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.