“Do you remember Helen?” I asked. I’d used her surname, as well, in asking the question. There had been other Helens that we’d known. “Is she the one that went on to work for such and such a company?” came the response [slightly paraphrased]. “No, that was so and so,” I replied [slightly paraphrased]. “Oh! Helen! The one that was always smiling!” came the realisation. I was photographing the wedding of a former colleague, a few weeks after Helen & Darrin’s wedding day, and was discussing with that former colleague the weddings of former students of ours that I’d enjoyed photographing. Every encounter that I’d had with Helen when she was a student had left me feeling that much more optimistic than I might already have been feeling; photographing her wedding day, likewise. She seemed to have an abundance of the stuff about her, an abundance of optimism or at least always the constituent energies that could give rise to such feelings and those energies were not self-contained, they pulsed outwards and were readily absorbed by those around her; those with a propensity for absorbing positive energy at least.
I’d kept in touch, on and off, with Helen since she’d graduated; mostly online and a couple of times in person through the wedding of another former student, a peer of Helen’s, whom she had introduced to one of her best friends from days back and still ongoing and the two had then gone on to marry. Helen had proselytised my photographic work to them (she’d blogged about my work to wider audiences, tweeted links to my blog posts to boot). She’d also told me that if she got married one day, she would want me to photograph her wedding. This was some time before that wedding, the marriage of her two friends, before she had met Darrin even and I’m so glad that she did meet him, not just because that ultimately led to me having such an enjoyable wedding day to photograph but because he’s a thoroughly fine fellow with a grand sense of humour and a highly evident abundance of compassion about him and it makes me happy that someone so giving to others has met with someone else so giving to others and that they’ve found all the more happiness in each other.
Helen & Darrin made a really rather special wedding day for themselves. Eighteen people, themselves included, plus me making nineteen; the whole occasion was designed like a great big family day out (and it really was utterly lovely spending the day with all of these people) all getting together at a harbour side hotel before making their way on a foot-passenger ferry across Dartmouth Harbour in Devon, taking the Dartmouth steam railway (worth a click onto the Web site if only for the opening sound effect :~) to a restored railway station with a license for the conducting of marriage ceremonies. Then back again to Dartmouth by steam train and by ferry to warm up a little in the hotel before adjourning for dinner at a fantastic harbour side fish and chip restaurant. The day was rounded off in a beautifully appointed rented house perched high on a hill above the harbour, with cake and fizz and a fun-filled quiz. This is the story of Helen & Darrin’s wedding day… View full post »