I don't even know where to begin. These are familiar grounds for me and my craft, to be compiling things in a remembrance of sorts as if they are things that no longer exist when in reality the job I have set out to do is to keep these finite moments alive in a lasting and relatively unrelinquished memory of a bond, a kinship, and an acceptance. The wedding photographer's job is to create an image that has been ingrained into memory time and time again and it is always amazing to me to see this played out in humans; how the familiarity in some things can lead to stagnancy and in other instances it can lead to reverence and comfort. I do this year after year and I always think that at some point I will have something more profound to say and the fact of the matter is, there is no physical description for the way these people have given me a life, a voice, and a creative outlet to leave the world a more beautiful place then how I found it. I accept any and all trials and triumphs that come with this profession knowing I will never be the best, but how is that term defined? Are we satisfied by the quantity of our hearts and likes on social media? Are we satisfied by the most epic landscape we can find? No. We are satisfied by our ability to create something that justifies the intricate ways two people sought each other out on a planet of 7 billion, the weight of those numbers alone is enough to give me goosebumps. How do we uplift this beautiful narrative, how do we physically come to terms with this staggering defiance of logic and love? We accept that the people we need to please are our couples and not our followers. I have never been more happy with my purpose on this ever changing plane of rock and water and sky and land. Whatever comes, we are always in transition.
I have been thinking lately about all the different things that cause us to revisit the past, be it the photographs we take, or the songs we listen to, or the memories we visit in our dreams; as dark or delightful as these remembrances can be, it is prevalent knowledge that we are a species that thrives on this desire to go back, to hold on. There are definitely healthy versions of this and very toxic versions, but whatever those reasons are, ultimately there is something to learn at the end. A month ago I decided to go back and look at some of my old weddings that I shot four or five years ago. I wasn’t really sure what I expected to find, part of me wanted to see how horrible I was or rather to track progress in certain areas. Either way, it was a tumultuous road filled with a huge array of emotions, at times I caught myself pressing the right arrow as fast as my index finger would allow to avoid my eyes resting too long upon the raw file that lay before me, and other times I sat back and wondered if I was really the one who took the photo at hand. I implore anyone that's been shooting for more than a handful of years to do this. It is incredibly difficult to do and it's incredibly hard to not feel growth afterward. This wedding was special to me in many ways and yet I felt slightly disappointed now seeing what I had offered the couple as a whole (that's just me being hard on myself) to a certain extent, as i looked through the photos I kept feeling as if I was back in that place and wishing I could’ve just known what I know now about storytelling and about what matters, I wish I knew about not getting caught up in the details, about not worrying about the back of my camera so much, about not being afraid to challenge myself and trust my intuition, about not abiding to the standard set of photos the wedding industry offers us to be acceptable and safe. I had blogged this wedding long ago but it is now since down, not only did the number of images drop by like 50, but I also added a bunch of photos that I wouldn’t have otherwise added, it was me versus my former self, I was amazed at my lack of abundance but still enamored by my ability to try and do something new and nuanced. Anyways too many self indulgent words, this isn’t about me its about growth, the times we are good and the times we are great, it's a gratification that afflicts all who create and all who look back to recognize those differences, in four more years I’ll probably do it again.