B L U M E K A B O O M
AJ a few years ago: “We should get married and buy a house and make babies.”
Rachel: “We should TOTALLY do that.”
Check. Check. Check.
Before I get into that quote, let me first explain something else real quick. As a photographer who is passionate about capturing both natural elements and documentary moments, it’s hard not to spend a lot of time behind my camera. I’m one of the worst people to hike with because I constantly stop to photograph things that catch my eye, spending minutes or half hours at a time in one place depending what the subject is. “I’ll catch up with you” is a frequent phrase of mine when on the trail with company. At social gatherings I’m constantly yelled at to put my camera[s] down and enjoy myself, or asked whether I’m working or having fun.
First of all, work and fun for me are not mutually exclusive. A lot of people feel differently about this, usually saying how being behind a camera detaches a person from truly enjoying a moment and being present for the experience. I tend to agree when it involves people just standing there and staring at an entire concert or wedding through their cellphone or iPad, etc. But as an artist I feel that capturing moments with my camera is just an extension of my experience through art.
So why do I bring all of this up here? Because as a storyteller who has documented so many chapters of two peoples lives – people I am so fortunate enough to call friends – I’ve heard these very same things said to me at two major events; their wedding day and their first major house party this past fourth of July. On their wedding day, Rachel was adamant that I put my camera down and join the party at their reception. Once I officially stopped working, I did just that, but it wasn’t long before I picked up my camera again, almost immediately being yelled at by a drunk-Rachel on the dance floor. On the fourth, another friend jokingly asked if I was being paid for this.
When Rachel and AJ came to me years ago to capture their wedding, I never imagined telling their story beyond that day. Their Journey session before the wedding, the wedding day itself, their bump session last fall, yet another Journey session to introduce Penelope and Florence, and finally their backyard party on July 4. It is, for me, such a surreal feeling to play the role I’ve had for so long now. I had a hard time choosing whose party to go to for the fourth this year, but I am so glad I chose to spend this years fourth at the Blume’s. Tons of good food & good booze, water balloon fights, bags, beer pong, fireworks, dogs, and great friends – what more could you ask for? Even though many folks at their wedding weren’t at the party, and some folks at the party weren’t at the wedding, in some ways they felt one in the same. The amount of change that has happened in everyone’s lives since then is crazy to think about. By blood, by marriage, by the bonding of friendship, and even people I barely know, what made these two events feel the same to me was the sense of family that existed because of everyone there.
Family has changed quite a lot since their wedding. Relationships have altered, “home” has changed for some folks, some have gone, and others have joined the ranks. Rachel and AJ got married. They bought a house. And they made babies. I’m curious and excited to see what the next chapter is for them – for all of us.
And just in case you were wondering, I wasn’t behind a camera the entire time and managed to play with the other kids in the yard.
See more of their Journey here: Blume Kaboom!
Bonus! Check out the hilarious gallery from the Gifyyy Photo Booth at their 4th of July party here: GIFYYY FUN!
Engagement & Wedding images are copyright This Is Feeling Photography