Business often feels like business – emails to be answered, clients to be coddled, bills to be paid. But sometimes business intersects the human in a way that feels downright transcendent. In a way that reminds us that we’re in business for the people, the stories, and the unique chance we have to be a part of someone’s life – whether building flower beds for their prize petunias, organizing a kitchen so the kids can get to the snacks without knocking over half the pantry, or taking photographs on a wedding day.
Especially if that wedding is for an 89-year-old World War II veteran and the woman his daughter hired to help him with the chores.
“For a couple of years, it was strictly business,” says Mike Yost, the photographer who captured their wedding. “Then one day he was sitting outside and she reached over and gave him a little peck on the cheek.” The couple started seeing each other outside the kitchen, crossing paths with Yost as they planned their wedding.
Yost has been passionate about photography ever since he grabbed the 35 mm Leica sitting in his grandfather’s desk drawer. “He thought it was a cheap camera from Germany,” laughs Yost. “I picked it up, threw a roll of film in it and have been taking pictures ever since.” He wishes he’d taken his yen for camera clicking full-time years ago, “but sometimes pursuing your passion and eating are two different things.” Now he gets to use his camera and enjoy a nice pork roast on Sunday, thanks to a thriving photography business.
He says he’s not the most competitive business person out there, but he anticipates booking at least twenty weddings from Thumbtack this year. “If things keep going the way they are, maybe as many as thirty – which is my limit for any given year,” he explains. He loves the site but tries to get off it as soon as possible, preferring to meet people face-to-face. “Once I get an opportunity to speak with them and explain a little bit about me and my business, I usually don’t have any problem getting the booking,” he says.
That’s how he found himself shooting this wedding the day after Christmas. After the ceremony, Yost snuck out of the Red Lobster where the reception was being held and caught the older couple nestled together outside on an Adirondack bench. “I was sitting on the chair across from them with the camera and caught that picture at the perfect moment,” he explains.
He’s lost count of the number of weddings he’s photographed, but he probably won’t lose track of this one. “It’s a story that you just don’t get to tell very often – you just don’t get a chance to talk to many World War II veterans anymore,” he says. “They were quite a remarkable couple.”