My Untold Story

So yes, I forgot to tell you what happened at Rachel+Sam’s wedding!

If you may recall, I mentioned that I, from time to time, like to take risks to get my photos. I also mentioned that I had taken one particular risk at Rachel+Sam‘s wedding but it wasn’t until the day after I posted their photos that I realized I forgot to tell the story!

So here it is. Late, but here you go.

I fell out of a tree. Oh, yes I did. A mighty oak tree with thick branches like an elephant’s foot and poisonous leaves I wanted nothing to do with… But it had height! And oh, did I ever need it’s height! Sometimes, I wish for 12-15 more inches and I look desperately for something to provide that leverage. Carrying a ladder with me everywhere is an inconvenience. Instead, I always carry hopeful optimism that there will be something to raise me up, even if it’s my husband’s own shoulders.

But there it was! This tall, strong oak and my large bridal party. They seemed two peas in a pod! I dropped my camera bag to the ground and grasped the giant limb that stretched three feet above my head. “Hoist me!” I commanded playfully to George, who grabbed my left leg and lifted me up until I was comfortably straddled. As I surveyed the scene below me, I started to think about composition and where I wanted my wedding party to stand. Suddenly, I noticed an untamed twig with dozens of leaves crowding my sight. I grabbed at the tiny branch and gave it a yank but it held fast. I yanked it again and gave a twist and then a pull and then… I was falling. I had completely lost my balance. The tugging of the branch had thrown off my equilibrium and suddenly most of my body weight had gone far to the right side and there was no going back to the middle. I gripped the tiny twig, hoping the green flesh was strong enough to slow me down and maybe even stop me from falling. In the last moment before I was completely separated from the tree, my left arm had reached across the limb from where I sat, another instinctual reaction in hopes to slow down my fall. As I fell, the twig finally broke and my left arm was marred by the oak’s burly bark.

I could hear the cries of the wedding party—the bridesmaids, the groomsmen, they all gasped and made noises of panic. Before I knew it, I hit the ground, the wind only slightly knocked out of me. I could feel George’s hands underneath me, lifting me up. He was there when I fell, his hands reached out, bracing for my fall. I am so thankful for him.

Quickly, I turned to let everyone know that I was fine, I was okay, No, I wasn’t hurt… Each person had a look of astonishment on their face, panicked, yet surprisingly entertained! We moved forward with our plan, only I wasn’t allowed to climb into the tree again. Instead, we left that task up to the professional…

I climbed a tree. And then I fell. Was it worth it? Heck yes. Will I ever do it again? Absolutely. I don’t care if I have to wear a padded suit to do this job—I love it and I’ll do whatever it takes to get the shot I want.

Of course, the next time I try something like this, I’ll make sure someone’s filming with our Flip and then we’ll really be entertained.

Happy Sunday!

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  • Gemma Carr says:

    climb climb, click click, crash bang crash!!!…. click click

    Love the photos. I’m with you, tree climbing and the likes is part of the fun of being a photographer. Next time get George to be ready for a the catch!

  • Abigail says:

    Carly, that is awesome! Great pictures of you all after “the fall”. I was just telling someone today that I would definitely want you to be there for my wedding one day, after the crazy photography at a Filipina friend’s wedding, where they were carrying around this huge light for all these posed pictures. Thanks for sharing the story. 🙂

  • That’s some story Carly! Glad you didn’t break any equipment! Or worse, an arm! Keep rockin’ it girl!

  • Robin says:

    i’m sorry you fell out of the tree but it was a great wedding and some wonderful shots….the true question is…was the CAMERA okay??? i have taken some serious falls that would have been nothing if i hadn’t been protecting my camera hahahaha…

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