Here’s to outdoor gatherings, family and friends, parades, fireworks, ice cream, and all that’s American to you! Happy Fourth of July!!
Remember the treehouse? Sarah and Jake are the two who opened our eyes wide to such wonders nestled in the middle woods of Ohio! And they’re getting married right close to the tree house at the Grand Barn! I got their invitation in the mail a couple weeks ago and I opened it with eager anticipation (Sarah’s a designer so I knew the inside was going to hold something extra-special). Custom-designed and wrapped in baker’s twine, it’s beautiful and whimsical—I seriously can’t wait for their wedding! But alas, that’s not why we’re here today. Today, let’s celebrate them and their sweet smiles, their creative, down-to-earth personalities, and their coffee-loving tastes. Sarah and Jake met over coffee while both interning at a tech company in California, so they knew they wanted to shoot their engagement session in a coffee-shop. Just a bit before their session though, I talked them into springing for a little spontaneity and stopping for a quick visit to one of my favorite places in Columbus (and one of theirs, too!), the place that I lovingly call the bird bridge, but which is more formally known as Glen Echo Park. It was the best.
A big thanks to One Line Coffee for letting us shoot pictures while Sarah and Jake sipped away at their coffee.
I dreamed of maps when I was little. I had one—ripped out of my dad’s National Geographic—pinned to my bedroom wall with pictures of all sorts of wonderful, exotic places that I would one day explore. None were in the US, but the US is brimming with exotic, other-worldly places, too! Places steeped in history and beauty, art and architecture. New Orleans is one of those places. It’s the sort of place you get swallowed up into. The history, the people, the colors, the traditions, the food, the architecture, the sounds—it all just swallows you up whole and leaves you feeling a little breathless at the experience of it all.
Many, many thanks to my dear, dear friend Emily for introducing me to the world of NOLA—for pulling the car over countless times so I could take a photograph, for dealing with my unending shoe changes, and for walking and biking this city of beads with me! I love you.
At one time in my life I lived in New York City for a brief stint. It was a dizzying three months of long walks to work because I was too scared of the subway, lunches in Bryant Park, cupcakes, and art museums and galleries. And in one of those museums—the Brooklyn Museum—was Annie Leibovitz’s show, A Photographer’s Life. I braved the subway to go. As an artist, and more specifically as a photographer, it was an intense experience. The show was so filled to the brim with life—raw, real life. Life that’s full of wrinkles, smiles and tears, family and friends, light moments and heavy ones, too. It was all so overwhelmingly, beautifully human and relatable. I left with my head spinning at the power of photography to communicate life and emotions—emotions that run through all of our veins. While I’d like to say that it was a turning point in my photography career, my story isn’t quite that neat and tidy, but it certainly has been a day on which I’ve looked back countless times. And, as I was putting together Christine and Ian’s post I was brought back to that day and the young version of me in the museum who wanted so earnestly to be able to capture life in an honest and raw and beautiful way. And it makes me smile that in a tiny way I get to do that now. I get invited into people’s lives to photograph real moments, not fluffy staged ones, but honest-to-goodness real moments.
Christine and Ian are so sweet and oh-so-lovely-in-love. It was a joy to be a part of their gorgeous day that celebrated people and the relationships that bind them and this thing called love that we’re all a part of.
One of the blessings of this little studio of ours is that in between the full Saturdays, while Ohio is still in hibernation mode, I can pack up some gear and head south for a small respite at my sister’s house in the sunny mountains of South Carolina. Yes, the mountains are beautiful, the breezes are warm, my brother-in-law’s meals are always delicious, my sister—I love her so, but the main draw? My growing nephew. A little person who knows my name and has just a tiny bit of my blood running through his veins; who asks me to sit by him at the dinner table; and who always asks me to play. He has lots of play favorites, but bubbles seemed to be the majority leader this visit, and with an extra-special ‘bubble snapper’ that makes gigantic bubbles I don’t know who wouldn’t want to play for hours on end—adults and kids alike!
One last photo. It doesn’t fit neatly with the rest, but it’ll probably be a favorite of mine for a long time to come, so it gets a space! It was the last round of hide and go seek for the night. While my sister counted, Ryan ran into the bathroom and climbed into the tub and I followed shortly after. Ryan was laughing breathlessly to himself with the excitement of hiding out and the anticipation of being found. I looked down at him and he had the most exuberant, proud look on his face, and as I stood there looking down I saw a compositional moment materialize—the photographic moments I live for, where light and lines and color collide with real life and I knew in an instant I had to grab my camera.