Christian + Ayadejha // Married

This wedding was wildly powerful for me. I had two pivotal thoughts while scanning through these images and reliving the feelings of the day:

  1. I have captured something so profound and fulfilling- I can move on from *career* photography right at this moment and feel full contentment in never shooting a wedding again. 
  2. I have captured something so profound and fulfilling- I must keep creating and searching for these deep moments of joy and true love. 

For me, this wedding was about many things. My sentimental senses were tingling the whole time. Which leads me to craft a blog post that is less than typical and way more personal than usual. Care to follow along? Continue reading. Care to only look at photos? Pass the text and head straight to the goods. 

I was a wide eyed idealistic sixteen year old when I eagerly agreed to photograph my first solo wedding. It was for two fantastic leaders of my youth group. Looking back on those photos, I cringe because wow I sure have grown as an artist, ha! But, besides cringing at the questionable filters, I see a sense of creativity and joy in those photos that I possessed way back when, and ultimately drifted off over the years. 

Its no secret that wedding photography and I have had some beef. I have gone back and forth over the past 4 years on whether or not “this was it” for me. I was incredibly indecisive and bitter at times. I went through periods of hating what I did and also completely adoring it. I experienced a broken heart which gave way to an unfortunate bitterness surrounding all things love and marriage. I chose to be cheesy and thrilled and overjoyed for couples when in reality, I was breaking inside and it was difficult spending 80% of my time around people in love. I had moments  of pure elation as I photographed milestones for friends and saw the look on their faces when they received their galleries back. That was so special. Then, my Granny passed away as I was shooting a wedding. It was a double header weekend and I couldn’t find a trusted replaciement to cover me so I could be there with my family. She was in an accident late Friday night and was on life support for two days until she passed on Sunday night. I sobbed as I said my goodbyes via phone while I was in the bathroom between the first dance and bouquet toss. This ultimately made me very anxious at weddings and it was difficult to feel present and joyful at weddings. After that, I shot amazing wedding after amazing wedding. Everything felt right again. Oh, and the enormous stress of being a young business owner and also a full time student. Then, studying in Kenya and realizing that I needed to be putting my effort into something more meaningful. And after that, I booked amazing clients who gave me the honor of capturing their love and giving me permission to be fiercely creative.

I could go on.

But, I think you get the point, right? It’s been a “roller coaster” of sorts, this career. this craft. this job. 
Joy has been abundant and its been empty. Creativity has been bleak but also over flowing. 

Photographing the love between Christian and Ayadejha was something I was completely and utterly stoked on. Not only because I knew it would be visually appealing, but because I knew it would be intentional and filled with genuine love and elation and would bring me that abundant joy that I have felt before while photographing. 

So, what was different about this day? What was unique about this couple? What brought be that abundant joy? 

Theres no doubt about it: the love. Christian and Ayadejha love each other. I mean, LOOOOOOVE each other. Their words, actions, and emotions paint a perfect picture of what love looks like. The way they speak about each other in uplifting, the way the look at each other is incredibly gentle and filled with hope, and the way they serve each other in kindness is stunning. 

I have known both of these fantastic souls for 8 years, and I have always known them to be fantastic, humble, and in pursuit of a Christ-like demeanor. 

That first solo wedding that I shot? That was Christians brother Chase (their best man)  + Sister in law Aly's (their maid of honor) wedding.

Their day was focused deeply around their community. A small 50 person ceremony + reception that oozed love and appreciation for the couple. 

And personally? Well, I resonated with their love and commitment for the first time in my life. I started dating an incredible guy recently, and this was the first wedding I had shot since we started dating. Instead of experiencing bitterness and feeling distant from earthly romantic love, I experienced an understanding of what love felt like and what it looked like. And that, that was super powerful. I texted my sweet friend Dorothy that night and said “Did your outlook on / attitudes about weddings change when you started to date Aaron (her now husband) and realize what love feels like?” She validated my feelings and said I wasn’t crazy to be feeling this way. Ha, thanks D! 

So, honestly, that aforementioned feeling led to me sobbing while editing these photos and I was like “ YESSS LOVE IS SO BEAUTIFUL I WANT EVERYONE TO FEEL THIS SOMEDAY.” 

That joy I felt while capturing that first solo wedding for Chase + Aly 7 years ago, returned. It came full circle. That creativity was sparked again. Whatever comes next, whatever path I choose to take with photography, I feel as though I can do a confident salute to this roller coaster career and bid adieu to all that it has taught me. Or, I can hold tight to that spark and joy and move forward with it- artistically and meaningfully capturing couples and individuals. 

Whatever happens, may it be done with joy. 

Some other highlights of the day:
-Christian + Dejh waited to see each other until they met at the alter 
-Dejh’s laugh
-Christian put on chapstick before their first kiss
-Their honest and pure love
-C+ D took communion with their guests
-Matchless beer on tap
-Christian wrote and performed a song to Dejh. 
-Fleurae crafted the florals
-They danced to Leon Bridges
-Abundant June sunshine + laughter