I love photography. Ever since I picked up the camera and worked hard to improve my craft, it has never left my side. It has become an extension of my arm and my eye. It sees what I see, and it freezes moments forever in time. Important moments, intimate moments, mundane moments. It was, in a way, also a journey of self-discovery for me. Finding something that I love doing, and am good at, was liberating. At first it was a place I escaped to, from the monotony of life. It was my form of self-expression. As things progressed and I started photographing people, I found it was also my way of telling stories. Every person I photographed had a story to tell. Underneath the mask we put on to face the world, that story was what I looked for.
I started photographing weddings sometime in this journey, and I’ve fallen in love with them. Weddings are predictable, mostly, but yet surprising. Every wedding plays out more or less the same, yet for every couple I photograph, I learn something new. Each life is unique, and each relationship has its own story. Of challenges, of triumphs, of trials, and of joy.
Each couple’s story culminates on their wedding day. And it is this story that I want to tell. From the anxious and eager bridesmaids who make sure the bride looks her best, to the nervous excitement as the bride walks down the aisle. From the elation of the groom who’s trying to keep his tears in as he sees her, to the proud parents watching from the sidelines.
I play the fly-on-the-wall, watching as these stories unfold, capturing them as I see it. They’re there; I don’t need to create them. I’m ready, when Mum sees her daughter in her wedding dress and sheds a tear because she realizes – for the first time – her daughter is all grown up. I’m there, when Dad dances with his daughter, perhaps for the last time before handing her over to her love, her husband. These moments are filled with stories and it is these moments that I capture.
So many moments; so many stories.
So many lives coming together to weave a tapestry of love.
And right in the middle – a boy and a girl. Two unique threads that run through everything and everyone, holding it all together. Their wedding day. This day will be theirs, and it will never be anyone else’s.
This is their story, and it will be yours on your wedding day.
Would you like me to tell your story?
My wife and I, by Ryan Ahern