When I was a little girl I loved fairy tales. Spare me the princesses and knights in shining armor, though, I was in it for the far-away-places. For stories about triumph-through-adversity and true love. The kind of love that can break an evil spell or transform a kingdom or change a beast into a man. I believed wholeheartedly in the idea of a love so strong, so pure and unbridled, that it had the power to make magic, and I buried myself in those stories as often and as long as I could while the innocence of childhood quietly slid out of my grip and the stark reality of growing up settled in. I dreamt fiercely in those early years until life planted my feet firmly on the ground and tethered me there. Rooted.
Eventually I outgrew the confines of the garden adulthood wanted to plant me in and learned, instead, that certain childhood notions are worth holding onto. I still believe in the transformative power of kindness. I believe in far-away places and triumph-over-adversity. And I believe, beyond a shadow of a doubt, with all that I am and all that I ever was, that love can – and does – make magic.
I say it often, and to every single one of my couples, that marriage isn’t a fairy-tale. It’s a fist fight. It’s going to have a lot of not-so-pretty moments but that, years from now, when we look back on the collective scope of our lives and the love we grew in it, it will take on the soft-glow of story. Of absolute bliss. Of romance and laughter and living and love. Of love so deep our hearts look like caverns of all that is and was good and pure and wonderful. That is it’s magic.
Not that it can conquer all but that in the end, it does.
Chingi + Lynn have triumphed over adversity and they absolutely have what it takes to survive the fist fight that is marriage. It’s going to be tough some days, sure, but on this day, their wedding day, it was bliss. Pure and paramount. This is a piece of their highlight reel, and I am grateful to have been with them and their closest family and friends as they wed one another in the California desert. To have had the honor of making images for another (incredible and talented) photographer and a love worth fighting for is a gift I’ll never repay.
Here are some of my favorites from their beautiful Palm Springs wedding day:
Thank you to Jen Woodruff for stealing my camera and making an image of me dancing.
To Chingi + Lynn and your beautiful friends and family – THANK YOU. For choosing me. For welcoming me into your tribe with open arms and full hearts. For being exactly, perfectly, beautifully you. It was an honor to spend a few fleeting hours dancing and laughing and celebrating with you.
It’s that time of year again — time for me to reflect on all that’s happened over the past twelve months. I’ve been dreading this post, actually. Which probably seems odd. But it means that this year is over. That it’s gone, folded into the pages of memory, and I’m not quite ready to let it go just yet. It was incredibly perfect. Everything I’ve been dreaming of since I launched this humble endeavor, and decided, once and for all to chase headlong into the chasm of dreaming-so-big-it’s-scary. This year has been – has meant – everything.
But much to my chagrin, and despite my resistance, the year is coming to a close. So it’s time to savor each and every moment I was able to spend with all of you. A walk down the aisle. A new baby. Friendship. Family. Joy. Your stories are my why, and every single time you step in front of my camera, with your heart full of trust and your eyes wide, I am thankful. I am humbled. I am amazed and awed and filled with overused adjectives that spill forth in a effort to express how I am so incessantly and constantly overwhelmed by how wonderful it is that I get to do this every day. That I get to stand alongside you as you etch your names onto the pages of your stories, your laugh lines and tears punctuating each paragraph, my photographs stuck in chapters, creased, but not worn. Steady. Timeless.
Thank you. Forever and always and more than these tiny words on a screen will ever be able to express. For your trust, and love, and kindness, and friendship. Most of all, thank you for extending the invitation to witness your stories unfold, and allowing me the opportunity to capture them – to document the beauty and imperfection and laughter and minutia – as authentically and honestly and beautifully as I can.
A few weekends ago I had the pleasure of venturing into the northwoods of Minnesota (huge shout out to my girl Kelsea for second shooting), to document a pretty-little summer wedding. I first met Danielle + Terry over coffee this last winter, and it was love-at-first-joke. Danielle + Terry are two of the wildest, weirdest and wonderful-est people I’ve ever met. I’ve never been around two people more in love with or committed to making the other laugh, and their wedding at Juliane James Place was a testament to their awkwardness, humor, and flawless style. From the painstakingly crafted paper flowers to the costumed and choreographed first dance, the pie – pizza and dessert! – to the handmade invitation suite (Danielle made them!), their wedding was beyond beautiful.
But this wedding was so much more than the pretty stuff. The editorial details. The paper and the cocktails and the china. This wedding was honest and real and laid back and fun. Exceptionally fun, actually. It was summer-meeting-autumn in the most magical way with soft light and a cool breeze. The sounds of the leaves rustling through the immense woods provided the soundtrack of the day, punctuated by the soft staccato of the last of summer’s cicadas. It was the beginning of the very best chapter of Danielle + Terry’s story so far, and so remarkably reflective of who they are as individuals – and who they’ve become together. They welcomed their day – and all who ventured into it – with open arms and a hearty laugh.
Here a few favorites from their beautiful day.