Jake and Abby- my little brother and his sweet fiance. These two are extremely romantic and completely adorable together. Not to mention, they’ve got a lot of smarts between the two of them! After meeting at Asbury University amongst the rolling green hills, rope swings and winding creeks of Kentucky, these two dated through school years as well as seasons of long distance. And now in just a few short months, they’ll be married!
Jake and Abby are two extremely passionate people. They know how to really work at what they put their minds to and they study harder than many people I know. Not only are they passionate in occupation, though, but in relationships as well. Abby never lets a holiday go by without sending a well though-out package to the family, and Jake is always the first to offer a big bear hug when we walk in the door. Jake’s easy going nature is smartly paired with Abby’s spark and quick humor. To say it shortly, these two are the bee’s knees! Just take a look and you’ll see what I mean! I can’t wait for their wedding next year.
Maddy and Nate’s relationship is one of complete comfort together. These high school sweethearts dated for many years, finishing with a long distance engagement between Philly and Detroit. They are two thoughtful and giving people who are constantly thinking of those around them and how to serve others. Their wedding day was beautiful and blustery, and full of love between the two of them as well as from their friends and family. I was so glad to be a part of such a day!
Oh have I got some fun to share with you! It’s been quite the summer and I have taken a bit of an unintended blog-hiatus. I’m happy to be back and to share the wealth of images I’ve been collecting. Let’s start with this sweet duo:
Robin and Melanie were such a breeze to work with! I started the day on a golf cart while Robin and his friends golfed, and ended it with awesome food and some cake. It was so easy to see how naturally these two fit together- which makes sense in light of their history that dates back to high school years. And the fact that their dog was in the ceremony just made it that much better!
We took a train from Bangalore to Kovilpatti. It was an overnight ride, about 10 hours long starting in the evening and arriving in the early hours of the next morning. We first stood on the platform to wait for our train, watching the people, the dogs, the cows in their daily transportation routines. It was hot, but we knew that the higher elevation of this city would feel like heaven after the humidity of our destination. We were boarded and in our compartments, and I shared a bench with a woman traveling with her mother and toddler daughter. We chatted, I watched the child play and look out the window. Later that night, I leaned my head out the window and watched the trees race by, silhouetted by the vivid stars, my long scarf whipping in the wind.
Kanyakumari is a coastal town known for its location at the southernmost tip of India. To its west lies the Arabian Sea, to the south is the Indian Ocean, and to the east is the Bay of Bengal. Gandhi called it a place “where three waters meet and furnish a sight unequalled in the world.” That morning, we woke early and walked down the avenue to the seaside. As we sat surrounded by hundreds of Indian travelers who had come for the same reason we had, I thought back to the night before. The sun had sank low and close to the misty earth and finally we bade it goodnight, and we bathed our toes in the Arabian Sea. Now here we were, facing due east, bidding the same sun good morning as she rose over the bay.
On our return ride a few days later, I was in a compartment with mostly older Indian couples. I felt a bit out of place as they talked and joked, varying between Hindi and English. I resigned myself to my top bunk and to reading Life of Pi until the chai cart came by. One of the men, about my dad’s age, had been asking me about home and our travels and he offered me a cup of chai. It was then I realized that I was the only member of our compartment who had labeled myself as an outsider.
These are some of my favorite experiences put into words. And now for some of my favorites in images.
I’ve decided that I have too much to write, so I’ll post this story in a couple of installments. Here is India pt 1.
For those of you who don’t know, I am a woman of many hats- photographer among them. Another hat I often wear is as the Youth Director at our church. It’s with this hat on that I spent 6 months planning a trip to take my high school students to the beautiful country of India. I’d love to share more about the details of the trip from that perspective (get in touch and we’ll chat over chai!), but for now I switch to my photographer-sociologist-psychologist hat to share some of my favorite images and experiences.
India is a great and loud and salient place. It is rare to find subtlety; all the senses are constantly saturated. Women wear all colors and patterns always, their long fabrics flowing in the wind and dust. Every kind of transportation weaves together in a river of traffic with a constant chorus of horns- oxen and Ambassadors, rickshas and scooters and motorcycles and bikes. It smells of curry and people and land. The air is cool and dusty in one place, heavy and humid in another. All food is thick with flavor, overflowing with spices and only settled by fresh mango juice or sweet lime soda.
As this was not my first visit to India, I knew a little bit of what to expect. By no means was I any less blown away, though! The culture of hospitality and the importance of relationships and kindness were still overwhelming. I was able experience these even more closely through living, eating, and traveling with the Sundararajan family. I will be forever grateful for their friendship and anxiously await our next encounter!