The art of seeing each other every damn day. I don't just mean getting out of bed in the morning and glancing at each other while we think about what we'll eat for breakfast, or what we are going to wear to work. I mean looking at each other and seeing the joy in your partner's triumphs and also the pain in their struggles. It means knowing when they need you to leave them alone, and when they need you to get in the way... and finding the energy to act accordingly. Every. Damn. Day. If you've found a person you want to make that commitment to there is joy in it, but also responsibility. You're not just taking care of yourself anymore. You're taking care of a relationship that brings meaning to who you are and what you do with your life. As Carl Sagan said, "For small beings such as we, the vastness is bearable only through love." Don't forget to look at each other and really see that.
One of the most inspiring weddings I have to share with you was that of Fabiana + Joseph. Their story in itself is an inspiration, hailing from Mexico and England, and meeting in Asia before getting hitched in New York City in 2012, these two had a wedding that made it's own rules from beginning to end. Fabiana arranged for us all to have rooms at the Gershwin Hotel in NYC, and travel together to the Brooklyn Botanic Gardens on the day of the ceremony. She hid her colourful dress under this black coat until we arrived. Her husband Joe painstakingly crafted their ring boxes out of origami, and most impressively - Fabiana's entire bouquet! They got married by a pond of Koi fish to the gentle strumming of Beatles music and afterwards took a stroll down Cherry Lane for photos in the blooming cherry blossom trees.
This wedding was a major inspiration to me when I was planning my own 3 years later. Fabiana had shown me that a beautiful wedding doesn't need a white dress or a certain number of bridesmaids. It can be whatever you want. It is, after all, YOURS!
"This is the first time we've gotten to talk to each other all day!" I hear it every time I pull a bride and groom aside to do portraits. On a Wedding day they've often met face to face for the first time in front of an audience to say their vows, only to be pulled apart afterwards by loving words and celebratory hugs from all of their family and friends. It is a beautiful rush - all of it, but I can't tell you how much quiet joy I see when a couple is finally alone for photos. The storm has passed, their family is occupied, and they both have settled into the comfort of the commitment they just made to each other. Thank you Katie+Lance for sharing those special moments with me!
Jaclyn and Ted got married in Jasper on a summer day in 2014. Their wedding was unbelievable. They chose a spot in the basin between two mountains, right on the banks of a glacier blue lake. After this incredibly intimate ceremony they took us to the Jasper Riding Stables for what felt like a country carnival. They had a rainbow of Jones Sodas on ice, an interactive guest book and candy bar, and their midnight snack was smores around the fire. Jaclyn and Ted were the most care-free couple I had met yet. They planned a wedding exactly how they wanted from beginning to end, without getting caught up in tradition or rules, or what other people sometimes think we "ought to do" when we get married. I find these weddings so inspiring because they remind me that the happiest moments in life are the ones where we let go of expectations and go for what we want. Rain or shine, these two were ready to stand up in front of the people they love and commit their lives to one another amidst some of natures greatest monuments, the Rocky Mountains. When their guests were tuckered out and heading home, Jaclyn and Ted were still dancing, their satisfaction apparent in the joy with which they said good night to each of us.
If you haven't met me there is one thing my friends and family will tell you in an introduction; I am 'forever nine'. This nickname was coined by my husband, to point out my insatiable hunger for life. I am not shy to ask questions or show my sense of wonder in any situation, and I simply enjoy every second I have. Whether I am photographing fish heads in the supermarket or wandering off the path to collect that one perfect pinecone I thought I saw, I am always lost in the moment... moonstruck by the world around me.
As a wedding photographer I have the privilege to be with people on one of the most exciting days of their lives, and it is my responsibility to preserve the way that day felt for those who wish to remember. My hope is that these photos mean as much to the people in them as they do to me, for each image I create becomes a part of my story, an unforgettable piece of my human experience. This art form and the people in my photos have irreversibly enriched my life.
I have been changed by you, and I am totally moonstruck by your stories. Thank you for letting me tell them.