Stoney Creek Bed and Breakfast, Vandergrift Wedding, Holly & Jim

The story of Holly & Jim's wedding is a big one and a personal one. 

It began a few years ago a a time when I was just starting to get a handle on this whole photography thing. Those were the days where, like anyone beginning a creative endeavor, I was filled with doubt and fear and the nagging idea that I should give up and do something safer.  You see, photography is a tough gig. It's one of those glamorous seeming jobs that everyone tries to do and almost no one manages to do well. You know that your odds of real success are slim. The anxiety keeps you up at night. You throw a few images up on Facebook in those days. Your mom likes them. Your best friend likes them. Your dog likes them. But those people love you. So you wonder if what you're doing is crap. It's possible after all. So the nagging continues, a little voice in your mind constantly telling you to quit and give up.

But let's say that one day when the voice of 'quit and give up' is particularly loud, you get a message from someone. This person isn't your mom or sister or pet cat. This is a stranger who has admired something you've done. They've admired it SO MUCH so that they reached out to you to ask about a photograph. You are floored. You run around the house telling everyone. You tell your husband, your baby, your houseplants. At least one person in the world likes your work. And it's not just someone looking to hire you because you are still very cheap or your Aunt Suzie. It's another photographer. 

It was Holly.

Fast foreword a few years. We've kept in touch. In fact, this past year, Holly has joined Mariah as a second shooter for weddings. It's been such a joy to see the loving images she captures. Mariah is always saying 'I just love Holly. She's kind. She's just so kind. Her kindness is obvious.' While simply saying someone is kind might sound small, it's not. Kindness is huge.  So are humility and warmth. Holly is the embodiment of those things.

Kindness. Humility. Warmth.

And then you meet Jim. Within minutes you know that Jim is the embodiment of those things too. You learn that their love story is long. It has heartbreak and tragedy, like all important love stories do. You can see that they have learned to love one another through abundance and through sorrow. They are deeply rooted in family. They are grace. They are forever.

(Holly, I don't think I've ever told you this before. That message helped me keep my head in the game and not give up on myself.  Thank you for being a part of my work. A thousand thank-yous for everything!)