I love maternity shoots. They’re usually a combination of awkward and beautiful all at the same time. Depending on the comfort level and style of the mommy-to-be, some maternity photo shoots are more traditional than others and each one is very, very different. In this particular photo, the expecting mamma was on bed rest due to medical issues and had very limited capabilities. She had a few weeks until her due date but wanted to go forward with the shoot anyways and pushed up our appointment. She delivered two days later.
Taken in the spring while on a visit to Arlington National Cemetery, I took a moment to savor the blooming cherry blossoms as I walked towards the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. I have a thing for cherry blossoms. The view in color was stunning, but the picture in black and white haunts me. So often sadness is encapsulated by beauty, which is sometimes the only way we can bear it. When it feels like winter, remember spring is on the way.
While hosting a party on the deck to celebrate the end of summer, I absentmindedly forgot to keep an eye on my furry friend and I let him get lost in the shuffle of the festivities and wander off. He tends to not wander far, so I wasn’t very worried. Upon doing a pet check-in, I looked over and saw Scottie Doodles and my one-year-old niece enjoying the view. By the time I got the camera my niece was long gone, like one-year-olds tend to do, but the doodles was still having his moment.
It’s always fun to shoot weddings and be a part of someone’s special day. It’s an honor and a privilege, and as a wedding photographer I hope to never forget that, no matter how many weddings I’m a part of. Especially at elopements. So often the prevailing attitude among some photographers is that somehow elopements are not as important because there’s not as many in attendance or they aren’t spending as much. I believe just the opposite. Someone who has made the decision to only have a select few or even no one else at all in attendance highly values this moment and is very careful regarding who is a part of their day and their memories. I do not take this lightly. I love weddings — I love everything about them. I love the vows, the nerves, the bling, the rings, the simplicity of capturing smiles and the uniting of two hearts before our Maker.
In this particular photo, the day did not go as planned. This poor bride and groom showed up to the hair appointment only to have the salon closed for the day, the restaurant lose their dinner reservation, and to top things off it hailed during their ceremony forcing them to cancel their outdoor ceremony plans. And yet, I watched as this couple took every disappointment in stride and focus on the one thing that was important–getting hitched. This photo captures this wonderfully calm and collected bride taking a moment to breathe, smile, and prepare the last bits of beauty before saying her “I do’s.”
Every now and then you run into a person that genuinely lights up the world. In particular, their world–the one that they personally influence. We just get to step into their world for a moment, and we love them for it. The smiler in this particular photograph was actually not my client. The real client was a small business owner that hired me to shoot bio shots for her website and proposal materials who happened to be sitting right next to the kind heart in this photograph. My actual client was wonderful and her shoot went well, but the warmth and energy flowing out of this other woman made me want to take her picture. So I did. I later on convinced her to do a mini-shoot that lasted about 5 minutes, gifting her the photos. She hated getting her picture taken, and yet she let me do it. I don’t know if she ever did anything with them or if she even liked them…but I sure liked her and hope she keeps bringing her smile to the rest of the world.