In the days when every home had its set of encyclopaedias, I used to moon over one particular picture in ours – in the section on photography. It is the only one that I remember and if I saw it again I’d probably find that memory has added to its splendour, but here it is as I remember it:
The frame shows a bride leaving home and is filled with a flurry of white, right down to the white stockinged foot in its satin slipper. Despite the fact that the bride takes up nine-tenths of the frame, the focus is the wistful expression of a little girl looking up from beside the door. There is something about the child that makes me believe she has been waiting for some time – she looks cold in her short skirt and white ankle socks. The bride is oblivious, sealed inside her finery, intent on getting to the church. She is not particularly detailed. Perhaps the photographer used a soft filter, or a close-up f-stop to focus on the girl rather than the bride.
Weddings are so special for little girls – even when they are not flower girls or bridesmaids. At a friend’s wedding recently there were flower girls, a ring bearer, a bible bearer, candle lighters, maids of honour, bridesmaids, ushers and even a mini groom and mini bride. I forgot my camera, so the few photos I have were taken on my phone. I really regretted not having my camera. But maybe it was just as well. The two weddings I did photograph years ago both ended in divorce.