"I love you without knowing how, or when, or from where. I love you simply, without problems or pride: I love you in this way because I do not know any other way of loving but this, in which there is no I or you, so intimate that your hand upon my chest is my hand, so intimate that when I fall asleep your eyes close." — Pablo Neruda
It was just about a year ago that one of my closest friends and an incredible photographer asked me to photograph his wedding. When Delyn + Megan got engaged I was humbled and flattered, but also faced a level of anxiety I don’t think I’ve had in a long time. Photographing a photographer’s wedding brings with it a whole new set of pressures especially when you love the way they see the world. Fast forward several months and another close friend mentioned to me that he was officially ring shopping. Justin is the type of friend I’ve wanted in this industry for years. Being a photographer is an ironically social job considering we spend a lot of time alone and even with an amazing team full of friends working side by side there’s something pretty amazing about having a friend who’s work inspires me and who’s eye blows me away but has no reason to shoot me any way but straight. Justin is honest to a fault. This guy is as straight forward as he is talented and his work inspires my own nearly daily. All that said when he finally proposed to Kate I knew that he had direct access to one of my very favorite photographers anywhere in the world and I assumed there was absolutely no way I’d be holding a camera on his wedding day. When he and Kate asked me to lead the photography for this amazing day I was completely blown away.
Don’t get me wrong - I sincerely feel like I married the perfect girl. But Kate is right up there. This girl has a hilarious sense of humor and a super quick wit. She’s absolutely stunning but perfectly comfortable in her own skin and she is head over heals for the guy she’d walk down the aisle to. Her and Justin just fit. I’m not sure how many times I heard that exact sentence on this day - but it’s obvious to everybody around them. He’s kind, honest, bold, and talented - she’s sweet, beautiful, loving, and smart. This whole day was a team effort. Justin has spent a lot of time working along side us these last few years and neither Delyn or Max wanted to miss the chance to be a part of this wedding. So with three lead photographers we divied up the day so that no more than two of us would be in one place at a time and actually gave me personally the challenge of not only shooting the entire wedding using no artificial lighting of any kind (completely ambient even into the nighttime reception) but I also got to enjoy shooting this wedding from a primarily second camera position.
There’s something magical about shooting as an assistant. The lead photographer tends to carry so much weight that in a perfect scenario like this having the opportunity to shoot with the intent on just creating and playing with the light was amazing. Long story short from the moment we walked into PURE salon Kate was beaming. With music on and lot of laughing the party moved about 45 minutes down the road to Stone Chapel just ahead of Kate and one of her closest friends and one of Justin’s wedding clients Mandy pulling up in her little teal Fiat. The dance party lasted for at least a few songs and before we all knew it all of the girls were dressed and we were outside running around and having fun with a great group of Kate’s closest girls.
This post ends at the first look because there was WAY too much story to pack into one blog post. But also because this was one of the most magical first looks I’ve ever seen. We did pull a bit of a switch on Justin and while he thought he was standing a few feet out in front of his groomsmen smiling for photos with his guys we managed to clear out the background and replace it with a beautiful bride to be. Kate stood behind him and waited for him to turn around and the surprise was perfect. In perfect Justin fashion (he’ll be embarrassed that I even write this) he took the time to really see Kate. He stepped back, looked at her dress and her hair, her makeup and her jewelry. With tears in both of their eyes they just stared at each other for long enough to let it all sink in and just a short walk up the road we found a perfect place for them to exchange notes to each other along with a journal that Kate had been writing in for Justin for months.
I would write a novel - I kind of already have. But I can’t stop thinking of things I want to say about these two. Two amazing families. Two amazing sets of friends. Two people that mean a lot to me and though I say that a lot these days (and I genuinely mean it) these two people have a pretty special place in my life. I’m so grateful that Justin chose me and our team to be a part of so many amazing memories and I’m so happy that Kate trusted him and me to do the day justice.