Turn up your volume, and let this play as you read this blog post.
This weekend, I spent Sunday with a recently engaged couple, Richard and Elizabeth. Two weekends prior, waiting for the morning fog to burn away. I stood atop the hillside with their friends and family. As Richard waited to surprise the girl of his dreams, he had roses in one hand, and a little box in the other. With a question burning on his lips, he waited. Pulling off a surprise that only God in His grace can give, Richard asked the question. He proposed.
And she said YES.
This story is less about that moment….and more about what you see below. Though I had planned to share prints with the couple at a coffee shop. It wouldn’t have been fair to wait. Handing Elizabeth a brown package tied neatly with string, I watched as she tore away the paper, revealing what was underneath. It must have been thirty minutes later that they looked up. There were a dozen photographs in the envelope. Yet together with Elizabeth’s mother sitting by their side, they had laughed and poured over the moments of time shared in the photographs. Remembering the details of the day, what had happened and who was there, they relived those moments. Each photograph breathing life into their story, and reminding them once again why they are saying YES to marriage.
Photography is NOT about pictures, the value lies far deeper. Photographs are a medium of emotion. Photographs should be held in your hands and close to your heart. You have five senses, engage them all as you relive, and remember the day you said, “I Do.” If I had texted or emailed a gallery link to Richard and Elizabeth, I doubt that they would have spent half an hour looking at twelve photographs. They would likely be wondering why there were only twelve, five minutes later.
Take this image from their proposal for instance. It is more than a picture. With the ice in my vanilla latte slowly melting, I had started to edit the photographs from the proposal. Sitting at Augies Coffee shop, I had glanced up from my editing, distracted by a random person walking into the room. As I looked back down, I saw the ceiling lights reflecting onto the glossy screen of my Macbook. It was the start of something new. Taking what started out as a couple standing on a hillside, with the browning grass slowly waving in the breeze. I created picture inception. This is a picture of a picture. Using my iPhone to capture the lighting reflecting off my computer screen, and editing the photograph in such a way that brought the couple into focus. I was able to distill this precious moment in time. To refocus the energy and capture a vision unique to Richard and Elizabeth.