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DANI + JORDAN | MT PISGAH WEDDING

Dani and Jordan’s wedding was packed. Packed with love, joy, fun. Packed with emotion and family. Packed with so many of the things that make for a killer wedding. It’s easy to look at the surface of a wedding, through the images, and decide whether it was “a good wedding” or not. There’s an entire industry built on that idea. I’ve had the privilege of seeing hundreds of weddings, and the most important component to a great wedding has nothing to do with Pinterest, a curated look, or being on-trend. It’s not perfect weather, perfect details, or the perfect dress. It’s love. A love that is so deep that it starts to feel like the word doesn’t quite do justice to what you have. Saying love made their wedding amazing might sound trite, but sometimes a cliche is cliche because it’s true and universal. If you want everything to be as perfect as possible, make a plan and go get it! Your wedding can be anything you want it to be, just pack it with love and have fun with all of the pieces.

I’ve known these (not) kids since they were in high school. I’ve photographed both of them before, individually, and watching them grow together as a couple is a reminder of what it was like to be young and in love. It’s been over 20 years since I married my wife, over 11 since we had kids, and sometimes the early 20’s feel like another lifetime ago. One of the things I appreciate about photographing weddings is witnessing these moments that almost feel like flashbacks to my own earlier days. This isn’t meant to say that marriage is better when you’re young. Marriage is just as good, if not better, and deeper than it ever was when in my early 20’s. It’s just fun to see youthful bliss, for the same reasons that sentiment can find its way to you through a yearbook, an old song, or a movie. Nostalgia is powerful, and if you let it, it might just help you practice gratitude. High five to the kids who keep us all young.

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TILAR + ROBERT | MT PISGAH WEDDING

I have way too many words for this little family. Meeting through mutual client-friends, it’s been years of portraits, baby bumps, newborns, family sessions, just-because-just-for-mom-sessions, and now the engagement into the wedding. I’ve gotten to know both Tilar and Robert pretty well over the years, and their daughter is every bit as amazing as they are. I’ve been enthusiastically welcomed into their home (by the dog), and into their lives (by the humans). This job can be such an honor. I don’t know how long I will get to do this job, but I’m going to make the most of it, for as long as possible. Documenting life for people is fulfilling in a way I never could have imagined when I started playing with a camera for the first time.

Sally Mann first inspired me to document people in a documentary sort of way. Informed by art, for sure, but less about art, and more about humanity. She also said, “I wish I could be a better writer, but writing is so difficult. I get seduced by visual aesthetics. Because I just like making beautiful pictures, sometimes I wander away from making a clear statement.” I’ll leave this post right there.

 

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KAILEY + MIRANDA | MT. PISGAH WEDDING

Just hours after the Supreme Court ruling on same sex marriage, Miranda and Kailey exchanged vows, laughed with family and friends, and were married. This was to be my first same-sex wedding (theirs, too), so the logistics of two brides wanting made for entertaining conversation as the three of us sat in a local coffee shop, attempting to figure things out, such as, a double first-look, walking down the aisle, garters and bouquets. They weren’t my details to decide on, the girls brought me into the discussion… that’s very much how this wedding went. These generous, kind, smart women, inviting me into their day. What an absolute honor. What a LOT of dresses… 🙂

As they celebrated with abandon in the water, on a very hot summer evening, I realized I have never seen a national change in law that affected me like this did for them. I’ve never been in the position requiring rights to be given me. I do, however, know what marriage is like, and I’ve been in love for many years now. I wish these brilliant, vibrant women the same.

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