What Weddings Are . What Love Is
I don’t blog enough, there’s no real excuse for it other than that I am busy, constantly busy, with clients and work and kids… so I slack on blogging. I don’t blog specific weddings or sessions anymore . As much as I would like to there just isn’t enough time in the day. I haven’t updated my website in months, some sections it’s even been years since I’ve updated the images. So, tonight, while images from an amazing engagement session were exporting I decided to go through some of my wedding and engagement session galleries and pull out some newer images to update my website with. As I sit here at my desk at nearly 3am going through photos, looking at your most precious memories, I get sentimental and I think about you, things that happened during your wedding, fits of laughter mid-engagement session, the way you looked at each other the first time you laid eyes on each other on your wedding day, things your mother said, tears in your fathers eyes…
Weddings, to me, are so much more than a job, a paycheck, a way to pay the bills… Every single wedding I’ve ever photographed is completely unique. While many of the events and timelines are the same every wedding is vastly different. Every love story is completely unique. I feel blessed that I’ve been there to capture it, to witness it, that I get to see parts of peoples relationships that most people never see or even know exist. I feel fortunate that you trust me to capture the most real moments in your life – your tears, your laughter, your special secret moments, your hidden kisses, your first glances, the look on your face when you realize that it’s really happening, that it’s actually here. It means the world to me to get to know your family, your friends, your passion for each other, the story of how you came together and who you are together.
From you, I have learned so much about relationships, about love, about life. I’ve learned that there are types of love – gentle love, caring love, silly love, amazing love, playful love, deep and serious love… and that no type is any less genuine or incredible than the other. I’ve seen and studied the relationships not just between the two of you – but with your parents, your grandparents, your friends, your siblings… I’ve learned that there are types of relationships and that no two are the same – ever. I’ve been there to capture first moments and, sadly (but thankfully), last moments. I’ve held hands, fixed dresses, solved problems, given hugs, received hugs, and I’ve cried, oh how I’ve cried at some of the most amazing moments I’ve ever been blessed to witness. I’ve laughed, I’ve smiled, I am blessed, blessed beyond belief to be privileged enough to be a part of capturing these moments. I’ve seen even the toughest of men cry, the sweetest and shyest of children get up the courage to walk down the aisle, I’ve seen your mother hold her breath or turn her head – whatever it took not to let the tears flow down her cheeks. I’ve seen fathers more proud than they’ve ever been in their lives. I’ve watched your grandparents squeeze each others hands and look in to each others eyes and I wonder what they’re thinking – if they are remembering their own wedding day, thinking of the struggles you will face, looking back at how far they’ve come, or if they’re just so proud of the legacy they’ve created – but it’s amazing to see that, with the squeeze of a hand and a single look they know exactly what the other is saying – without words. I get to see the first kiss – not the one at the altar – the real one, the one where, after you’re married and have walked back down the aisle you have that first moment alone together and you kiss… you look at each other – very much the way your grandparents did and you share an unspoken thought, and you kiss.
I could write a book of love stories. Each and every one different from the last and all of them forever burned in to my memory. Each one special and dear to me. Someone once asked me if I get bored photographing the same venues over and over again. No, the answer is no, because the wedding itself is never the same, the people are different, the emotion is different. How could I get bored? I’m not there for the scenery, I’m there for you… to capture who you are, to help write a page in your story, to save moments from your life that you, nor I, will ever forget. Because I photograph so many destination weddings all over the world I’m often asked if it’s difficult to photograph a wedding at a venue I’ve never seen – again, the answer is no. Of course I take the time to scope it out, find good light and great locations – but it’s just not all about that. It’s about you. It always has been and always will be about you. While we make sure to capture the little details – your shoes, your rings, your centerpieces, all the thought and hard work that you’ve put in to your wedding day – the details that matter are the looks, the glances, the subtle nuances that define your relationship, the range of emotion, the elation, the relief, the tightness in your embraces, the passion.
You amaze me. All of you. I am blessed and I am thankful to have learned so much, to have seen so much, to have been trusted with your stories and to capture amazing parts of it.
Someone asked me today when I planned to quit photographing weddings. I have a lot of commercial work. I teach photography to others. But the thought of stopping never crossed my mind. I won’t stop until I have to. I won’t quit looking harder, reaching further, capturing your most wonderful and intimate moments until I absolutely am physically unable to do it. Why? Because I love it. I love every love story, every amazing moment, every glance, every touch, every dream… It’s what I was made to do. Thank you, every one of you that has hired me to photograph your wedding, your family, the birth of your child, special boudoir photos “just for him”, thank you. You’ve touched my life and changed the way I see the world. You’ve given me more than I could ever give you in return.
I leave you with a few of my favorite recent love stories… Not just wedding stories – love stories. They’re all pretty amazing – each in their own unique way.
Enjoy all of your love stores. With your south mate, you fiance, your husband, your wife, your children, your parents, your friends… all of them. Every single one is different – but no less meaningful. In the end – love is all that matters. Love is all that remains.