In late July My sister and her oldest son, my first nephew, took a drive to Prescott Valley. Tiffany, my aunt Chris' feisty, and quick-witted daughter was to be married in the evening. My sister and I were asked to share our small, but meaningful talents for this unique happening of love and commitment.
Michelangelo was able to produce transfixing pieces of art, but he was equipped with tools. He carved the statue of David with a chisel, some scrapers, rasps, files, and other small sculpturing tools from the Renaissance. My sister is cosmetology's version of Michelangelo... with the exception of gender of course. ha. Using scissors, blow-dryers, product, bobby pins, she too is capable of masterpieces. An already radiant cousin was soon transformed into this beautiful, luminous figure. I'm not saying my sister did a particularly great job on Tiffany (she did though), I'm trying to communicate that for the first time in awhile i was reminded how blessed my sister is at what she does. Tiffany was beaming, not to mention letting Lindsay beautify her had quite the calming effect, so as you can imagine many thanks were in order for Linds for I was to shoot Tiffany and Tony just immediately following Lindsay's statue of Tiffany.
I had met Tony once before and I can't say I'm really close with Tiffany. I was also prefaced before the shoot by my aunt admitting that she rarely ever saw the couple displaying affection, at times even sitting on separate couches while watching movies with the family. So i was a bit concerned and tried to break the awkward barrier quickly on our drive to the shoot. So I stared revealing my dating life to them and shared embarrassments. I don't mind moments of personal vulnerability if it equates to a relaxed and comfortable shooting situation. I think it worked out alright. With City Hall and it's lush green surroundings as our backdrop, we were able to enjoy a fun, carefree shoot together. And even though there was a little hesitation when asked, they finally locked lips. A rare sighting indeed.
The remainder of the evening went smoothly with a small, intimate ceremony, followed by a sun-setting backyard reception. There was a sea of extended family present, and with that came a very unique and special photograph. It was the first time in many years (and possibly the last time) that my Dad's family were together as a whole. As a photographer, these lucky moments happen more frequently than we think, because usually the families we shoot aren't our families and therefore lack a strong emotional connection to us. So naturally we don't feel that impact when were shooting that particular photograph or even when were developing it. But this was my family. These were my aunts. These were my uncles. This was grandma. This was grandpa. They were together and it was sublime. And I actually got chills as my Dad and his siblings gathered together (rather resistant of course, i mean cmon they're siblings). It was one of those odd occurrences, and for people who are doing what they love will know what i'm talking about, where you just feel so much joy, and so much privilege to be a part of such a moment. Said moments come unexpectedly and seem to transcend this life.
I'm rambling. It's an hour and forty five minutes past midnight. But this little outburst of personal dialogue was bursting to come alive and so animating these feelings was practically unavoidable. So in some sense it has been therapeutic. I sometimes forget that this blog is not exclusively an outlet for my choice of visual medium but also a digital notepad for my fleeting and often arcane thoughts. Anyway, enjoy the photographs! This is my family.