The wind was blowing so hard that we could barely walk upright. Sand and water flying through the air like pellets, hitting my camera lens and drenching us. At times it felt like we were on a different planet instead of the Oregon Coast. Being outside in the stormy weather injected our souls with a jolt of energy, each of us smiling with pure joy, and running around the beach with the uninhibited feelings we had as children.
It felt refreshing to not care. To be completely soaked with rain, and not notice, because we were too busy dashing from incoming waves as they crashed to the shore. It felt good to be the only people on the beach, to drink wine together, and to share the same collective excitement. Everyone knew that something magical was happening out there…and we didn’t need to say a thing because the smiles on our faces told the story.
Sand flying across the beach.
In the photo above, Jasmine and Erica are running between the giant boulders. Little did we know how quickly the tide was coming in, and within a few minutes, this entire area was under water. The photo below shows the water rushing in. When we were clear of the area, we looked back at that spot and were overcome with exhilaration.
Before I knew it, I was knocked to the sand, much of which I would find in my pockets over the next week. It was 2003 and we were playing Frisbee on a California beach. It was one of those legendary road trips, with a van that broke down in the center lane of the freeway, driving a golf cart at midnight on top of a mountain, laying on beaches with my closest friends, and even an trip to the ER. Little did I know that two of those friends would start dating on the train ride home, then later get married, and now have the cutest baby boy. And how could I ever have imagined that after all these years, they would still be living less than a mile from me.
These photos are incredibly special to me because they are 14 years in the making. They represent years of their friendship, years of adventures, and years of them building a life together. I hope I’ve captured how much joy Joseph brings to my two dear friends, Mark and Erin. As the years go by, and more adventures are had, I hope you look back and remember this part of your journey. Love you both!
Every year during the holidays, the Volunteer Park Conservatory decorates with Poinsettias, a toy train, and a model town. It’s a fun place to take the family and especially the kids. Also during December, they will open the park and Seattle Asian Art Museum for a free event called, “Holiday in the Park.” The park is filled with Carolers singing songs, candles lighting the pathway, and a tent serving hot cocoa and cookies.
Yesterday, I spent the day with my family in Bellingham. a place where so many memories were created – in the open green fields and historic, rustic, brick buildings. On the windy drive home that evening, with heavy rain pattering against the window, I started to reminisce about growing up there. It was the people who made those memories come to life and who brought so much joy into my life – the gut-wrenching-laughter with friends, the adventures with my two brothers, and those late-night conversations with people from all walks. Being a wedding photographer, I see those same happy memories being created as friends and family come together to celebrate. love.
To compliment sound of the rain, I put on the album, Plans, by Death Cab for Cutie, and listened to it from top to bottom (incredible album), and started thinking about Nicole & Dave’s wedding.
The wedding ceremony took place on the countryside, at Kelley Farms, set atop a hill and surrounded by green fields, evergreen trees, and a cozy rustic barn. Their closest friends, some of whom they’ve known since grade school, surrounded them during the day, and every one shared such open and honest happiness with each other. There was so much love and support and it made the memories. meaningful.
Oh, and while driving home that evening, I thought it would be fun to take the first sentence of every song on the album, Plans, and arrange them into a paragraph:
“If I could open my arms, and span the length of the isle of Manhattan. I want to live where soul meets body, and let the sun wrap its arms around me. Squeaky swings and tall grass, the longest shadows ever cast. Alone on a train aimless in wonder, an outdated map crumbled in my pocket. No blinding light or tunnels to gates of white, just our hands clasped so tight. Burn it down till the embers smoke on the ground, and start new when your heart is an empty room. I once knew a girl, in the years of my youth. It was one hundred degrees, as we sat beneath a willow tree. And it came to me then that every plan is a tiny prayer to father time.”
Congratulations Nicole & Dave – I hope these photos always make you smile.