When Ashley first contacted me, I felt an immediate connection. She had stumbled upon my blog post of a shoot I did in Oneonta Gorge from a couple years ago, and even though she lived in a suburb outside of Chicago, the organic and serene beauty of the gorge called to her. In her own words from her first email to me: " I have never dreamed of a wedding, a dress, or an extravagant party, I actually felt bad for those girls because the focus was always lost... My dream was to have a day, or a moment, that was just ours, intimate, and indescribable, something that wasn't for show but was just for us." I believe this is that and more. The water was starkly cold, yet revitalizing, and we eventually allowed ourselves to just embrace it as we made our way down the stream. The walls of the gorge surrounded them as they exchanged vows barefoot beneath the waterfall, and although people were around us, it felt like the world stood still, and all that existed was them in front of my camera. Those are the most beautiful moments to me; the ones that are poignant and that can be felt even as solely a witness.
Ironically, I visited the very city she and Andrew lived in when I went to Chicago/Illinois the month before their elopement, and didn't even make the connection until I went to mail them their USB. How incredibly random is that? I could have met up with them for a nice lunch if I had known. All that to say, I felt like being part of their day was "fate" if you will, and these two are truly special to me, and this day is forever a favorite.