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As I look back on what the last 12 months have meant to me and for my business, this phrase comes to mind.  Tear it up! What I mean is along the lines of what Joel said in Joel 2:13, “Rend your hearts and not your garments.”  Some friends in college and I talked about this verse and how the word in Hebrew is actually the same word that is used in an agricultural sense to till hardened soil.  While I don’t mean to convey that 2013 was in any way a time of mourning or great desperation, I do mean to say that it was a time of soul searching, especially regarding my role in photographing weddings.

The wedding industry is a crazy thing to be a part of. Taking a quick lap around any wedding fair showroom will easily convince you of that.  You can have ice sculptures, swans, or doves released the moment you kiss.  You can walk in to drum lines, ride in on white horses, or even an elephant if you really want to. Think of any extravagant show of celebration and there is probably someone who offers that as a service for a hefty fee.  I’m not saying that is bad.  In fact, I think the promises couples make to each other before their loved ones and God are worthy of extravagant celebration.  Whatever celebration you choose is great and will undoubtedly be meaningful to you so long as you stay true to your heart. What I am saying is that it is easy to lose sight of the reason for celebration and has been bewildering for me at times.

I have been fortunate that my couples are truly amazing, kind, generous and grounded people in the past.  They have kept their commitment, love for their family and friends central and are a huge blessing to work with.  If you are a reason I am writing this, I cannot thank you enough.  Because I am so fortunate, I have asked myself many times how I can best serve my clients.  I want to do more than provide mementos of a very important day in their life, or an heirloom of family history. Is there more than that I have wondered? The answer to my search came in my own life.  It’s a funny story actually. I was being a dummy and I picked a fight with Val over the plethora of bobby pins in our home.  They were everywhere. As I was working out my frustration by shooting monsters in Halo 4, I looked up to our wedding photos on the wall.  I remembered the promises I made that day, promises that included me not being a sucky person and putting her before me.  I had to make it right, so I apologized, she forgave me and it’s something we laugh about now.

I realized wedding photographs are not so valuable for the memories they preserve with surgical precision, as they are for what the meaning of that day does in the heart.  With that realization I am setting out to create images that are evocative, true to my couple’s love and are a clarion call to live out of the truest, most selfless love of all.  I can’t wait to explore this more in 2014. I can’t wait to see your heart laid bare before each other, as broken as they may be, and as beautiful as they are.

For those who have worked with me this year, I am so thankful for you.  Sean Dorgan, Tim Ho, Cadence Cornelius, Crystal Hederg, Mykou Thao, Erin Dahlin, Amelia Armstrong, Brandon Werth, Carly VanVeldhuizen, Kye Samuelson, Ryan Lucas I could not have done this without you. Finally a special shout out to my love; my bobby pin slinging, light holding, joke cracking Valerie Joy.  You have been by my side at every shoot, humbling me with your helping heart, willingness to call out a stupid idea when you see it and encourage me when I need it most. I love you more, and you deserve every public praise I can give.

With that I wanted to share some of my favorite images from this year. I hope that they speak to you and show something of what I hope to explore in my passion for photography this year. Also, follow me on instagram to get a sense of some of the experimental photos I want to try with clients in the coming year!

 

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  • Maureen deBruyn Jan 23, 2014

    Tom your last photo favorite also features a favorite bouquet of mine from this past year! Please post this to my page too! Thanks for the beautiful photos!

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