This summer I was lucky enough to get to photograph the wedding of my cousin Shauna and her husband Lou in Sanibel Island, Florida but, here is a little backstory about myself and my amazing cousins.
We grew up in the little ol’ village of Westervelt. Population? Well I don’t think anybody cares enough to count but I’m pretty sure it is under 100. Needless to say, there weren’t many kids to play with. Most of our extended family lives there so growing up was a pretty unique experience because we were always just a couple blocks away from each other. There weren’t any kids my age so I spent almost 100% of my time with my cousin Jerod who is about 6 years older than me. Shauna is Jerod’s sister and is a few years older than him. Occasionally we would all play together. I don’t think I’ve ever told either of them this, but I think how I turned out had a lot to do with the time I’ve spent with them. I’ve always been “older than my age” which is because I was hanging out with kids 6-9 years older than me my whole childhood, I was good at sports because I was always competing against Jerod who was much older than me, and I’m pretty “tough” because all Jerod and I used to do was fight (for fun. We were really into Jean Claude Van Damme, haha.) We also used to play school all the time. Jerod and Shauna were teaching me math before I was even in preschool. I can still recall Shauna demonstrating “if you have 5 oranges and I take 2 away, how many do you have left?” Ironically, Shauna is now a teacher. Its funny how things work out. Clearly she is a good teacher, I mean, look at how I turned out
I could go on all day about what important roles Jerod and Shauna have played in my life, but we can relive my childhood some other time, haha.
Ok so now that you know about Shauna, lets get back to the wedding stuff!
Like I said, Shauna and Lou got married in Sanibel Island, Florida. My aunt Darla is awesome and paid for me to come down and spend a few days before the wedding. It was really only immediately family that went so I appreciated them being kind enough to let me tag along. The backyard to our hotel was the ocean and I just spent hours sitting out there late at night when everyone else had gone to bed. Sitting on the beach with nobody around and no noise but the waves crashing in was the most serene thing I have ever experienced. I was pretty tempted to just sleep out there but it is probably best I didn’t since a pretty big crocodile was up on the beach the next day.
Anyway, our extended family is really close and at the core of it all is our beloved “Granny.” She wasn’t able to make it to the wedding so my goal became to tell the story of the wedding to my Granny so when she looked through the pictures she could feel like she was there. It really reminded me how important my job as a wedding photographer is. Telling the story of a wedding day with all the detail and emotion that goes into writing it has always been my goal but having an audience in mind other than the bride and groom gave it a very different feel for me. I’ve bottled up that feeling and I pull it out on wedding days now, haha. Now I’m always telling the story to the bride’s Granny. (That is, of course, assuming she is a really hip Granny that likes awesome pictures!)
I should probably mention Lou in here somewhere so he doesn’t feel left outLou, you are an awesome guy and I always have a good time hanging out with you. I’m really glad Shauna found you and thankful that Parker has you in his life.
Alright, I’m done talkin’. Let’s get to the pictures already!
Everyone went shelling every day we were there. I thought it would be fitting to take a macro shot of the rings on some shells that had found.
Little Parker giving away his mom’s hand in marriage. This was pretty adorable.
This shot is priceless.
We all got eaten alive by mosquitos to get this shot! Totally worth it though!