Saturday, May 27, 2017

Tresor and Naomi



14 years ago an email popped up in my inbox from my friend Maranatha. She was getting married and she needed a photographer and she wanted ME to take the pictures. I immediately refused. To that date, I had only taken photos of animals and landscapes... the occasional portrait of a friend or family member... but nothing even remotely close to a wedding. I was an amateur, with amateur equipment and I was absolutely unsuitable for the job. But she said she had faith that I could do it and wouldn't take no for an answer. I proceeded with heavy caution and a warning that she may regret her decision. Their wedding was beautiful... but it was the most stressful day of my life to that point. I was shooting with film so I had no idea how the pictures were turning out. I ran out of batteries and film and scrambled to nearby stores to restock. I told myself I would NEVER EVER do it again. And then I got the photos developed. They were beautiful. Not like the ones I take now, but still the most rewarding images I had taken to that date. As you all know, it was not the last wedding I would shoot.

Now, one and a half decades later, I stepped off the plane in Montreal to photograph her baby sister's wedding. Ironically my life has taken many twists and turns and I feel like it may be one of the last weddings I take on because I have so many other commitments. But I am grateful I was wrangled into this family to shoot their weddings because in the past 14 years I've had the opportunity to travel to awesome places, grow as a person and an artist, and fellowship with amazing people. Naomi and Tresor were no exception.

Naomi is a born and raised Montreal native. Tresor is an African immigrant living in Paris. Both are amazing artists and musicians. Naomi is my age, 35, and she gave a beautiful speech speaking of God's love in her life when He gave her Tresor. How he numbers the hairs on our head, and knows before we do how we will spend our days, and who he will place in them to share them with. It was wonderful to see how God placed them together... and a reminder that he has someone perfectly suited for everyone.. and through trial and tribulation.. He already knows the end of the story, and if we are supposed to be with someone... God will make a way.

Naomi's and Tresor's faith was so evident at their wedding... even down to her confession that ALL WOULD WORK OUT with the details of the day. There were many miraculous things that happened down to how God intervened to get me to the wedding on time. Everywhere we went beautiful light followed... and when they agreed to take their shoes off a descend half way down a cliff face to get photos in front of a waterfall... they were greeted with a rainbow. I pray that for the rest of their life, that when they decend into valleys... when times get rough or challenging... that they embrace it the way they did the cliffs on their wedding day. With no fear or hesitation. With excitement for the results that would follow the challenge. And with God's love ever present and highlighting each part of their lives like that rainbow did.

Le Dieu vous benit Tresor and Naomi! And thank you to the Fergusson family for always believing in me (especially you Maranatha). You're a big part of my journey and I will always be thankful and grateful for you!

Here are a few of my favorites of their day in Shawinigan, Quebec!

Monday, April 27, 2015

Danny & Ali in NJ


Here is the abbreviated version of the love story of Danny and Ali: unattached tech geek with sports obsession meets not-exactly-single design student at a party. It's not a "love at first sight" kind of  thing... more of a "hey you're pretty awesome...ok see ya later" kinda thing.  But coincidentally at a later date when designer Ali has conveniently become "detached" from her former love interest, they meet again at another party and find out that they have all the most important things in life in common: a love for Seinfeld, a deep life-long commitment to the Yankees - and they're in the same field of work. I mean.. really... match made in heaven right? Well anyway... that's how they saw it. And clearly when you look at them together... they really are just made for one another.  Usually when I put a blog post together I have a handful of photos of the couple amongst everything else going on during the wedding festivities... but with these two there are just dozens and dozens of photos of them staring at each other and they trumped the other pictures. And not because I told them to either. Ok... some are.. :) ... but many are not.

This makes me so happy because I've known Danny for a long time. I worked remotely from Arizona for graphicd-signs.com in New Jersey till last year. I was a web designer. Danny was the programmer.  So i got to know about this sweet, humble, selfless, talented man via messaging, emails and phone calls. And I always wondered when he talked so highly of Ali, whether she was awesome as him. Turns out she was. So much so that when I finally met her after she started working at the same company, I told them if they ever got married I would fly out to do their wedding photos. And that probably was highly inappropriate to say at that stage of the dating game.. but thankfully last weekend I got to make good on that promise. And the bonus? My sister flew out with me for the weekend to be my AMAZING second shooter (many of these photos are hers!). Thank God she was there. For a week I researched ways to make the impending stormy day into creative and moody rain clad occasion. Through the week prior to the wedding the chance of showers climbed 10% every day until it hit 90% the night before the wedding.  When I saw Danny that morning he had optimistically declined to buy umbrellas and hadn't looked out the window at the rain. He (and my sister) were both faithfully proclaiming that the skies would open up, the sun would shine down on us and everything would turn out ok. I'll let the photos tell you the rest of the story. :) I was so very thankful to God for helping us out!






I will pause here to say that the reception venue was "The Palace at Somerset"... and I could probably point out many highlights about the venue but the thing I will compliment them on above all was the most phenomenal food I've had at any wedding - it was outstanding. Ok... moving on...



Thanks Danny and Ali for giving us an excuse to take a mini vacation to NYC. I got to hang with my cousin and brother AND sister in the big apple. I feel SO blessed to have been given the chance. I pray your life is blessed abundantly... and that all the storms on your horizon turn into a beautiful day like your wedding!

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Dustin & Hannah at The Wright House



Hannah's Grandfather said it best. Hannha is shy and introverted. But behind her quiet eyes is a great thinker and observer... a great sense of humor...and a free and joyful nature that few are let in on. Dustin saw it. And he took no chances. Young though they may be... he found his "one" and she found hers. They were married, and I was honored to be there to document it. At a beautiful old Victorian style house in Mesa - the Wright House -they said their vows under giant trees that looked like they belonged in the South-East instead of the South-West. After the wedding we went to do the formal photographs in a nearby garden and after the nerves of the wedding were gone, and the day was almost completely finished.. Hannah walked across the lawns and without being prompted twirled around and around and around in her dress. "Look what this dress can do!" she said. And in that moment I also got to see the other side of Hanna. In that sense I'm so lucky at weddings... if I do my job properly, people start to forget I'm there - and they are just their uninhibited self. And I get to see couples as they really are together... and I can tell that these two adore one another. They are great examples of humility and grace and christianity. Congratulations Hanna and Dustin - glad I got to meet you and I look forward to seeing how you bloom in life. P.S. I'm working on trying to compile posts into one page. Sorry for the length. One of my 2015 goals is to be more selective and brief.. didn't succeed on this one!