Alex and Sarah are so cool. I did their engagement session a while back, and I got a glimpse into their lives. It includes books, tons of movies, a rad apartment, an adorable little life nestled into a Chicago north side neighborhood, and access to their favorite theater, just a train stop away. Although their cool factor is extremely appealing, their love and support for one another is uncontested. They are so clearly best friends with all of the same interests and objectives. I’m honestly intimidated to write any more because they are so good at writing, and I kind of feel like I’m submitting an essay to them to be reviewed. So, I’ll leave you with what I do best: photos. But, I am including their epic vows, so keep an eye out for those once you get to the ceremony!
Sarah Gorr to Alex Wayman:
“When I met you, you made it impossible not to notice you. You were a force, full of confidence and wit. You were smart and kind, and you were more than just interested in me—you were interested in everything I thought about everything. You didn’t just want to spend time with me, you wanted to make art with me. You didn’t just want to talk to me, you wanted to know me. And without even trying, you managed to be absolutely everything I didn’t even know I was looking for.
I was only 21 the first time I thought we might spend our lives together, but it feels like a lifetime ago. Because today’s not just our wedding day—it’s our anniversary.
Alex Wayman, I’ve loved you every day for nine years and today I promise to love you every day for 100 more. And when someday I’m nothing but star stuff, I’m sure my atoms will find a way to love your atoms, too. Because after nine years, you’re still magnetic. You’re still the person I want to share everything with, be it good, bad, or hilariously mundane, and after nine years, you still want to share everything with me, too.
So today I say I’m ready for the next step. Here we go.”
Alex Wayman to Sarah Gorr:
“Sarah Gorr, I don’t know if you know this, but I am, believe it or not, despite many valid and well documented arguments to the contrary, a rational person. I was before I met you. And I am today.
But that rationalism just isn’t the same as it used to be. Because how can someone rational, or realistic, or sane, fall in love at first sight?
They don’t. They can’t. But I did. And I have been coping with that for 9 years now.
So I have 3 promises for you. For the girl I fell in love with a decade-ish ago in the basement of a movie house. For the woman I fall in love with every morning, all over again. For my future wife that is holding it together really really well right now.
First, I promise to PRETTY-MUCH-ALMOST-ALWAYS say yes. To say yes to kayaking in Patagonia and wandering the beaches of southern France. To say yes to the unknown. To risk. To moving to a new city or building a life in an old one. To anything that brings you closer to living the dreams you’ve always had and the ones you haven’t come up with yet. I promise to say NO when you ask me to get a little bit closer to the glacier’s edge, and to say no, I don’t think you should get any closer either. I promise to support and sustain your love for adventure, while supporting and sustaining your being alive.
Second, I promise to love life and live, TRULY LIVE–not just by getting out there with you and experiencing everything that this world has to offer, but by being proud, and happy, and eating right, and walking around the block every day or two, and loving myself half as much as you do, so you don’t have to carry that burden for the both of us.
Third, I promise that we will get a dog. Like right away.
That’s the least I can do for you, Sarah Gorr, because you’re my best friend, and I’m yours. I always have been. And I always will be.”
This little in-home session has me itching for more. Between Brad & Cassie’s impeccable design in their place, I found myself submerged in a nook of Chicago love that is palpable. These two have been married for nearly a year, and it is so clear that they are each other’s favorite person. It was so fun watching Cassie giggle at Brad’s dry sense of humor. I felt so welcomed and so fortunate to document this small part of their story. Also, we went up on their roof and it was freezing and it was awesome. Check out Brad & Cassie:
2016 was the most important year of my wedding photography business thus far. Please stay, and have a look!
Here are some stats:
-Number of delivered edited images: 33,918
-Weddings: 30 (23 photo, 1 film, 6 photo+film)
-Portrait sessions: 24
-Miles Traveled: 7,446
-States Visited: Illinois, North Carolina, Texas, Michigan, Ohio, Tennessee, New York
-Instagram Posts: 204
-Salary paying jobs quit: 1
I have so many things to say about 2016, but I will try to keep it as brief as possible. For the past three years, I’ve balanced my business with a full time teaching job. In June, I finally decided to take the leap and run my business full time. As soon as all of my work time was committed to my craft, I finally felt the freedom of being an artist without constraints. Looking back at all the work I did this year, I can’t believe how much it evolved in a mere 365 days. In September, I went to a photographer’s event in New York called WRKSHP, and thanks to the incredibly talented teachers there, I searched myself and was able to answer why I do what I do. Between the heart-wrenching wedding stories told by Jonas Peterson, minimalist creativity of Max Wanger, friendship extended by Yuriy and Julia Manchik, and the insight and humility of Dylan Howell I feel like I became an entirely different person. But, one class stood out to me. Benj Haisch very well knows that I’m his #1 fanboy, but I attribute his work to be one of the biggest influences on my artistic career. Stumbling upon one of his blog posts during sophomore year of college ultimately became the catalyst to my career as a wedding photographer. In his class, I was reminded of why weddings are so important and how we as wedding photographers are a legacy to families for decades and decades to come (also, his presentation made me cry because it featured photos of my wife, Sabriah, and I on our wedding day with the words “Marriage Is Important” strewn across it). One phrase resounded with me and rattled me pretty good: “The most impressive photos aren’t always meaningful, and the most meaningful photos aren’t always impressive.” This coming from the dude who shoots the raddest mountain elopements you could ever think of proves it’s truth. As if putting together a summarization of my photographic year in one blog post wasn’t enough, this new perspective on my work has led me to share with you some of the most intimate, emotional pieces I’ve developed throughout 2016 (along with all the other rad portraits, obviously). So, keep an eye out for how these images sway from adventure to the purest joy, from tears to utter beauty, and from wanderlust to compassionate love. Here’s my 2016: