A Moment Stolen by a Stranger

In 2008 we photographed  Sheava and Bo's Persian wedding at the beautiful San Francisco Fairmont on top of Nob Hill. After the ceremony we took the couple around the Fairmont to do some quick portraits. We wanted to incorporate the location, so we decided to take a few shots outside, looking down California Street. With bellman in tow (who made sure we weren't hit by cars) and two videographers, we had a quick photo session amidst the traffic on California street .

Sarah Kirkpatrick lives in Shreveport Louisiana, she and her husband have been visiting San Francisco on a regular basis since their honeymoon in 1997. In 2008, while her husband was sick, she wandered outside her hotel and took this picture of us photographing Sheava and Bo. Anyone familiar with our work will know that we love these types of shots. Sarah was really excited when she took the shot, a feeling we know too well, a good indicator that a real "moment" was captured.   When Sarah downloaded the  images, her hard drive crashed and she thought she had lost the pictures forever. Recently she was able to recover the image and immediately contacted the Fairmont in San Francisco, who contacted Sheava and Bo, who in turn immediately got a hold of us. When we saw the shot we were ecstatic. Not only where we touched by the time and effort Sarah spent tracking us down, we also really love this stolen moment of us. The image works on so many levels, from the bellman, to Meher's exuberant smile, to the tourist on the right snapping an image; the whole scene tells a wonderful story of a great wedding and has a natural synchronicity about it, it is what photographers like to call "the decisive moment".

Fairmont San francisco wedding

Here is what Sarah wrote about her photograph of us : "I take photographs as my souvenirs of any trip.  Usually I limit myself to flowers, foliage and architecture because I've never wanted to intrude on other peoples' privacy.  I've started expanding to take photos based more on a journal of the day.  Here, my husband was not feeling well, so I left him at the hotel and hit the streets to take advantage of the beautiful evening.  There's always something going on at the corner by the Fairmont, but I've never seen a bridal party in the crosswalk.  I hung back to watch what was going on.  For my part, I did not know for sure if it was a real wedding or a photo shoot.  I did think that it was a fabulous idea to take the photo looking down California from the top of Nob Hill.  I wanted to remember that the photo was taken that way--and that I saw it being taken-and to show my husband what he missed while I was out and about.  When I passed the couple, while the actual photographer was composing the shot, I saw the light streaming behind the scene and thought that view was almost as compelling as the shot down the hill.  So, I snapped the photo.  Despite my not knowing anyone involved in the shot, I was really thrilled to click the shutter at just the right moment.  When I got home and saw the photo on the full screen, I just loved it. The photo encapsulates the joy of the moment, in a completely stolen moment in that it was stolen by a stranger."

And here is the image we took at the session the women (silhouette)  under the American flag  next to the tree in the purple coat is Sarah taking pictures of us.

Fairmont San Francisco Wedding - Nob Hill

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