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Weddings: Gio and Stacy

I got to capture some incredible moments at a wedding in Williamsburg this past Friday with a bunch of people that I had just met. The only person I really knew was the groom, Gio; I had only been connected with the bride, Stacy, through some payment transactions; and a good buddy of mine, that I met vaguely due to sitting at a coffee shop for too long and having him serve me cortados every now and then (thanks, Stewy), also happened to also be in attendance.

I really didn't know anyone. So you could say, at the least, that shooting this wedding was a bit nerve-racking. But the great thing about shooting weddings is that you get to see friends and family in a state you usually don't get to see them in. We all experience "friends & family" quite differently depending on our background, culture, and other factors of our upbringing. But something that is always consistent when attending or shooting different weddings, are the faces that people make with each other.

When I say "faces," I mean the general facial expressions that any human being would make from there day to day with the people they usually interact with, but with more zeal to it. Some faces were emotional, some were ecstatic, some had a certain crazy look, some had scary RBF, and some had nice content smiles. Now I know this doesn't sound very "consistent" as I had said before, but it is true. What is consistent in gatherings like these, especially weddings, is the overwhelming sense of joy and wonder and acknowledgement for a singular purpose. Having so many relatives and old acquaintances in one room sparks something in the atmosphere that is so interesting to witness from the outside looking in as a photographer.  And yes, while there may be a few people who might genuinely not want to be there, the entire venue still feels like a celebration of something way bigger than two people dedicating themselves to each other. People were dancing, drinking, eating, and singing. Not for their own, but for this new couple joined in holy matrimony.

It just felt like community. And it was exactly that.

It felt so good to be around people so joyful and excited to be there for this beautiful couple. It's very easy to forget that people are built for this kind of thing: to be able to get together and celebrate or acknowledge one purpose. And that one thing was the promise that God has for every man, woman, and child; a life full of blessing and abundance even through sickness and health; whether rich or poor. It is a celebration of life and you get to see life come alive within the span of a couple hours of food, drink, and good music.

Nothing brings me as much fulfillment as photographing weddings such as this one and just being around people living and celebrating at the same time.

I experienced genuine connections with them and I also got to see their genuine connections with each other. I was able to see and experience real relationships and real family. I have never been a part of something so electric and somber at the same time. I was a part of something real. I'm happy I get to smile and laugh behind the viewfinder with such wonderful people.

Julian Santa AnaComment