The One Emotion that Brings Joy


We begin every wedding nearly in the same way. Michael and I arrive to the starting venue (usually a hotel, house or wherever the bride and groom are getting ready) and we often go together to meet the bride and groom before we eventually split up to photograph them separately.

There is excitement in the air.

This is the beginning of the part I love. The getting ready part.

It’s not usually chaotic or filled with stress. Often times everyone is enjoying the process of getting hair and make-up done, sipping Champagne or spending quality time with the bride or groom. But the feeling is always there. It’s the feeling of anticipation.

I love anticipation. In fact, we all tend to love anticipation. It’s a powerful emotion that sends other emotions soaring. When we look forward to something, we tend to feel joy.

This feeling sets the tone for the day. It lays a foundation for what’s to come.

To us, it’s when a story begins to unfold and we get to tell it in our own special way, through our photography. And it always starts with this feeling of anticipation that we all collectively have for this bride and groom.

It’s also why I tell our brides and grooms to make room for it. Don’t rush this process of getting ready. Put it in your timeline. Or rather, allow us to put it in a timeline for you. Don’t skip over the getting ready part. It’s part of your story.

The Magic of a Photograph

I have a wallet-sized photograph from my childhood that I love. It’s a black and white picture of me with my neighborhood friends, taken on the grass in our neighborhood park. I am 10. Beside me is my older brother, as well as the photographer’s two boys and a few other neighborhood kids. There are 8 of us in total – a mix of mostly boys and two of us girls.

We’re all standing with our arms dangling around each other’s shoulders. Our hair is messy. We are all grinning, except one boy who is stoically looking into the camera, arms crossed, trying hard not to smile. The youngest boy has his shirt off, and he’s goofily flexing his muscles like only a seven year old could.

I love this picture.

When I look at it, it brings me right back to that day, and to that grassy park where I spent so much of my time. It was a summer filled with rope swings over the local creek, countless hours jumping on my neighbor’s trampoline, and riding bikes aimlessly until the sun went down. We played hide-and-seek, using the entire neighborhood as fair game.

You can’t tell in this black and white photo, but I remember it was towards the end of that summer, just before school started up again. Still hot, but not sweltering and the leaves on the trees were beginning to turn bright yellow.

I love this picture. To someone else, it would mean nothing. We aren’t dressed very nice, we all look disheveled. But to me, it reminds me of one of the best childhood summers I ever had. And it’s the first photo that made me fall in love with the magic of photography.

I believe that everyone should have a photograph that takes them back in time and sparks joy whenever they look at it.

To me, that is the beauty of photography. It’s the magic that a single photograph can have. This is why we do what we do.