As a wedding and portrait photographer, I strive to create images that tell the story of your life with beauty and grace, respect and imagination. Foregoing forced smiles and stiff poses, I embrace natural smiles and expressions in order to create images that have a unique freshness and vitality and a heartfelt and emotional authenticity.

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Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Roses in December

God gave us memory so that we might have roses in December.
James Matthew Barrie

Mr. and Mrs. Smith finally got married!  You first met them here, and then a tiny glimpse here.    

The bride - my friend - is a master at details.  Her wedding was planned with precision and was  infused with personal meaning.

My gift to the couple?  Capturing all those details for their memories.

My photographs illustrate their day through my eyes, capturing a few moments that otherwise might have been missed.

I love detail shots.  I believe that detail shots are portraits.  They require the same preparation and technique as a portrait of a person: Finding the perfect background, the right light and the most flattering angle that accurately reflects how you want your subject portrayed.

Yes.  Absolutely, they are portraits.  Just of things.  That patiently and politely sit still.

But, from the moment she slipped into her gown, I put down my camera.  I patted it gently, gave it a cookie and tucked it into bed with the admonition of no late-night tv.  From that moment on, I needed to be a friend, not a photographer.  That day was likely the last time I would have the privilege of standing by the side of a friend making the remarkable transition from Ms. to Mrs.  So, my purpose wasn't to photograph every moment.  On the contrary, my purpose that day was to be in the moment.  To be the best friend I knew how to be.  To throw her a knowing wink, calm the butterflies, fetch another glass of champagne, and hold her hand until she made it to the altar.  And, bittersweetly, that's where my duties ended.  Because at that moment, those privileges transitioned to Charles.  For that day, and for every following day.

For a lifetime.

So, for all the other moments of the day, I must rely on mental snapshots: Those moments in which you stop and take particular notice of the sights and sounds and tangible clues around you because they are so perfect you never want to forget them.   A leisurely breakfast with my friend on our private bed & breakfast veranda.  Sunlight streaming through the windows after two solid weeks of rain.  The scent of hairspray and the palpable twinge of anticipation.  Tinkling bells of nervous laughter.  The tightest hug, and a few droplets on my shoulder.  Constant flutter-bys from butterflies - a celestial gift to the bride.  (An amazing story, although not really mine to tell.)  The groom in his dress blues, undoubtedly fueling every girl's fantasy of an Officer and a Gentleman.  (And he is both.)  A rustle of white satin, then swirls of lavender.  Intensely emotional vows.  The constant lump in my throat.  Sparkles reflected from crystals on Barbara's gown that seemed to float like fireflies in the candlelight. Prawns with garlic and butter; bubbles dutifully climbing in champagne.  A charming toast with tears to follow.

Mr. and Mrs. Smith: I'm wishing you the brightest memories of your day so that you will always have a place to return your hearts when you need a place to rest.  And, of course, so you will always have lavender roses in December.



  1. Sheila Hupp12/17/2009

    Kaycee, You are a true artist of both photography and prose. It was such a pleasure to share that special weekend with you. What a gift you have given Barbara and Charles in your photos and your words. You are a blessing. Love, Sheila

  2. Anonymous12/25/2009

    That was beautiful! You are very talented in every way and a true friend.