Play for slideshow // Scroll for highlights
Haley and Aniket. Documenting their story was like watching worlds collide. From near polar opposite ends of the earth and against impossible odds, they did it. They found one another. To be so perfectly matched, to be so supremely complimented by another being, to exist in the same moment in time and space, and to simultaneously recognize this miraculous fortune... It must have been fated.
When I started traveling to photograph destination weddings for people of different cultures, I thought it would just be a bit of fun... a nice way to add some diversity to my portfolio, and maybe even a chance to experience something a bit out of the ordinary. In a million years, I never would have imagined that one day I'd have such a profound and moving human experience that it would alter everything I thought I knew about weddings, about love, about the human condition or about the importance of photography.
Among the many things I learned on this adventure, I learned that many Hindus are extremely fatalistic. Remnants of an ancient and beautiful culture that teaches people to believe they are chained to their experiences by astrology, birth and the choices of the Gods. Although, most Gurus say, that we can change our fate at any moment by engaging fully with the present and by making good decisions... because the present moment is the only thing that actually exists, and the good choices you make today, accumulate good karma in your past. Personally, I can't think of a more beautiful way to view the concept of time.
The more I learned about this culture during my time in India, the more I was able to recognize parallels between the Hindu philosophies and the story that I was brought their to document. I began to understand the magnitude of the decisions that Haley and Aniket were making. And I began engage fully with the present as I watched them undergo this life-changing transformation.
Now, all is said and done, and the memories from this adventure will live with me as the happiest of dreams. I feel as though the the string of moments I collected for Haley and Aniket are more than just wedding photos. They are a gift, from me to them... but more importantly in my eyes, they have given me the gift of this experience, this shift in perspective and this renewed sense of wonder.
I have no words for how honored I am to have shared this experience them and their family and friends. I hope these images capture but a slither of the emotional weight and beauty of their story.