Kari is a darling and dear friend of mine, who happens to be an incredible photographer herself, and one of the kindest, gentlest, and most genuine souls I know. Whenever I need her, without batting an eye she’s at my door, kids in tow and a smile on her face. Our busy lives don’t intersect nearly as often as I’d like, but on a perfect summer evening, two weeks ago with my girls in tow, we spent the last bit of daylight walking around our favorite path, through the last golden hours of summer. We laughed. We shivered. We swatted bugs and caught frogs and I made images of her lovely and beautiful and magnetic family. Here are a few of my favorites.
I’ve spent the better part of a week trying to figure out how to word this blog post. How best to string adjectives and metaphors together to describe exactly what Aaron + Rhiannon’s wedding was. I could tell you that it was filled to bursting with love and magic and joy and wonder. It was. I could tell you how radiant Rhiannon looked in her one-of-a-kind custom wedding dress, and how dapper Aaron was in his tweed suit. They were. I could tell you about the heat and the barefoot dress code, or wax poetic over the cloudless sky embracing the jagged edges of the cliffs along the St. Croix River, sun gleaming and squinting off the steel-covered rock. I could tell you about the angry emu and Spotted Cow and rhinestones and Magnetic Fields songs. I could go on and on about the performance by Circus Juventas in the middle of the reception or the fairy wing making station and zip line strung in trees deep in the woods, begging for bravery, born or from beer. All of it would be true and real and descriptive. But Aaron and Rainy’s wedding day was so much bigger than adverbs and euphemisms and trite soliloquies. It was all the things we read too often on wedding blogs – perfect and beautiful and filled to bursting with so. much. love. But it was also so much more than that. It truly was a gathering of hearts – of souls collected and curated carefully over years and miles and rivers and roads – together in the middle of nowhereseville Wisconsin on Rainy’s dad’s hobby farm. A handful of people closest to the couple, showering them in love and splendor and joy and dancing and all the things we feel when we close our eyes and hold our face to the sun.
Engagement sessions are my favorite. It’s such a great way to get to know my clients (and turn them into my friends!) and get them acclimated to what it’s like in front of my lens. It also gives me a bit of insight into their day-to-day life. The bones of their story. You see, if you know anything about me by now, it’s that I wholeheartedly believe that your story isn’t about the wedding, but rather about the marriage. About who you became before you met, who you’re still becoming, and who you’re yet to be. Marriage isn’t a fairy tale, but it is still your story. Letting me into to pieces of it before your wedding day means I can tell it a little bit more authentically.
And straight from my heart.
Danielle and Terry purchased this home a year ago, and tore the entire first floor down to the studs. They’ve come a long way since then and the home they’ve created is a true reflection of who they are. Unique. Real. Raw. Light. Open. This house is the beginning of their story together, so I knew it was the perfect backdrop for their engagement session. I
asked pleaded with them to let me come over on a Sunday morning and document their very normal, very real, every day existence.
Because real life, darlings, is pure magic.