I just want to talk for a moment about the importance of family wedding photos.

The lovely silver haired lady in the photo is my grandma, the bride is my niece, and the groom is my new nephew. In this moment he is learning that my 97 year old grandmother has a slightly dirty sense of humor. This is one of my favorite photos for a few reasons. I love the people in it, I love the candid nature of the capture, but most of all I love that my job allows me to do this not just for my family, but for families everywhere.

Photography takes the bits of joy life gives us and seals them up so they can’t be forgotten. It’s an opportunity to connect with strangers and loved ones alike. And it makes us all a little bit better when we use it to build and strengthen bonds. Family is a big part of who I am. Art is as well. My grandmother in the photo started painting in her 70’s because she always wanted to be an artist. For 25 years she painted landscapes from her childhood and pastoral scenes from photographs. She found herself in her art and she inspired me to do the same.

This moment at Taylor and Kevin’s wedding was supposed to be quick snapshot. My grandmother was tired and had come several hours to be at their wedding. I of course did the standard smiling photo of the couple and this sweet lady but it was the moment after that I will always cherish. After seventeen years of photographing weddings I have received several notes about loved ones passing on after a wedding and how the photos of grandparents, sisters, and even spouses have become treasured possessions. But it wasn’t until I took this photo that the shoe was on the other foot.

My grandmother’s health is failing, she can’t see to paint anymore or hear all that well. But in this moment she will always be the sharp witted hero I have loved my whole life. That’s the power of photography.