So, it's 9:30 AM on Monday, and I am sick again. Thank God I was at least feeling better during the weekends to allow me to capture some awesome couples' wedding. Past week was pretty tough on us in various reasons. I knew this week will get only tougher, so I was preparing mentally. Then this incident took place...
Yesterday, while I was traveling with the couple in the limo for the photo shoot around the city, I sent my 2nd shooter straight to the church (which is normal routine for us, whether it's church or reception). When he got there, there was a service taking place because he was there too early. So he took some exterior shots of the church, and went inside, put the gear bag on the back corner where he wouldn't disrupt the service. Since there was still doing a service, he decided to step out and go to parking lot (which was literally outside of the door), and bring back his water bottle, and then talked to his GF on the phone for about 3 minutes. He saw people walking out, so he decided to head back in to grab some detail shots and interior shots. When he got to the bag, the bag was opened, and some of our gear was missing. Here is the list: Canon T2i with battery grip with Canon brand batteries, Sandisk 32GB SD card (with some footage from bridal prep), Sigma 24-70 f2.8, and Sigma 70-200 f2.8... He didn't take another 7D with Tokina 11-16 probably because he couldn't figure out how to release it from our tripod. I was 3 minutes away from the church on the way back from the photoshoot in the limo. When he called me saying that he is not joking or anything (he loves to joke around with me. ALOT), my heart dropped... wishing it wasn't true...
We are fully insured, but that wasn't the problem. How about the some footage there? How are we going to shoot the ceremony in this huge church (yeh, it had a loooooong aisle)? How are we going to shoot the reception??? My heart ached. My sickness seemed hitting me again with nausea and headache.
After we informed the couple, the photographer kindly lend us one of their lenses 35mm (which was still better than my 28mm) for up front angle. With limited focal length, we did our very best to capture the ceremony and reception.
Long story short, we survived the night with 2 cameras and 3 lenses.
I tweeted and updated the statues on Facebook. I am so grateful for all the friends who offered me to let me know borrow the lenses or cameras for the night, even one of my Facebook friends that I have never met offered me 2 batteries for T2i for free. Even my role model/hero/inspiration left a note, too. Thank you all again for great support. You all made me keep motivated and encouraged throughout the night.
Wedding was awesome, and everything went great.
So! What did we learn today?
First, do not leave your gear unattended too long if at all. Even at the church! I don't blame my crew because I have done the same thing sooo many times, I know you guys probably have, too.
Second, if there is some other service or ceremony taking places, put your gear away from it. I doubt if there were some guests from our wedding, it would much less likely stealing could have taken place (as they know that could jeopardize the wedding that they are attending).
Third, insurance, insurance, insurance. With WEVA discount, I am not paying too much per year for decent coverage. If I wasn't insured, it was close to $3000 loss right there...if not more with shipping and taxes. I have an E-Session this afternoon, and 2 double booked weddings this weekend. There is no way that I can cover those lost equipment in 4 days.
I still have 12 more weddings to go, and tons more years to come. I will take this lesson and be a lot more careful with our gear. This could have been a lot worse, trust me. I never thought this sort of things would happen to "ME"!!! You all are thinking the same thing, right? No. It could happen to anybody, including you!!!
So be careful out there. Stay alert at all time.