On my trip out to Portland to photograph Thea and Jeff’s wedding last month, we had a three and a half hour layover in San Francisco. Three and a half hours in an airport is that annoyingly in-between length of time where any attempts to leave the airport would mean the stress of timing the trip back through security and, since most airports are far removed from the cities they serve, a hike out to even see anything. So, like most of my fellow layover-ees, I spent some time drinking margaritas at the bar and staring out the window at the mountains. Luckily, SFO is one of the few airports that has a nice terminal and pretty views. Just saying, I wouldn’t want to be stranded in LaGuardia anytime soon.
In my three and half hours of wistful margarita window-gazing, and the six take-offs and landings we had (long story that features five fire trucks and a dramatic return to San Francisco after we were already en route to Chicago on the way home) I felt myself getting homesick for a place that wasn’t even home. Have you ever had that feeling? When you visit a place and it strikes such a chord in your soul that it calls you back again and again?
That’s me and California, a decades-long love affair that started when I was nine and my mom flew me out to visit a friend who lives in Berkeley. Ever since then I’ve been smitten, but it was our honeymoon trip to Los Angeles and Palm Springs that really hit home how artistically moving California is for me. It drives to create something fresh, to see things in a different light in a way that other places don’t.
So I’m going back. I’m in the early stages of planning a return trip to LA and Palm Springs (because I love them both too much to pick one). I thought I’d throw this out there to all of you: if you’re getting married, or want any sort of lifestyle or engagement session in the month of December (dates to be determined, they’re flexible right now save for the holidays when I’ll be here in Chicago with family) send me a note and we can set something up.
My very favorite weddings always seem to fall on warm summer nights, around that time of year when the sun takes its sweet time setting. When outside seems like the only place worth being.
Thea and Jeff planed their wedding around one such beautiful summer night in Thea’s hometown just outside of Portland, and they put thought into each handmade detail. The ceremony and reception took place on their close family friends’ beautiful property, and Thea got ready in her childhood home down the street.
They dined and danced under strings of lights, and guests could play lawn games, swing from a tree, make s’mores by a campfire, or walk around the stunning garden. Before Jeff and Thea’s sparkler exit, neighbors (who had been watching the comings and goings of all the guests) set off an insanely awesome fireworks display.
Kat and Josh. Josh and Kat.
Everything I start to type out is reading clichéd. But there’s nothing trite about love. This is the stuff of stories, the stuff that makes life full and oh so happy.
Instead of trying to describe it for you, I’m going to let the photos do the talking, and share a story of the kind of awesomeness that was the evening the three of us spent exploring Kat and Josh’s favorite places in Chicago.
Kat had talked to the people over at Congress Theater about taking a few engagement photos inside, so we were able to bypass the line of people waiting to get in for that night’s concert. After spending some time in the grand lobby, we ducked into the main theater where the band was doing a pre-show run-through. The theater was completely empty, wide open except for the band onstage, and Josh and Kat danced to the song playing just for them.