I've known Kelli since our radio station days at West Chester University. Many beers shared, many nights spent laughing loudly and telling stories with our massive group of friends and cohorts. When she reached out to me about doing the photos, I agreed without question. I was so excited that she thought of me to capture this amazing moment in her life. There was one problem, though... I've never done a wedding before.
I was extremely nervous. Terrified, actually. I'm generally a nervous wreck. What if I messed up? What if they hated the photos I took and then my reputation as a photographer would be out the window? I'd sell every piece of equipment I owned and stick to writing. I was truly terrified for the first ten minutes after accepting the offer to do it.
Then something magic happened. Everything lined up. It's like the universe handed me this amazing opportunity to be at a scenic, beautiful location to capture this amazing, non-traditional ceremony. The universe is constantly speaking to me, presenting me opportunities and positions to advance my craft and passion while helping to document the most important day of their lives. Kelli and Derek held their intimate wedding ceremony at a family home in Jim Thorpe, surrounded by scenery only seen in movies. Spending time in the woods prior to the ceremony and reception allowed me to fully submerse myself with the surroundings. I found myself complete at peace and relaxed, which is exactly the reason why they chose this place to get married. There's a serenity in being off the beaten path, a way of life that's unique, calm, tranquil. It brought the focus that I was desperately searching for to go out and crush these photos. I knew I had it in me, I just needed the universe to remind me.
The ceremony was beautiful, filled with several wonderful speeches on the warmest day of the year thus far, as well as an emotional letter from Kelli's mother, who was with the couple in spirit. The couple couldn't have asked for better weather or sunnier skies. The reception was a raucous affair, complete with a Jenga set hand crafted by the groom and a cornhole tournament, garnished by a dive into the lake, and concluding with fire spinners and jugglers, breaking up the evening darkness with spinning bursts of light. I can't imagine any other way to have begun this journey into wedding photography than this.
Cheers to you, Kelli and Derek! Nothing but happiness and love, forever and ever. Thank you for your trust and allowance to capture this stunning day.