It’s been an obscenely long time since I blogged. That sounds like massive over-dramatisation. But seriously, it’s been 3 months. That’s a pretty long time. And it’s not like I haven’t been making lovely photographs. I’ve been working like a mad woman! Which I guess goes part of the way to explaining why there haven’t been any blog posts. The rest of the explanation can be very neatly filed under…life. Yep, it got in the way of blogging. Children, a husband, friends, work, an adopted dog…these are the things that have been taking up my time.Not so bad, really.
OK, so this blog post is a wedding that I’m ridiculously close to. The couple you’re about to meet is made up of two of my favourite peeps in the whole wide world. Walker (or Anita, as she’s sometimes known) and I met at uni and became friends really quickly. Mostly because we’re both awesome, and honestly, how can one awesome person stay away from another awesome person for any reasonable length of time? But also because we were in a really small class in a really small faculty and if you didn’t get to know your classmates, you didn’t have ANYONE to talk to during breaks. So we picked each other, and the rest is history we’re still writing.Bennetts (aka Linc) is the uber gorgeous and lucky guy who snagged Walker (she’s very lucky, too). They’re the cutest couple ever, and I love them both very much. It was an absolute joy and privilege to photograph their wedding. But I tell you what, trying to choose less than 100 shots for a blog post has been kicking my butt for AGES. So, I gave up cutting it down, and it’s a really really REALLY long post. Grab a drink and probably a packed lunch. You’ll be here for a while. Or maybe schedule an interval for half way through. Whatever you have to do, get it sorted, because this is a corker of a wedding.
My amazing friends Katie and Cobey are going through a really tough time right now. Katie was diagnosed with very aggressive, stage 3 breast cancer back in November, and after almost immediate surgery to remove the lump, my healthy, fit, gorgeous friend started an equally aggressive treatment, which includes 8 rounds of intense chemotherapy followed by 6 weeks of daily radiation therapy. She’s almost at the end of her chemo, and she’s doing really well (she’s a freaking tough cookie, I tell you), despite the debilitating effects of the chemicals pouring into her body every two weeks. She’s lost the long blonde hair that Cobey loved so much, but she still has her super long eyelashes and her perfectly shaped eyebrows and her fierce determination to kick the shit out of this cancer.
As soon as I heard about it, I contacted Katie and asked if she would be interested in having me come over and take some photos of her and Cobes. I strongly believe in the importance of documenting moments like these in our lives, not just for the sake of our own memory (which is a fickle thing and very unreliable) but so we can share our experiences with the children and grandchildren and great grandchildren in our lives. These are the things that form us, sometimes gently and othertimes with the unavoidable force of a 20 foot high tsunami, smashing into our world and tearing it into unrecognisable pieces. When the tsunami arrives, you have the choice of being swept away, consumed by the water and the awe and the terror, or you can wait until the water recedes and walk bravely into the future, building it as you go, using the reformed and reshaped elements of your life that you find on your way. Katie said to me, when I was photographing them last week, that there’s no way they’ll come through this the same people who started the journey, that they’ve already changed, and of course she’s right. The love these two incredible individuals feel for each other is a wonder to behold, and I have no doubt whatsoever that this experience, while traumatic and difficult, will bring about wonderful and joyful and love-fueled changes to their lives.
I’ll share a few images from their shoot, but before I do, there’s something else I want to share with you. When I arrived at their home today, to deliver their images, Katie gave me a gift. A bottle of delicious bubbles and the most beautiful card. It’s overwhelming that, in the middle of feeling like her joints belong to a person 50 years her senior, she would think to buy me a thank you gift. It was completely unexpected and so appreciated and I just don’t have the words to describe how grateful and privileged I feel to have been invited into their world. Katie and Cobey shared all of themselves with me, the pain and joy and love and fear, and it’s an experience I’ll always hold dear and I’ll never forget. xox
The beautiful thankyou…
And the beautiful Katie and Cobey and their lovely fur child, Marley…