Prospective clients sometimes ask us what would happen in the event of an emergency that would prevent us from shooting their wedding. While this has never happened to us in over 9 years of working, one should always have contingency plans. Of course there are two of us, so that is the first level of our backup system. However, one of the cool things about the wedding photography community is that we are a large and surpassingly tight-knit community. Time after time I've seen photographers respond to help out their peers whether it was because of loss of equipment, a sudden illness, delayed flights, or some other severe situation.
This past weekend I had my first chance to help out a good friend and colleague of mine. When he found out that his mother was suddenly hospitalized overseas he was torn between two duties. He put out a call to see if anyone was available to help him out. The calls went out, and within 3 hours myself and another one of Chicago's top wedding photographers had confirmed we could cover the event; the bride and coordinator approved our substitution, and we were briefed on the wedding. It went off without a hitch. We had an absolutely great time with the couple, and shot some fantastic images. It is immensely comforting to know we can count on friends in situations like this.