So here we are, two years into my mission to shoot a wedding in every state... I'm approaching halfway having visited more states than I ever realistically imagined... All the while having the most beautiful experiences as all sorts of incredible love stories unfold in front of my camera. And then, outta nowhere a global PANDEMIC rattles the cage of our collective reality, bringing both the travel and event industries to their knees amidst serious health concerns with devastating consequences. Well, SHIT!
Before I continue, if you aren't familiar with my mission, feel free to read the original post here:
As a quick recap, the goal here was always to use my photography (specifically documenting true American love stories) as a vehicle for traveling this country and better understanding it's cultures, traditions, history, politics, environment AND most curiously... how weddings themselves seem to be the perfect mechanism for uniting people of all backgrounds in joyful celebration, regardless of what's happening in the world!
So far, I've dodged angry rattle snakes in California, hiked glacial mountain passes in Montana, and consumed copious volumes of craft beer in Wisconsin - just to name a few of the incredible adventures this mission has led me on. The perspective I've gained from spending time in places I'd never otherwise visit, with people I'd never otherwise engage with, has been eye-opening and life-enriching to say the least!
A common thread that has run through many of the weddings I've photographed on this journey, has been the extreme diversity that has presented itself. Not just in the landscape and demographics that change every week, but in the complex and beautiful stories that emerge form these wedding days, and the way they affect everyone involved. People losing themselves in nature, in quiet reflection, on the dance floor, in one another's arms... It's like watching worlds collide over and over again!
It's safe to say I'm completely addicted to these stories, so I can't wait to get through the last 25 states on my list!
Now, given the current level of uncertainty around travel and events, I guess I could let myself off the hook... stop now, and say "because of Covid-19 bla bla bla".
BUT, and I can't stress this enough... LOVE IS NOT CANCELLED! And in all honesty, this little set back has just made everything a lot more interesting and poignant. And so, I'm doubling down on my mission! I still want to see all of this country, which despite the crazy times we're living in, I do believe is insanely beautiful! And since I wasn't born here (I moved from Australia when I married an American almost a decade ago) I want to make the most of my time here, with people who have a deep love and appreciation for the place they live, or the place they've chosen to get married.
Maybe you're postponing and are reassessing
Maybe you've ok with masks and social distancing
Maybe you're now eloping and partying later
Whatever the remedy, LOVE IS NOT CANCELLED and there's always a way to tell your story authentically!
THE GOOD NEWS IS... There's never been a better time to do it your way!
Couples the wold over are pausing, breathing and re-evaluating what they believe is important in a wedding. I've never really felt that there are many "rules" for how people should tie the knot anyway... But with this recent shift in perspectives, perhaps there's never been a better time to do it your way! Plan an event (big or small) that truly reflects who you are as a couple, your personalities, values and glorious quirks. If that means waiting until things settle down, then forging ahead with the big traditional wedding you've always envisioned... then you should absolutely do that! OR If you've concluded that the big ballroom wedding really wasn't for you in the first place, so eloping to the smokey mountains just makes more sense... THEN YOU SHOULD DO THAT (you can always gather and celebrate later anyway). Whatever the case... whatever stark realizations have bubbled to the surface for you over this crazy period, just know that re-examinining the situation is absolutely justified.
AND SO, If you feel that your authentic wedding plans need authentic photographs, then I'd love to hear from you!
Just to be clear, this is still about telling true American love stories in every state... and there's still a few stars that need to align for us to pull this off (for example, availability, budget, potential restrictions on travel or gatherings - all of which we can discuss) BUT what I've realized, is that although every state is beautiful in it's own right... the backdrop isn't nearly as important as the story. So for this reason, I'm no longer updating my list of the states I've been to so far (at least not publicly). This way, if you connect with my work, you can be sure that I'll get myself to your state and to your wedding (regardless if I've already been there).
However you choose to tell your story, where ever your story is taking place, I'd love to help you write the next chapter!