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What happens if the photographer gets sick or for some other reason can’t come to the wedding..?

When meeting with clients to talk to them about their wedding, often I get the very important question, -What happens if you get sick or for some other reason can’t make it to our wedding? I’m glad to say, that that hasn’t happened very often, but there have been two occasions when it has been an issue, or was dangerously close to become an issue, I should say…

I really love my job and I go to great lengths to prepare myself , my equipment and transportation before every wedding and I have (knock on wood) so far never missed a wedding.
Some years ago though, I broke a leg the day before a wedding, what to do..? I didn’t see any other way but to go to work… It was tough and very painful but it had to be done. I tell you it’s not easy to carry the camera equipment at the same time as you have to jump around on crouches or to shoot good photos while balancing on one leg, since it is impossible to put any weight on the broken leg.
But I got through it, and my clients loved their photos.

That was eight or nine years ago and I’ve been very fortunate not to have any close calls since then, until last weekend…

Saturday October 31st I was hired to shoot Kristine and Michaels wedding in beautiful Skagen.

This is what happened.
About a week before the wedding me and my wife got word from our daughters daycare that they had some children and also personal who had been throwing up and as most parents of young children knows, that is pretty standard at this time of the year. So we took our daughter out of the daycare for the week not to bring the sickness home to us. I reckoned that if I didn’t get sick in the beginning of the week I wouldn’t get sick at all, and if I was going to be sick I would have time to recover in time for the weekend.

Well, we all got through the week without any problems, but around midnight, between friday and saturday, I knew that I had caught the bug.

My only thought, when leaning over the the toilet in a less flattering position, was, – This is not true, it can’t be.

Without going into further detail, I can say that there was not much sleep for me that night and when the morning came I was in pretty bad shape.
I called my clients and told them what had happened, Kristine was very sweet to me and said that they really wanted me to come.
So of course I drove the 25 km to Skagen to do a 12 hour wedding without eating anything throughout the whole day, for fear of throwing up in front of or on the wedding party…

Kristine and Michael as well as their family and guests were very understanding and constantly asked med how I was feeling and saw to it that I got water and Coca Cola to drink throughout the day, I couldn’t have had better or more caring clients for this day.

When I was driving home at midnight, still shivering from fever I knew that I had done a really good job, a job that I could be proud of, and that made me feel really good inside, because it was a long hard day to get through.

I slept almost the whole day sunday, but today, I’m back in the saddle again.

What do I want to say with all this?

To answer the question of what happens if I get sick, first of all I try to get a replacement photographer to stand in for me. If that is not possible I really have no other option than to refund my client.
This is a potential problem for all photographers who like me are booking jobs years in advance, because it’s impossible to say when you’re going to be sick or not.
I guess that the way to handle this problem differs from photographer to photographer and some will probably just say: If I get sick I get sick and then I don’t work.
I also know that there are others like me that do this out of passion and not just sees their clients as another paycheck.
My clients choose me because of my images and my ability to tell the story of their wedding day in a living and passionate way and because we establish a relationship and trust in our meetings.

That and the fact that I really enjoy shooting weddings and tell my clients story are the biggest reasons to why I will go through a day like last saturday.

-Even if I’m feeling like shit, I still love my work and I will go a long way to give my clients the images they trust me to capture on their wedding day.

Here is a sneak peak from the wedding day, more to come tomorrow.

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