My grandparents’ house is snuggled in the quiet, cozy town of Ephrata, PA, a place known for the Amish community, whoopie pies, and the inescapable scent of manure. While I never got the opportunity to meet my grandparents, I still honor the family tradition of visiting their home filled with antiques, heirlooms, and old family photographs.
When we were young, my cousins and I would spend our annual pilgrimages biking to Dairy Queen and exploring the surrounding vast corn fields. We were always on the hunt for something exciting to do in that sleepy town. One day, as I was searching for something to play with in the basement, I found my grandparents’ collection of National Geographic magazines. Immediately intrigued, I settled into my grandfather’s large leather armchair and flipped through every page, enchanted by the images that told stories of different worlds beyond the quaint farm fields of Ephrata.
I was just a bright-eyed little girl when a stack of dusty magazines revealed what I wanted to do for the rest of my life.
I still remember the impact each photograph had on me. Within each bright yellow rectangle, there was an inconceivable depth and beauty unlike anything I’d ever seen, and I believe those old National Geographic magazines were a message sent by my grandparents. Though I never met them, their two-hundred-magazine-stack collected years before I was born waited in their basement to show me my way. To invite me to tell stories of my own.
There’s just something special about a photo. No other art form can capture a raw, singular moment the way photography does. The images taken are vital for understanding history and culture, and they are the key to our own pasts, too. They give us glimpses into the lives of others and help us remember our own, long after the memories fade. They guide us to a fresh understanding of our own humanity. This is why photography matters. And through my work as wedding and elopement photographer, as well as a freelance photographer, I have seen humanity at its most radiant.
On a wedding day, I witness it all. From my couples seeing each other in their wedding finest for the first time to the unique dynamics of each family, I get to glimpse the authenticity of a family in motion during the most beautiful 6 to 8 hours of their lives. And through the images I create, my couples will be able to revisit it all as vividly on their 50th anniversary as they will on their first. They will be able to remember what dance moves Aunt Julia busted on the dance floor and how the flower girl carefully placed each rose petal on her way down the aisle. They will be able to relive every special moment of their day, big or small.
In the end, I photograph weddings because I want to freeze time for my couples, giving them a door to step back in time through, so they can relive their wedding day for years to come.
A photo from my grandparents wedding.