A short while ago we were asked several questions for an article that would eventually be published in a bridal magazine. Here is one question I thought meant so much:
Q. What was the most impactful moment you have ever experienced since you have been a photographer?
A. I believe there were actually three that can be summed up by one word – LIFE. The fact that we are not just photographing but capturing and preserving memories of loved ones that can be so often not appreciated until they are gone.
-We did a wedding a few years back and about a year after the happiest day in this bride’s life she had passed away from ovarian cancer. It really did not hit Bonnie and I until we went to the funeral. I had never seen that many people at a funeral. We had gotten there just on time and had to go to the back during the service. When it was time for the final viewing and Bonnie and I processed closer to the casket our images, both wedding and engagement were everywhere. We both could not help but cry not only because Anita had passed but these images were the lasting memories the groom and bride’s parents would have to remember what an amazing person she had been and how she had touched their lives in so many ways. The image below was a large framed photo nearest the casket.
-The next was about a year ago when I was photographing a bride. I noticed her mother in the background at the Best Western Concorde Inn gazing with “that look”. The look of a parent that can not believe their child has grown and turned out to be the person they had always hoped for. Me being a father of two wonderful daughters myself I said I bet you are remembering the first time you held her … She began to well up with tears of joy. From that time until the beginning of the ceremony I kept noticing the mother smiling at me. Just after the ceremony started she came up to the alter to light the unity candle. On her way back down she stopped next to me, yes during the ceremony, and said do you remember what you said about the first time I held her? She continued; I wasn’t supposed to have children and she was a miracle and has been my best friend and the joy of my life ever since. We both began to tear up. The problem was she was able to sit down and I still had to take photos. From that moment on while we really enjoy everyone we photograph they actually felt closer, like family. Now the Bride has a Daughter of her own and the Mom who thought she would never have children is able to enjoy her Grandchild.
-The final moment actually hits me everytime we have people into the studio to meet for a wedding. We show a video that is on the blog that we did last April. It was one of the most amazing days not only because of the photos and video we captured but the people we worked with were so nice and have become really great friends. I put the video together kind of on an experimental basis and it turned out great. About that time the Movie Eragon was out and my daughter wanted to watch it. I took the song “Keep Holding On” by Avril Lavigne and worked it into the video. As fate would have it the Bride’s mother had passed away the following Thanksgiving just about the time that Bonnie’s father had passed away. I am reminded of how fragile our existence is and humbled each time it comes to the portion where the bride, Kelly, is having her shoes placed on by her mother and the words “so far away, I wish you were here, before its to late this could all disappear” are sung. At the time little did anyone know that within 7 months how much their lives would change.
So what is the most impactful moment?. While it sounds so cliche’ we are faced with so many moments that can become so meaningful in the right circumstances. Life happens and we can’t do a thing about it but try to make the best of it. So if you do nothing else enjoy the moments you have with the ones you love and we will be here to not only capture it but experience it with you. And remember always to give thanks for the challenges we are given, they are what makes us who we are.
Thank you for allowing Bonnie and I into your lives and be such an important part whether you realize it or not.
Love, Craig & Bonnie
Craig and Bonnie-
That was such a beautiful well written post.It brings tears to my eyes. Your work is amazing. Not only because of your talent but because of the hearts you have for people. My wedding photos are beautiful and we have them everywhere.Your words ring so true to us because just 2 years after our wedding we lost my dear grandmother. Someone who was close to my heart. We not only have memories but wonderful pictures of her thanks to the two of you!
Mark and Tracey Jennings