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Turning a Gear Bag Catastrophe Into Award-Winning Photos

Gear Bag Catastrophe Award Winning Photos Nik Pekridis ShootDotEdit

Featuring Nik Pekridis

It’s a photographer’s worst nightmare. The bride and groom arrive looking picture-perfect in their wedding best. You check the time and the light—making a mental inventory of the cameras and lenses you brought with you before reaching into your gear bag to retrieve the best option. But when you look down, your gear bag is gone. Everything you brought with you to shoot a destination wedding thousands of miles away from home has been stolen. 

With 20 years of professional destination wedding photography under his belt, Nik Pekridis has seen his fair share of wedding day blunders, but this was by far the worst. It was 2015 and he was on assignment, shooting a couple in Barcelona, Spain when his backpack was stolen just as the couple arrived. “After the shock wore off, I realized that I still needed to take the pictures. So I started looking for a solution.”  

Gear Bag Catastrophe Award Winning Photos Nik Pekridis ShootDotEdit

Thinking On His Feet

The couple had a small DSLR. Nik says it was the smallest one Nikon made back then, which he thinks was a D3100 with an 18-55mm kick-lens. He shook his head in disbelief as he recounted the day’s events. “It was a very, very, VERY basic camera.” He emphasized the last “very” in a way that made it clear just how difficult a task he was faced with. He went on to tell me how challenging the day had been; making a police report between locations and doubling back to the hotel to see if, by some miracle, someone had found his bag. 

It had been 4 years, but I could hear the exasperation in Nik’s voice as he relived it to make his point. I had asked the 9-time WPPI print judge if images shot with the industry’s leading equipment had a higher award rate. Rather than answering my question directly, Nik told me about his Barcelona gear bag catastrophe. Smiling now, he was ready to bring it full circle. Nik paused slyly and said that two of the images he shot using the bride’s borrowed DSLR were awarded at WPPI with merits, and one of them was honored with a silver distinction. 

Nik was now ready to answer my question. Calling it a perfect example of what people say about cooks. “If you are a good cook, you don’t need to have a fancy oven to make good food. You just need to know how to do it.”

It’s Not About The Tools | Nik Pekridis

Nik travels around the world shooting weddings and teaching classes and seminars. Just last year he taught 30 workshops in 30 countries!
To find out more about this award-winning photographer, you can visit his website or even follow him on Instagram @nikpekridis.  You won’t be disappointed!

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