Photographs Matter – People Matter
The people you’re about to see may seem like normal humans. But they are my people. They are filled with hopes, and dreams, and love for each other. They are present. They are strong. They value time spent with the ones they love, so much that it permeates the rooms and beaches and fields and buildings they’re in.
They are my people. And I adore them.
I have photographed them in their homes. Their parents’ and grandparents’ homes. On properties they grew up on and then began adult lives of their own. On beaches. Bridges. Inside Publix grocery stores. Amphitheaters. Synagogues. Dark Catholic churches. Quaint downtown stretches with cobblestone streets and lost locations hidden in ruins in the forests. On speed boats, canoes, and shoals spreading across a river. In national parks, as well as small town America parks. City skylines and horse fields on a four wheeler. Inside engineering universities and high in the Utah rockies. I’ve photographed second chance weddings that were never expected and anniversaries far removed from the wedding days. On golf carts, inside covered bridges, and walking across pipelines far above rushing waters. There have been fur babies and blended families to celebrate and love.
I’ve been there on wedding days inside little chapels, humongous churches, tennis courts, botanical gardens, old Southern mansions, barns, contemporary art centers (yep, there’s more than one), country clubs, and next to lakes. They’ve been married by their fathers, brothers, and best friends. They’ve been walked down the aisle by their fathers, mothers, and brothers + uncles when parents were no longer with them. They’re childhood, high school, and college sweethearts. They’ve met at work and online. They’ve met by chance and perhaps through a case of stalking or two. I’ve photographed weddings between people who never thought it would be possible due to lack of equality in laws, but then so joyously celebrated rings on fingers and everything that goes with it after being loyally committed to each other for decades.
I’ve been at the hospital when they’ve brought a new one into this world. In their homes when the newbie came home. With the planned, the adopted, and the unexpected surprises who were all so happily embraced, cherished, and celebrated. At first birthday celebrations. Lost teeth milestones and bar mitzvahs. And in the blink of an eye, they’re graduating high school and preparing to start a life of their own. Off to college. Spreading their wings. Before they head off on two year missions for church. Coming back after college and I have the privilege of photographing them on Christmas Eve holiday. Or Thanksgiving mornings, if that’s the only day off their Dad gets out of the year. With their grown siblings raising families of their own. And with oh-so-special military families. I’ve photographed those who may seem to be living the dream and I’ve photographed those who have endured being trafficked, spurned from their families, and even seeing loved ones die through extreme violence. Repeatedly. Yet they all choose happiness and positivity.
I’ve driven hundreds of miles at a time, flown thousands, and made every effort to be where my people are when something important to them was going to happen or just to make photographs and memories in a unique location. I rarely pass along travel costs because I love to travel, photographers are in every city and so easy to hire, and I’m focused on building lifelong relationships that keep clients coming back year after year. If I get to travel with them, then that’s my annual bonus that keeps a smile on my face for weeks at a time. The same goes for when I receive a text from one of my couples letting me know they’re expecting, but shhhh because we’re not telling folks yet!
When I was in corporate, what I did ultimately didn’t matter. That’s different now. My people have photographs of themselves at their best with the people they love most in this world. That will keep for decades and be handed down to future generations. As someone who grew up paging though photo albums every week with my mom, I can’t imagine anything better than being able to remember and hold the memories of the best times in my life. So often, I find as I’m going through all of the many photographs I have made I stop and think, “Gosh, I wish I had a photograph like that when that particular event happened in my life.” That goes for my wedding day and the days my children were born, and so many others. It is ultimately the moments, interactions, and emotions I’m documenting in the photographs I make that I wish I had of my own life. I am honored and proud to be able to document so many incredibly extraordinary, and ordinary, moments for my people.
These are the moments that bind us to each other. That are filled with love. That remind us of who we are. That we belong. That we matter.
Enjoy the slideshow below!
And then share this post with others if one of these images made you sigh and wish you had a similar moment in your life to see on your living room wall.