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.
I remember the moment that I let go of my photographer mentality and the all too familiar need to be composed. I said that I didn’t think I could do this, this being in the moment, for starters, read a card from Lynn in it’s entirety without losing it. Athena my darling, you gave me something that not a single person in my life has ever voiced to me aside from Lynn. You gave me permission to lose my shit. To lose myself in the moments and to not worry about composure or being strong or any and all of the things that I may have carried on my shoulders both of my own accord and unwillingly bestowed on me. You invited me into a space that was our own. You said to me too bad because you are going to do it and you are going to feel and it’s okay… Thank you so much for your gift of storytelling and for a heart so huge it is beyond measure. Thank you for the rides, the borrowing of your sandals, the super amazing how to survive a windstorm skill. Thank you for bad ass dance moves while we did some booty shaking, knowing the best short cuts to save on time and definitely thank you for buying pull apart Twizzlers and leaving them on the kitchen counter cuz I totally stole and ate them (they are my favorites), sorry not sorry =) Most of all my dear, thank you for encouraging me to live my moments. I could never have done that without the trust I had in you. Photography and Video are the most important decisions for someone who wants a tangible window to view the little bits of sparkle that we are blessed with in this one life that we have. Thank you will never be enough to express my gratefulness for your talent, your eye and your spirit. The images are beautiful and your words melt me. Thank You..