Kolkata Wedding | Kaylyn + Kush, December 2016

One of the challenges of wedding photography is that you become intimately - but very briefly - involved in a family's narrative. As my work evolves, I'm beginning to get more clients who go on to hire me for annual portraits or family photos, but it can often weddings can be the a one-time crossing of paths. You meet the grandparents, document the tears, listen to the toasts, receive heartfelt words of thanks for being part of the celebration. And just when you've bonded over a weekend of emotion and celebration, it's over.

. . . Unless, that is, you have the privilege of photographing multiple weddings in one family. Kaylyn & Kush called me up exactly two years ago to ask if I'd photograph their wedding in D.C., their city of residence. Months later, we all flew to Kolkata, India so that Kush's family could host their own cultural version of the nuptials. Last weekend I photographed Kaylyn sister Charlene's wedding at their family home in the Blue Ridge Mountains.

I've often traveled with families to new places for weddings, but spending a week in India with the Demings took this to a whole new level. Almost a year later, I'm still processing the intensity of India (I shared a few personal photos from the trip here). For now, here's a short re-cap of the colorful, chaotic, overstimulating swirl that is a multi-day Bengali wedding in Kolkata. 

Thank you to the Deming family who has truly made me feel a part of each family celebration. They've been so generous with their time and kindess before, during and after each wedding.  What a privilege.

Mosquito Supper Club, February 2017

Last week I traveled to New Orleans to photograph a past wedding client's growing family and to iron out final details of a photography workshop I've been planning with my fellow lady photographers Annemie, Meghan, and Posy called The Family Narrative (check it out if you haven't yet!).  I've tried to make it a habit to reach out to creatives I admire when I travel to their cities, so- naturally- I reached out to Melissa Martin of Mosquito Supper Club.

Melissa has been hosting supper clubs out of her sunny shotgun space in New Orleans for several years, revisiting and reinventing recipes reminiscent of her grandmother's kitchen and her childhood on the bayou. She created her supper club series to celebrate the rapidly disappearing seafood culture of southern Louisiana. Our meal that particular night included hot toddies, homemade biscuits with maple butter, crawfish etouffee over popcorn rice, arugula + citrus salad, crabcakes, and finally some perfectly charred strawberry pie.

Melissa is not only an incredibly talented chef and writer, but a simultaneously open and sharp-witted woman. I thoroughly enjoyed the time I spent with her chatting and making photos, enjoying wafts of pie dough and simmering crawfish etouffee.

India + Italy, January 2017

When I was offered the opportunity to photograph a wedding in Kolkata, India toward the end of last year, the words "yes, absolutely" spilled out immediately. Of course I would, especially given how many times I'd been told how much photographers love traveling to India- the people, the colors, the sights, etc. A whirlwind of a few months later, Nick + I found ourselves shuffling through the Indian visa line somewhat startled- unsure of what to expect - spent the next week in Kolkata (the 12th largest city in the world with a population of 12.7 million), Agra, Jaipur and New Delhi. India was a country of extremes- more sights, smells, sounds, and people than I've ever experienced in one place. I took many of these photos walking wide-eyed around the streets of India, expecting that much of the processing of things we saw would happen after returning home and looking through film scans. After a week in India, we extended a layover in Italy and spent the week driving the clockwise loop to Bergamo, Verona, Venice, Florence, and back up through the Italian alps to Milan. 

Aside from photographing the wedding in Kolkata, I shot mostly 35mm film (Kodak Portra) on my dad's old Leica CL. I hope you enjoy the wonder as much as I do.

Women's March, Washington D.C. / January 21, 2017

Yesterday, together with my mother and nearly a half million people in Washington D.C. alone (and millions globally), I had the privilege of marching and raising my voice in support of human rights. The countless acts of kindness I witnessed in the streets of D.C. were a reminder of the power of all the good in the world. I am immensely grateful for the renewed sense of accountability to be wary of using actions for social leverage and to deeply examine my own daily motives. It was a beautiful day full of empowering conversation, side-stitching laughter (the cleverness of all the signs, y'all- take a few moments to read them), and tremendous feminist solidarity. 

And now- because my preferred medium of expression is photography- I'll leave you a quote from someone whose art is in her leadership, actions and words:

"God may be in the details, but the goddess is in connections.... We are linked, we are not ranked. And this is a day that will change us forever because we are together. Each of us individually and collectively will never be the same again."- Gloria Steinem, January 21, 2017.

Saratoga Springs Wedding / Beth & Ben, November 15, 2015

I met Beth in 9th grade when we both joined our High School cross country team in Roanoke, Virginia. Since our graduation, I'd heard rumblings of her adventures studying bats all over the world, but we hadn't crossed paths in nearly a decade when she reached out to ask if I'd photograph her wedding in California. 

Beth + Ben initially connected over a spiritual likeness, love of flower and plant identification and road trips, and over their ease of time spent together. They live fairly transitory lives working seasonally as field biologists and traveling when they're not working. They tied the knot at Saratoga Springs exactly one year ago. Happy anniversary, you two lovebirds! Or lovebats, perhaps.  

Mexico City, February 2016

Back in February I spent a long weekend in Mexico City. After a zippy flight from Atlanta, I found myself in traffic (a repeated theme) headed to the Centro Historico, where I was lulled to sleep (in a 17th Century colonial palace turned hotel) by the muffled sounds of a sprawling city of 3.5 million cars and 8.8 million people. The weekend was spent strolling through the city, witnessing whirring vignettes of people and color made no less vibrant by layers of smog. Highlights of the weekend in this cosmopolitan giant included the dynamic interactions between street food vendors,  watching elderly couples enjoy Sunday afternoon dancing in the plazas, re-awakening my dormant Spanish vocabulary in conversation with the locals, absorbing the landscapes of public art, sleepy afternoons on Condesa rooftops above layers of the city, and tasting the fruits, fried insects, and red Oaxacan mole at the Mercado de Carnes Exotias.

For a travel playlist, hop over to Ledbury's blog Easy Goer

The Lovely Sarah Deragon

I adore the little thrills of travel- the emotions of beginning a trip and packing fists full of film to-be-exposed, the simple pleasures of tomato juice and salty peanuts in flight, the sight of land from above, the first deep inhales in an unfamiliar climate. The 12% extrovert in me imagines the potential on arrival for new friendships to bud and invents this to be an effortless, polished transaction- one that happens instantly on sitting down to dine alone at a swanky restaurant when a friendly neighbor at the bar takes me under their wing and orders us a round of palomas.

This has never happened. I usually chicken out and bury my nose in my sandwich, pen and journal in-hand to give the appearance of business. But once in a blue moon I gather the courage to contact a photographer whose work I admire from afar to schedule a blind lunch, talk shop, and photo swap. A few weeks ago I had the pleasure of meeting said sort of photo role model, the lovely Sarah Deragon. I've been a long-time fan of her feminist ideals, knack for everyday portraiture, and projects Portraits To The People and The Identity Project. We met for lunch at Souvla and found kindred spirits in one another over an afternoon of urban hiking around San Francisco.

I hope you take some time to visit Sarah's work and also enjoy the many expressions of Sarah against the thousands of beautiful walls, doors and colors of Hayes Valley below.

Iceland, August 2015

I went to Iceland last August with several cameras, dozens of rolls of 120mm film, and a brand spankin' new tripod in tow. Maggie, Anna, Elise, Mikaela, Annemie & I squished our bags into a 4x4 rental and whipped around the ring road over the course of one week. I remember skyr breakfasts, vanishing fog, rapidly-changing skies, innumerable gasps at the sights of glacier tongues, a nauseating boat ride punctuated by a blue whale sighting, a huddle of ladies knitting lopapeysas in a mountainside cottage, the soft, flutter-tongue sound of the Icelandic language, swarms of black flies surrounding Icelandic ponies, bubbling, scalding earth farts, incessant giggling in the Pathfinder, the other-worldly isolation of Iceland's interior, fields of lupine, & the smell of sulfur wafting as we submerged our bodies into aquamarine thermal pools.