Saturday, August 27, 2016

Sepia Saturday 342 : The Drainpipe Leading To My Grandmother's Head


My final contribution in the Sepia Saturday Love and Marriage Month is this wedding photograph which features my uncle, John Arthur Burnett, and his bride Doris Metcalfe. Some of the other faces are fairly easily recognised, others are not. From the left are my grandparents, Harriet and Enoch, my Auntie Annie, my Father holding on to my cutely-dressed page-boy brother, and that is, of course, Auntie Miriam, third from the right. Neither my mother nor I were present: she was in the process of giving birth to me at the time and therefore the date is June 1948.

I have photographed many weddings in my time and it is a task I always dread given the importance of the occasion and the likelihood of something going wrong. These digital days you have instant feedback and assurance that the necessary photographs are being captured, but back in these bygone days you would just have to hope for the best until the film was developed. Even if the shots were not a complete disaster, there would often be some minor irritation that would kidnap the attention and drag it away from the important factor which is the bride and groom and guests. 

Being otherwise engaged, I was not responsible for the photographs at this wedding and therefore the drainpipe which appears to come straight out of my grandmothers head and the wanted sign that hovers just behind the bride are nothing at all to do with me.

There are a month's worth of Sepia Saturday Love and Marriage photos to see over at the Sepia Saturday Blog

9 comments:

  1. Since photographers don't seem to move their parties around to accommodate the scenery back then, perhaps no one minded the drain pipes and signs.

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  2. It is kind of a weird spot to take a photograph. Was this a civil ceremony so no churchyard? Or did the church just not have a churchyard? I'm used to CofE in the S of England where there's always plenty of room for photographic evidence of the wedding.

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  3. The photographer for our daughter's wedding was very precise in what she wanted for each photograph and as a result, they were beautiful. But sometimes one can, perhaps, go a bit far to try for the best shot. The wedding cake was a split four-tier affair and the photographer decided it was in the wrong place to get a good shot of the bride and groom cutting it, so asked that the table it was displayed on be moved. It was VERY carefully done, still the cake swayed side-to-side and front-to-back while everyone held their breath. Fortunately, disaster was avoided and nothing toppled, but there were a few anxious moments there! In retrospect, the pictures did turn out great, so maybe it was worth the risk? I'm still not sure . . .

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  4. I think we are doing very badly these days at looking like grandparents... Folk in those days did it properly and had the decency to look their age! There is a lot of similarity to my parents' wedding photos here, happened around the same time.

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  5. There's also the Mens Anniversary advertisement behind the groom, but at least it is not a sign to the Mens.

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  6. I didn't notice the drain pipe but I did notice the signs. Everybody looks very happy so I don't think it mattered.

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  7. Like Kristin, I did not take particular notice of the drainpipes, but you could not miss those signs. I know that in urban churches in Scotland, there may not be much space in the surrounding ground for picturesque wedding poses, so in the church doorway is the favoured spot. It rained on my wedding day, so all the photographs were taken at the reception - the result is a pair of legs in breeches appears behind us - the lower half of a portrait of Robert Louis Stevenson.

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  8. I think the important thing here is that most members of the group are smiling and appear to be enjoying the moment. Although your grandad might be a little preoccupied with the problem of detaching that drainpipe.

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  9. Auntie Miriam and your Dad sem to be sharing the joke - perhaps they spotted the drainpipe!

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