Andrew + Amber

Brace yourselves for this one. The immensity of this story has been over decade in the making.

You see…Amber is the reason I am a photographer.

It was 2003 and my English teacher, Mr. Swartout begged Amber (“G” as I call her) to give me a shot at joining the high school yearbook even though I had missed the application deadline. Timeliness, being an important quality to have when applying as a journalist, I can’t blame G for being hesitant to let me try out. Yes, you heard that right. We had to audition for a role in the high school yearbook. Listen, our yearbook was a big deal. We won several awards and even went to summer yearbook camp at Michigan State!

What happened next is something both G and I remember very clearly.I made her cry during my audition.

I walked into the audition and before I could reveal all of my journalistic talents, G commented on my mother’s vintage  “Love is an Old English Sheep Dog” t-shirt that I was wearing.  Unknowingly, she asked me if I had a sheep dog. My voice quivered as I quietly said, “I did. He just passed away.” G, being the dogs-are-the-best-thing-in-the-entire-world kind of person, immediately began to cry along with me. Our friendship (and my new yearbook position) were solidified in that same moment.

I was “hired” onto the yearbook staff because I had been recommended as a writer, so G was taken a back the day that I asked for the chance to be a photographer. I can’t remember the reason why I wanted to give it a try, but whatever I said, I somehow convinced G yet again to give me a shot. My very first photography gig! Thinking back, I can’t even remember what I photographed. Perhaps a JV soccer game? Who knows.

I impatiently waited for our photos to be processed at CVS Pharmacy (No, we did not have a dark room at our elaborate and expensive high school). I was elated when they came back “in focus” enough to earn myself a position as assistant photo editor on the staff. And thus my career set it’s path.

As you can tell, G had an immense impact on my life. Not only did she give me my first photo gig, she is one one of my absolute favorite mentors and people. We often joke that if we had been the same age and grown up together, we would have been best friends. The impact she had on my life as a teenager was immeasurable.  After high school I followed in her footsteps and attended MSU where I studied photojournalism and even lived in the same dorm as she did.

Fast forward a decade or so to when G contacted me and asked if I would photograph her wedding. “What a wonderful chapter it adds to our story,” she told me.  To say I was honored, would be an understatement. Not just because of our history, but because of the love that Amber and Andrew have for each other. Their love for each other is the kind that makes your heart hurt in the best way possible. It’s sincere, solid and I’m pretty sure it could move mountains. No matter what obstacle has been thrown at them… in sickness and in health, their love is unwavering.

You can see that love in every single photograph of the two of them. You can see it in their family and friend’s eyes. Their love filled the room and it made for just the

Andrew, Amber– Thank you for allowing me to be apart of your day and to capture your love on film. May YOUR story be filled with as much joy and laughter as ours has.