Dianne and I have been photographing the Sherwood Relay for Life for several years now. Between team pictures and events within the Relay we have time to wander the camp and visit with the many people who are participating. The stories are always engaging and frequently stir emotions beyond words.
We take our cameras along when we wander and photograph the scenes as they present themselves. We’re always on the lookout for small children and love to capture them with parents, siblings, friends. It was in this situation a few years ago that I saw a young girl with her mother sitting in their camp. I don’t remember the exact situation but I stopped and motioned or asked to take a photo. The two of them rearranged a bit and I shot a photo. We talked briefly and I moved on. That was the beginning of what has turned out to be another of those amazing relationships that the camera has created.
Jennifer, the mother, emailed a few weeks later after seeing the photo on the Sherwood Relay gallery on our website. She liked the photo and wanted to buy a copy. I explained that the photos were provided free of charge to the Relay organizers and the American Cancer Society and that I could not sell her one. I offered to prepare a file for her to print and gradually she relented on the payment and accepted my offer.
A year or so later Jennifer emailed again and asked about taking family photos. We gladly accepted the request and that is how we met Jason and the rest of the blended family. Two wonderful parents minding over 4 kids.
Then, recently, Jennifer emailed again. This time she explained that she and Jason were getting married and, in her words, would be honored if we would do the wedding photos. Are you kidding me? Again, we gladly accepted and began to take the photo role to another level.
Well, the wedding is coming soon and as is our practice we met with Jennifer and Jason for a “pre-wedding shoot”. We do this with all the couples who’s wedding we cover as a way to get to know the couple better and to break the ice with the camera. We gain a lot of experience with how the couple behaves for the camera and with us. I think it is one of the most valuable things we do as approach a wedding shoot. Last night we spent time with Jennifer and Jason at Rood Bridge Park as the sun went down. We’ve had great fortune with the couples we have photographed during weddings and these two nice folks rank right at the top in terms of being photogenic (read that… great looking couple) as well as fun and interesting to have a conversation with. Even with the predictable problems using some new camera gear they hung with us and put up with the delays that the newness caused.
We are very much looking forward to spending a day with them soon as they wed. In the interim we get to shoot the entire family prior to the wedding. Jennifer has plans for a specific picture during the wedding. The pressure is on but we are confident that we will be able to fulfill her request. Until then, meet Jennifer and Jason….