Married on the Front Deck: My Little Sister's Chesapeake Beach Wedding

I've been rooting them for more than a dozen years.

They said they do on the edge of the bay, surrounded by parents, grandparents, siblings, spouses and a whole lot of kids.

It was so simple. 

And honest.

And I think every one of the thirty-two of us who were witnesses would agree: it was damn near perfect.

another attempt

Motherhood makes us harder.

And softer.

And more confident.

And deeply insecure.

It leaves us content.

Exhausted. 

Longing.

Screaming.

Crying.

Laughing from the depths of our soul.

The embodiment of every cliche we ever heard before we lived them. 

Yet utterly convinced that our reality is extraordinary.

I don't think I will ever tire of trying to capture in image that which I can't grab with words.

This baptism through birth.

This new way of being that comes with creating a new being.

 

Also, if you aren't on my email list (or hanging out with me on the social medias), you might not have heard that I'm offering motherhood mini-sessions for a few select dates in May. These sessions will be done on film at Brownies Beach, in Chesapeake Beach, Maryland. If you're interested in more information or booking a session, email me at brackishphotography@gmail.com. 

Also also, I'll be in Ocracoke, North Carolina the last two weeks in July. If you will happen to be in the Cape Hatteras/ Ocracoke vicinity during that time and would like to book a session, I'd love to talk. 

just around the bend

I can get bored with the most marketable love story. You know the one: a boy and a girl meet when they are in their physical prime. They're fit and their skin is clear and they both have full heads of hair.

And they date for a respectable amount of time before he proposes at a point that is both reasonable but still exciting. She hasn't started to drop passive aggressive hints and her friends aren't whispering behind her back.

And they marry at a point when their careers are well established and finances are stable, but not so late that their parents worry if grandchildren are ever going to happen.

The story continues after the "I do's", although the credits have rolled. We all know what happily ever looks like. They grow old together with only the normal sorts of disagreements, both content and healthy until they die peacefully in one another's arms in their 95th year.

It's the story I want for my children. A story that doesn't involve fear that love might never find them. The story that doesn't scare me for it all happening too soon. A story with no heartbreak.

But love isn't always pretty and it doesn't always come to us in a perfect package on our 25th birthday when we are fully recovered from the breakup that happened nearly a year ago and ready to start again. And love doesn't end without at least one person's devastation.

Love comes and goes. It must be fought for and worked at. And sometimes, despite everything, it evades us for a time.

But it can return. It will. In new forms and in unlikely packages, hidden in plain sight or found on the other side of the world.

And lightning can strike twice. Happiness can find you more than once.

You can be happily married for decades and suffer the deepest heartbreak, and on the other side, there is love for you again.

I want to honor all the love stories, in all their forms. Because sometimes when we don't see these stories or hear them, we start to wonder if they actually exist, wonder if they could ever happen to us.

They do exist.

They can happen.

Have faith.

always sisters

As we walked around Jefferson Patterson Park, there were more than a few strange looks. Three brides? And there are plenty of jokes to be made. Sister wives?

But strange looks, jokes, and confusion aside, these sisters are beautiful and a pleasure to photograph.  They have fun when they are together. They laugh and move with ease, teasing each other and complimenting one another in the same breath. 

So much of my identity as woman comes from my understanding of what it means to be a sister. What it means to have years of jokes and hurt feelings living together in a memory of unconditional love.  Getting to spend a golden hour with these three sisters reminded me of the power of sisterhood. And certainly the beauty of it.

little golden poems

 

My goal as a photographer is to see you. And to hear you. And to understand you, so that when I send you a gallery of photos you recognize the best parts of yourself. And you celebrate them.

 

So there is something about my relationship with Sarah and Sue that makes me feel selfish. Because when I work with them, I feel seen and heard and understood. They have supported me over and over again this past year. They invite me to keep coming back to create with their family, and it is a relationship that is deeply fulfilling. Their support gives me confidence, and it challenges me to grow and learn in an effort to bring them my best. I want to be be the person and artist they make me believe they see in me.