You know how sometimes you meet someone and it feels like you’ve known them your whole life? I felt that way when I met Jill last year. She had found a shoot I had blogged and shared online and hired me to shoot some intimate in-home photos of her and her husband. To his and my surprise, she proposed to him during that photoshoot to renew their vows.
It was so touching, and I felt SO fortunate that I had found this couple who was so easy to photograph and whose love for each other just OOZED from every photo I took. They were just so sweet together – the kind of sweet that makes you think to yourself, “oh my goodness I need to run home and be a better husband!” After that Jill and I became fast friends, and I practically begged her to let me shoot the vow renewal ceremony they started to plan. It was to take place on their 10th wedding anniversary, and it turned out to be one of the sweetest things I’ve ever photographed.
Jill and Zack (and their sweet kids) opened their home in Baltimore to me for a whole weekend. While I was staying with them I was struck by just how beautiful being normal is. Their home life is what you can probably imagine it’s like – Jill and Zack both work and parent their young children. Life is crazy hectic and it seems like there is always a fire to put out. At any given time, someone’s crying and someone’s happy. But what I noticed in just the short time I spent with their family is that even after 10 years into marriage together, they still take the extra time to connect in all those little moments. He reaches out and touches her as she walks by him going from one kid to the next, she tells him how adorable he is just because of the way he’s sitting at the table. They’re not perfect, but it’s all just perfect. It’s the kind of love we should all notice and appreciate.
On Saturday we had brunch and then got ready for their vow renewal ceremony at Kilgore Falls in Hartford County, Maryland. They chose that location because it was the location of their first ever date. Jill told me she still remembers that lime green bikini she wore.
As I watched them get ready, I was struck by how different this felt than all of the getting ready times I typically witness and photograph at weddings. You could see that they both felt the depth of the (re)commitments they were about to make to each other, but it was mixed in with the routine of their love and normal life. Jill quickly picked up beads and swept up cheerios her kids had left out on the floor before the make up artist arrived, Zack ironed his clothes, and they adorably bickered about something that I can’t remember now.
As soon as we were ready to leave, we hopped into the car and took off. Aside from the one time that I looked out the window and exclaimed “OH MY GOSH WE SHOULD TAKE A PICTURE IN THIS PRETTY FIELD BECAUSE OF THE FOG,” I mostly tried to stay out of their way and capture their renewal just as it happened. Like so many of my blogs these days, this one is littered with GIFs, haha. Make sure you catch each one as your scroll through.
To Jill and Zack, thank you both for honoring me by having me be present in such an important moment for you two. Thank you for being vulnerable, and thank you for loving each other so joyfully.
MAKE UP: Melissa Collazo
FLOWERS: Love & Luster Floral Design