A Wild Ride
I've known Chelsea for years - pageantry, entrepreneurship, and movie sets (average stuff right?) brought us together, so when she asked me to photograph her wedding, I was over the moon. A girl of my own heart, Chelsea is alllll about the glam. The sparklier the better and there's no such thing as overdone or overdressed. So, arriving at her engagement shoot, I expected just that. However, one other thing about Chelsea that also makes us kindred spirits is that with her, you should go ahead and expect the unexpected.
Needless to say, I wasn't expecting four wheelers. Now I was aware that her fiancé, Zac, is a country boy. I was also aware of the fact that he was extremely reluctant when it came to taking pictures. (I'm sure scheduling the engagement session the night before and springing it on him wasn't the best plan, but it got the job done). I quickly realized that this was a brilliant plan! Chelsea put Zac directly into his element and the photos were effortless. I had never been on a four-wheeler until then, so I rode with Chelsea. I couldn't believe how easy it was for her and how she was actually having an amazing time. She wasn't just half-heartedly participating because it was "Zac's thing", she was genuinely enjoying herself.
I've always been certain that throughout my photography career, I want my clients to take away something more from my work than just photos. I encourage my clients to be interactive and I try to photograph their lifestyle. I want them to leave sessions with me with new fun, happy memories. This time though, I realize I took away two things from my session with Chelsea and Zac. One being that no matter how much you think you know someone, take the time to learn something new about them. I think we often enjoy the comfort of feeling like we know all there is to know, "like the back of our hands". I know I've been guilty of it. Through doing this, we miss out on the opportunity to strengthen our relationship with someone else and on a larger scale, we're able to understand them more.
The other thing was how much I admired Chelsea's interest in Zac's world. It couldn't be more opposite of hers, but, (like everything she does) she's fully invested in making his world a part of hers and there's no doubt that Zac does the same for her. In our relationships, and not even just romantic relationships - I think this applies to friendships too, we are quick to protest what makes us different from one another and only celebrate the ways in which we are alike. It seems like we gain so much more from being open to new ideas and experiences rather than isolating ourselves in what we're used to.