The Moment


Is it even possible to be part of the moment if you are capturing the moment? Then, is it possible to see the moment if you are viewing the moment from the lens of another?

For a very short time, my memory of my own wedding day was of the way my husband’s eyes looked as he made a life long vow to me. That same memory felt the sunshine on my forehead and the way our fingers felt as they trembled in front of our friends and family.  And yes, I still hold a sliver of this memory.  But now, that moment, our vow sharing, has transformed into something completely different.   It is now a memory from the eyes of another (well, two others): Our Photographers.

Their view is breathtaking, it is beautiful, it is vivid, and it is symmetrical — but it has faded my own.  The more I look at the pictures, prints, and memory books, the more our photographers’ view becomes my own memory.  And to think, the photographers’ memories are not even close to mine… They consist of sweaty shoes, sore calves, and a cocktail that was never finished because it was time for my bouquet toss…

Photo credit:  The Oberports, West Virginia Wedding Photographers

Photo credit: The Oberports, West Virginia Wedding Photographers

I have conjured memories of my own wedding day from the lens of another; And now I am left wondering how many memories I myself, a life-long photographer enthusiast and now professional, have altered. Have I actually captured my clients/friends’ special days and personal memories?  Or have I given them a separate set of moments, captured by my lens, that neither I, nor they, ever truly experienced? Is it then possible for another, unassociated person, to have those same memories from the same detached viewpoint?

What happens when we see instead of capture? And what happens when we capture instead of see? And for that matter, what viewpoint do we develop when we only view the captured, without seeing? Is one way superior?

Interestingly enough, the strongest memory of my wedding day is not one that was caught on camera.  Our photographers’ 8 hours of paid shooting time was long past and the night was coming to an end when my brand new husband whispered in my ear, “look around”, “these people will never all be in the same room, ever again.” As I glanced from face to face, our friends and family all swayed back and forth, shoulders locked, singing an off pitch rendition of “Country Roads”.  I smelled my husband’s neck, a mix of sweaty cologne and aftershave, and tears filled my eyes because I knew I would never forget.  I also knew that no one else would ever feel, in that moment, what I felt and will remember for a lifetime.

Now you have some obscure, half-version of my memory, but I know, no matter my story telling abilities, or even if I had a picture that said 1000 words, you will never know the love that I have sealed in that one moment. It is a selfish moment and I am glad we don’t have a picture to distort it.  The memory is all mine, never skewed, never re-remembered. (except maybe now…as I re-read this passage.)

I would never, not even for a second, take back the stunning pictures that were captured on my wedding day.  They were worth every penny and tell a story that I could never fully recall.  I will cherish them always and I will share them with generations to come…But I will also hold dear the few precious moments that I was not in front of the lens.  Those moments that are so selfishly mine — Beautiful and irreplaceable.

If this post brings any conclusion: Put your cameras down, if only for a moment, and go make a few memories that can never be distorted.



I Don’t Want Your Candles!


Is it the warm weather? Or maybe it is the bad economy? Or maybe it is just my poor assortment of Facebook friends taking over my Newsfeed. #hidepost

But DANG YA’ll. ENOUGH with the scented candles, costume jewelry, woven baskets, and makeup that I would rather buy at Sephora…

First, let me back up… if you are a promoter of these overpriced items sold via parties and the internet, please do not take offense. I get it, times are tough, selling SEEMS easy, and believe it or not I have a few items for sale myself… Granted these items are one of kind, made by me, and only available from me, but still… I understand how hard it can be to make a few dollars doing something you love. But really, you LOVE selling overpriced shit to strangers?? Maybe you do, and maybe I’m the ‘scent-less’ one here. (See what I did there, ‘scent-cy’, ‘scent-less’ get it??) Anyway, dear seller, there is a chance that I really like you as a person…I am just really, REALLY tired of your goodies invading my Facebook, email, and pocketbook. No, I’d rather not buy a candle. I do not wish to be a host, I do not like green eggs and toast!

Second, if you are my friend and thinking of inviting me to one if these parties, go ahead, I may even attend. But please, do note, if it were my choice I’d rather you not spend a week cleaning your house and recreating Pinterest catastrophes just so I can pretend to be totally into the latest fad that you clearly got suckered into having a party for. Let’s just drink some wine in your backyard and call it a day. It is very, very likely that I LOVE hanging out with you, I just have better things to spend my money on (ie. food, water, netflix, large underpriced candles, cheap unique jewelry, and real makeup).

I remember this phenomena beginning in my early childhood. I remember my mom, with a defeated voice telling me she had ‘another basket party’ to attend. She would say she wanted to see her friends, and I would think, so why not just call them up and hang out??

Now, as an adult, I can at least understand that it can be difficult to schedule a hang out with girlfriends. There are husbands, and jobs, and babies to juggle… But even still, does this mean that we should throw our money into the latest item trending on social media??

First it was the kitchen parties (full disclosure: I liked the kitchen parties) the items are not quite as useless, but still… Overpriced excuses to hang out. I just can’t wrap my head around it. Then came the sex-toy parties, really guys? (I mean girls) really? No one wants to order a sex-toy from your kitchen table, no one. Then the tables turned, and rather than needing a sex-toy, you could get a man with the latest lip gloss, zit cover, and/or wrinkle blurring cream. Puh-lease! Like I said, I like Sephora, where I can shop on my own terms, try it on, and even leave without purchasing. Then, worst of all, the jewelry parties. Maybe this one is the worst, because it is actually the best (most popular anyway…) It seems that a large faction of people sincerely enjoy this stuff. Call me crazy, but I’d rather not spend $78 to wear the same tiny necklace as my BFF. Enough already, Sephora, Lia Sophia, Stella and Dot, the list goes on and on. Which makes it seem like there is a big variety, but noooo, you still end up with the same necklace as Julie, Kate, and Sue because it is the only one you could all afford without over-drafting your bank account. And now… CANDLES, Really… CANDLES!?! As if a Yankee Candle fundraiser a wasn’t enough, now you expect me to buy this and not even support our local school?

Please friends, let’s just spend our money eating good food and drinking good wine. And if you feel like you need to make some extra cash by selling the latest trend, think back to how much money you could have saved it you weren’t guilt tripped into buying that $40 candle, $78 necklace, $15 lipgloss, $45 cheese grater, and $400 basket.

Just think about it.