Into The Abyss

What Happened

I started the year by featuring Haley and AJ. It looks like I will also end the year with Haley and AJ.

Haley was adamant in having two sessions: one in winter and one in autumn. The request felt strange as clients normally ask for a single set of engagement pictures. I accepted Haley’s challenge and asked her to see them as a trial. By the time she experienced the fall colors, she will no longer want any other person to photograph her wedding.

A bold promise indeed.

I quickly learned through our correspondence that Haley is anything but normal. The bar had to be raised significantly so I pitched the ludicrous idea of a 4-hour roundtrip hike only to see her and AJ walk into a dark hole. Not only was she receptive to my suggestion, we further extended our itinerary from cave to summit all within one day. It turns out that Haley is the bride-to-be that I have been waiting for all along, with a level of ambition and insanity that rivals my own!

After countless miles we ended up walking on slippery rocks, sitting on mud and lying flat on dirt. I made it clear that no one was going home clean but there’s a thin line between posing and abusing my subjects. There are certainly instances where I felt I crossed that line but hey, rules are meant to be broken.

Despite the physical exhaustion and the cold, Haley and AJ kept smiling for the camera. I was reminded of the fun many months ago and their willingness to go far and beyond for a compelling image. Each frame represents their cumulative effort in reaching our destination, where I found myself speechless at the end. I couldn’t have done it alone so I hope this experience is as memorable for them as it is for me.

Remember what I said about Haley not wanting any other photographer? Well, I take that back. The truth is that I don’t want to photograph anyone else’s wedding on their big day. Each time we meet ends up being an adventure so why would I want to miss it?