“You are beautiful, my darling, beautiful beyond words. Your eyes are like doves behind your veil. Your hair falls in waves, like a flock of goats winding down the slopes of Gilead.” – Song of Solomon 4:1
Kristen walked into my life one afternoon when she interviewed to be my assistant. She became a vital part of my business and a beloved part of our family. We worked together for two wedding seasons. She gained my respect for putting in her time, as an apprentice and learning the craft of wedding photography. Many before her have burned out after a few weddings. It’s a lot more work than people realize.
Kristen and I share a similar language. We communicate through our images. Her artistic sensibility and point of view closely mirror my own. Her laughter is infectious and there is no way you can keep a straight face. I knew the day would eventually come when our paths would take us in different directions. When it did, I had mixed feelings. On one hand, I was proud of who she had become— happy she was stretching her wings, but sad she was leaving. She definitely set a standard that no on has come close to matching.
Years passed and the day came when she announced that she was engaged to be married! You can imagine the great honor and twinge of fear when she asked me to photograph her wedding. Honor, that I was asked to photograph the wedding of my greatest protege. Fear? Yes, the fear of failure. It’s true that the teacher becomes the student, but please don’t let that happen at the student’s wedding. Our entire family was excited for Kristen’s new season of life.
One of the things we often spoke of was our memories of growing up in the Midwest. When she told me her wedding was in her hometown of Fort Scott, Kansas, I was excited for the opportunity to travel back to the Midwest. It had been too long. I met her fiancé Drew for the first time at the rehearsal dinner and it was exciting to see the two of them together. I had never seen Kristen so happy. She was literally glowing and radiating joy and love.
I’d heard a lot about her family and it was wonderful to finally meet her sister, parents and the entire family. I’m not sure they quite knew what to make of me, but embraced me with warmth and kindness. The Lyons Twin Mansions is an amazing Victorian style bed and breakfast and you’d be hard pressed to find a more charming host than Miss Pat.
Without question, my favorite wedding to photograph is a destination wedding. Your entire focus is on the wedding and being in the moment as a part of the family. It was wonderful to put a face to all the players in Kristen’s life that I had heard about over the years. I feel that everything really came together that day. Obviously, Kristen knew what I needed to make the magic happen and ensured the day was relaxed and care free. We literally shot till the cows came home.
It was a pleasure to meet both families and Miss Pat. Everyone was gracious, charming and smiling from ear to ear. I honestly don’t know what could have been done to make it a better event. Best wishes to Kristen and Drew, my beloved friends. May you enjoy a lifetime of happiness!