OH SUMMER 2020 / We went months without even visiting family but as things began to reopen, we finally got to have a small, outdoor family gathering recently. We each brought our own dinner and sat on blankets and camp chairs set 6 feet apart. After an hour or two, the summer sun disappeared behind the tree line and a cool evening breeze replaced the warmth of the day. We put on sweatshirts and gathered around a bonfire, now with masks on and still keeping some distance between us. It was the first time gathering with our closest family in what felt like forever. And it felt so good. We talked and laughed and reminisced well into the night, until we ran out of firewood. . On the drive home, a feeling of sadness washed over me and I realized in an instant what it was. I was missing weddings. This was the same time of year that our wedding season usually would have begun. It was the time of year we normally find ourselves in beautiful places, celebrating love stories with awesome people the best way we know how: through our photography. Normally this time of year, when we're outside with the sun and the breeze and the sunset and a gathering of people, it's for our wedding work. . The evening we gathered with family recently gave me the same feeling our weddings do, and it simultaneously filled my heart with gladness and sadness. Gladness because it was a fresh realization of how much we love our work, and sadness because Covid has taken so much from our 2020 couples and from us. We just want to be at weddings again. It's where we belong. . Thankfully, we still have a good handful of weddings able to go on this year, although many have had to postpone to 2021. We'll have our first one of the season next weekend, and we couldn't be more excited! We appreciate the weddings on our calendar this year more than we could ever express. . @barnkestrelweddings @j29events @distinctivedesignsbydenice @ambrosiacarey @hairmettle @allurebridals @aniabridal @showmeyourmumu @verdecocina @partyplacepdx @bridgewoodevents @cravedesign @churros_locos @nwmdjs @bartruckpdx @committed_films @smirkphotoboothco @kelby_maria @fujifilm_profilm @thefindlab
Just delivered! (the photos, not the baby haha). Guys I don't know who needed this #maternitysession more, the sweet Davies family or us! This session shot a few weeks ago was our first time shooting since January due to the pandemic. I'll be honest, I felt a little nervous! 10 years in, close to 200 weddings under our belt and countless portrait sessions, but with so much time not shooting, part of me wondered if I was going to be a bit "rusty". But the most amazing, unexpected thing happened! Because so much time had passed without shooting, my head felt really clear. I felt more creative, my ideas were fresh, my eye was seeing things I've never seen before! Seeing how it turned out now, I honestly feel this shoot was one of our very best family sessions of all time!⠀ .⠀ For all the negatives Covid has caused and the inordinate amount of time-off we've had from shooting, I've come to realize that there are some positives too. It's forced us to hit reset on the creative spirit and as it turns out, that's a really, really good thing.⠀ .⠀ Dress: @willows_shop⠀ Film: shot on @fujifilm_profilm & processed by @thefindlab
And our education continues! How have we gone our whole lives not knowing about about #lovingday?? We had no idea, NO IDEA, that interracial marriage was actually banned under U.S. law until 1967! We learned about it today when our sweet past bride @natalie.ryman shared a wedding photo and mentioned it: "On June 12, 1967, interracial marriage was legalized. The thought that I would not have been able to marry this man before this day 53 years ago is unimaginable. Happy Loving Day to us, and to all interracial couples 🖤" . Natalie & Matt, happy Loving Day to you both! We'll never fully understand the broken forces that would have tried to keep you perfect lovebirds apart just a few short generations ago, and we thank God with everything in us that nothing could stop your beautiful love story! Continually thankful that we got to play a small part in it 😊 . A few more facts about Loving Day for any of you, like us, who had no idea until today! It comes from a true love story (yay!) dating back to 1958 when a woman of color, Mildred, illegally married a white man, Richard Loving. They were unaware of the law that prohibited interracial marriage, and they were arrested in their home state of Virginia. They pleaded guilty and avoided jail time by promising not to return to Virginia for 25 years! They moved to Washington D.C. where they began legal action by writing to the U.S. Attorney General, Robert F. Kennedy. That ultimately led to the 1967 U.S. Supreme Court decision to strike down laws in the 16 remaining states that banned interracial marriage. "Chief Justice Earl Warren wrote in the court majority opinion that 'the freedom to marry, or not marry, a person of another race resides with the individual, and cannot be infringed by the State.'" Amen. Amen. AMEN! . "Loving Day is not an officially recognized holiday by the U.S. government, despite attempts to make it so. Loving Day is the biggest multiracial celebration in the United States." (Source: Wikipedia) . Friends, learning about this today is one of the happiest, best things we've ever heard. This wasn't all that long ago. It's no surprise that our nation still has a ways to go.
It's felt near impossible to post recently. Our hearts have been broken and raging over the injustice the Black community experiences. We've felt simultaneously angry at ourselves for our prior ignorance and angry at the systems that have oppressed our Black neighbors for centuries. We've been on a crash course of education lately. My Screen Time told me the other day I had spent nearly 8 hours on my phone, and I can tell you honestly the vast, vast majority of that was reading and learning and listening and beginning to advocate in solidarity for the Black community. It wasn't just that one day though, it's been every day lately, just trying to catch up with enough awareness that we can truly call ourselves informed allies in the pursuit of justice, mercy, and love. We haven't been able to post or think about anything else. All other words have felt hollow or irrelevant. . So today we just want to say this. You are welcome at Sweetlife. You always have been, but we need to make that more clear. You are valued. You matter, and your love story matters too. You are safe here. We want to celebrate and laugh with you and your families, and we want to serve you with every fiber of our being. If you'll let us, we'd like a good long hug too. A hug that apologizes for our past lack of awareness, acknowledges our white privilege, and stands with you for justice and equality. . @alexakarlee @gretchendawleybridal @ensowinery @bramblefloral @lettersanddust @kellithomsen @littleredsbakeshop @fujifilm_profilm @thefindlab
Who’s dreaming of a mountaintop elopement? Whether wedding plans have changed or an elopement was always what you imagined, let’s get you married! We have dates opening throughout the summer and fall. #elopement⠀ .⠀ Featured on @stylemepretty @bellelumieremagazine .⠀ @ponderosa_and_thyme⠀ @austieeckley⠀ @sarahseven⠀ @silkandwillow⠀ @autumnjohnsonmodel⠀ @fujifilm_profilm⠀ @thefindlab
A max of 50 wedding attendees and you get the whole inn for you and your guests to stay! @blackwalnutinn has always been one of our faves for smaller weddings, but now more than ever, this type of intimate affair may be the way to go! We’re considering some special offerings for small events/elopements in light of current state restrictions. Plus we have lots of summer Saturdays opening up as our larger weddings are rescheduling! Would you be interested in a special, small wedding/elopement offering to still tie the knot this year?? Comment or DM if you’d have any interest!⠀ .⠀ Film: shot on @fujifilm_profilm & processed by @thefindlab