What a wedding!

I have been to a handful of inspirational and touching weddings, but the wedding I went to on the 29th of July was without question the most unique and appropriate for the couple. Gwen Hobbs and Eric Bostard who own Redpoint Climbers Supply in Terrebonne Oregon tied the knot at sunrise on top of the Monkey Face pillar in Smith Rock State Park. Gwen's mother and sister surprised her the day before the wedding and my boyfriend officiated the service. As if that wasn't enough awesome, Gwen and Eric swung on the 100ft pendulum Monkey Swing together just hours after exchanging their vows. 

It was awe-inspiring to see the community come out to support them especially given how early it was! 

The officiant and I decided it was probably okay to also step off the cliff on the Monkey swing after the newlyweds tested it. Among the others who jumped; a mother and her 7 year old daughter, Gwen's mother and sister, and a handful of other brave guys and gals. 

I have personally struggled with the idea of marriage for most of my life, but seeing more of my friends come up with unique and brilliant ways to represent their relationships and the lives they want to have, makes the idea of nuptials slightly less terrifying.

Thank you Gwen and Eric for being the pinnacle of what is possible in a functional fun-loving relationship and for setting the bar high.   

Maitri Wedding

It's hard to say what my favorite part about my work is. There are so many elements to my process, image collection, cutting, arranging, organizing, collaging, sculpting, painting and of course delivering the final piece. With my Wedding series work I think the amount of time I spend with all of the smiling photos is a narrow second to delivering the final piece to the newlyweds.

I spend at least 30 hours with a 2x3 poster size piece and the majority of that time is spent smiling. It's a rough job really. I have to stare at, work with and arrange a couples most precious, joyful, happy moments they have captured on film and it makes me constantly smiley! As it turns out there is a little science behind the act of smiling. Did you know it's practically impossible to not smile back at a smiling face without conscious effort? 

Over the last month and a half I have been smiling at and with my friends Jess, Taylor and their radiant family. In my initial sketching stages, it was imperative for me to find an image that both symbolized and spoke to the fullness of this couple and their journey together. They are both passionate, strong, magnetic beings that draw people in like bug lights with a happy zap. They place an emphasis on growth and self-reflection and have the joint responsibility of nourishing four energetic children. 

Knowing what I do about their characters and intentions it was easy to see them and their journey reflected in the symbol of a tree, but I wanted to further emphasize the act of coming together to create something new. In this piece Maitri (which is a Sanskrit word meaning unconditional love and friendship with oneself and is also now their last name) I decided to have a bright seedling tree in the foreground to show the beginning of their relationship and a larger full tree in the background to show the inevitable growth and longevity of their relationship.  

Thank you again Jess and Taylor for allowing me to be part of your journey and share in your smiles!