carly + robert
saturday, april 16, 2016
be seen. the words echoed in my head as i loaded my gear into the car. the sun arrived on schedule that morning, but the warmth it brought had been long overdue. it felt like it should have been the first day of spring.
i was looking for a lesson, some kind of take away from the day. my task for the day was simple, i have done it hundreds of times in the past. in fact, photographing a wedding has almost become a system, or a standard process that i have developed with the help of my inspirations. but today i wanted more. i wanted to abandon my comforts, take risks, maybe even fail. but most of all i wanted to be open and to experience the day with new eyes.
it was just about time for carly to slip into her gown as i was discussing our schedule with her mother. i suggested she go ahead of carly and get dressed so she would be in her wedding attire in the photos. i could immediately tell she wasn’t comfortable with the idea. she had recently been in an accident and wanted to remain comfortable until closer to the ceremony time. i thought about it for a second and realized that i had found my lesson.
it flowed out of me as if i had rehearsed it a thousand times but the thoughts were new, unfiltered, and untested. i realized it didn’t matter what carly’s mom was wearing, how her makeup looked, or how tidy the room was. what mattered was that she had the opportunity to spend the next few minutes putting the final touches on what has been a lifetime of preparation for this day for her daughter. every moment in their lives led to this very moment. and thats when it clicked.
one of my favorite authors, alan watts, once said… “you can never fully live until you can live fully in this moment, right now.” the words had never meant as much to me as they did right then and there. i realized no matter what transpired when we went up to the room to get dressed, it would be beautiful. all that mattered is that we were here, now.
some incredible moments happened in that room. a father wept, simply from the sight of his daughters beauty. i realized i have a choice. i can choose to see what i want to see. and my camera, it helps me remember. ill always remember the way her dad apologized for not being stronger, the way rob tenderly kissed her hand at the first opportunity he had to touch her. i’ll remember the way they looked at each other under the chuppah, the way they laughed together during the toasts, the way they danced and sang together. it was all beautiful.
as i left i committed to looking for the beauty in everything. its there, you just have to open your eyes.
here are a few of my favorite moments from the day.