Dear August

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Dear August,

My “to-do list” is long already. It consists of, editing an engagement session, an anniversary session, one elopement ceremony and portraits, one entire wedding, blogging all of those that were just mentioned, four more portrait sessions just this week, second shooting a wedding with another photographer this weekend and a new client meeting this Saturday. Are you exhausted just reading that? The rest of August consists of three more weddings and my first monthly get together for fellow creatives hosted by me! I am not writing this to glorify being busy. No, I actually am working out all of the kinks of my workflow and learning the best ways to keep me productive.

With all of this going on, life has also been reminding me lately why everything that I do matters. Today as I feverishly edit and get photographs back to the people that are excitedly waiting for them, these reminders are all I can think about. Why every gesture to pick up my camera and photograph a moment matters. While stepping into people’s lives for an entrusted timeframe to capture their legacy, their love story, matters. The reasons why I know that our lives are short and we should all live them to the fullest matters. These are all reasons why I photograph weddings and the people that they are about delicately, lovingly and with the upmost respect and grace for them.

I am there on the best day of your lives but I want the photographs that I take to help you through the tougher days as well. This past week alone I have had three separate occasions where three different couples reminded me why my photography is much more than showing up for one day of their lives and that it takes on an entire new meaning when they need it the most. This may be the more difficult part to read from me but this is all real and I understand these feelings. I will always understand the sensitivity to the part of photographing true moments that become memories for you and your loved ones.

Last night as Cory and I sat down to eat dinner together I talked about the past week I have had and all of the reminders that have made me emotional and grateful to be a wedding photographer. I softly cried and wiped away tears, with overwhelming love and gratitude for the people that come into my life because of my business. As I spoke, in paused sentences, I told him about Ash and Chris’ wedding this past Saturday. A very special woman, Chris’ mother, was going to be honored during their reception. I had never met her but from everyone’s emotions and stories about her I can tell that she must have been an extraordinary woman. At their reception Chris got up to speak and said that he had a video to play in honor of his Mom, during what would have been their mother/son dance. A video began to play and I quickly realized that this was not going to be a slideshow of pictures. It was Chris and his Mother walking together down a short path in front of Great Falls waterfalls. He kissed his mother on the cheek and sat her down as he stood and waited for Ash. Ash then began to walk down arm and arm with her mother and as she passed Chris’ mother, she blew her a kiss and smiled sweetly. The video hummed a soft song as Ash and Chris said their vows and panned over to Chris’ mother through out the ceremony. Which at one point she stuck her tongue out at the camera and went back to watching this special moment. Chris’ Mom and him shared a dance together in front of the waterfalls and then they all went to the picnic area to share a toast. The video wrapped up with Chris’ Mom toasting to the newlyweds and telling them that they needed to have at least three children, and the clip then went back to the moment she stuck her tongue out at the camera during the ceremony. Ash and Chris got married last year in a small ceremony so that his Mom could be there. This is the kind of love that I am honored to be asked to photograph and I feel that way to have come into Ash and Chris’ life to have been able to photograph their engagements, which she was able to see last fall.

Retelling this moment could never do it enough justice but it needed to be written out for others to read. It felt like the closest act of a real and loving hug for Chris and Ash that you could get and I was in awe of this family and that I was chosen to be there. This moment, and moments alike, remind me that I know that I am exactly where I am suppose to be in my life and that I am entrusted to make moments last forever, long after they have gone. This past week alone I have had three separate occasions where three different couples reminded me why my photography is much more than showing up for one day of their lives and that it takes on an entire new meaning when they need it the most. That is the root to why I am a wedding photographer.

Since July had been filled with reminders about my love for my business and photography, I wanted to write it out for others that may be needing to read these same words. I wanted to write it out to the month of August in hopes that it would reach others and that during the business of my day to day I will always take time to remember why I am here. I will end this with a few photographs from Ash and Chris’ first look because I know without a doubt Chris’ Mom was shining down on us and kept the rain away for as long as we needed. August, I am not here to glorify my busy schedule. I am here as a photographer saying to anyone that will listen, I was born to do this and reach these very people that come into my life.

Love Always,

Jessjessica_ryan_photography_virginia_middleburg_briar_patch_bed_and_breakfast_wedding_love_wedding_photography_heartfelt_personable_2164

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