It has been almost two years since Neeta and Patrick got married at the Signature at West Neck. We started their wedding day off at a house in Sandbridge that they rented and had their first look there. One of their portraits from the first few moments during their first look is one of my all time favorites, and an earth-shaking portrait for me. This was truly a moment that they were having together that I was able to witness and photographed at the right moment. Neeta’s reaction and Patrick’s embrace, holding Neeta safely in his arms, all was a perfect example of the love they have with one another.
Almost two years later from that day, Neeta contacted me for a very special portrait session for them. I like to call it their anniversary session, like many couples love to do, because they have had a great two years of marriage together, and in October it will officially be two years since they were married. I was thrilled to get an email from Neeta wanting to get in front of my camera again, and asked me to document this part of their lives together. Then she told me another reason why they wanted to embrace these portraits to the fullest.
I have wondered often how to write this blog post, h0w to give them grace and to do the portraits enough justice. This is because Neeta and Patrick, I adore them and I look up to them as two strong people, as a marriage I can learn a lot from and as a strong team together. In two years they are exactly the kind of married couple that I want to value and learn from. You see, when Neeta contacted me a few weeks ago she had just been diagnosed with an aggressive breast cancer. Even though they were ready to take on the fight and come out as winners together, Neeta wanted to pause and be newlyweds for another moment, with a couples portrait session on the beach. They are both beach lovers, that had not gotten a lot of beach time together this summer, so they were happy to dip their feet in water, slow dance amongst the surf and embrace under the evening summer sun.
To say I was honored to photograph these portraits of Neeta and Patrick would be an understatement. I value being in my couples’ lives and getting to know them and continue that past their wedding day, and when Neeta contacted me for an emotional, loving, and new phase of their lives I was humbled. There is something to be said about being their on the very best day of someone’s life and photographing that, and then being called back to be trusted to photograph something so beautiful, meaningful but also hard for them. I still cannot find the words to adequately explain this.
I do know this. I know that in little over an hour of photographing them together, I learned a lot about marriage. As the saying that I have heard often goes, you hear people say, “I love him/her more today than on the day we got married,” and for some reason without either of Patrick nor Neeta saying this to me directly, it is something that i thought about the entire evening.
This could have been because of the way Patrick held onto Neeta, the forehead kisses he gently gave her or the way he pulled back from a kiss just to look at her for a few moments and say that he loved her. It could have been remembering their love on their wedding day almost two years ago while having these intimate and loving moments throughout their portrait session. Their love and the way they clung to one another was breathtaking. Through my camera I could truly feel how much they love each other and so they taught me that a great marriage makes that saying I previously stated true. Believe me when I say that they make marriage look good! More importantly, they taught me more of what love and commitment that marriage truly is. This, to me, was remarkable.
Because we know that Neeta is a strong woman and is a fighter, her sister got these shirts made for their friends and family! After an emotional and loving portrait session Patrick put his “Team Neta” shirt on for some awesome flexing poses and fighting poses! I am thinking of Neeta and Patrick constantly and I know Neeta will come out the winner in this battle! My thoughts and prayers and winner choice is of course and without a doubt, Neeta!