This is my “Jerry Maguire,” grab-the-goldfish-and-come-with-me manifesto.
This is why I do what I do with photography, and this is why I want you to come with me, even if I cost a little more, even if I stink at responding to facebook messages sometimes.
“There is only one happiness in life: to love and be loved,” said George Sand. Whoever he is, he is so right. I come from a family where I never doubt that I am loved. My grandparents were two halves of a whole for their 65 years of marriage. My parents hold hands everywhere they go, and they’ve had 41 years of marriage and counting. I held out for “The One” for 36 years, in spite of some crap-ola relationships and accusations that I may have been “too particular,” and my husband—of one whole year!—makes life so much more fun, so much easier, so much more full, so much more content. My in-laws love me like I am their own. My cat, who is 18 and has been with me my entire adult life, meows at me and snuggles up in my lap feeling safe and cared for. My friends love me like family and share in my happiness and in my worry.
I am a lucky girl.
Yet sometimes I take it for granted. And sometimes I have to stop and set aside moments to feel and express all of that happiness, that contentment, that love. When Tony and I had our engagement portraits taken, even though we were in a season where all the wedding planning was about “us” and so much focus was on “us,” it was still an amazing feeling to spend an afternoon with our photographers just loving on each other, laughing together, looking into each other’s eyes, and completely celebrating “us.” (Keep reading after the photo…)
I think that every couple, every family, every special individual deserves to set aside some time to celebrate how amazing it feels to love and to be loved. To laugh with each other, to snuggle up, to say those things you don’t always take the time to say when the laundry has to be folded and the cat (or baby) needs to be fed.
And that is my WHY. That is why I take portraits. That is why you don’t always have to look at the camera. That is why I ask you lots of questions before your session. That is why I will stay long past the time your session should have ended. That is why I keep up with you after your wedding, why I pray for you on the way to each and every session. That is why I glow when someone tells me that they had so much fun during their session…..or that I captured the “real them” in their portraits….or that they remember how they felt at that moment when they look back at their pictures.
I don’t just want to capture photos that remind you of how you looked or what the styles were during this era. I want to carve out a little slice of time where you can love and be loved. Where I can be there to capture what THAT LOVE looks like during this phase in your life.
The first bridal portraits that I ever photographed were two sisters who were getting married 6 weeks apart. (Bless!) We packed up and drove down to Charleston for a day of photos, and after many different locations, we ended on Folly Beach. Both girls were in their wedding dresses on the beach, the sun was setting, and they walked down to the water holding hands with their mama. When we wrapped up the shoot and went back to the parking lot, their mama burst into tears of happiness, and she told me something that probably changed the course of my photography career. She said, “ Aside from my own wedding day and the days that these girls were born, TODAY was the best day of my life.”
With that statement, I knew that my “why” is to give people time to enjoy. Time to love. Time to be loved.
I’m just there with the camera.
Won’t you grab your goldfish and come with me?