Cheryl’s near death experience (Rattle snakes are on the prowl!!)

(I know… this isn’t what you expect to read about when you visit a wedding photographer’s website, but hey, I gotta share the crazy/wild stuff as well)

I have personally now seen three rattle snakes this year (I think the last time I saw a rattle snake was riding quads with my buddy Shane in highschool) My first rattle snake sighting this year was on Cold Springs Trail in Santa Barbara. The next siting was at a wedding:

The ceremony was about to start, I told Cheryl to walk down this hill and get shots while standing next to a specific rose bush… literally 90 seconds before the bride is gonna walk down the aisle, I feel a tap on my shoulder, it’s Cheryl. I’m like, “dude!! (I call EVERYONE dude… and no, I don’t surf) dude… what the heck are you doing, you’re supposed to be shooting down there!!!” Her reply…. there’s a rattle snake where I’m supposed to stand and I just about stepped on it….) Turns out, she was right, she was watching her step so she wouldn’t slide, and she was about to set her foot down when she noticed a strange/familiar pattern below her foot… a rattle snake!!!

So, I rush up to the father of the bride, tell him there’s a rattle snake about 5 feet from where his daughter is about to get married, he finds the caterer for the event who has a shovel, they take out the snake, the crowd cheers, and the wedding goes on.

Santa Barbara Wedding Photographers Kids Family Portraits

Santa Barbara Wedding Photographer Kids Family Portraits Photography

Then, just the other weekend, Cheryl and I are photographing her brother’s wedding. Cheryl, Josh (her brother) and myself are walking up to the house everyone is getting dressed in, Josh walks up to the door 2 steps in front of me, but as he reaches the door, I’m stopped short as I spot a rattle snake just to my left. Yep… our second rattle snake at a wedding this year!!! This one quickly coiled up and started to rattle at me, I pulled out the camera, grabbed a few shots, then began trying to play snake wrangler, Cheryl screams, I stop, and the snake falls off the porch. (I promised her next time I would try and get her to hold a stick and pin the guy down while I got better portraits… she didn’t sound like she was too game, but only time will tell!)

Santa Barbara Wedding Photographers Kids Family Portrait Photography

Santa Barbara Wedding Photographers Kids Family Portrait Photography

Santa Barbara Wedding Photographers Kids Family Portrait Photography

Santa Barbara Wedding Photographers Kids Family Portrait Photography

  • Mary said:

    OMG!! that would have been sooo scary! And I'm a good ole' girl from West Virginia where rattle snakes are all over the place! Actually my dad is a logger and I remember one summer him and his crew killing about 40 of them! ick!

    M:)

  • Tara said:

    I love your wife. Don't play with her like that. Yuck!

  • Yikes!!! I had a dream last night that there were three rattle snakes living in my bedroom, but so long as I was nice to them, they wouldn't bit me... (does that mean I'm not supposed to play snake wrangler???)

  • Greg said:

    Hey!

    Respect for the "gentleman of snakes" please!

    Thanks for not killing that third one...but be careful, they move fast..even compared to a wedding photographer.

    Back away from a coiled snake & gently toss pebbles or sticks near it to encourage its retreat. Be aware though: if it thinks it is cornered, it may go in an unexpected direction...even directly at you...

  • Dude, that's GNARLY!

    I can't believe I've lived her 7 years and never seen one!

  • 2, man you should carry some anti-venom or something in your camera case...and Cheryl--is a smart woman--stay away from the snake dude...I hope that lens was a 200mm.

    Yikes!