So Robin D. Laws, the guy who gave us Feng Shui and Robin's Laws Rules for Good Gamemastering had his wedding anniversary last Friday. Like a lotta people, he had a wedding photographer, but didn't exactly get the best of service:
Valerie and I were married in April of 1990, a nice even year number which has the advantage of keeping the math easy.
At this time, Toronto was on edge, due to the activities of the so-called High Park Rapist. Nicknamed after the Toronto neighborhood he preyed in, he broke into the apartments of a number of women and attacked them.
But we didn’t get married in Toronto, we had the ceremony in Valerie’s hometown of Barrie, a small city about an hour’s drive north from here. Her mom handled many of the arrangements, including the selection of wedding photographer. Mostly I didn’t want some fake cheesy guy who’d make me grimace by trying to jolly up his subjects. The selling point with the guy Muriel found was that the proofs would be full 8 ½ by 11” prints. He did mostly product photography but this was not supposed to be a problem.
So the big day came. We got married at Valerie’s folk’s house, with no photographer present, and then the extended family trooped down to the guy’s studio to have the pictures taken. The photog was an unprepossessing guy, not the oleaginous smoothie I’d been dreading. In fact, he seemed a little rattled. Soon it became apparent that he wasn’t really on top of his game. For some reason he was only getting half the number of shots from each roll of large format film as he would normally expect. Instead of taking twice as many rolls he skipped taking duplicate shots of each pose.
Later, when we got the promised large proofs, some of the groupings were bum shots. My grandmother’s eyes were closed in the shot of her together with my grandfather, for example. Would have been nice to have a second version of that.
We had the proofs. Various relatives placed orders for other shots but nothing came. Muriel had a heck of a time tracking the guy down. She heard from him that he was having health problems, hence the delay. She even managed to get a few shots out of him. Finally she got ahold of his father, who reacted to the health issue story thusly: “Oh, so that’s what he told you, was it?”
Turns out our wedding photographer was having a spot of legal trouble. He’d been nabbed for one sexual assault in the Barrie area. He had confessed to it and was awaiting sentencing when the new owner of his old house found a set of hidden photographs. Trophies from the High Park attacks, down in the city.
So we didn’t get an ideal set of wedding shots.
But we did get this anecdote, about how our wedding photographer was a notorious serial rapist.