Holy smokes. I started working on the new collection the other day. Aaand. Ohmigod. I think I need to share a little sneak peek ALREADY. I mean, that would be like no self control AT ALL, but I’m not very good at keeping my own secrets.Anyway, let’s first talk about Alison and her gown before I burst. She came to me with a file full of inspiration photos, and each image was more feminine and romantic than the one before. Just oodles of gowns blowing in the breeze and the lightest, most gorgeous fabrics. Obviously, we needed to do something incredible for this girl.
Its hard to believe, but this is my 10th year photographing weddings. Ten years!! In that time I think I’ve photographed somewhere around 150 weddings. Its been incredible watching people make the most profound commitment they will ever make, many of those with my husband Ben working along side me. I’ve been taught and inspired and encouraged and critiqued by very talented photographers, and I’m grateful for their words and passion that kept me going the last 10 years. The most profound changes in my life, however, have been over the last three years. We became parents first to our daughters Cora and Ruby, and then to our twins Louis and June. Four kids in three years people. (If you’re wondering how thats biologically possible, they’re adopted). Over the last year especially its become much harder to work 9-5 and miss Saturday adventures with them. My husband is a rockstar dad, he’s biked all over the city with our kids this summer, they went to every park and farmers market, ate lots of donuts and corn dogs, and had the best summer ever. And I was able to photograph some amazing couples and have photo adventures of my own. But as my kids (and me) are getting older, I want to be able to ride along on those adventures and not just hear about them at the end of the day.
So…(big breath) this will be my last year photographing weddings.
Scary right? I’m a little scared myself but its a decision I have to make, and I know it’s the right one. But wait, what about photographing kids? Babies? Families? Seniors? YES! I will still be working very hard capturing families playing and loving each other. I’ll also be working on personal projects, the most important being finishing my home darkroom and getting to know film again. Film is where my passion for photography was born when I was 15 and I’m anxious to explore that forgotten part of myself. I’m excited to capture more adoption stories and re-engage with the non-profits that make Lincoln great. There is definitely still a lot ahead for me (including a few more weddings before I finish out the year).
I want to take a moment and thank a few people. First, Janine. You were not only the best wedding photographer for Ben and I, but you were a kind and patient teacher. You gave me my first professional camera and spent three years teaching and encouraging me. You made the last 10 years possible. The end. Thank you for trusting and believing in me, for putting up with my big mouth, for sharing lots of ice cream and popcorn, and for teaching me how to do this amazing job.
Second, Ashley and Jeremy. You both inspired Ben and I to take this job and turn it into an incredible journey. You showed us how to tell good stories and how those stories make us better. Thank you for being our friends, for showing us true things, for leading by example what “Don’t Give Up” means.
Third, friends and family. You hired us. You said the nicest things about our work. You babysat our kids. You provided bottles of wine. I always felt supported and encouraged. Thank you.
Fourth, our couples. I’m honored that you chose us, let us in, and inspired us. You made the magic happen, not me. Thank you. I hope your images can speak loudly to you in dark times and remind you to celebrate in the midst of the ordinary.
Lastly, Ben. This was never your passion as much as mine but you sacrificed six years to shoot with me. I miss our wedding “dates”. I miss climbing on your shoulders to take the big wedding party shot (clients know what I’m talking about). I miss dancing the last dance with you when we were so tired we could fall over. This year wasn’t the same without you by my side and I love our family enough to accept change when it needs to come.
So, I wanted to share the lovely faces that I’ve been able to photograph over the last seven of my ten years. Here they are…and be kind, textures and other weird edits were very cool seven years ago.
So now that I’m doing custom work exclusively, I’ve been thinking a lot about what the next collection is going to be. I had originally thought I would do just one showpiece gown each season, but I’ve got way too many ideas in my head, so now it’s going to be a showcase collection. And whooaaa am I excited. There are so many factors that go into designing a collection for retail – you have to consider ease of reproduction, costs, how flattering the style will be on hundreds of women instead of just one – and it’s not easy. It also means a lot of the more envelope-pushing ideas have to be put to the side, because they’re just not doable within those parameters. But designing a collection of showcase gowns? It’s not any of that, and I’m practically out of my mind with ideas. This is some of what’s inspiring me …