One of my favorite emails I receive is the “Contact Form” email, when clients inquire for their photographic needs through my website. I never know what I will get – an expecting mother wants her birth documented or maybe a newborn session, a family portrait at the beach, an elopement, a mountaintop wedding, the list goes on! The emails are always different and each client comes to me with their own story – and their own vision of how I can document that story for them. They reach out, vulnerable, but confident that I can be the person to document this time in their life with love and with attention to detail. And I can.
Sometimes the email reveals a name that opens my own vulnerability, a name that I know. In this case, a name that my father spoke so highly of for so many years that I immediately flash back to the Holderness Football field: Dad smiling (or yelling). Kory Himmer, a captain, running onto the field tired, wet, caked in mud – and inspired (and his mother photographing him from the white line). The smell of mud, cut grass, sweat. The sounds of loved ones on the sidelines, children laughing as they roll down the hill overlooking the field, the whistle, a smack on the helmet. I see Kory Himmer’s name in my inbox and, yes, all this comes to me in a split second. Kory is getting married to the love of his life, Kristina Brennan. I am overjoyed! He wrote:
“I have some good news…after almost 6 years together, I have decided to propose to my girlfriend, Kristina. It would be an honor to have you as our photographer. While I never gave much thought to my wedding day in high school, I knew early on that I wanted your family to be a part of it, since you’ve all had such a positive impact on my life.”
Over the last ten years I have photographed over 20 families from the Holderness School community! (I grew up at Holderness School as a faculty child and attended highschool there. Several years later I taught English across the hallway from my father, then taught beginner and advanced darkroom photography.) I have photographed Holderness families as engaged couples, on their wedding day, in maternity portraits, as new parents, and with their extended families on the beach! These sessions are the highlights in my busiest time of year. We get to catch up and laugh together. We talk about my parents. We share stories. Sometimes I cry. Sometimes they cry. We always hug hello and hug goodbye – and no matter who it is I’m hugging, I can feel dad smiling at us!
As he will be smiling for you and Kristina on your wedding day, Kory.
Here are just a few images I created when the three of us met up in Portsmouth in early April after Kory and Kristina’s tasting at their wedding venue.
Before we know it, the wedding day will be upon us, in the beautiful month of September (when I listen for the sound of the ref’s whistle and yearn for the smell of muddy grass from the football field!)