If you’re a Star Wars fan, nice to meet you. I’m Avi. Wedding photographer and fellow fan (sadly, we don’t have a cool moniker like ‘Trekkie’). If you’re not a Star Wars fan, maybe we have something else in common, like a love of gin? If not gin, then ginger (hair) might suffice - although I draw the line at beards. Everyone has one of those these days.
I saw Star Wars Episode IV – A New Hope when it was first released in theatres in 1977. I don’t remember it (I was a baby at the time), but my granddad later told me that I was enthralled by the whole thing and I didn’t cry once. I’d like to say the same now, but I did shed a tear at the end of the latest film. Not because I was sad that it was the final film in an epic series spanning 42 years, but because I was playing around with my pop-up lightsaber that I bought from the merch stand at the cinema, and jabbed myself in the eye.
I’m embarrassed to say that I don’t really recall my first wedding, either. All I remember was putting on a £30 suit and being offered lots of gin. The next thing I knew, I woke up in a hotel room with a ring on my finger and a pounding headache. I don’t get hungover after drinking gin, but how was I supposed to know that the disco ball wasn’t fixed to the ceiling when I jumped from the second floor gallery?
Of course, the weddings I attend these days are a lot more tame. Being a professional, I don’t tend to engage in drinking while I’m on the job. Although, if you’re new here, I never turn away a bottle of gin as a ‘thank you’ gift.
Anyway, back to Star Wars. I was extremely eager to see the latest film. So much so that I almost did something illegal *gasp*. However, my plan was foiled. After trying to find a pirate copy of Episode IX online, I stumbled across a video which was a little unsettling. I didn’t realise what I was watching until I spotted the names of the characters in the synopsis: Girth Vader, Princess Lay-her and Hand Solo bring anything to mind? There were all kinds of sabers flying about. I decided to turn it off because I imagined it might spoil the real thing. Star Wars, I mean. Not the other thing.
In the end, I settled for slumming it in the cinema with the commoners. Nevertheless, the film inspired me, as always. I don’t think I’ll start a resistance and overthrow an empire any time soon, but I’m keen to let Star Wars influence my work a little more. Even now, I think of my camera as my lightsaber - my weapon of choice. True, I’m not going to slice your flower girl in half with it; but it empowers me to take great photos and defeat evil (by ‘evil’, I mean the Uncle Bobs who turn up to weddings with their Nikon D3500s thinking they’re the next David Bailey).
Don’t worry, if you book me as your photographer, there won’t be some Jedi-obsessed virgin incel with transparent skin and red eyes turning up at your engagement shoot. And if there is, that’s just my albino brother, Tony. I bring him along to jobs sometimes to get him out of the house.
In all seriousness, unless you bring up Star Wars, I probably won’t talk compulsively about it. Instead, you’ll get, fun, creativity and Canadian humour (just don’t ask me to say ‘eh’). And, of course, a load of brilliant photos at the end of it.