Liz and Jonathan’s harvest moon wedding in Cape Cod was just the sweetest, with the most eclectic, loving group of friends and family, and cakes made by the bride, and an Armenian-Middle Eastern-Mediterranean spread of food provided by loved ones, and not just a couple becoming one, but the celebration of a new family. Lots of laughing, a few tears, a bounty of homemade touches and at least one ornery sea captain. See for yourself, and leave the happy couple some love.
I just returned from an 11-day trip to the East Coast, including a week spent in New York City with my husband as an early 15th anniversary celebration. It was bliss. We stayed in a very bohemian 5th floor walk-up apartment in the Village and spent our days exploring and without an itinerary, which is how we like to travel. We hadn’t been back there since I went to college north of the city a decade and a half ago, and it felt nostalgic and new at once. Taking so many street and documentary photos also made me realize that I need to make more space in my life for personal work, so that’s my goal as winter nears.
For those interested in technicals, I shot all of these with what I call my “little camera,” my Olympus OM-D e-m5 with a 17mm f/1.8 lens. It wasn’t quite pocket-sized but it was much less conspicuous and much easier to tote around than my usual rig, and I loved the results.
When Michele booked senior photos for her daughter Lizzie, she explained to me that Lizzie has Angelman Syndrome, and her life — what brought her joy, what her abilities were, what she understood — was similar to that of a preschooler. Lizzie doesn’t know or care what senior photos are. But Michele, having gone through the senior photo experience with two older sons, and having raised Lizzie to this final year of high school, cared.
This wasn’t for Lizzie, Michele said. This was for her. They had gotten to this point together, and she just wanted to celebrate her daughter. Her daughter who is as unique and precious and beautiful as any other high school senior. Her daughter who holds an equal place in their family as her brothers. Her daughter who, while she may always have the heart and innocence of a child, has made great strides in getting to where she is today.
We didn’t know what to expect. I don’t think either of us would even have dared to hope for what we got that night.
From the moment she sat down on her grandmother’s tree swing in her powder pink prom dress and started exclaiming in pure joy, Lizzie stole my heart. When I got tears in my eyes five minutes into our session, I literally pinched my own arm and said, “Pull it together, you’ve got a job to do.” Because it was really important to me to do this job well, and to do right by this family.
I couldn’t let myself really feel it then, but man am I feeling it now.
This girl is deeply loved and deeply cherished. To have been invited to document their celebration of sweet Lizzie was one of the greatest honors of my career. Join me in congratulating Lizzie and her family on the start of her senior year and feel free to leave some love for Michele here. She’s one amazing mama.
Danny is such a kind, responsible, hardworking guy. We spent the evening driving around to places that hold special meaning to him, from Devil’s Lake State Park, which he bikes miles and miles to whenever he can, to the lot where his childhood home once stood, where an evergreen tree he had planted with his grandpa still grows.
Rylee was my longest session ever — two days, locations ranging from a little old apple orchard to an abandoned house to a home on the historic register to the majestic Al Ringling Theatre.
Rylee is a vintage girl in the modern world, and she had a very clear vision of what she wanted her senior photos to be. In instances like this, it’s really an honor to be chosen as her photographer, the one she trusts to make that vision come to life and to create something different than what everyone else is doing. She’s one of a kind, and I think the images we created together are, too.