Achilles Last Stand

There is always the “What If” factor that haunts a wedding photographer; a nagging fear of injury, illness, or accident that would keep us from photographing a wedding. So, when the “What If’ finally caught up with me while playing volleyball and I fell to the floor in agony, my first reaction was literally “Nooooo! I have a wedding this weekend! “

And yet, wedding or no wedding, my Achilles tendon had torn right in half. No more walking for three months for this photographer. Surgery, rehab, the works.

Julie Melton, Wedding PhotographerSuddenly my husband Dutch was not only waiting on me for three months, but also facing the possibility of shooting weddings without me. We’re a team. We never shoot weddings without the other.

I spent the next few days calling every respected wedding photographer in the area. The dreaded  “What If” had happened and they responded accordingly. If the photographer I called wasn’t available, they called all of their friends to see who else might be. They were amazing. We immediately hired the best photographers in the area to help out over the next couple months.  That was the first step.

The next step was to push my inherent stubbornness to the test and see if I could shoot anyway.  I hadn’t missed a wedding yet and I wasn’t about to. Besides, I have excellent balance.

Three days after tearing my Achilles I shot Alaina & Pete’s wedding (coming soon!) on crutches and it went great! Of course there is a limit to how many hours I can last, but between Dutch and our other photographer (who occasionally acted as my personal tripod) we were triple covered. I made it through half the day before it was time to rest and leave it to the professionals on two legs.

But it felt good. The dreaded injury had happened, and it didn’t shake us. Dutch and I were still able to shoot together and there was a bonus of an extra talented photographer shooting alongside as well.

I feel especially thankful to the photography community in this area…I can’t tell you how rare it is to find supposed “competitors” so open to sharing ideas and helping one another out. It’s more like family.

Still, I couldn’t be doing this without Dutch. He’s my rock and he has to load the entire car of equipment by himself…that’s love.

Julie Melton, Wedding Photographer

P.S. My knee scooter just arrived! Woohoo!

P.P.S. The top picture of me shooting in that incredibly awkward pose was taken by Steve Langdon at our last wedding.



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