Weddings are my favorite for two seemingly opposite reasons: the creative time I get to spend with a couple making portraits and the majority of the day spent documenting the nuance as everything unfolds as a quiet but present observer–I’m guest like. One can be directed and posed, the other journalistic and documentary. During the creative portraits I can pose the couple in any way I want, give direction, try to make them laugh, or to be serious, to do this and that. But that’s not really what we do together; more on that in a sec. The rest of the day I’m watching and looking for the small moments that really tell the story of these particular people and their particular loved ones and the particular details they chose to include to make up the tapestry of their celebration. I am seeking the images that elevate the subtle nuance that makes their wedding a wedding but also so uniquely their own joy and chaos filled weekend. I am in love with the little things, the stuff that barely registers in our preoccupied minds, yet is there nonetheless shaping the way something feels, and creating the backdrop that will hold all our memories and emotions around an experience. It’s often said in modern day wedding photography that we create photos that don’t just show, but feel. I strive to do that. 

I’m sharing these particular photos of this particular part of Lottie and Jack’s wedding day because they were a good reminder of something that often comes up in photography: ‘What do we do?’ ‘Where do I put my hands?’ ‘You’ll tell us if we’re awkward?’ ‘Are we doing ok?’ At this point in my career, 7 years in, I’m so accustomed to the experience of photographing that I forget while we live in one of the most photographed periods of history, that we’re still used to the time period where professional photos were about what you did. Jack and Lottie and I spent 45 minutes in this dappled wooded lawn at Dartmouth on Saturday. And we did not do a whole lot. I did not even offer much guidance. Because for me and my clients we don’t have to do, we just have to be. That sounds a bit hippie, and I am a bit hippie, but really, none of us are models or actors and truthfully to get the kind of photos that are true to your real human relation and connection you wouldn’t want to be. All we have to do is show up and spend a little time together and be ourselves. Sounds too easy, right? But look as these images, that I love, most of them are caught in the unaware in between moments of action. Lottie knew I was there, sure she played with her veil some but, she didn’t have to do anything. This is how I saw her on her wedding day and I think this is very much what Jack was seeing too, and what all of her family saw.

As a photographer, I used to try and ‘create’ more with people. I would have ideas and I would kind of try to trick my clients into getting into the spot I wanted or guide their movements in an offhand way so that it still felt natural. But two years ago I realized that the moments I wanted, and the moments my clients want and hire me for, they were happening all on their own if I watched, gave space, and let these amazing people standing before me share with me who they are to one another. It’s hard sometimes to stand and watch and not direct. I feel a bit awkward. Yet, I know that the creative process ends up being more about the connection between the three of us and not just how I see things. Sure, I see the world in specific ways that changes as I grow and practice my craft each year; I bring that to the creative process. But my clients also experience the world and most importantly each other in a unique way. When these things meet, those are the images that mean the most to us all. They’re the most fulfilling to make and enjoy for years and years. They’re the ones that make you feel.