Wedding photographer Leslie Hollingsworth’s career is centered on capturing special moments between couples, but one of her recent portraits has captivated the public’s attention—because it directly involves her.
In a now-viral snapshot, the bridesmaids and groomsmen in the wedding party are seen with a variety of expressions on their faces—some shocked, some horrified, and others unaware—because, at the time, the photographer was standing directly in the way of an oncoming car.
The Birmingham, Alabama-based photographer tells The Knot that the incident originated because she wanted to take the best possible photo. “You can clearly see that it was a huge wedding party!” Hollingsworth recalls. “In order for me to get all of them in frame, I had to back up a bit. Which meant stepping off the curb — only about a foot or two into a parallel parking space.”
Suddenly, a car rounded the corner. “The father of the bride was there with me and his hand was on my back,” she shares. “I knew he was watching out for me. I didn’t even know how close the car came until after I took the picture.”
The bridesmaids and groomsmen were all captured with a range of emotions as they posed on the steps of the church. “[The driver] was obviously going faster than [she/she] should have been, and the father of the bride pushed me forward and started yelling,” Hollingsworth continues. “My assistant told me how close it actually was… I had no idea!”
Everything went back to normal after the brief hiccup. “Since I was shooting film, It wasn’t until about two weeks later when I got my film back–and I saw the hilarious photo,” Hollingsworth tells The Knot. “I posted it on Facebook because I thought it was hysterical that there were so many different expressions. The bridesmaids are horrified, the groomsmen are like, ‘Wait, what?’ and the couple is indifferent. Just hysterical—and so many people had the same opinion.”
Then, the bride received requests from multiple outlets to feature the image. Naturally, there are critics, but overall the feedback has been positive. “There have been some haters out there commenting about how I did something wrong,” the professional says, “but there are always people like that. I stepped off the curb for about 10 seconds and had someone watching over me. I’m okay and the couple now has this hysterical picture to show for it.”
Despite the momentary crisis, Hollingsworth wants to share with The Knot and other outlets that the wedding itself was far more worthy of being featured.
“They were a beautiful couple with beautiful friends and the day was just perfect,” she concludes of the bride, Leah Juliano, and groom, Peter Saab. “That whole incident really wasn’t that big of a deal for the rest of the day. It totally didn’t outshine their wedding.”