The day before the wedding I began my trek from Northern Arizona to Southern New Mexico (because just about any distance would be worth traveling to get to shoot with and for Erin, owner of Sunshine Picture Project). What normally would be a 6 hour drive turned into 11 hours! This was one of my first trips with just me and two kids-Ione was 4 1/2 months at the time. Between pit stops for feedings and changings, and weather the trip got slower and slower. Finally I pulled into Lordsburg to make my last leg of the trip to find the freeway closed. The kids were both crying. So I pulled into the land of happiness and golden arches to wait it out. Right then a truck pulled up next to me. The windows rolled down and it was my grandparents! They knew I was travelling, that I was running way behind, and that the freeway was closed. My phone had lost battery and they hadn't been able to reach me, so they started canvassing the little town, trying to guess where I'd hole up waiting for the road to open.
Grandma helped carry the kids in, and got them fed just in time for the weather to mellow out and the road to open again (that neck of the woods experienced some horrific dust storms over the summer). It was such a blessing to have them show up and sure made me feel loved!
It was stressful at the time, but it gave me a lot of thinking time as well. I thought about weddings, about my job as a photographer, about my job as a 2nd shooter, and why I even was driving that far to come 2nd shoot a wedding.
It's because of family. Family is everything. Marriage is the beginning of a family. Marriage is the cornerstone of a happy and successful family. I take pictures because perhaps on a hard day, one of my clients can look at their wedding photos and remember the joy and commitment they promised that day. Perhaps when everything seems impossible my clients can look at their family photos and feel thankful for these people that stick by them no matter what. I do this because photographs carry emotion, and if I can add any strength to a marriage or family, I'm all over it!
Ashley and Jason's wedding in Las Cruces was stunning in every detail. Erin had worked so hard with them to coordinate times for the perfect light for the ceremony, the type of hotel room for the men to get ready in so it would have enough light, the place for the First Look, all of it. She poured her heart and soul into that wedding and into the couple, and it was so neat to watch her relationship with them and to see how everyone's hard work all pulled together. It was absolutely gorgeous!