Key West… beautiful architecture, nice weather, rich in history, and totally laid back. I really couldn’t think of a more appropriate location for Michelle and Brian’s wedding weekend, which started and ended, with beers in a bar in true Key West fashion.
We first met Michelle and Brian on the docks, as we were about to set sail with their friends and family. With most of the guest list (including us) escaping a particularly frigid winter, everyone was more than happy to spend the day sunbathing on the deck, snorkelling, and drinking margaritas. The night before they had launched the weekend with an official Duval street beer crawl. The island vibe continued on the wedding day, with steel drums and more margaritas, at the historical Hemmingway House. Michelle and Brian exchanged vows in the garden, both referencing Michelle’s forgetfulness and sharing a lot of laughs and quite a few tears and both sides of the family and friends shared touching stories throughout dinner.
Michelle is a wedding photographer, so her close-knit network of fellow DC professionals were there to celebrate, and they did so the way wedding photographers usually do when they are guests at a wedding: they let it all out on the dance floor. Champagne showers, Jersey turnpikes, ice cube spitting (this one is new to me!)… it was a wild night!
Michelle and Brian pulled off something that many brides and grooms dream of, yet few are capable of achieving: a stress-free, easy-going wedding day. It was sweet, and touching, and a ton of fun for everyone there, and we are so grateful to have been a part of it.
“Love in it’s truest form has no language or words, it just has a thousand and one actions we all wish we could describe” – K.B Emery
Daniel and I are no strangers to travelling to faraway locations for photoshoots; and since the birth of our son Max, we have several thousand photos to prove that we have also become quite used to photographing the every day life of a child! Travelling halfway around the world to photograph a family, however, was a first for us. When Lily contacted us to see if we would come to Taiwan to document a weekend in the life of her little family, we were so excited to take on a different kind of photography assignment, and one that we felt was very much up our alley.
For 3 days, we joined the Lee family on their family vacation; driving several hours from Taipei to Sun Moon Lake in central Taiwan, making pit stops along the way to grab a bite and stretch our legs, wandering around the park, and taking a boat trip around the lake. We didn’t need to speak the same language to get a sense of little Esme’s dynamic personality, or to know that she is a daddy’s girl through and through. We observed little Flynn, who at only a few months of age is mellow and quiet, and seems content to leave the spotlight to his sister. There were naps in the car, diaper changes, and a few meltdowns; real, every day stuff that we photographed for this family to look back on fondly. And you know what I love the most about all of this? These real moments, as we photographed them, all made Lily and Ray’s album selection.
At the heart of it all, of course, is the love described by Emery in the quote above. Love, in it’s truest form, the kind of love parents have for their children. A new love I personally experienced when I became a mother; a love I still struggle to put into words. Attempting to capture this love for the Lee family in Taiwan, through the “thousand and one actions,” was an unforgettable experience and we look forward to documenting this family as they grow. Lee Family, thank you for inviting us to Taiwan and for opening yourselves up to us and our cameras. See you at Disney World!
We first met Hannah and Geoffrey just over a year ago, when we photographed Hannah’s sister’s wedding in Antigua, Guatemala. A few things were different then; for one, I was sporting a large baby belly, and Hannah and Geoffrey were just dating. During our time in Guatemala, we were so warmly welcomed by the family and it was hard to say goodbye at the end of the trip. Luckily, we were invited back into the family for Hannah’s turn at the altar, and it was just like coming home. Needless to say, two weddings in, I am getting pretty comfortable in my role as the honorary fourth sister!
Hannah and Geoff married in Los Angeles, the city they currently call home. The event was cool and laid-back, yet super hip and trendy (do people still say “hip”?), just like Hannah and Geoff. Throughout the day they drank beer and took occasional puffs from their vaporizer. They spent quality time together; rereading their vows aloud to each other and recalling moments from the ceremony. And they laughed. A lot. Couples don’t often get the chance to just be together on their wedding day, and I loved that Hannah and Geoff chose to have this alone time during which they could exchange stories as the day was still unfolding.
We had intended to take portraits of Hannah and Geoff in their neighbourhood of Venice Beach the day following the wedding, but southern California experienced a rare rainy day so we rescheduled for a week later, when we were back in the area. The typical warm, sunny California weather was back and we were treated to a perfect evening for their day-after-turned-one-week-anniversary portrait session. Just like the wedding, the day was completely stress-free as we visited iconic Venice locations like the skatepark, the Venice sign, the murals, and the beach. Hannah and Geoff traveled in style in Geoff’s vintage Ford truck, and they exemplified the meaning of the word “patience” as Daniel had them drive along the beach “just one more time” about a dozen times so he could get his shot! As Daniel finished up this final photograph, and I entertained our (also very patient!) son Max who had been “assisting” us throughout the shoot, I was overcome with a sense of gratitude for the last year and for the opportunity to be a part of this family’s life for another momentous occasion. Hannah and Geoff, you were so good to us, and we loved being there with you as you tied the knot in style. We hope to be involved in your lives again soon! (There’s still a third sister!)