Drake the Cat knew something was up. There was a special energy in his cute little home that morning. Not only were Madeleine and Katie spending an inordinate amount of time getting ready (as in, any amount greater than probably 60 seconds), but four peculiar humans had descended upon his territory; two armed with hair and makeup brushes (Blush and Coco), and two with cameras and lenses (Erika and me). But Drake was cool with it, because Madeleine and Katie were cool with it. More than cool with it, they were beaming.
Before plunging wholly into anything – love, marriage, sparkling turquoise water – one should consider the depths, or shallows, of what lurks beneath the shimmering surface. Were that advice rocket science, Krystal’s calculations would have been impeccable. But alas, rocket science has little to do with impulsive matters of the heart and soul. Particularly, when emboldened by friends, with spiked coffee kicking in, and the Caribbean sun sparkling off a tantalizing infinity pool with a narrow parapet calling out for an inverted, split-leg handstand. Krystal executed flawlessly. A perfect T of poised muscular tension, as symmetrical as planetary orbit. Athletic, gymnastic poetry. For a moment, time and gravity stood still. Of course, like the bonafide rocket scientist she is (astrobiologist turned photographer, technically), Krystal had a plan for controlled atmospheric reentry, decent, and landing. She would splashdown into the waters behind her like a reentry capsule off the shores of Cape Canaveral. What could possibly go wrong… apart from everything?
From the first tantalizing sip, to the last succulent drop; basking in Susan and Jo’s wedding celebration was like savouring an exquisite bottle of fine wine.
Like a big red splashing into the decanter, anticipation for the flavours and feelings of their wedding blossomed between our first Skype encounter, and finally getting to meet Susan and Jo on the morning of their wedding in Lake Louise. Arriving to their smiles and hugs was like that first glorious sip that warms you right down to your toes, authenticating all suspicions that for this particular celebration, something exceptional has been uncorked.
2018 was like a dream. 9 unique wedding celebrations, 7 sold out workshops, 4 photography festivals and one powerful little light brought us (and our kids) on a wild ride across 10 countries on 3 continents. Along the way, our lives brushed up against so many beautiful souls. We’re living a dream and this post is a tribute to that which makes it all possible… the couples and families who trust in the way we see and feel.
As photographers, we strive to create images that communicate what words cannot. And yet here I am, trying to find words to communicate what these photographs cannot. The absurdity of this paradox isn’t lost on me, but alas, you just weren’t there. Or maybe, if you’re one of the few who actually read this, you were (and so you know what I’m trying to say). But for anyone about to experience this wedding solely through these photos… you just weren’t there. You weren’t there to witness the way Dwayne melted the instant he saw Kimmi in all her jaw-dropping glory… to behold the complete and utter cuteness of their kids, Landon and Logan… to feel the salty spray of the turquoise Caribbean waters crashing around their cliffside ceremony… to feel the unbridled love between (and for) Kimmi and Dwayne… to hear what they mean to their friends and family… to experience that legendary, ganga-brownie-fuelled dance floor… with Jamaican bass in your bones… overproof rum on your lips… gyratory whining on your hips. Gratefully though, despite one hell of a commute (icy roads, international flights, layovers, delays and flat tires — yes, plural), we were there with our cameras for a poignant dose of everything we thrive off… expressive, loving humans… beautiful relationships… unrestrained celebration, and most honourably… trust.
One of the most crucial fundamentals of our adventures in wedding photography; is trust. Trust in the process. Trust in our gut. Trust from our couples. We rarely feel like hired help, we’re rarely treated as such, and our couples aren’t really clients so much as beautiful, fascinating humans who welcome us into their unique celebrations like friends with cameras. The epitome of this, was our experience at Beth and Chad’s wedding in Emerald Isle, North Carolina. Beth and Chad trusted in us implicitly… not only to document their story and immortalize their memories… but to do so while beating the shit out of their very own camera gear. Beth and Chad just happen to be a world class professional wedding photography duo.
People often ask to see photos from our wedding back in 2006 (before we were wedding photographers). Astonishingly though, we didn’t actually have a wedding photographer (insert shocked emoji). Moreover, we don’t have any regrets because, truth be told, what we could have afforded at the time (we were total ski bums and climbing dirtbags) would probably have spoiled our extraordinary memories of that day. Be that as it may, if there was ever a wedding which looked and, even more so, felt like ours — it’s Dee and Zack’s.
The following text message arrived on our phone, 6 weeks after Anna & Brian’s wedding…
“Some sad news, Anna’s father passed away this morning suddenly. I was wondering if you would be able to send a picture of her and her dad or her dad and mom together that we could use for the funeral.” – Brian
Let’s start at the end, in a love-filled home in Vijayawada, India, where Shreya, Erika, Mano and I are savouring delicious home-made paratha, lovingly prepared by Mano’s mom. By now, Shreya and Mano’s friends and family feel like our friends and family. Surrounding us on the walls of this home wherein Mano grew up, are picture-frames beholding historical wedding photographs from generations past. In my pocket, securely fastened to my belt loop, are memory cards containing photographic documentation of all that has transpired throughout the last 4 days … a pocket full of memories not unlike – but very unlike – the archaic wedding photos on these walls. We’re exhausted and preparing for our inter-continental commute back home … but we’re smiling … reminiscing … and dreaming, which is how it all began.
The alarms sounded at 3 AM, stirring us from dim-sum-induced slumber. Foggy confusion about where and what on Earth we were doing up at that ungodly hour gradually dissipated, as light from the Hong Kong skyline glowed upon meticulously packed camera bags. We’d traveled half way around the planet to photograph Flossie and Keith’s wedding in Hong Kong (not to be confused with Flossie and Keith’s wedding in Lake Como, photographed by the legendary Jose Villa).