On a warm October day, Ivan and I made our way along the coast of Northern California. Traveling through the winding roads that connect San Francisco to Mendocino, through the vineyards, redwoods and small towns, we felt transported to another time. When we arrived at Spring Ranch, we stepped out into the warm ocean air and were transfixed by the stunning cliffs, powerful waves and peaceful rolling hills. I can't put my finger on what is so enchanting about Mendocino, but it's truly a special place.
The same was true for the entirety of Heidi and Dre's wedding. The energy was different. It was intentional, comfortable, connected.
When I arrived, I stepped into the Spring Ranch home bustling with Heidi's parents, her 5 siblings and their spouses, 7 nieces and nephews, and their sweet little son, Luca (imagine the opening scene of Home Alone). Heidi's family welcomed me in and then focused back on their preparations.
Feelings of family and togetherness permeated the entire day, especially when all the guests joined hands and danced in a circle around Heidi, Dre and Luca. This dance was a surprise from Dre's mother as a way to honor his father and their Greek heritage. As friends and family passed, they laughed with, smiled at, or shouted out to Heidi and Dre. Photographing from the center of the circle was a powerful experience. Here I was standing in the center of their most precious friends and family. Here I was, a near stranger, welcomed into the center of their solar system. This joyful, intimate, sacred space was reserved for Heidi, Dre, Luca. Standing in this space with them epitomizes how much of an honor it is to be a wedding photographer. I am offered a front row seat to witness the greatest love in my clients' lives, to share in it, capture it, and then reflect it back to them in the form of images. This is when I'm reminded that this is not just a job, but an offering, an archiving and an honoring of my clients' lives and their loves.
This is Heidi and Andreas' love story.