My church community here in Kansas City celebrates people well. In the little over five years that we have lived there, I have attended many birthday parties, baby showers, going away parties, wedding showers, and more. Each one has been carefully planned, full of details that celebrate who that person is, what they love, the unique and beautiful ways each of them functions, and the story emerging in their lives. These experiences of celebrating others and being celebrated myself have influenced the ways that I, in turn, love to celebrate birthdays and other significant events in people’s lives. This has also influenced the way I photograph people, though, because it has helped teach me to look for and celebrate the unique beauty in each person and story.
A couple weeks ago I had the privilege of both attending and photographing one such celebration, a wedding shower for the beautiful Wendy. Wendy was on our church’s leadership team for many years and hosted many of these celebrations herself. About two years ago she moved to Hong Kong full time where she later met her fiancé Tad, a beautiful story of long-held longings fulfilled. Her wedding shower was a sweet time of hearing and celebrating that story, accented by vibrant, rich colors, delicious hand-crafted foods, and easy laughter.