Please don't skim this, read it in its entirety if you read it at all.
Its a sunday morning, and we didn't photograph a wedding yesterday. We aren't not on a plane back, or driving home. I woke up next to my wife, my golden boy Brinkley snuggled between us, and Cat on the other side. We are settling into our fall, slowly, reluctantly saying farewell to summer. Its been a wonderful year. So many beautiful weddings getting finished and ready to send out to clients.
We don't have many sunday mornings like this, which makes the ones we do have all that sweeter. I love our job, and I thrive in the craziness, the hustle, and the constant pressure and motion that creates the best work. I also love the silence, cold early hours, and waking slowly.
A couple weeks ago, we had a weekend off, our anniversary weekend. I won't go into the details of what is an intensely personal thing. I'll just sum it up by saying that I needed to make a trip to Colorado. I didn't want to, it wasn't convenient, but I needed to make the trip. Rachel being the amazing person she is, understood. Without words, and with no guilt trip or resistance made me realize all the reasons I said "till death do us part".
Wedding photography is at its core, all about story. Anyone who knows me knows that story is everything to me. Most of us are the same way, whether we know it or not, we all love story. Its why we love movies, why we need heroes, and why God is a uncomfortable reality we can't shake. This year has been a huge learning experience for us both. Shooting film means that I spend less time in front of a computer, or looking at a LCD, and more time looking at people. We watch, listen, talk and guide. You take the image, not 5, but the one that was real. Thats the goal anyway. In any interaction there is that millisecond of "truth". That magic look, glance or breath that was. You can miss it, fleeting as a heartbeat. I'm not exaggerating, or romanticizing. In all the years of shooting, this is what I know.
What makes a life, what makes a story, is a series of these magic moments. spread through decades, sometimes centuries. Each choice, each kiss, every laugh. As a photographer it is my life's goal to learn to see this. Not only in my own life, but in countless others. I'm not talking about "capturing moments", as this truth can be seen in the most directed posed image if done correctly. Its something bigger than that. Its a truth that any work of art can contain, a song, a painting, a sculpture, or a book. Its not a moment. Its Art.
The above image is a series of darkroom prints we've made over the weekend. In the midst of all the images of beauty, love, weddings and anniversaries is a contact sheet, and a couple of small prints. They are of my father and grandfather. a single roll of kodak tri-x film that contains 27 years of me, and what these two men are to me. They aren't the best images I've ever made, or will make. They are precious to me, and I don't even fully understand why. Maybe someday I will, or maybe not.
Its a part of the story. It needed said. What do you need to say?