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The Best-Laid Plans of Fish and Men…

November 11th, 2008

Stella & Ronald's Wedding Album 

As a general rule, the wedding slide shows I produce include a few earlier engagement pictures with the bride and groom dressed in their street clothes. You’ll notice in this piece, however, that the engagement sequence actually tells a story. And this is where I get to have fun sharing the experience of a best-laid-plan proposal that nearly got “flushed down the toilet.” Too many metaphors? Here’s the story.

Ronald had a choice to make: a motorcycle or an engagement ring. Of course, he chose the ring. He purchased it, hid it in a drawer, and began drawing up his plans for the perfect proposal. The theme was going to be “Of all the fishes in the sea, I choose you.” He would fill the room with fish, retrieve his ring from hiding, invite Stella over, drop to his knee in front of all his finned decorations, and ask her the BIG question.

Well, Stella pushed up the timetable by accidentally discovering the ring. Not easily deterred, Ronald was determined to stick to his plan. He sent Stella away, and in about an hour, he bought up the fish, tossed them into bowls, scattered them around the room, and Ronald – as we now know – was a success.

Wedding Group Image 
Poor timing seemed to follow Ronald’s planning. To those of us trying to get to the ceremony, it felt as if the entire Bay Area was there, too. And they were. The streets were crowded with revelers going to the Academy of Sciences’ grand reopening at the same time! Luckily for Ronald, other than that, his plans went smoothly. The wedding, at Zion Lutheran Church on Anza and 9th Avenue in San Francisco, was beautiful. A photography technique I used for this couple with their large family was, rather than backing down the aisle and out the door with my camera trying to fit everyone into the frame, I went upwards instead, using the choir loft—which, as you see, worked out very well.

Lion Dance The reception was at a wonderful Chinese restaurant, Zen Peninsula on El Camino Real in Millbrae. A fantastic part of Stella and Ronald’s reception was a traditional Chinese Lion Dance. The fantastic motion and colors provided an opportunity for me to use a unique camera technique to capture this. I set the flash to high, focused on the nearby subject, then literally tossed the camera while it took the picture. This is NOT a trick to try at home!! However, when done correctly, the foreground is in focus and the background has a blurred quality. Here’s the picture for you to enjoy.

View Stella & Ronald’s Wedding Album

Zion Lutheran Church, San Francisco

September 27, 2008

My best wishes that all of Stella and Ronald’s future plans always turn out perfectly!

—Michael Soo

P.S.: Now that Ronald has his fish of choice, I wonder what he did with all those OTHER fish?

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