Laura & John – New York Wedding!

2014-09-18_0001.5i don’t usually begin a blog with a photo, but goodness, i just felt like this one deserved it.  plus this is a really great story and i didn’t not want to give you a hint of what’s to come after these words. now let me tell you about laura and john’s wedding.  so last year i received this email:

  • Hello Joy… first of all, I just want to say how inspired I have been by your photography. Not only in taking pictures, but just in seeing life in a new, beautiful, breath-of-fresh-air kind of way. My best friend Laura (who happens to be my sister) is getting married in 2014, and I was wondering first of all, if you travel for weddings. We live in Rochester, New York. If you do travel, could you tell me what the price is for all of that? It may be a little far-fetched for our measly little pockets, but I’d still like to get an idea. :]  Lastly, if you do not travel, or our pockets are hanging out in the Great Depression of ’13 ;] can you advise of any wedding photographers in Upstate NY that you admire?  Thank you for your time and help and for sharing your beautiful work and life through something as permanent as pictures.  God bless, Jocelyn

 

around the same time, without her knowing jocelyn had already written me, i received this email from laura:

  • Hi Joy,  Let me start by introducing myself, my name is Laura and I just got engaged on Thanksgiving to the man that makes my heart smile. We live in Rochester, NY and are looking to get married in the summer.  I absolutely love your work, I am a photographer as well and dream of being able to do what you do. Unfortunately, you live in another state and I am sure you are booked up. So the reason I am emailing you is to see if is there any chance at all that you have anyone that you would suggest or recommend in the Upstate NY area that shares your style? Please get back to me if you do, I would appreciate it so much! If not, thank you any way for reading this and for sharing your beautiful pictures with the rest of the world so we can all be inspired!  Thank you, Laura

 

so at this point i was interested.  we had been looking for a good reason to road trip to the east coast and that maybe it could work.  plus, i am a fan of a good story.  so i called jocelyn first.  the wedding was going to be small, intimate, beautiful, completely family focused… a big love on a small budget.  i fell in love with them instantly.  and long story short, her dad and jocelyn surprised laura and her fiance john with the gift of bringing me to new york.

we road tripped it to rochester, new york and bright and early on june 14th, i walked into the laura’s childhood home.  i was greeted with huge smiles and even bigger hugs, a welcome to the family, the laughter of children and grown ups, and just the overall feeling of being home.  i wasn’t provided a had-to-have shot list of photos, i wasn’t even given much of a schedule.  but i was given a genuine appreciation for being present and just asked to shoot whatever i felt needed to be remembered.  what a gift.  and i am pretty sure this is my favorite wedding i’ve ever photographed.  i really think you can see my contentment through the images.  i am going to tell you the story of the rest of the day throughout the photos down below – just hang in there, because there are more than 100 photos.  ;)

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this is the playhouse laura’s dad built her when she was a little girl.  and that is her niece there on the front step.  and below, her mom putting the final touches on her dress.
2014-09-18_002.5 2014-09-18_0002 2014-09-18_0004 2014-09-18_0005she got ready in her parent’s bedroom among all her lady friends, family and soon to be family.  i was tucked into her mama’s closet to shoot these photos below, a place i’m sure she had hid many times as a little girl dreaming of this exact day.
2014-09-18_0006 2014-09-18_0007 2014-09-18_0008 2014-09-18_0009 2014-09-18_0010 2014-09-18_0011 2014-09-18_0012 2014-09-18_0013 2014-09-18_0014 this photo below is on my top favorite ever list.  this moment literally took my breath away.2014-09-18_0015 2014-09-18_0016.5 2014-09-18_0017this is john.  a very good man.2014-09-18_0018 the ceremony was at their sweet little church where the rest of the family had also been married.2014-09-18_0019 every detail of the wedding was simple, handmade and full of grace.2014-09-18_0020.5 2014-09-18_0020 2014-09-18_0021 2014-09-18_0022 2014-09-18_0023 2014-09-18_00242014-09-18_00252014-09-18_0026 2014-09-18_0027.5 2014-09-18_0027.6 2014-09-18_0027.7i developed quite a crush on upstate new york.
2014-09-18_0028 2014-09-18_0029 2014-09-18_0030 the whole wedding party was incredibly fun and hilarious without being inappropriate, which is a pretty rad way to be.2014-09-18_0031 2014-09-18_0032 2014-09-18_0033 2014-09-18_0034 2014-09-18_0035 2014-09-18_0036 2014-09-18_0037 you might have said i was experiencing photograph euphoria.2014-09-18_0038 2014-09-18_0039 2014-09-18_0040 2014-09-18_0041 2014-09-18_0042 2014-09-18_0043 2014-09-18_0044 2014-09-18_0045 2014-09-18_0046 2014-09-18_0047we photographed these photos at the christmas tree farm they had cut their tree down each year as children.
2014-09-18_0048 2014-09-18_0049 2014-09-18_0050 and then we headed to the little town of pittsford, ny.  i was obsessed with it.2014-09-18_0051 2014-09-18_0052 2014-09-18_0053 2014-09-18_0054 2014-09-18_00552014-09-18_0056 2014-09-18_0057 2014-09-18_0058 2014-09-18_0059 2014-09-18_0060 2014-09-18_0061 2014-09-18_00622014-09-18_0063 2014-09-18_0064 2014-09-18_0065 2014-09-18_0066 2014-09-18_0067 2014-09-18_0068 2014-09-18_0069 2014-09-18_0070 there was a storm coming in and we only had 5 minutes before we had to head to the reception but we ran out into a field…2014-09-18_0072 the i was just mesmerized by their dresses flowing in the wind so i asked them to spin.  it was a magical minute.2014-09-18_0073 2014-09-18_0074 2014-09-18_0075 2014-09-18_0076 2014-09-18_0077 2014-09-18_0078 2014-09-18_0079 this is jocelyn and laura.  it’s a rare gift to love someone this much.2014-09-18_0080.1 2014-09-18_0080 2014-09-18_081.2 they were married on flag day.   2014-09-18_0081.5 2014-09-18_0081.6their legacy of love.  i just love these two side by side.  the freedom of a mature love and the giddy anticipation of a new one.2014-09-18_0086 2014-09-18_0087 2014-09-18_0088.4 2014-09-18_0088.5 2014-09-18_0088 jocelyn and her husband david wrote and performed the most lovely song i’ve ever heard for laura and john.  i am doing my best to convince her to record it for the world.  ;)2014-09-18_0098 2014-09-18_099.3 2014-09-18_099.4 2014-09-18_0099 laura’s dad wrote her this card and read it to her during their first dance.  it says this on the back, “no matter what happens in life, you will always be my little girl, my laura, and i couldn’t possibly be happier for you in this moment. love always, dad.”2014-09-18_0100 2014-09-18_0101.2 2014-09-18_0101 2014-09-18_0102 2014-09-18_0103 2014-09-18_0104.6it was a really, really great day.  i am so grateful to be asked to be present on the days that are the most savored and  remembered.  i will hold this one close for a long, long time.

 

**big thanks to my friend tiffanie perry for keeping my company on that lovely day in new york.  love you.

Posted in Weddings | 7 Comments

a double rainbow in wisconsin.

it was a rainy few days in wisconsin when we drove through hudson earlier this summer to visit the kealy family.  darcy, the mama, is my studio manager, but more specifically she is my organizer/scheduler/encourager/therapist/superhero.  she is also a designer, a photographer and a children’s book author (yup, you need her book).  but more than any of those amazing on-paper things, she is refreshingly real.  she is genuine and gritty honest and fiercely loyal a little bit crazy and a wee bit inappropriate – which i find wonderful.  and her husband and kids are great.  the kind of people you want to have a bbq with every saturday (and sunday and monday too).

here’s the thing about photo sessions.  you feel like they have to be perfect – i mean, there is just so much to think about and it’s such an investment.  you want the day to be best case scenario/non crying kids/happy day with the spouse/joyful dancing in a cloud and dandelions kinda experience.  let’s just say that darcy wasn’t too psyched about the stress of it all.  i so get that and it’s pretty much the way i feel about getting on the other side of the lens too. but she knew i was coming into town and it was her one shot.  she told me that her husband made her do it, that if she didn’t that she would regret not doing the photos.  so we decided to keep it low key… we planned for biking to get ice cream downtown as they like to do as a family.  but then it rained  (all day).  but we went for it anyway.  there were some tears.  and there aren’t any perfect everyone-smiling-this-is-a-perfect-family kinda photos.  but you know what i see?  i see a real family.  a family that loves each other.  a family that fights hard for hope.  that yells loud but laughs louder and holds on tight instead of giving up.  days are hard and the rain comes.  but when you get out and chase happiness, sometimes a great big double rainbow appears.  i love these pictures.  they make me smile, they make me remember how much laughter our families shared over those few days in wisconsin and they remind me that perhaps the most lovely things in life are the ones we just can’t plan for.

p.s.  these photos are shown in backward order.  the ones on the bikes are my favorites so i started there.  you’re welcome.   ;)

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Posted in * Family Sessions | 19 Comments

hello, i’m joy!  sunshine chaser, child of God, mama to four & wife to one good man.  we traveled all over looking for a place to call home and we found it.  we live a simple life out in the country with bare toes and happy hearts.

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