For a number of years, Kelly and I would meet on the eliptical trainers at the gym first thing in the morning, and often our conversation revolved around the ups and down of her dating life. At one point she was so disappointed with the journey that she said she had basically given up on love. I thought to myself “okay, yeah right. You will find love, but I’ll let you do what you need to do for the time being”. I just knew that there was no way that this woman who was one of the most luminous life filled friends I had ever known should be giving up on the idea of finding love. Kelly is the kind of person who pays for all of her friends to go see the Bon Jovi concert because she was obsessed with him when she was young, and then ends the night by swimming in city fountains in her 80s ripped t-shirt. If she were Oprah, she would take all her friends on a cruise. She is incredibly thoughtful, and talented, and funny, and faithful as a friend. She always looks radiant like she’s just returned from the beach, with the best natural blonde hair I’ve ever seen. About a year ago, Jeremy unexpectedly came into the picture. As Kelly explained it, all these years she had been wondering if her expectations for what she wanted in a husband were too high. She was frustrated because she met several people who would have some of the character qualities she was looking for, but then the cultural element wouldn’t be there. For as much joy as Kelly takes in design and art and beautiful food and great music, she had always hoped to find not only a man of character- but a man who could take joy in these things with her. She wondered if she needed to start being okay with OR rather than hoping for AND. After an early date with Jeremy at the Nelson Atkins Museum of art, she was walking out to the car and felt God saying to her “See Kelly? Your expectations weren’t too high; they were too low.” Jeremy became the AND, the one who was all of the things she had hoped for an more.
Getting to know Jeremy and his boys, I have quickly grown to respect him immensely. He is wise and gentle. Devoted, creative, intelligent. He loves Kelly in ways that surpass all of my hopes for her as her friend. It was so beautiful to be with these two on the day that their new life together began. Here are some favorites, and feel free to see the whole slideshow here.
A very special thanks to Dave and Jessi Lueck, who were about 1 week past their due date for their second baby, and they still insisted that Dave be my partner in shooting that day. You will see several of his photo below.
It’s a pretty deep thing to photograph big moments in the lives of people you love. This November I got to photograph the wedding of one of my dearest friends, Kelly Jackson. More on Kelly and Jeremy tomorrow, when I share some images from their very special wedding. But for now, I wanted to share a handful of simple love-filled moments from the night before the wedding; a small family rehearsal dinner. As I looked through the images, I became even more aware than I was that night of all of these great exchanges of affection. These little gestures tell a big story.
This first image is my favorite. One of the elements of this wedding and this story that I love the most is that in marrying Jeremy, Kelly is also marrying his two boys, David and JJ. As her close friend, I got to see that she loved them immediately. Both because they are wonderful and she adores them, but also because she is making a commitment to them, to love them forever and to make them her family. Kelly was emotional as she gave the boys a very personal gift that she had made for them, and David quickly stood up and grabbed Kelly and his dad with the biggest hug. It’s so good to see the beginning of them taking her into their lives as well.
The holidays crept up and took me by storm and I never got around to sharing the engagement session of one of my new favorite couples. Annemarie and Patrick are actually kind of a phenomenon to me, with their degree of intelligence, beauty, and kindness. We had the most beautiful sunny October afternoon together, and I’m so thankful that I get to be the one to record their wedding this coming June.
One of my dear wedding couples had a baby in November. Here she is; her name is Annabelle and she is perfect and they make it look easy and beautiful.
About a third of the time, my couples live in another state and in order to get to know one another before the wedding, we rely on a few phone calls and maybe a skype get together. Every time I talked with Faith throughout the year, I thought to myself how positive and gracious she was and how happy I was to have been connected with these two. Even after a brief conversation with her dad over the phone about logistics, I could tell that he loved his daughter very much. I knew this would be a good wedding.
The wedding was on the most beautiful sunny day in early November. One of my favorite photos of the day was made by my guest second shooter for the day, Wichita photojournalist Craig Hacker. He found a great hidden spot up front and captured the sweet way that Faith and Julian look at each other. I felt like it was a very “them” moment, a look that a saw several times throughout the day, but Craig captured it for them in the context of standing up at the altar, about to begin married life together. The reception was a non stop dance party, fueled by this super-fun cover band that I saw for the first time, The Patrick Lentz Band.
Thank you Faith and Julian for inviting me to be a part! Here are a few highlights…