 2 cameras each with a backup card. 4 SD cards at one time. Double safety. Lost both the ones from the portrait shoot. Lost the one with the beautiful shot on it.

From Russia, with love.

It wasn’t even 20 minutes and I had a knock at my door. There, a hotel employee greeted me and asked me in broken English if I was the photographer. I told her I was; it was obvious I was trying to hold back tears. She smiled. That old Russian lady smiled at me and I could tell by the look in her eyes she was going to tell me something fantastic.

Everything’s not lost.

She held up 2 beautiful SD cards. She told me a taxi driver dropped them off about 5 minutes after I arrived at the hotel. I gathered through broken English/mostly Russian that I had left the cards in the back seat of the taxi. The cab’s next fare noticed them and gave them to the driver. The driver, realizing they were mine and that I had photographed a wedding, drove all the way back to the hotel to deliver them to the front desk. It was that night in Moscow I really found faith in humanity again. The amazing shot I took of my friend didn’t matter anymore. I was in awe. This complete stranger went out of his way to assist a foreigner whom he owed nothing.

That gown though!

Of course she was wearing a beautiful Suzanne Harward bridal gown! I was blown away at how perfect it fit into the scene. A beautiful wedding gown really makes a difference in the photos and I was so happy when I found out she had an SH!

Go to Russia. Do it.

The people there are so friendly, they smile all the time. There are so many amazing things to see and do. Before I left I found a travel to Russia blog and I devoured it. I read every new post and followed them on facebook. I got so much great information out of that blog I still read it and think of how I’d love to get back there. I will go back one day. You should come with me!

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