This wedding was one of the cutest I’ve photographed… but it’s so much more. Read all my thoughts at the bottom of the post. (I wanted to keep it short initially for those just wanting to see the pretty pictures!)
I woke up suddenly in the middle of the night. It took a moment to get my bearings. What had woken me, a dream, a noise?
No, it was a thought.
A really random thought. I was awoken by a thought about a friend from college. He’s in medical school and has recently been sharing cool photos about all the amazing things he’s doing. I woke up thinking: compared to him, what am I doing with my life? I work from home, I take pictures for a living. I spent so much time and money going after a degree and always pictured myself working hard to get a prestigious job and change the world. And now, I’m a photographer.
Sometimes I wonder if I failed. If I’m “successful.” If my life has meaning. If I’m still good enough because I’m “just a photographer.”
But, this morning when I woke up and began to think through my strange night time ponderings, I realized how silly it was. I didn’t plan to become a photographer and I truly believe that I am because it is a calling placed on my life. All the right doors have opened to it and I think it’s where God wants me. This past year, I have realized more than ever that life is short and full of many sweet moments. Those moments are gone too soon, but they can be forever saved in a photo. It sounds cliche, but it’s true.
I may not be able to give stitches, prescribe medicine, and a whole lot of other things for my clients… but, I can serve them, love them, and document beautiful memories for them to treasure. We’re all gifted differently and each gift has a special place.
I was encouraged by this passage:
15 Now if the foot should say, “Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body,” it would not for that reason stop being part of the body. 16 And if the ear should say, “Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body,” it would not for that reason stop being part of the body. 17 If the whole body were an eye, where would the sense of hearing be? If the whole body were an ear, where would the sense of smell be? 18 But in fact God has placed the parts in the body, every one of them, just as he wanted them to be. 19 If they were all one part, where would the body be? 20 As it is, there are many parts, but one body. 1 Corinthians 12:15-20
This was one of those weddings that reminded me why I do what I do.
I originally booked Brad & Ashley’s wedding as a destination wedding in Florida, but after Ashley’s mom was diagnosed with ALS, she changed all her plans to create a wedding closer to home so that her mom could be a part of it.
In 2 months, Ashley pulled together the most beautiful wedding at a lovely woodland location in central Illinois. She had the most stunning dress, gorgeous bouquet, and perfectly hung bistro lights over farmhouse tables… But, more beautiful than the details, were the moments. Ashley and her mom share a special bond. Ashley and Brad have a beautiful love story and two darling little girls they adore. They both have incredible family and friends that love and support them.
This wedding day was so much more than pretty dresses and flowers, it was a celebration and it was focused on all the things that really matter. It was full of special moments and love and commitment… I feel so privileged that I got to be a part of it. That I got to document this piece of their story. I know that these memories are going to be cherished for years to come.
Ashley’s mom went to be with Jesus a few weeks ago. I got teary when I heard the news. My heart aches for her and her family, but I’m so thankful that her mom got to witness that day. May her memory always bring a smile to those that loved her.