Kayla + Nick. A Stouts Island Lodge Wedding in Wisconsin.
"What was your favorite part of the day?" my buddy Collin asked me as we were sitting by a fire spewing embers from several gigantic logs that had just been taken from a tree which fell down the day before from a storm.
I was exhausted, relaxed, and probably dehydrated because I always forget to drink enough water at weddings. I took a few seconds to think about it. There were so many wonderful moments to pick from but one particular moment stood out the most for me:
Nick and Kayla had just stepped off the wicked looking boat after a celebration ride around the lake following their ceremony. The sky was a perfect summer day blue, even though it was Autumn. It had rained quite a good amount the days prior to the wedding but just in time, the crappy weather cleared out and mother nature created magazine worthy weather for us. Each of us stepped off the boat and onto the dock. Getting to witness the few minutes couples have alone after a ceremony is always wonderful, and this time was no different. They get some much needed time away from the crow and I get to document some of the more intimate moments of their hectic day. We made our way to the stairs to get off the dock and onto the island where we were headed to cocktail hour. About 10 stairs up there is a small landing where you then make a right turn to go up one more flight of stairs. The sun was on its way down at this point in the day and patches of light were making it through the trees and on to the stairs, and us. Nick and Kayla rounded the corner to proceed up the next set up stairs and just made it to the top when a small gust of wind came and blew Kayla's dress to the left - almost reaching Nick's legs. I had my camera up close to my face even though shooting while walking up stairs is not the smartest thing to do as a photographer, especially when you manual focus each and every photograph.
That moment happened and I didn't hesitate. I fired off a shot.
Something powerful came over me for that split second of time. I'm not saying it was something life altering, or spiritual in nature, but it hit me hard. Obviously something happened in my brain for me to remember it so vividly when I witnessed thousands of little moments that day. When Collin asked me the question, this one dominated my thoughts. This one meant something. I think it's because at that moment of the day I realized how awesome that wedding was, how lucky I was to be there, how happy Nick and Kayla were, and how much I love being a photographer. It stuck with me.
Moments define weddings. It's easy to get wrapped up in the portraits, or other heavily regarded events from a wedding day but I like to not lose sight of the tiny things. I seek these minuscule portions of a day out and try to put them together to tell a story. That story comes to life in the pictures I give to my clients. I always hope they see what I see, and feel what I feel, when viewing them.