Any Other Photo {Betta and Floyd}

A little while ago, during one of our many ‘board meetings’ (where we generally talk mostly about houses, shoes and babies, with the occasional bit of important stuff thrown in), we decided that we were going to be tough, and not allow any one else to have two Any Other Photos, unless they have a really REALLY good reason, because it sort of defeats the point.

And then the next day, Betta sent in her two pictures. And we just knew we had to post both. This post is beautiful and eloquent, and despite English not being Betta’s first language, she describes so perfectly her relationship, and why both of these pictures reflect it so well. On top of that, I think it possibly has my most favourite line from an AOP so far:

“married life is the best way of living I know”

See? Love it.

With that, I give you Betta. This is a story of love, differences, and imbalance. And of not loving your wedding photos.

You’d think that choosing your favourite wedding picture is something that would take one no more than 30 seconds. And you’d be right, except, for me, picking the perfect picture for AOP turned out to be a two-hours task. I guess it’s all to do with the fact that our wedding pictures were not what we expected, so every time I look at them I relive the upset that receiving the disk from the photographer caused me. So my favourite wedding picture is actually one that one of the guests took. It’s not professional, it hasn’t been edited, it doesn’t show our beautiful attire. It’s me and Floyd, as husband and wife, looking at our guests and feeling happy and content.

All I see in this picture is two serene people, who, after a slightly rocky 4 months (caused by me and my habit of running away when things get serious), have finally taken that one step that has joined them forever. And let me tell you, it felt good! The fears had gone, the what ifs disappeared. Just pure happiness and the feeling that things couldn’t get any better.

Oh how wrong I was! Because, you see, things did get better, and they keep getting better… Despite the disagreements, despite the difficulty of living with someone (me) who suffers with a chronic illness that affects our life, despite the stubbornness that makes us clash about the most trivial of matters, despite our disagreements on where we should live for the rest of our lives, married life is the best way of living I know. And Floyd, well, he makes my life so much more complete.

So four years on, if you ask me to pick a picture that sums up who we are and what our relationship is like, then I’d (cheekily) say it’s this one:

It was taken by wedding photographer Ashton Jean-Pierre a few months ago. Due to his impairment, Ashton couldn’t hear our words and read our lips, but somehow he could see our hearts and found a way to portray our relationship in the most faithful and real way anyone could. Two very different people, joined by love, yet at peace with our differences. Our own perfect imbalance.

Categories: Any Other Photo
11 interesting thoughts on this


  1. Posted August 10, 2012 at 7:46 am | Permalink

    So sorry to hear you don’t like your wedding photos. I absolutely love the second photo though and your words that describe it are perfect.

    Seriously, I think that bench photo should be a print. It’s really lovely.

  2. Posted August 10, 2012 at 7:46 am | Permalink

    Or a book cover?

  3. Mahj
    Posted August 10, 2012 at 8:42 am | Permalink

    “Our own perfect imbalance”.

    This is just the best way to start my Friday. Lovely.


  4. Posted August 10, 2012 at 8:45 am | Permalink

    I’m not the only one who would like to see more of your wedding dress, am I? You’re a beauty.

    Betta, I love your honesty in this piece, saying that living with another human can be a challenge, but as long as you’re on the same page/bench/boat/insert analagous reference here, it’s ok.

    And thank you for highlighting the point about wedding photographs. I’m sorry you were disappointed by the ones your photographer took. How did that happen?

    Choose carefully ladies, you can’t re-do them but if all else fails, definitely go for a day after shoot. As this beautiful photo from Ashton shows, having photographs that truly represent you are one of life’s priceless treasures.

  5. Posted August 10, 2012 at 8:55 am | Permalink

    Oh Anna, thank you so much for sharing my AOP! I thought you may want to know that the second picture HAS been turned into a massive canvas hanging on my walls! (when I say massive I mean it… It’s something like 70×40!) I just had to – it’s perfect and it’s a constant reminder of all the little reasons why I love my husband so much. x

  6. Posted August 10, 2012 at 9:31 am | Permalink

    Girls, thank you for your kind comments.
    Lucy, my dress was Le Spose Di Gió. Very linear and minimalist, probably a subconscious choice to counter all the little complexities with my personality….?

    The issue with the photography was very sad; in short, I paid for what I thought was a top photographer to document our wedding in the most natural way, focusing on the details and all our family and friends. Instead, the night before i found out he wasn’t available anymore because he took on another assignment, and that he would send me an assistant whose portfolio I’d never seen. He was a lovely guy, but probably a more junior photographer with a portrait approach rather than the journalistic type I was after. He ended up focusing on just a small number of guests (which by the way didn’t include anyone in my family, not even my mum and dad) that he probably thought would enrich his portfolio. Needless to say, to realise that I had no more than 10 pix of my immediate family made me really upset.

    My advice to anyone getting married is to ensure you clarify with your tog in advance what arrangements he’s going to make if he can no longer make it. If that includes sending a colleague, ask to meet him and see his portfolio too. It will save you a lot of tears. xx

    • Posted August 10, 2012 at 10:10 am | Permalink

      I love Sposa di gio, great choice.

      That’s such a sad story, I can only imagine how it felt to have been double booked and then to have a replacement with a different style than you’d hoped for. I’m truly shocked. I hope you have those that you like printed out somewhere, even a handful of photos can tell the story of a wedding and bring back memories. We have 20 printed out and framed in different sizes on my office windowsill, the details, the action, a portrait or two, I’d recommend trying that if you haven’t already.

      • Posted August 10, 2012 at 11:13 am | Permalink

        Thank you hun. feel his images don’t fully reflect what our day was all about, so it hurts to ‘try and look’ for a picture that I really like. It shouldn’t be like that :( Don’t get me wrong, his portraits are nice, but they are just not what I wanted him to focus on. We did end up doing an album. I gathered all the pics from my friends and family, sent them to the photographer and asked him to edit them the best way he could (clearly not something any photographer would have done if they weren’t at fault…). It’s not the same as having a fully professional album, but at least I have something tangible to look at. xx

  7. Posted August 10, 2012 at 10:03 am | Permalink

    I’m already feeling a bit emotional today and this has tipped me over the edge. Beautiful words Betta and I love both the pics (I’d have thought the first one was a pro one if you hadn’t said so), love Ashton’s work too.

  8. Steff
    Posted August 10, 2012 at 10:20 am | Permalink

    Betta, you look stunning and absolutely relaxed in that first photo. It’s a shame about your official pics but if you had guests who took as lovely photos as this I think you’ve still done really well.

    I love your honesty, just what’s needed on a Friday morning to put things into perspective.


  9. Bex
    Posted August 10, 2012 at 10:51 am | Permalink

    Oh Betta! Two perfect photos. I feel your pain re wedding photos – we had a great photographer but not my (!) first choice – (not awesome sauce) – there aren’t any of us posed with out families will all looking at the same camera or with all eyes open or smiling – the best photos were taken by my bridesmaid sister – theres one shot she didn’t manage to capture that our official one did – but my lovely husband is holding my dress – having missed my hand – so not great! Have you asked all your guests if they have any photos you can have?

    the first photo is BEAUTIFUL – you look so a peace! Joyous!

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Hello! We're Clare, Aisling and Anna and welcome to a corner of the world where smart, flawed, real women talk about the bigger picture; about their experiences, stories and opinions on all aspects of being a woman today, from marriage to feminism to pretty, too.

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