I've come to realize that photographing a wedding is rather like a performance. I spend plenty of time making practice shots on my camera, I make sure I know my motions around my instrument, I have a vision of how my finished product should feel, and - most of all - I get nervous about doing a good job. However, the anticipation of photographing the wedding of two of my Hope music students raised my nervousness to an entirely new level. I absolutely had to get this right!
Meet Jessica and Matthew, two exceptionally talented musicians who met as students at Hope College. I have known Matt's family for years, having taught piano to his older sister Sarah during my earliest years as a professor at Hope. Matt stepped foot into my First-Year Seminar class as a nimble and enthusiastic freshman, proudly sporting a brush-like goatee.
Jessica is a fantastic bassoonist who performed with the Holland Symphony. Her maturity belied her young age and her quietly professional demeanor eclipsed many far beyond her years. Jess is one of the kindest people I've ever met.
You see, I really wanted my photos of Jess and Matt to shine, to show who they really are and what they mean to me. This was a very personal gig. And, I think I did them justice, but it was the beauty and the sincerity of the day's events that ultimately made it easy for me. Jess and Matt were supremely comfortable in their own skin, so I didn't have to spend any energy coaxing them into being anything other than themselves. From a photographic standpoint, it turned out to be a dream wedding.
I hope you enjoy seeing these photographs, even if you don't know Jess and Matt. I hope that these photos show how beautiful they are individually and how beautiful they are together. I hope to follow, support, and encourage them for the rest of their lives. This world is blessed to have them.