It is so easy to get caught up in perfection. That pursuit of higher and higher standards can keep you up at night sometimes. I found something this fall that really brought me back to reality and showed the real importance of what we do when we capture someone’s wedding day on video. We were cleaning out the upstairs closet to set up a room for our son and his friends to hang out when we found this VHS-C tape market “Bill & Mary Wedding” We knew it was there but had always thought there wasn’t much on it. Our friend John Reader shot it with his handheld camera and told us that the battery ran out.
I decided to get it converted to digital anyway, and to my astonishment it was 47 minutes long! I ended up giving this to my wife as a Christmas present. And, let me tell you, we watched it twice with tears running down our face. It includes some amazing things that you would expect like loved ones who have passed away, and little children that are now grown; but there’s one thing that surprised me. As you can see, it’s dim, the color isn’t very true, the sound is from the microphone on the camera. As good as it was for the time, it is nothing compared to the capabilities of modern cell phones. The thing that shocked me was that I just didn’t care. I was amazed at the freezing of time. I was amazed to see my beautiful wife at 24 years old. My grandparents that have passed away, the friends that I’ve lost touch with. I sat and absorbed these things and cried like a baby. There wasn’t anything creative or very personal, it was just a simple holding of the camera and pressing record. This time passes so quickly, and without documenting it, it’s just gone. This video proved to me the value of what we do. I wish we had more, but what John captured for us on that date in 1998 is one of the most important things we have, and we didn’t even know we had it until we found this tape.