"Becoming a bar mitzvah is one among many milestones in a Jewish man's life. As a mother, I am filled with mixed emotions. My boys aren't babies anymore, but I am joyful that they've each reached this stage and filled with pride at the young men they are becoming. The photos you took encapsulate that so beautifully." - Renee, Sam's mother
"Getting to write our own vows was a very emotional process for us, so when it came time to actually say the words out loud to each other in front of our family and friends it was a really powerful moment. Looking into each other's eyes and speaking directly to one another while the entire room was just overflowing with love for us, and happiness and hope for our future together... It still chokes me up a little just thinking about it. I'll always keep those words somewhere safe so that when I need to remind myself of what our marriage was founded on I can call them up and go back to that beautiful moment we had together in front of our loved ones." - Kait
My partner, Nick, and I spent 22 days on the road and travelled 3,800 miles across the West of the US earlier this year. Of course, I made lots of photographs along the way, but I also wanted to create a video experience from the journey. I hope you enjoy the (much abbreviated) version of the trip.
Featuring: Conrad Dean, Callison Stratton, Kirby, Jesse Youngman, Samira Menghes, Akheil Singla and Butch Goette.
"The most beautiful moment for me was the minute we included in our ceremony to just look out and around at the community we had gathered there. We held silence for one full minute, and I tried to make eye contact with each of my friends and family members, as well as Chris's. The love I felt being sent out to us was palpable, as I knew that each of them was blessing our wedding in that moment, in their own ways. I knew that I had all of their support, this day, and all days to come, no matter what." - Christie
Meghan & Andrew married on Saturday, July 23rd, 2016 at All Souls Interfaith Gathering in scenic Shelburne, Vermont. The day was peppered with rainstorms and sunshine and bridesmaids that looked like pink tulips. Meghan & Andrew both live in Texas, but wanted to return to Vermont to tie the knot. Many friends traveled long distances to make it to the celebration, and when it came time for dancing everyone was doing the Texas two-step.
I love creating photographs in a scenario like this, where the family comes together and everyone has the chance to relax and enjoy being with each other. This is when the real, authentic moments happen. Moments you could never stage, like Jayden becoming fascinated by pine needles and Grandma & Grandpa holding him close.
"Alena, when I think of my life before I met you, it is as if I am watching an old black and white movie with grainy edges and muffled voices – the story is there but the colors and the clarity are lacking. Each day that I have been with you has vibrated with an electricity that sparks a passion for life. I love our silly banter, our spontaneity (and our planning!), our adventures in the city, the wilderness, and the coast, and our soul-nurturing partnership where we feed upon each other’s excitement for life. I promise to always listen with open ears, work to find compromise, and above all, be with you in laughter and joy." - Eric
Cool, dark forests lead to baking hot dunes marked with shifting footprints, the temperature begins to drop as we hike continually upward and find feet of snow on the trail, the just-audible sound of swallows swoop overhead as the sun sets red behind distant mountains, and blue shadows creep across a deep canyon. Gas stations with the same salty snacks, drive-thru espresso shacks, street signs and open maps, a double yellow line that leads forward and people who make me smile. Around 3,800 miles and it was awesome.
The Vermont Commons School schedules three "Encounter Weeks" a year, and during these times students from all grades are mixed together to work on a project, hike in the mountains, or travel somewhere interesting. Encounter Weeks were some of the most important times for me when I attended the Vermont Commons School, so when I had the opportunity to lead a photography week in Cape Cod with Jess Redmond it was a done deal.