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.
A few weekends ago I traveled to San Jose to document the beautiful women behind Imago Fitness and finally met Joanne in real life. We’ve been internet friends for a couple of years, but become close after she inspired me to finally believe in myself enough to embark on my own fitness journey. Joanne + her husband Jonathan happen to be phenomenal photographers, and the kind of people who steal themselves quietly into your life, slowly filling the cracks you didn’t know existed, and then burst out, effervescent and overflowing with joy. They are kind and beautiful and generous and a million other adjectives that feel trite when I roll them around in my mouth, feeling their weight on my tongue. These are the kind of people for whom words are simply not enough.
While I was staying with them, Joanne mentioned that weekend mornings have become a sort of ritual for them right now. The girls rise early, tiptoe up to their parent’s bedroom and curl into bed with Joanne and Jon, and the four of them snuggle, bodies pressed against each other and bellies filled with laughter and love and that sweet ache of fleeting bliss. Eventually these girls will grow, and be too big to share sunday mornings pillow fighting and snuggling with mom and dad. So when Joanne asked if I would capture this time for them and make images of their incredible family, I was honored and humbled and couldn’t imagine a better way to wrap up my trip. This is the kind of story I live to tell. Thank you, Adobo family, for inviting me – for trusting me – to tell it for you.