For a little extra gift I had planned to create Zentangles for J&J's wedding, but instead they pre-empted me and asked me to draw a design for the first page of their wedding album. The plan was to leave the book out with a Polaroid camera so that guests can take photographs of themselves and mount these instant snaps in the leather-bound book alongside their messages. This was bigger than my usual Zentangles, so it took me longer than anticipated. I finished shortly before leaving for the wedding.
As I had been planning to create something anyway, I'd been pondering how to personalise the drawings for them. The J for the other J was easy, birds, I'd need to incorporate birds. So I decided to design a tree with ornate branches and leaves, with the birds flying overhead. And for multi-brothered J, and his deep obsession with Top Gun, I would reproduce the jets taking off from behind Maverick and Charlie embracing on the film poster. The diminutive F-14 planes proved challenging. How could I realise a little nod to his favourite movie, but stay in keeping with the Zentangle inspired art? I think I created something rather fabulous and was delighted it was on display.
As the evening progressed, and I realised that many guests hadn't been aware of the book I opted to commandeer the Polaroid camera and take over the portrait taking. Well I figured it was too dark for my camera, too bright for a flash and the Polaroid flash was much weaker. It did made me think of toning down the Leica flash and eventually I found a happy medium with some much needed extra light, but not so violent as the default settings. The professional wedding photographer had placed his slave flashes all around the room to achieve little bursts of extra illumination, but I hadn't been inclined to bring my Pocket Wizards to a wedding. That would have appeared just slightly weird!