“If you never did you should. These things are fun and fun is good”
~ Dr. Seuss
Let us never forget what it is like to experience something for the very first time. The excitement, curiosity and divine sense of amazement as discovery ensues, washing over our senses and exposing them to new found wonders. Let us never forget what it is like to laugh for no reason, it is contagious and not crazy… Let us never forget what it feels like as the warm summer breeze caresses our face and blows silky strands of baby hairs… Let us never forget what it feels like to experience all the “firsts” that life has to offer…
This is Dris at 9 months, I met him 9 months ago. His mom contacted me (Thank you Stephanie and Tom) after being referred to me and I remember the email distinctly because she said, “you just have to meet my baby doll Dris!” He was a baby doll! Gorgeous bright brown eyes and an infectious laugh that could warm any heart! I love being able to document the growth in my clients. Some from the womb and beyond! Today I get to visit with Dris again. He is 18 months old now. Mom says he’s not a baby doll anymore but a little rock star and of course I’m greeted by his smiling cherub face and beautiful curly locks of hair and yes, he is a baby rock star.
You make me smile Dris!!! I am so honored that I was there to play and delight in your discoveries as you walk through the fields and laughed at the dandelions for the first time. Wind blowing your lovely locks, pulling and eating weeds (sorry Mom, I promise the weeds won’t hurt him.) I want to laugh and spin and walk with you and bottle the wonder that I saw in your eyes today… We could all use a little child like abandon every now and again!!!
You could smell the freshness of the earth today so easily as the breeze wafts by carrying the scent of rainfall and a coolness in the air settles into the afternoon. Jen and I stroll towards the hotel to start our day. “I hope this rain stops or slows just for a few minutes today,” I say to Jen, hoping and praying that we have a moment or two afforded to us. Regardless of weather the determination had already set in to be keenly aware of my surroundings and opportunities today. Much like all wedding days we prepare to be mentally and emotionally available however, today would truly be one filled with many poignant moments that will forever be embedded into the synapses of my mind. On our way to the elevator we ran into Christina Hill from Chill Weddings. Christina was our go to person and coordinating the festivities of the day. It’s definitely a joy working with planners who keep things smooth and really get things right. I’m amazed that the events of today were pulled together so seemingly effortlessly considering that the wedding was pushed ahead by 3 months due to the recent discovery of an illness with Jackie’s dad. Trust me though when I say that a celebration was planned and shared and never more has the celebration of life’s events resonated so strongly.
I see her looking intently at the note she is writing. Her pen lifts, pauses then settles down onto paper. I can tell that she is reflecting and bringing thoughts to written form. What I didn’t know was that Jackie was writing the words to the speech that she would give about Nathan. She spoke later about the relationship that had developed and how he was her rock, especially when they were in Thailand and received word about her father. She relayed stories of Nathans oneness with nature and how he had this uncanny way with the weather and could sense the changes in precipitation, wind and the like. When I heard this speech later that night shivers run down my spine as I reflect on how hours earlier it was raining yet the rain subsided just long enough to bring them outside for their first glance and immediately after the images had been captured the sky opened up and down poured once again…Their love… To be near the two of them is to be so easily aware of this bond.
Shortly before the Ketubah signing was scheduled to begin, Jackie’s brother arrived with Jackie’s Dad. They had just picked him up from the hospital so when he was wheeled into the room you could see the sheer happiness that exuded from Jackie from the sight of him. I did not have the pleasure of meeting Dr. Cohen prior to today but from what I witnessed he must have been a man with strong convictions, a love for people and had an obvious adoration for his daughter. The love and sheer happiness from both sides of the families filled every aspect of the day with tumultuous swings of emotion. The closeness could be felt from beginning to end. The laughter could be heard frequently ( Nathan’s brothers are quite the comedians!)
Each wedding that I shoot there is usually one moment that I witness that embeds itself into my being. Sometimes these are moments I capture, sometimes these are moments that I see and keep for myself. The few moments that I’m sharing with you today are obviously those captured that I feel showcase the day but the moment I keep is the one that has impacted me the most.
There weren’t supposed to be any parent dances today. They were unsure of how much strength Dr Cohen would possess and to have the family there rejoicing together was enough. With dinner under way and most of the formalities done Christina motions to Jen and I that we should go grab something to eat now. I’m walking towards the exit of the ballroom and out of the corner of my eye without warning or prompting I see Dr. Cohen removing the breathing tubes from his nose and extruding himself from the hoses. Within an instant he pushes himself up and out of the chair, motions for his daughter…. My eyes well up with tears, I just can’t help it. Mind you that as I glance around the room there was not a dry eye in the house. You could also see many looks of amazement as well pride. It dawns on me that this is the decisive moment of the night and under no uncertain terms is he missing the opportunity to dance HIS dance with his daughter… I applaud the sheer will and strength and love that allowed this to happen….. I don’t think I will ever be able to forget that split second when ever I think of a father’s love for their daughter…
Nathan’s brothers were very happy to help him get ready!
I love this look right before the ceremony, a father’s approval and then the one below of a mothers joy and love!
What! You say it’s July already – shut up, really?!?! Wedding season is in full swing and sessions are off the Hizzie! My days blur into nights which blur into weekends and shooting. I’m blessed to be so busy and of course I love every minute of it! SO much to share and to post. So far this year we have shot several destination weddings and many handfuls of engagement sessions. Also, BABIES!!!!! Yes, this is the year that so many of my past wedding clients have called with that certain excitement in their voices announcing that little versions of themselves were coming soon =) I have about a bazillion blogs to post, wish I could post every session but since we have expanded, Lori, Val, Brian and Jen have been shooting away making too much work for me. So, for now here are a few recent E-Sessions. Thank you to Emily & Sean, Allison & Jordan, Emily & Jon, Lauren & Ron and Jessica & Bill! Please enjoy the slide show of some of my faves.
With 25 weddings already shot this year and a ton of sessions completed I want to take this moment to thank all of our past, present and future clients for your loyalty and trust! We love the time we get to share with you and when my phone rings to hear that you want us to capture another momentous part of your life I am humbled and thankful!
Today I am working on Erin and Jim’s Engagement book and as I look at these images it brings me back to when we shot this session. To say that I love the connection that Erin and Jim have would be an understatement. I love to observe interactions and the little nuances about my clients. I feel like it gives me perspective and helps when it’s time to document important moments in their lives. What stands out in my mind about Erin is how no matter what expression is on her face as soon as Jim gets near her or snuggles her in she immediately smiles. Not the kind of smile that you give to the camera at all. This smile starts slowly and spreads across her face as it seems like a hidden little thought or secret has just crossed her mind. It’s so adorable the way they make each other laugh and equally romantic in the tenderness of a quiet moment. I shot long today, meaning that most of these images were made with my 70-200mm lens. I wanted to be a good distance away because I knew that they were gonna just have some fun and I would play the role of lurker as I steal a few of these moments. A beautiful afternoon spent with a couple who I sincerely look forward to spending the day with again very soon!
I was beyond flattered when my friend and fellow photographer Krista Valla asked to me help her create a photo shoot for the sole purpose of freeing herself from the pain and memories of her tragic accident. A personal struggle that she has come to terms with and is recently facing the demons of a day where twisted metal and concrete claimed her memory and a piece of her was lost. I can’t begin to imagine what it must feel like to have holes in your mind when conjuring up the simplest of recollections. To think that something so much as how to utilize the basic tools of your trade to the most secret or powerful thoughts that lay deep in our subconscious only to be drawn forward when a sight or smell or some form of recognition triggers it. I’m sure I could relearn what it feels like to smile when I feel a soft and warm salty sea breeze wafting through the air but relearning and remembering are two different things entirely.
I commend Krista’s strength and perseverance to get through that time and applaud her for being a fighter and pretty much laughing in the face of those demons. Sometimes we need to confront the issues that haunt us the most and in that confrontation a sliver of solace can be found. She tells me that she has begun to remember some things, like holding a camera and seeing beauty through the lens again. While other memories still remain out of reach. Time, it heals and in time I hope that you Krista, can be made whole.
So, we trudge on a rainy day to a salvage yard…. Here we stare twisted metal in it’s face and we spit in it. I hope that these images bring you some closure….
Thank you to Bethany from Gloss Salon for providing the Hair styling- you’re vision was spot on!!! The ever so talented Kristen Lober provided Make-up.