Jeff + Tracey Married

As a wedding photographer, it’s sometimes hard to put down in words just how much each individual experience means to me. I do not use the words, “It was an honor,” lightly. I hold this job with the utmost, sincerest respect. Because no matter how I met each client, whether they started out as a friend or a stranger, they end up feeling like family. My heart opens up just a little more with each first kiss I capture through my lens.

When I shot Jeff and Tracey’s ceremony, I didn’t even know their last names. In fact, I had only just met them 24 hours before. I was up north shooting another wedding in Northport when Jeff and Tracey approached me. “Excuse me… but are you a professional photographer?” they asked. Their wedding photographer had cancelled on them and they asked if I was available to shoot their sunset wedding ceremony on the beach.  Of course I couldn’t leave them hanging and I mean…  a sunset ceremony… on the beach… up north?  OK.

I can still remember the sound of the waves slowly lapping against the grey stone beach and the soft, warm breeze that came from the trees. We had the entire section of the beach to ourselves and their ceremony has to be, one of the most beautiful ceremonies I’ve ever witnessed.  For only knowing them a day, the sincere love that poured from this intimate moment was palpable.

Then, at almost exactly 8:45 pm, as the sun warmed the last bit of day, Jeff and Tracey said, “I do.” We all wiped the tears from our cheeks and toasted to their marriage (with wine from my absolute favorite Northern Michigan winery, Mawby) and just like that, I felt the shift from stranger to family. I even actually remember the mother of the groom saying to me, “You know you’re family now, right?”

Life has given me this opportunity to be capture these moments; to be a writer of light and it is, an honor.