I woke early and slowly opened my eyes. In the warm morning light I saw my daughter had crawled into our bed while we slept and snuggled up tight under her Daddy’s arm, he on his side. Her tiny arms were wrapped back around his long, tanned forearm which was the width of her little shoulders, swallowing her up in a toasty cocoon. She looked small but protected, content and blissful, like there was no safer place she could be and no place she’d rather be. She opened her big brown sleepy eyes and smiled at me, reached out a hand to grasp mine, then closed them again, burrowed in, and drifted back off to that happy place, still smiling. Basking in this supremely comfortable place. I kept saying to myself, don’t forget this. Don’t forget this beautiful scene.
They grow up so fast.
My own father’s eyes filled with tears when we danced at my wedding. It was the first of only two times I have ever seen him cry. I can’t help but carry these images and memories with me when I shoot any wedding. It’s the best part of my job, that I get to capture these incredible moments as they unfold for my brides. Fathers giving their daughters away, so to speak, and fathers probably wondering where the time went. Fathers, so deeply proud. It is a truly unique bond and such a privilege to observe.
So forgive me if I tear up when you are about to walk down the aisle. Or when you have that dance with your father. Or hear a sweet toast. But I’ll be right there, the not-so-professional professional, hiding my eyes behind the camera, snapping away, to help you remember too.