We all see them everyday. They are everywhere we look: on Facebook, on Instagram, popping up on Snapchat and making our phones buzz with notifications: selfies. I want you to look right now at home many photos you have stored on that little phone attached to your hand. If you’re anything like me you might get that annoying pop up telling you your storage is full and you can’t take another photo! Now, when is the last time you actually handed over your beloved phone to a stranger to have them save a memory for you or better yet, when was the last time you printed those photos from your phone? The answer is probably: not often enough or never. Life is worth living outside of those phone photos and selfies, and I’m about to tell you what we do every year to beat that temptation.
The truth is, our marriage isn’t perfect. I don’t post any photos of us in the hopes that you think we float around in floral rowboats everyday or so you will comment #goals, I post them because the world needs more reminders that marriage deserves celebrating. As a wedding photographer I see the time and care and money invested in documenting moments and in celebrating that one big day but after the wedding day rush, it all stops. The celebrating stops, the focus on preserving moments stops, and the priority of being documented stops. You might hang a photo or two from that beautiful wedding day but then the memories happen but the priority to preserve each life stage takes a back seat. The jobs get busy, money gets tight, we put on a few pounds, and it feels silly to get dressed up to take pictures of ourselves, it happens every single time. The truth is, it could happen to us, easily. We could think that where we are is no different from where we were a year ago, we could discount the change that happened with another trip around the sun, we could tell ourselves that there are better ways to spend our money and our time, but we don’t. We simply don’t.
Each and every year we do one shoot together. No, we don’t do a million photoshoots, we rarely take selfies, and we hardly photograph the day in and out of our lives but to me. This one session a year proves that marriage is worth celebrating and each year is a milestone. Looking year by year I see the change, the addition of wrinkles, a few extra muscles (on Drew, of course), one more dog, a new home, decorated walls, new perspective, but one thing always stays constant and it’s the love that we share. I don’t do this to put us on blast, so much of our lives is sacred and private. Letting people “in” is part of my job and life and brand but it doesn’t mean that I share every bit of it. I tell the world what I would feel comfortable telling a stranger on an airplane, there’s much more to me than these photos and words but it’s enough to inspire you. I just truly believe that world needs a positive image of marriage after the wedding day. If it means getting wet and laying in the bottom of a rowboat for Cassie Rosch, I’ll do it. Because this, my friends is year four and it’s just as beautiful as the day we said “I do.” Preserve your life, celebrate after “I do” and remind yourself that the stage you are in at this very moment is just as meaningful as the one when you wore that pretty white dress.