The Story of Us
Why is it that when asked to talk about ourselves we’re always so stuck to find anything? Those who know me well know I can talk a blue streak; it’s part of my personality. I have an opinion about EVERYTHING. It is one of the things that those close to me love – and hate — most about me. I think I was born talking. When we have a client I have to constantly remind myself that these people didn’t come over to hear one of my crazy wedding stories, and I have plenty.
Recently I was asked to tell the story of us, they story of who we are and why we started MorningStar Photography. I’d seen other photos Alan had taken, I remember just being awed by one particular image. He’d been in the Tetons and a storm was coming in, dark clouds rolling across a mountain top. It looked foreboding, and I could feel it. Another photo was of a deer sprinting across an open field, clearly trying its best to escape humans; hooves off the ground, head turned just so the camera caught that look of fright which all animals seem to have whenever they came into contact with us. I think it was then that I thought, why can’t he do this with people? Capture them (humans) in our own habitat as it were. “You could do weddings” I screamed in delight at him. Thinking he would jump on it, see my brilliance at even suggesting it, run with the idea. Alan screamed back at me, “Are you CRAZY?”
Disheartened and slightly annoyed (I’m the jump-on-it kinda girl), “Why not” came my retort.
“I don’t want to screw up somebody’s wedding. “Do you know what it takes to do a wedding?” he asked.
”Nope, I have no idea,” came my reply. But I persisted: “Why can’t we just do a couple of weddings, and see if you like it”. I pushed, prodded and tried to bribe him, and finally he relented.
As luck would have it, we had friends who were getting married that summer, more than 16 years ago. They were watching their budget and liked other photos Alan had done. They agreed to let him cover their weddings. The results were lovely. Alan had gotten his degree in photography in the late 80’s, had done portraits and had worked for Old Tyme Photography, where people dress in period costumes for 3 years or so. But more than that, he just loved photography; the passion was there.
The passion that is also the expression of the love he sees between two people that he has so often captured. He knows something that most of us tend to forget that moments count, that they matter and in a wedding all you have are those fleeting moments.
Our fear, his fear, was not so much of failing, as of disappointing a couple who’d had paid us to do their wedding. All these years later, after much joy and pain, it is still the thing that drives us, that drives him, a bit like the great operatic tenor Luciano Pavarotti who always felt performance anxiety before his next concert, the butterflies arrive before every shoot, that sense of “will I be good enough?”
This IS who he is; it is a huge part of why I love him, because he gives a damn about what he does. He hasn’t got a big ego, “No I’m an artist or any of that crap; just a guy wanting to do great work for his customer.” For me, I just want to make sure he’s always happy doing this, it’s important that he does enjoy his work. After all, he did finally listen to me.