I've been thinking about writing a manifesto. Not as intense as it sounds - promise!
I love weddings. I love photographing weddings. I am a wedding photographer. Is what I say at parties when strangers ask what it is that I do. And I absolutely love photographing weddings! I love being present at a celebration of convergence, of any path taken together. Be that hand in hand or secure in the knowledge that when you stop short to tie your shoe, someone is absolutely going to run into you and they won't resent you for it. Marriage is an adventure and choosing adventure warrants champagne on any day of the week. Yes, even the much maligned and oft overlooked Tuesday.
The trouble is that within the bright spark that comprises a wedding, love and commitment is celebrated loudly, boldly... and briefly. A handful of hours preceding the meat of your shared lives are beautifully documented, invested in... and the rest... is silence? Okay, or whispered library quiet.
How did you know I just paused to bow dramatically?
I know I don't have to tell you that the internet is awesome and it sucks so hard at the very same time. Oodles and essays have been written about the millennial self esteem ruination that is Insta-envy. Just ask Teddy Roosevelt. I mean, he didn't have Instagram so he probably isn't a reliable source. But what really gets overlooked is the insidious residue that suggests your life - your real life - is not photography worthy.
Yes, I am jumping up and down like Rumpelstiltskin right now. But I'm done now, so it's okay.
It doesn't actually matter if you're married. How many kids you do or don't have. How old you are. First marriage or fifth marriage. Did you know Elizabeth Taylor was married eight times? And the human head weighs eight pounds. If you're single. Whether you have one dog and six cats, a horse and two chickens or whether you had waffles for breakfast. Actually, if you have waffles for breakfast, please invite me over - I will bring the champagne and make portraits.
here is the deepest secret nobody knows...
Love doesn't start or stop with a grand celebration. Yes, I almost wrote "a bang" but thought better... and then reconsidered. You're welcome.
Love isn't trendy. But that doesn't mean you shouldn't document it. That print on the wall should make you smile on a terrible day. And no, you shouldn't smile because you are wearing matching khaki outfits. Unless that's truly your thing. But you should smile because that photograph represents a moment in time. And that's it. Not THE MOMENT. A moment. Where you were you. And you chose not to forget it. And that's worth celebrating.
I started writing this as a manifesto so I guess a proclamation of some sort is in order. Here is what I want to photograph in 2016: you, as you are. Sure, we can go somewhere beautiful. Yes, you can give some consideration to your clothing. We can also stay home. We can "just" make waffles. And the photos will be amazing. Because, you, my friends. Stop selling yourselves short!
Happy Thanksgiving! Please love the shit out of you and those next to you. And by all means, take their picture!