I often get the question if I have a favourite wedding and the honest answer is I don’t. Explaining why is always going to sound like a blurb, but it almost always comes down to how well I’ve connected with the couple, the families and the rest of the people attending. Some of the couples I’ve shot have become friends for life, others I have a deep connection with even though we rarely talk. But the connection is there, what we experienced will always link us together.
One of those couples are Rachel and Jeff.
I shot their wedding in August 2011 and everything about it was amazing. Their way of letting me into their lives, showing me who they are with all the vulnerability that involves will forever be an inspiration to me, both in my work, but also in life. The portrait of them together between those trees with the seagull above them is still the favourite portrait I’ve ever captured. After I sent the image to Rachel, she sent me this message back.
I want you to picture Jeff and I squeezed in to our round chair, we don’t really fit and our dogs have been asleep at our feet for hours. It is very chilly here and the leaves are falling but we are reluctant to put on our heat yet. I say to Jeff, “let’s check your unemployed wife’s email, maybe we are about to get wealthy.” When I saw “it’s up” I stopped breathing. You reminded me that all that matters is squeezed in that chair next to me.
This is the moment I have been craving and dreading all at the same time. It feels like a final celebration in a way to me. Like our last chance for you, nirav and us to take what we created together, between all of our hearts, and say to the world this is love, this is what’s important, this is the power of photography.
I am sitting here with this feeling inside that I felt before. I felt it when we sent that email off into thin air hoping to create something with you. I felt this when Jeff and I woke up in the middle of the night on our honeymoon in our little cabin (Jeff would be the first to tell you if you didn’t already have your ticket back to Australia I would have brought you on our honeymoon too) but picture us there and we are on an island in the middle of the ocean in the rain in a little cabin and i press my iphone on and it reloads your website and “One” is there. Jeff and I held each other and cried and cried and cried. You have healed parts of me. If that is not the measure of your success, I don’t know what is.
I love you.