Jessica and Geoff's wedding was unforgettable to me for many reasons. Firstly, the location. The wedding was held at Geoff's parents' country home, a home that has been passed down for generations and is impeccably decorated with local artwork and historical artifacts. When I first walked in, I thought it was a little museum. The home is set atop a hill nestled in the woods, overlooking rolling hills and farmland. In late fall the view was filled with brilliant oranges, yellows and reds for miles. This wedding was also special to me because I got to shoot alongside one of the photographers I admire most, Katch Silva. Katch is an incredibly talented artist and just one of the sweetest human beings. She met with me at the start of my photography journey and has been an open source of information, answering any question I may have and providing valuable feedback. It was a true honor to work next to her, to see her in action and to observe her process. Jessica and Geoff themselves also made this day unforgettable, Jessica in the dress her mom hand sewed for her and Geoff with his silly, shy manner. They were so sweet and genuine. It was clear that their guests love them dearly and support them through thick and thin. I loved getting to know both of them throughout the day and was blown away by their moves on the dance floor. Jessica and Geoff are overall calm and quiet but on the dance floor they are fiery and wild. It was so much fun to capture their energy. One of their guests pulled me aside and said, "At our wedding they never even left the dance floor!" The night ended peacefully as Chinese lanterns floated into the star-filled night sky. Guests sent wishes with each lantern. Katch and I were able to send one up as well!
It is such an honor to be a part of a special day. I am always amazed how welcomed I am into couples' circles of friends and family—allowed to enter these groups that have been built over years, welcomed into tender, intimate moments. For one day, I too am part of the inner circle. Then, as second shooter I pack up my gear and go back to being a stranger. It could be heartbreaking or disconcerting, but for me it makes it all the more beautiful. Walking in and out on someone's best day, taking part in this unforgettable event and nothing else in a couples' life: it makes the wedding more sacred and precious to me. I soak in the details, the interactions between parent and child, the small looks between the bride and groom. Knowing I will never see them again heightens my awareness, and I find my heart is more open at these weddings. I love it for all it is as it unfolds, and then I walk away—a walk away moved and changed with a full heart and my pictures—and that is all I need.