Sunday, September 2, 2007

This story is true


WOW! I've gone to some great lengths during my career to get the best shot possible, but never before have I had so many things thrown in my way to get the shoot.

I had a "red-eye" flight out of San Diego with Delta last Friday to fly to Pensacola Beach, Florida to shoot a wedding. My flight was going to arrive in Florida at 8am on Saturday morning. The wedding for Anthony and Jordan started at 7pm, but I planned to arrive at 5pm to start shooting the pre-wedding shots. My day started off with the hotel losing my dry cleaning, so I had to no clothes but the ones I was wearing, no problem I thought, I'll just buy some clothes when I get into Florida....

I get to the airport, check in, and just as I get to the gate....Delta announces they are cancelling my flight that leaves at 10:30pm, and another flight won't leave until next morning...

I do the mad dash with about 300 other people to the ticket counters, and then opt for the telephones to the Delta reservations center. They tell me the earliest flight won't get me into Pensacola until 6pm....way too late!

I sit down on the airport floor, pull out my laptop with wireless internet, and book a ONE WAY flight to Pensacola through Continental for $400 that will get me into Pensacola at 2:30pm on Saturday. I go back to the hotel, stay the night, and return to the airport 5 hours later to catch the one way flight leaving at 6am. I go to check in and the Continental employee marks my ticket as needing additional security screening.

My bags are pulled, and due to having so much equipment, it takes forever. He pulls everything out, even takes the lens off my camera...and then leaves everything on the table and says, "Have a good shoot," and walks away. I pack everything up, run to the plane, and get on with 5 minutes to spare as they call my name over the P.A.

I'm on the plane and think..."okay, it's been rough, but now I've made it." That was short lived. We fly from San Diego to Houston for a connection flight and I change planes to a small commuter plane. We get on the plane and they tell us things are going to be hot because one of the two AC units on the plane is broken. We take off and start the bumpiest plane ride of my life. It's unbelievably hot and bumpy...but I don't care as long as I get to Florida....

The pilot then announces that the second AC unit on the plane has just gone out...no problem except for the fact that the AC units are also the pressurization units for the plane! We are going to make an emergency landing in Baton Rouge, Louisiana...as we make our landing, the plane goes up and down causing constant groans and moans from the passengers...

We land, and they tell us to get off the plane. I don't know if you've ever been to the Baton Rouge airport, but it's tiny, and Continental doesn't fly out of there, they only landed there due to necessity. Since it's a commuter plane, we actually deplane onto the tarmac, and then I ask for my luggage. They won't give it to me, and say they have no idea if the plane will fly again because they don't have mechanics at that airport. I refuse to leave the tarmac without my luggage because I need my camera, and I need to make other travel arrangements. The pilot won't give it to me, and refuses to do anything until I guilt him by saying, "I just want you to know that when you go to bed tonight, just realize that you will be responsible for ruining a brides wedding." He then gives me my luggage.

I decide I've had enough of flying, and just don't trust the airlines anymore. I rent a car from Avis and start the over 300 mile trek to Pensacola....it's 3pm, and I have 4 hours before the wedding starts to make it through Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, and then into Florida. I start moving faster than I should admit to (my wife reads the blog), and go through thunderstorms, etc. to make it there...

While driving I hook up on the phone with a photographer named LESLIE ROARK who completely SAVES me. My wife found her as a local Pensacola photographer, and Leslie runs to the shoot at 5:30pm to take the pre-wedding shots. I literally arrive in Pensacola at 6:59pm, just as the bride and her Dad are walking from the beach house towards the beach to walk down the aisle...

VIEW THE SLIDESHOW!! CLICK ON THE PICTURE BELOW.


I haven't shaved, I'm wearing the same black slacks, and white dress shirt I have worn for two days....and just start shooting. It turns into one of the best shoots of my life....We took the wedding party down into the water...but then later on in the evening we took the bride and groom down to the beach, and they got into the water HEAD to TOE. How cool is that?

Thanks Anthony and Jordan....you made the trek COMPLETELY worth it. And it serves as a lesson well learned..never give up on what you want. The harder it is to get it, the more valuable the reward will be.



Jason

25 comments:

melissakoehlerphotography said...

I can't believe that you had all that happen to you! What an adventure! Glad you made it in time. The shots turned out amazing!

Photographs By Tiffany said...

WOW!! What an adventure!! That is truly an unbelievable one~ I am so glad it worked out and you made it~ The photos are fantastic!!
Amazing work!!

Jinksee said...

I love how you ended this post..about how the things that seem the hardest at times, are usually most often the ones that are so worth it. You had quite a day..that's for sure, but I have to say, these are some of the best wedding photos I've ever seen. Truly fantastic.

STEVE DePINO said...

Wow what a trip!
Great work on these man, all the hassle paid off!

Angie Penrose said...

For what sounds like the worst two days ever your shots are amazing!! Great job on these!!

|| davidjay || said...

Awesome shots! Love the night ones! Wow!

DeAnna said...

Amazing story!! Icredible pictures!

AmbiancePhotography said...

Jason, it was such a great pleasure to meet and work with you! It was definately an "experience" for both of us! I look forward to working with you in the future! Congrats on a job FANTASTICALLY done!

Orchard Cove Photography said...

That story is absolutely amazing - I had heart palpitations just reading it! Glad you rocked the wedding!!

Leslie's Mom said...

I know the story is true...Leslie is my daughter. While I adore my daughter's work I have to tell you Jason, the water photo's were absolutely stunning. It takes one hell of a woman to ruin a perfectly good wedding dress and and an awesome photographer to capture the moments. Great job!!

Leslie's Mom said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Carla Ten Eyck said...

Wow, what a crazy trip! But well worth it! You got some beautiful work out of it!!

lauramkelley said...

Wow these are beautiful. I love the beach shots because of all the amazing color you captured. Wonderfully done.

Jason Lanier said...

Thanks for the comments guys! This was one of my funnest and most rewarding shoots ever because of everything I went through to get it. To top it off, both Delta and Continental refused to give me any of my money back....it was more than worth the expense for the experience though.

Thanks!

Ricki Ford said...

Dude the lighting is rocking! Great shots.
Oh yeah the iphone is a great tool man it has so many things that help like e-mails maps and a lot of other fun stuff.

Nataly Lemus said...

Wow! Well it was sure worth it to go through all that because you got some rockin' shots!!! Amazing work! The recap was great, I kept waiting for the next "dilemma" to come up! Good thing it all worked out!

Steven Kang said...

Your picture says it all.
That hardship you had to endure sure paid off.
Great job Jason.
Praise The Lord.

face first films said...

I can't imagine that story could be topped. you always seem to have an adventurous/borderline catastrophic story to go along with your wedding. You should start a contest to see if anyone can top you. Your work is incredible!

Jason Lanier said...

Believe me, I don't want a catastrophe at any of my weddings! My video production guys are actually putting together a video of the ordeal...I shot some video of myself while making the drive from Louisiana to Florida and you can tell I'm pretty anxious about the whole ordeal. It should be really funny...we interviewed the bride and groom after the whole thing, so it should add a little more insight to the event. It's a great story, but I really hope it never happens again!

Ginger Murray said...

Woah! That last one is smokin!

Tara Jones said...

ohmygosh! you are amazing! when i get married someday i may need YOU to be my photographer! you rock!

Tara Jones said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Tara Jones said...

and now that i've seen the slideshow, i might just need to get married in florida-wow!

Chanel Pinckard said...

Jason...first of all when I saw the slideshow I was completely moved by your talent once again. Now that I have read your adventure al I can say is, God knew where you needed to be! You are truly an inspiration and an awesome photographer!!!

Christie said...

another amazing story!

beautiful sunset shots, love them!

would you please share your lighting for these?