I stood back a few times and watched, each time choosing a different angle on love and occasion, but then there was the familiar weight of the camera, and it called me back to work.
This one was a huddle of friendship. Tuxes and chiffon, everybody hugging. Always a circle, symmetry, laughter. People who've counted on each other, and they marked it through the day and night, remembering how it feels to stand together when things fall apart. And in little moments with Proescco, coral suede, dark shades, and deep breaths.
People are so pliable at weddings. They're all beautiful, decorated, and I ask them to move into the light, and they do. I see an image before it happens, now and then, and that's not to say that it's something profound but it's wonderful when you see it, and then make it, and it's all because of the pliability, and the decoration. Those two things make each other.
Then sometimes there's just that light everywhere and for once, there are no guards. Everyone's happy and nobody minds being seen. I love those episodes. I skulk around corners and shoulders, peek out, and do my best to disappear again.
A puckered lip is the sweetest thing. So are sisters when they cling to each other, giggling. They remember tea parties and basement theatre. They share something that will never go away. Together they form a shape.
There's a collective poise right before the vows, right before the aisle, that's almost as sweet as a puckered lip. A taut sort of sweetness, right before everything begins.
I have to confess to a little situational manipulation, but just a whisper. Her mom and dad are connecting everything together and keeping care of it all and moving forward one thing to another and it's exciting and this and that and Don't forget and Where's so-and-so, quick quick! but then She was your little baby and look, there she is. She looks like a queen. And they all take a breath. <click>
One man to another: well done.
Their friends took on the festive baseline, stoking the energy like a woodstove. Keeping it decidedly playful when playful was needed. Bringing drinks to it all. They laughed so much.
He and she adopted this all day and all night, her leaning into him, tucking into that spot, and him embracing her in it. She belongs on that shoulder, and he's proud to have her there.
I finally asked someone what time it was and it was midnight. I hadn't noticed. I didn't want to leave, and that's how a great party makes everybody feel, and there's no better beginning than that.