I often get asked why I do weddings. I mean after all, conservation and nature photography comes a far cry from gowns and bouquets. Or does it.
Actually, I got asked this question again last night and I think I stumbled over my thoughts. My patient new friends let me meander into a semi-coherent answer reminiscent of an SAT essay written by an overachiever with no idea of what he’s talking about. I’ve decided to try to distill that answer – once, twice, then again. Here’s my final answer.
So the answer is people. Their humanity, community, and passion. This thread is at the core of my conservation work (Conservation: Humans Required) and at the thread of heartfelt weddings and unions. It’s truly humanity that makes this place we live so wonderful. I love being amazed by a carnivorous flower or the unhurried intention of a sloth, but I’m more even more amazed if I get to share that moment. That moment starts to become a memory I can share – reminisce – and reflect upon. Maybe it will be with a friend, my daughter, my wife, or a complete stranger. We share that moment and we come together – developing a new partner with whom to share experiences and create life. These ties can be graciously ephemeral, or they can bind into petrified wood. The can be subtle, caustic, scary and eye-opening all at once. They define life. Life is the relationships we have with the world, right? I think Robert Pirsig would call it “quality”. These relationships create quality in life. (Pardon me, I just reread Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance recently)
Well guess what happens at weddings – lots of the above. Lots of life. Lots of high quality life. Fire, water, wind, and earth all coming together into a whirlwind bound by love that two people share. Aunts, long-lost uncles, best friends from years ago, teachers, mentors, babysitters, cousins, newborns – they all come together in this giant melting pot for just one event. It rains life at every wedding. Oftentimes, it pours.
So congratulations to Maya and Adam – to Sasha and Nathan – to Letty and Jan. You all are amazing rainmakers that all brought together lots of people. Thanks for letting me be a part of your big day. Thank you for living life to its fullest. Love to you all.
I also want to take a moment to thank those amazing assistants, Denise – Katrina – Jenny, who helped keep everything running smoothly and make sure we were conscious and committed photographers, even at the busiest and most stressful of times! You all are awesome and you also captured some awesome moments.