There's a really great perk to photographing a wedding: After the DJ has packed up the sound system and the guests have gone home, I get to spend a few days still immersed in the event while I sort through and process the photos. Weddings are happy times and, while looking at the images, I find myself contemplating happiness and love, and relationships and celebration. It's a pretty feel-good time for me while I get to work on this.
I was thrilled when Kirsty and Julien asked me to photograph their special day. It's always an honor when chosen to share in two peoples lives in such an intimate way. I'm also not a full-time wedding photographer, so when an opportunity arises it's hard to say no. Besides, who doesn't love a wedding? And if every wedding was guaranteed to be like theirs, I'd go full time in a heartbeat.
Since this day was all about the bride and groom, I didn't think it would be fair to go into this wedding with my own assumptions of how it should "look" as a photographer. So, I showed up with the intention of seeing the day through Kirsty and Julien's eyes in order to create a way for them to remember their journey from a personal perspective. I think it was an easy task because these two stayed true to themselves throughout the day.
Nothing was staged and nothing was hidden. They were the same people I knew of before the wedding, during the wedding... and capturing their story was easy. Plus, from looking at it from their perspective, I actually "saw" a lot more.
Kirsty and Julien didn't have any guests at their wedding... they had friends and family there. The word "guest" would be just too impersonal for such a personal crowd. The way everyone blended, you wouldn't know if they came from the bride's side or the groom's side, which is exactly how this couple wanted it. It was a celebration with the people they loved... together. I could also tell that everyone was there to celebrate with both the bride and groom equally, and it was good to be surrounded by such good people.
One of my favourite moments was one that showed the down-to-earth character of both the bride and groom. When we headed out after the ceremony for bridal party photos, a small cooler of beer accompanied us. We went ahead with group shots, but it was apparent that the important photo of the day was still to happen...and this was the reason the cooler was on hand.
After all, this was a celebration and what is more important than being with friends, family, and heading into the party ahead? It was a real moment and it made me adore this couple even more for being so excited to include their close friends in what might have been one of their favourite photo opportunities.
I believe the quality of people you have around you is a statement of who you are. We might not be able to control who comes into our lives, but we have choices in how we treat them. Kirsty and Julien's celebration was a testament to who they are and the good choices they have made. One-way streets are just nonexistent within their realm of relationships.
This may have been a day to celebrate an official union between two people but, from what I saw, it was more of a celebration of the life they have created up to this point. This life is very rich with friends, family, and love on a grand scale.
Congratulations Kirsty and Julien. Your love, kindness, generosity, and realness are truly inspirational.
For more images, click here to go to the looks @ love gallery.