“Do I have to wear makeup?”
That was the first thing Emily said to me when she arrived at her Senior shoot. Which made me laugh out loud, because it was such an Emily thing to say.
“No. Not if you don’t think it’s you.”
I’ve had the opportunity to work with Emily through community theater over the past year or so and I can tell you she’s wonderful. Intelligent, musically talented, ambitious, and naturally lovely. She isn’t fussy and when it came to planning this shoot her direction was simple: “Where ever you think is best. Whatever you think is best. Whatever you want to do”. It can’t get more easy going than this girl.
When I asked Emily if there was anything she wanted to include as a prop, however, she had an idea: a favorite book. I can’t recall a time that I’ve seen her without a book. At theater practices she’d read between scenes, discuss books while waiting in the wings, hide a book in her costume during dress rehearsals because books are basically a necessary and additional limb for her. I loved the idea.
“The supreme adventure is being born. There we do walk suddenly into a splendid and startling trap… When we step into the family, by the act of being born, we do step into a world which is incalculable, into a world which has its own strange laws, into a world which could do without us, into a world we have not made. In other words, when we step into the family we step into a fairy-tale.” -G.K. Chesterton
I’d like to start off by saying that this is likely my most picture-heavy blog post to date. There, you’ve had your warning. Next I’d like to tell you that I have never been in the presence of Erty and Greta and experienced the slightest inkling of a dull feeling. It’s impossible to feel anything but glitter of enthusiastic lovers of life when you’re around them and the people they love most. From the moment Greta explained her vision for their engagement photos (for which they were renting costumes and requested the local Historical Museum for the location) to the first wedding consultation where she explained the possible theme (Victorian Steampunk with yard games, board games, and a singing bridal party- ahem, adventure party) I knew this was going to be one unique event.
There were far too many aspects of this wedding that I wanted to tell you about- the non-traditional adventure party, the monarch butterfly “fairy-girl”, the father and sister of the bride singing as part of the ceremony, the bouncy horse jousting, and oh the shoe envy! Way more unique things than I could list. But since I hear a picture is worth a thousand words, here are approximately one hundred thousand words beyond what I could say:
Wedding Venue: http://www.fortunelakelutherancamp.org/
Yesterday I updated my bio section on this blog. I alluded to a conversation I had in which “a wise man once told me ‘You can never take a picture, see? They have to give it to you.'” After rereading the paragraph I felt like maybe that sounded made up or found somewhere on the streets of Pinterest, and so I thought I’d introduce you to Fred himself. I met Fred at Cornerstone Music Festival in Bushnell, IL during the summer of 2011. I was making a point of taking portraits of strangers at the time and asked if I might chat with him for a while and maybe get a picture of him at the end. As it happens, Fred is an artist and lives in a commune in Chicago. He, too, is a photographer. I wrote our conversation down because I loved what he had to say and I think about it all the time in regards to the art I create and the connection it creates in me to the people I work with.
“Everyone asks me “did you take that picture?”. I always say “no, they gave it to me”. You never take a picture. Someone must give it to you. When I painted I started with a blank canvas and created from my mind. When I photograph my mind must be blank and the creation is already there before me. It’s the relationship you have with someone, even if it’s just for a second. Even if you don’t talk. Your eyes meet and there’s a relationship between you and who you’re photographing.”