Mustard Seed. (The light hitting the water: part two)

It doesn’t happen all the time, which is what makes it feel so good, I think.

Despite all the noise in this busy world, things get very quiet. And I can see the color of the light and all the zones of gray as the shadows start to bend and spread, like a photographer’s stepping-stones;
sometimes, the only way to get from where we are to where we want to be.

If it is late in the afternoon, just before sunset, the light seems to drip off of things,
and because I know it will all change within seconds I must look into the future;
a private little race between the sun and me.

  

I live for these moments, and in them I feel truly centered, and the work seems to do all of my talking for me. Photography has become so much more to me than a job, and more than my passion even. It is my voice, and some how it always seems to say the right thing.

This summer has been one of the really good one’s. One of those summers that I know I will look back on and long for. Thank heavens then for photographs and for all that quiet & dripping light, because in June I traveled to Mexico and kicked off the wedding season with a wedding of my very own…

                                                                                    Right next to the water.
             

The truth is, I would have married Drew the day that we met. But it took ten years and six months to finally meet on a beach in the Riviera Maya with a small group of family, and make it official. Drew wore flip flops and after it was over he threw me over his shoulder and carried me off, down the beach. The clouds kept us cool and everywhere we looked, there was a blur of smiling faces, and so much love.

I don’t think I will ever forget the way it felt, but if I ever do, I will just look at all the photographs and travel back in time.
(Or look into the face of my husband, who never seems to age for me.)

He is the light, He is my water.

  The woman responsible for these beautiful images is my assistant and partner here at Seraphim Fire, Hannah Thomas.
Over the last year, Hannah and I have had far off adventures photographing weddings in places like South Carolina, various regions of Colorado & Wyoming, and most recently, Mexico. She has a beautiful eye for details and composition, and on the day of our wedding she moved quietly around us, simply capturing what existed, and with her own share of love…
she also happens to be my new sister in law.How wonderful that this marriage has brought with it a new partner in work & life. Twice. Thank you so much to my sisters that spent their time & energy making me feel (and look) so beautiful on our wedding day.
A few weeks later, still buzzing, Hannah & I flew back to Mexico (To the exact same little beach in the Riviera Myay!) to capture the wedding of Natalie Wellam and Ian Seyerle. Natalie is originally from London, but lives now in Houston, Texas. Her crew for this weekend wedding celebration flew in from all over Britain & the U.S., and gave me the opportunity to experience a little bit of my own wedding, but this time, behind the lens.
How marvelous…
      





Every wedding is unique, and it is one of those rare times in our life that we can share the way we feel about our partner, unencumbered.
I think the guests (and even the vendors) can get caught up in the wake of such a glow, and then they carry that extra little bit of love into their own lives…
And you never know the impact that influence can have one us,
or the distance it can go.


 

I wish I could recall for you all the details of those few minutes before I walked through the door, on my father’s arm. But I will tell you that it was very quiet, and the light seemed to drip off of things. And I thought of mustard seeds.

It was years ago that I heard the expression that ‘Faith the size of a mustard seed can move mountains.” and it gives me so much joy.
It reminds us of our power as individuals, I think. Tells us to hold on.

Without faith we might never try anything new, or scary. We might never travel, or follow our passions. With out it, we might settle for something less than true love.

I think that passion is my mustard seed; my passion for Drew and for photography. And even though it can’t be seen or touched, its power is still so present to me.
Perhaps if I keep using my camera to harvest,
I can always share the bounty…

The light hitting the water….

Have you ever woken up from a long night of sleep and really taken notice of your waking style?

For me, waking up is, some days, an act of feverish irreverence. I feel like my four year old self, frustrated with the weight of my arms and legs. (I remember my father’s response to this plight; “Get up and shake it off. You will feel right as rain once you move around a little.” He was right, and every time I wake up feeling this way, I hear his words again, bouncing around the walls of my memory.)   There are also those mornings when I breath in deeply right as the light starts to creep into my room, and the morning shows promise by doing nothing but letting that light land against me.

Two and a half years ago I walked into a design class at 7:30AM on one of the former of mentioned mornings. It was my first class of my second degree, the first in three years of living in New York, and now I was back in Colorado; somewhat of a stranger to my old hometown.
In the front row sat a lovely looking woman with a pair of bright blazing blue eyes, and the same look on her face that I exhibited. It was a look of excitement and skepticism; the exceptionally large cup of coffee next to her told me that we would be kindred. Michelle Knudsen, a young and athletic dancer and photographer, would grace nearly every day of the following 730 days. Our schedules mirrored one another, and most of our colleagues came to know us more as sisters. Flash forward to early March, when Michelle casually asks me, in the most charming way, to write something special for her wedding next month. This was not the only request, but she also expressed a desire that I present these musings during the ceremony.
(In that moment I am not sure that she realized how my pride had swelled.)

Now it is no secret to those of you that know me, that I am a romantic. I am silly with the stuff in fact, and cannot seem to pry myself away from the sweetest of ideals. So this task seemed perfectly appropriate, and although I knew it would be a challenge, I accepted immediately. I did however show pause over my ability to read it aloud on the big day. As social as I am, I have a death defying fear of public speaking. This fear claims 75% of the population, but add my emotional nature and tendency to cry at weddings, and well… I had to take time to consider what I would be delivering up there. The weeks that followed have been a personal journey into not only capturing the love of two dear friends, but also an attempt in defining love entirely. Or perhaps, more simply, what I love so much about it.    

I began by thinking of what made Michelle and Rob so unique, and in my eyes, so true. I thought back to that first day; the privilege of gaining this new friend. It was a few months before I met Rob, and I remember thinking that Michelle radiated a particular light. ( One that most photographers go in search of their whole lives.) When I finally laid eyes on her other half, and then their wonderful ‘dance’, it was like adding water. He seemed to pull the light out of her, and improve its shine. It was a remarkable thing to see. In fact, it was something I will never forget. (As a child I would have described it like a kaleidoscope. One side shows you the blurry but slow falling of colored beads and the creation of constant new design. If you flip it over and look through the other side it is a whole new experience, but with the same use of color and form. The same kind of beauty, but independent of its second side.

Not unaware, simply unencumbered.)

After these revelations, I got stuck. Each time I would sit down to write about my love of love, I would short circuit. For centuries writers have tried to successfully take an emotion and explain it with words. Painters have tried to capture it with color, and musicians have exhausted their efforts in connecting notes that reflect the simple expression of feeling. I would become overwhelmed with my task and walk away from my computer, sometimes cursing heatedly under my breath. Not at myself, but at all those artists, for setting such a reckless example…. (Heh heh eh)
I finally realized that I would have to take all of that anxiety and turn it into something manageable. I began to picture it like a kitchen sink piled with dishes. I could take each dish one at a time, and rinse away the mess. And with that thought, I started clean. What I uncovered was all the obvious things that we already know, but enjoy revealing.  

That each of us is a truly unique being; in the eyes of the ones that love us best. That we get to create our relationships right out of our wildest dreams. That the ‘rules of the game’ have never been defined because, well, they are different for every team.

I began looking back on my photography and even there I saw the evidence of my always evolving theories. An on going series called ‘What love must be like’ popped up in my archives each month, and I felt again like a child, seeing myself grow.  

I realized that it isn’t a ‘definition’, as in the boundary of a meaning, but the shaping and directing of a substance. Even one that is theoretical.  That light hitting the water.

In 19 days I will hop a plane to the Riviera Maya, and surrounded by rich yellows and seductive reds, I will delight in the sharing of these revalations, and regale in the coming together of  two amazing elements.

Congratulation Michelle and Robert Dillon…. I am in awe of your light.

“The tide is pulled and kept constant by the gravitational pull of the moon. These two things rely on one another to continue on, unabashed. You are what pushes and pulls me against all the otherworldly concepts. When you are there to ground me, my world can keep on spinning. “