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As many of you know, I am not a wedding photographer. I am a portrait and event photographer based around Boston, Massachusetts and I have gently turned down multiple wedding photography inquiries, preferring to refer them to my friends who are much better qualified.
Back in March of this year, my fire-performer friends, Melissa and Peter, asked me to photograph their wedding. After politely declining and suggesting my wedding photographer friends, as usual, they insisted because they didn’t want anyone else they wanted to photograph their wedding.
How could I say “no,” with any finality, after that?
I told them that I would be willing to at least give their ideas a listen. Right off the bat, they explained that their wedding was intended to be as non-traditional as possible while incorporating some elements of other wedding traditions. For example, they described loving the idea of a unity candle but wanted to change it to a unity torch, instead, and they planned to light the unity torch by breathing fire at it.
“Wait, really?” I asked, definitely intrigued. “Tell me more………….”
The more they described their ideas, the more obvious to me it wasn’t intended to be a stuffy wedding ceremony at all. They talked about camping at a venue dear to us, a performance showcase, wandering characters, and a fire spin-jam on the burn field.
“So, basically, you want me to photograph a private mini-festival over the weekend with a wedding ceremony breaking out in the middle of everything?..”
“All right, fine! I’m in…”
The wedding, itself, took place in September, at a Boy Scout campground in Connecticut. If you’re a fire performer from the Northeastern part of the United States, odds are you know exactly where it was held.
There were quite a few challenges along the way, especially with the summer’s unpredictable, yet weirdly consistent, weather patterns. This year saw rain hit New England every weekend, between August and late October and their wedding weekend wasn’t spared. During the day of the wedding, itself, the location for the ceremony changed at least three times over the course of a couple of hours from the amphitheater down by the pond to under the canopy due to the potential for thunderstorms.
To top it off, because of some last minute health and safety concerns, it was understandably decided that breathing fire at the unity torch wasn’t gonna happen.
WARNING – DO NOT ATTEMPT
I shouldn’t have to say this, but here we are.
I am an experienced Boston, Massachusetts nightlife event and fire performer photographer. Photos taken with fire involved professional fire performers with proper fire safety training, equipment, and procedures in place.
The use of fire comes with inherent risks to life, limb, or property. Any action you take based on any information on this website is strictly at your own risk and I will not be held liable for any loss or damages you caused to yourself or others because you chose to use fire in any way.
TL; DR: Don’t be a bogan wook. Leave the siiiiiiiiick fire trails and fire plumes to the professionals and support them by cheering their performances in person!
(It’s a good thing we practiced the night before…)
Once the ceremony itself concluded, the weather cleared up and the performance showcase began, featuring many mutual friends and performers, some of whom I haven’t seen since 2016. That’s always been the beauty of the venue where the wedding was held. We all call it “Home” for a reason.
In the end, the wedding happened, despite all the challenges. Not only was it was a beautiful ceremony and performance showcase, it was a beautiful weekend. Vendors, friends, family, and performers all came together in a community effort to support and celebrate the bride and groom through last minute health concerns, multiple changes, and challenging weather conditions.
Who could ask for anything more?
Even though I photographed an amazing wedding, I’m still not a wedding photographer but at least now I am willing to consider any non-traditional wedding ideas.
Make ’em good. You never know…