Over Labor Day Weekend, Jamie and I were in Ocean Isle, NC attending and shooting a dear friend’s wedding. I had just left our little condo to begin shooting the bride getting ready, and I got a phone call that went a little something like this, “Hey Callie, everything is fine, but I wanted to call and let you know that Jamie is in an ambulance headed to the hospital.” I walked outside for some privacy, tried to compose myself, and asked a ton of questions, “What in the world happened? Is he going to be ok? What are the next steps?”
After learning that Jamie had dislocated his shoulder on the beach while playing Spike Ball, I knew that I needed to make a plan. Should I leave and meet him at the hospital, or should I stay and fulfill my duty as a wedding photographer? I let my team (Olivia and Kasey, y’all are angels) know what was happening and decided that if I could talk to Jamie, I could make a decision. After getting him on the phone, and hearing his confident voice tell me to continue with the wedding, I knew that everything was going to be fine, and that he was in good hands.
To be completely honest, I have always feared this day; the day that you are working and get a terrible call. I’ve always considered what I would do and how I would act. The thing that has always given me great peace is that we have a plan. If you are a photographer, I highly urge you to be sure that you have a plan in place just in case anything were to happen.
1. Stay Focused on the Job in Front of You
While it’s easy for your heart and mind to be somewhere else, it’s so important to take a moment to breathe, refocus and remind yourself what your current purpose is; to be fully present and capture your couple’s special day.
2. Ask for Updates from Friends
If I couldn’t be with Jamie that day, there is no one else I would rather have with him than his best friends. Throughout the wedding day, they were constantly sending me texts, pictures, and videos to update and assure me that everything was going smoothly and he was in good care.
3. Protect the Bride
Don’t let the bride know about your situation unless you need to leave. As hard as it may seem, I promise you it will be better for her not to know. It’s important for her to feel that she is your first priority, loved and cared for throughout the day. Trust me, you will be able to laugh about the situation when she finds out later!
4. Have a Backup Plan Just in Case
We have been so blessed not to have many freak accidents on wedding days, but it is good to always have a backup plan. Because we are a team of photographers, we are able to pull from our team if we do encounter this issue. If you are not on a team, be sure to have a list of photographers that you can call if something does happen and you need immediate help.
Lean fully on the Lord. Ask for strength and stamina to get through the day. Repeat your favorite verse or worship song.
After returning home, and seeing an Orthopedic surgeon, we found out that Jamie had torn his laburm 270 degrees and needed major surgery. Everything was successfully repaired, and he is doing well in physical therapy to get full movement back!
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