I don’t know that I’m ready to summarize this past year in words. I don’t know that I’ve quite found the right ones just yet, and to be honest, I’m not certain I ever will. So I’m going to do the best at can right this moment, and allow my photographs to speak for me. I have exponentially more favorites than I could ever share in one blog post, so here are a few of the ones that stood out to me – in no particular order (and not including any iPhone or instagram photos.)
It’s hard to believe that each one of these stories happened this year. Some feel as though they occurred ages ago, and others, still only just yesterday. But what I do know for sure is that every single person in these photographs – and so many more that aren’t pictured here – have completely and irrevocably changed my life for the better. I can’t believe that making these images – and countless others like them – is what I’ve been chosen to do with my life.
I cherish every last one of you who has helped me on this journey.
For stepping in front of my camera.
For cheering from the sidelines.
For your friendship.
For your trust.
Thank you for making 2013 the best. year. ever.
Cheers to an even more incredible 2014.
I’ve known Elizabeth for the last decade, though I guess it’s fair to say that, up until recently, I didn’t really know her. She’s the youngest sister of one of my dearest friends, so our paths crossed a few times, but it wasn’t until this year that our paths became intertwined. Liz got engaged, you see, and her and Ethan wanted someone they knew to tell their story. Someone they could be themselves in front of. Someone who wouldn’t balk at their request to not use a lot of flash during their beautiful, albeit dark, winery wedding. Someone who would respect their decision to opt out of a first look prior to an evening ceremony in the middle of winter. Someone who wouldn’t make the day about them. Someone who would make sure that their wedding day wasn’t about anything other than their beautiful and incredible love story.
So when Liz and Ethan asked me to document their day, I was humbled by their confidence and trust, and, to be honest, I was absolutely, wholeheartedly, without-a-doubt elated. My excitement grew exponentially when my dear friend Jenn agreed to come all the way from Toronto to shoot it with me. She is beyond talented and a gem to be around.
This wedding story such a joy to photograph. Liz’s family is hysterical, her sisters showered her with such love, and every one of Liz and Ethan’s guests was warm and welcoming and genuinely excited for these two incredible people. It was the perfect way to end my 2013 wedding season. Here are a few favorites from this beautiful day:
Charolette sent me an email in May, and in it she told me about her fiancé Chuck. She told me about their first date and how, instead of going to a baseball game as planned, Chuck sat with her as she recovered from appendicitis. Un-showered and post-sugery swollen and grumpy, Charolette was certain Chuck was seeing her at her worst. As he kissed her goodnight she knew that he was her forever. In that instant, Charolette knew that Chuck would never give up.
That same day I got an email from Chuck telling me about Charolette. He described his love for her and he told me about how, even after seven years of ups and downs and in-betweens, her smile still gives him knots. And he told me how he would be blissfully happy spending the rest of his life doing anything he could to make this beautiful girl smile.
As I read those emails I fell in love with both of them. I knew that I was put on this earth to tell their story — to be a part of their story. So it was an honor – a blessing and a pleasure and a someone-pinch-me-please-because-how-did-I-ever-get-so-lucky-to-do-this-for-a-living – to dance the night away with them. To laugh with them. To shiver on a beach with them, tears streaming, as they promised to never give up.
This is a small preview of their incredible Door County wedding day:
To all of Charolette and Chuck’s friends and family: Thank you. For inviting me into this story so completely. To Charolette and Chuck: I fear the only thing I could possibly say to sum up this day and how I feel about the two of you is this: Shoop.