Sometime last year I came up with the idea of photographing couples who have been married 50+ years. I always love anniversary dances at weddings and feel like those are the couples we should be celebrating. It’s like 300 people come to cheer you on when you get married, but for some reason, the longer you are married, the less people celebrate or cheer for it.
(PS: If you know of a couple who has been married for 50 or more years, get in touch, I’ll take their photos.)
I don’t know if I could have picked a better couple to kick off this little series.
Vernon and Gwen were married January 16, 1965. That’s about 50 years and 4 days ago. ;) They were so so sweet and kind. Their relationship has such a security to it. One is not trying to outdo the other. As they tell a story they take turns handing off parts of the conversation to each other like olympians passing a baton. One of the first things that came up was the topic of movies and this was their exchange.
Gwen: “I love Cary Grant. How can you be so funny and look so good?”
(3 second pause.)
Vernon: “There’s only a few of us.”
I was hooked.
As I photographed them they told stories about their journey and what it means to share a life with someone. I felt my marriage getting stronger just by listening to them talk about theirs. I loved watching them flirt like a pair of newly-weds. I loved the little looks she gave him when he was about to cross a line. I loved that Vernon’s office has a photo of the Mona Lisa next to a photo of John Wayne.
At first my plan was to just do a few photos of them, but after about 30 seconds of hanging out with them, I knew I had to film them answering a few questions about marriage and life.
It’s not a LOL Instagram cat.
It’s not a dog riding a skateboard on Youtube.
It’s not even a super funny 21 random facts you didn’t know BuzzFeed list.
It’s just 2 people who have been married 50 years telling you what it takes to make that happen.
They may also give opinions on wedding budgets and saying yes to the dress. ;)
So, if you have 5 minutes to spare, you should watch this video.
Wow, last weeks Top 10 contest was the biggest ever. There were over 4,400 votes cast. (You people have a lot of friends.) The bridal category had close to 600 votes and was decided by only 1 vote. Anyway, here are the winners for this past year. Be sure and shake hands and say good game before you walk off the field. You couples that won, you can go to bed tonight knowing you are champions. You couples that lost…. you can go to bed tonight complain about the officials.
Marriage is tough.
Balancing marriage and work is tougher.
Balancing marriage and work when you work at the same high school is tougher-er.
Balancing marriage and work when you work at the same high school and both your jobs depending on how well the halftime performance goes is the toughest.
So glad that Katie & Joe trusted me to pull of this shot. I love it.
Nicole and Tyson met on Twitter. Yeah. Twitter. 140 characters at a time they fell in love. I would love to be there when one day they have to explain to their grandkids what Twitter was.
I’m sure many an Aggie bride has dreamed of drinking a pitcher of beer at the Dixi Chicken in a wedding dress. Emily actually pulled it off.
Mug Machine: Hair
Amanda and her friend had a KILLER wedding reception. It only makes sense that one of their Mug Machine images won.
This may honestly be my favorite “lucky” photo I’ve taken this past year. You can never predict what little kids will do. I never expected her to jump in the air as she tossed petals left and right.
It’s a bit ironic, but last year’s winning wedding image was also a hug that took place shortly after the ceremony. That’s such an unscripted time. It’s always full of so much emotion. I saw this moment unfolding and was so so glad that I was able to do it justice. Anytime part of your day involves the rebuilding of a family, I’m all in. Thank you Caleb & Sarah for trusting me with your wedding.
Thanks again to everyone who voted. It was fun. Let’s do it again next year.
It’s that time again. It’s time to look back at some of the best photos from 2014. Everyday we’ll be taking a look at a new category. Voting is open till midnight and the winners will be announced Monday. The winning entries will each receive a 16×20 print.
Today’s category: Weddings
Take a look at the entries then vote at the bottom of this post.
One of my favorite things about my job is how unique each of my couples are, even though I’m basically shooting the same event every weekend. They all vary so much from each other due to the personalities and stories that are unfolding each day. The reasons I love these images are not because they are the most technically “correct” or most beautiful image. It’s because I feel like they nail who each of these couples are in one single image.
1. Prayer: Megan & Stephen’s faith plays a huge role in their life. (They were married at a Biblical Arts Museum for crying out loud.) Anyway, this shot of them praying together right after their First Look, just nailed them and their day.
2. Field: Amanda & Dale were planning on getting married back in 2013. Illness and other issues forced them to have to postpone their day. When April 2014 finally rolled around, you could tell they didn’t care about anything related to fancy wedding, appetizers, or linens.
They didn’t care if there were 500 guests or 5 guests. They just wanted to be married to each other.
3. Horse: Katelyn & Chris know what they want; especially Katelyn. I love brides who know what they want. Katelyn wanted a few shots at the stock yards on her way to the ceremony. We literally stopped traffic to get some shots of her and her wedding party.
4. Century Tree: If you know anything about Aggies you know they love their traditions. (Sometimes a bit too much.) Anyway, Emily & Lucas wanted to get married under the Century Tree. It’s a rare sort of deal and a bit of a guerrilla operation to make it happen. So this little moment where they were able to stand under the tree and look out at all of their friends and family that were their to support them, just made my day.
5. Hug: I’m a sucker for families. I’m a super duper sucker for families coming together. So this shot of Caleb and his daughter hugging their new bride/mom five minutes after the ceremony, melted every part of my heart.
6. Squish: Dani & Joey are super smart. As in doctor smart. As in MIT smart. Yeah. That smart. Their wedding party was full of doctor smart, MIT smart people. Doctor smart, MIT smart people are really good at being funny.
7. Shadow: Beth & Tim may have been the most “present” couple I have ever photographed. They were so aware of their day, the beginning of their marriage, the start of their life together. The reason I love this image is because of how tender it is. It’s exactly the way Tim treated and acted towards Beth all day.
8. Selfie: Shelby & Logan can own any moment they want. She is a lawyer and he is a game warden. That means you can think things are going your way and you are in charge, and suddenly, out of no where, they step in and remind you they were there all along, making sure everything went as they had planned. Right after their ceremony, they were gathered around their family and friends hanging out and talking, and I was just snapping random photos. Logan looked at me and said, “We want to take a selfie.” BOOM. Just like that they owned the moment. Their whole day was full of things like that. I loved them.
9. Shape: Jennifer loves her some architecture. Went to school for it. Knows it. Lives it. Could not stop blabbing about the Parador and how amazing it was. I know she got married because she loves Ryan. But, sometimes, I think she got married because she wanted an excuse to rent the building. ;)
10. Swag: Hilary & Kirk. Few couples intimidate me. Hilary & Kirk were one of those couples. Man, these two are full of such swag, it’s ridiculous. They are so kind and a joy to be around, but at the same time, it’s like they are on a whole other level. 99% of the time when a couple walks over to their cake to be photographed with it, they look right at me and say “What do we do?” Hilary and Kirk walked over to it and did that. Swag.