Schmidt Wedding Preview

Yesterday’s wedding was a spectacular adventure with characters who made you laugh from the deepest part of your gut and made your heart swell beyond what you ever thought possible. It was full of nostalgia and fresh beginnings; new friendships, new adventures, new memories.

Big Lake Lodge in Mount Vernon sets an epic, forested and lake view backdrop. Perfection. The weather went overcast just when we needed it and was never unbearably hot.

It was like the day knew exactly what everyone needed and it gave it to us. I wondered why that happened? The logical answer is random chance, luck. The romantic in me tells me it was for Carollee and Casey. Two people who clearly have a deep, passionate, unfailing love for one another. The kind of love that chaos brings together. I’ve known Casey since I was 12 years old, and hearing many of his friends, who he has acquired over the more recent decade, celebrate and toast he and Carollee, describing them in a way I’ve always seen in him… Both he and Carollee are the type of people who bring out the best in those around them. Who encourage others to be better versions of themselves. I took my time to ask dozens of family and friends to reflect on their friendships and memories with the couple, and it was a resounding theme. Both of them drastically improve the lives of those around them. Then Alex, the best man, moves the crowd to tears, articulating it better than anyone else could (Casey, make sure you add that toast to the scrapbook). The day was stuffed to the brim with joy that filled you up and spilled over so much you had no other choice than to share it with everyone around you. Everywhere you looked, there were smiles, so big and genuine (and plenty of tears to balance things out a bit). There was laughter, kissing, hugging, dancing, break dancing, karaoke (my god, I’ve never enjoyed karaoke that much), custom lighting, men doing the ironing, and a bubble bath (more on that later).

When I left last night at 11:30pm and journeyed the 2.5 hours home, my head filled with what to say to reflect on this wonderful day – the drive flew by quickly. I don’t normally do next day previews, but I wanted the night to continue on just a bit longer, thus I give a snippet. Hopefully it is enough to see how much love there was in this day and in these hearts.

Share your love,

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Langston’s Journey Earthside

Langston Fox came swiftly earthside via waterbirth on Tuesday, May 29TH at 7:28pm, and I was given the humbling honor of photographing it.

This birth is only the second I have photographed, and due to the nature of my day job as a dental hygienist, I don’t anticipate (m)any more. I give sincere gratitude to Elizabeth and Randall for inviting me into their birth space. Fortunate for me, Langston was very accommodating with his timing, arriving only two hours after myself.

Elizabeth surrounded herself with several amazing, loving women, who, between them all have hundreds (thousands?) of births and perhaps as many tattoos. Jen Watson (doula – Peninsula Birth), April Duggins (birth assistant), Brandy Stuart and Angie Hotz (Student Midwives), and Nikki Coraggio (midwife – Gig Harbor Midwifery ).

Consider playing some Iron and Wine or Bright Eyes while viewing the images below to really take in the essence of this birth.

It was raining just as I was arriving to their home, and Elizabeth’s birth tub filled the living room, just in the doorway, so the fitting initial lyrics of Bright Eyes, “First Day of My Life”…

“This is the first day of my life
Swear I was born right in the doorway
I went out in the rain, suddenly everything changed…”

I hope you enjoy these images as much as I have while processing them. I’m not crying, you’re crying.

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