Inevitably, after each family vacation we end up with hundreds of pictures of Kristen, and (now) thousands of Samuel, but only a handful of me — if any at all. I love making pictures. It’s exciting when other people like the pictures I make, but more than anything else, photography gives me an opportunity to try and interpret the world as I see it in a moment. The moment is gone in an instant, but the picture remains. I can look back and remember the way I felt when I made it; sometimes I don’t really begin to appreciate the moment until much later, when new insights and an ever-so-slightly more mature perspective allows me to look back at that moment with a richer set of feelings.
The pictures I make help me remember where I’ve come from; they help me make sense of the places I find myself in. But I also like to have some pictures of myself — to maintain a family record, to remind myself that, yes, I am actually married to that beautiful, loving woman that shares the frame with me, and so that my son will know that I did, in fact, go on vacation with him and Kristen. Usually this means stopping a stranger and asking them to press the shutter for me. This is a very hit-and-miss procedure, that often results in many more misses than hits. Sometimes, as on the last day of our summer vacation this year, a stranger just walks up and asks to take a picture of us. I can’t say no. Hopefully, that eagerness to get behind the camera means the would-be photographer is at least comfortable looking through the viewfinder. The kind beach walker who got this one certainly was.
Earlier this month Kristen and I went to Myrtle Beach for a family baby shower. The trip was especially fun because we had just learned that my cousin Rhett and his wife Sayla are also newly expecting; sparing any early surprises, their baby should be born about six months after Samuel, so we will be able to share stories of baby disasters ( I mean adventures), tips for dealing with strangers who feel compelled to touch the babies and grandmas who refuse to hand the babies back. We may even be able to share toddler clothes, although I’ve got a hunch that their first baby is going to be a girl.
Leaving Sunday afternoon, Kristen and I both felt a little perplexed as we reflected on the fact that we won’t be returning to Myrtle Beach until we have a new baby boy to bring with us. Actually, it was mainly just Kristen that felt perplexed; I was too queasy to drive.
This post was originally created on February 17, 2010, as an image gallery. I have moved it into the blog for archive purposes.
My cousin Rhett married his long-time girlfriend Sayla in August of 2009, and I was thrilled to have the opportunity to be involved in their wedding. As one of the groomsmen, I wasn’t able to get any shots during the actual wedding, but I did have a good time trying to capture the excitement of the rehearsal and the reception that followed. This was my first experience really taking pictures at a wedding, and I have to say that from a portrait photographer’s point of view, weddings have to be a dream come true. Everybody wants their pictures made, and everybody wants to do it right. Every face you see has a smile and every interaction is overflowing with emotions. Trying to catch it all in a single photograph is a challenge, in the same way harvesting a tree heavy with fruit is a frazzling task.
Kristen and I are off to Boulder tomorrow, so I won’t have time to go through all of the pictures from Rhett and Sayla’s wedding until next week. Here are two early standouts though.
It has been 5 years since I last stepped foot on a golf course. The summer after I graduated from high school my three best friends and I went out to our local club for one last game before we all went our separate ways. The fellowship we shared that day is something I’ll never forget, but I have had no desire to go anywhere near a golf course since then. That day I lost an entire box – not a sleeve, mind you, but a box – of golf balls in 18 holes of golf.
What got me back on the fairway today was a guy’s morning out with my cousin Rhett and his buddies to celebrate his upcoming wedding. Kristen and I got into town at 1:30 this morning. My brother Jacob woke me with a phone call at 7:20 to tell me they had booked an 8 a.m. tee time. I got to the golf course tired and hungry, but I’m so glad I went.
I’m very excited to see Rhett and Sayla take the first step in building a new life together tomorrow afternoon. Rhett is just the second person in our generation of my family to get married, and I’m thrilled to see others recognize the true blessing that marriage can be once you have met the person that God created for you to share your life with. I want to support them in whatever way I can. If that means stumbling through 18 holes of golf to show him a good time, I’m there.