Gallery Spotlight: Lisa and Jason’s St. Malo Chapel wedding in Estes Park.
To the outside world, I seem like a strong, confident man. A rare specimen of talent and testosterone, (if I say so myself).
But secretly, I have a debilitating fear that haunts me to my very core. The mere thought of it has sent thoughts of dread and self-doubt coursing through my being. What is this haunting fear, you ask?
It’s photographing a wedding without Charlotte: my fearless leader, my guide, my muse and the one who yells at me when the clients aren’t around (it helps her deal with stress… I hope). She is my other half, both in terms of my life and as a wedding photographer. We’ve become like one joined mind out there in the field; We can cover each others’ shots with perfectly complimentary angles without speaking a word because we know each other’s style and habits. We just know what is being covered (and how) simply by where we’re standing, how we’re posed for the shot, and by how much sweat is beading out on our foreheads.
I’ve only photographed one other wedding without my faithful Charlotte (and it went very well, by the way), but Lisa and Jason’s wedding was still looming like a dark cloud on the horizon.
So where was my fearless leader, my muse on this day?
Slacking off without a camera for most of the day. Instead, she was grasping a bouquet of perfect flowers and looking resplendent in her navy blue bridesmaid dress as she fulfilled her solemn duty of Matron of Honor. That’s right: she was carrying Lisa’s train, holding flowers, and generally just looking stunning. She did shoot when she could, but for the vast majority of the day, she was but a member of the wedding party.
You see, Lisa is Charlotte’s best friend. They were best friends in Iowa, and when Charlotte moved out to Colorado, Lisa was right behind. In fact, we were all roommates when Charlotte and I were starting this whole marriage/business/family thing. My kids even call her Aunt Lisa. And I call her a pain in the butt.
I don’t have any sisters, and Lisa has become like a sister to me. Yes, in the loving, I’d-do-anything-for-you sibling way, but also in the you-annoy-me-to-death kind of sibling way.
As “roommate” Lisa, she was there for all the trials and tribulations of young love, engagement, early marriage, business start-up, and she often was known to have an opinion or two about the aforementioned drama. Like I asked for any. I’m not saying her opinions were wrong, (they were mostly right for that matter), it’s just that when you’re fighting with your new wife about the logo design of your 1st website, I don’t necessarily need to be double-teamed (although, I am a force of nature unto myself, so Charlotte does need all of the help she can get…)
And that’s how it went for about a year until Lisa (finally) moved out, and shortly there after met this guy: Jason.
Now, don’t get me wrong: for all of our squabbling, Lisa is a rock in my life, and I’m indebted to her for all that she’s done for me and my family. So, let’s just say, I’ve always been a little critical of the guys she’s dated, much like the role of an older brother (but she’s older… much older).
Then, out of the blue, this Jason guy shows up. At first I was nice and cordial, but I’ve been known to ask a probing question or ten, and very quickly I came to realize this Jason guy was really something. From honest, hardworking Minnesota stock, he seemed to embody everything Lisa wanted in a husband, including a huge competitive drive and a penchant for bar related activities (as anyone who has been whipped by the dynamic duo at Good Company’s beer pong tournament can attest)!
Jason and I became fast friends. We lean on each other when trying to deal with these two women, and now I have back-up in some of the squabbles between Char and I, and I don’t hesitate to give an opinion or two to Lisa when she and Jason have some spats. Ahhhh, payback is sweet!
So there we all were, the day of reckoning had finally arrived. The year of planning was over (and yes, we did a lot of planning for their wedding, whether I wanted to or not…), the gigantic Midwestern families had descended on Estes Park, Jason was green with nerves, and Lisa and Charlotte were going a million-billion miles per hour (and had been since 4:30 in the morning). And there I was… alone. This incredibly daunting day ahead of me, of which, if I screwed these photos up it would be a family disaster. I’ve spent years complaining about couples who choose to have the friend/uncle with a camera photograph their wedding as a gift, and yet there I was, serving as Lisa and Jason’s “friend with a camera”. In hindsight, I feel for those friends/uncles: it’s really nerve-racking when you’re really close to the couple.
But at the time, I had no idea how much of the load Kim would carry, and how amazing her solo work from this wedding would be. We found Kim a couple of years ago, and very quickly we realized she was an artistic force. She is the epitome of “speak softly and carry a big stick”. She’s very unassuming, but she really rocks behind the lens (it is a Canon lens, however… but she’s so good I don’t hold that against her, ha ha). She even has her own portrait studio, but I think she prefers having all the photography fun and none of the stress, so she works with us. And after Lisa and Jason’s wedding, we’re eternally grateful. She produced some of the finest natural light work I’ve ever seen!
After this wedding, I think it’s pretty clear Kim can take a great photograph. And we work pretty darn well together (no squabbles, yet…). Maybe it’s time we bit the bullet and brought her on at Trystan in her full capacity? Stay tuned… (current clients, don’t worry, if you booked Char and I, you get Char and I…)
But back to the wedding!
It was an emotional roller coaster. The whole day was filled with the strongest emotions, from pure joy to sobbing. Lisa and Jason’s families and friends were so heartfelt about how proud they were for the both of them, the entire reception was reduced to tears, upon tears, upon tears.
But lo and behold, this is Lisa and Jason we’re talking about here, the reception did transition into a raucous party at the appropriate hour and the best time was had by all, including yours truly. I eventually got to put the camera back in the room, change out of my all-day-work-shirt, and partied into the night with my dear friends, Lisa and Jason.
We love both of you. Thank you for all that you have done for my family. I hope there’s a lifetime of memories left with you two.
P.S. Jason, don’t forget to bring my wall scraper back.