I spend most of my shooting days photographing couples – usually newly engaged or getting married. I get to witness and capture the exciting transition into a deeper level of commitment, the air full of anticipation as hearts prepare to become one. It’s always an honor to document these new promises and beginnings of family.
Once in a while though, a couple will want to invest in an anniversary session, and it is one the biggest treats. The years of loving, refining, choosing, and celebrating in the trenches of marriage bring a different kind of depth to these sessions. There are knowing smiles- smiles that have endured the greatest joys and deepest battle scars. There are soft embraces that have been perfected by years of refusing to let go through seasons of abundance and favor as well as those that weren’t so rosy and wonderful. Most of all, there are hands firmly held as they choose to fight for, cherish, and honor each other whatever may come.
I love how Kim and Ashlie decided to celebrate their 5 year anniversary by spending a rare date day to capture this crazy, joyful and difficult season. They got dressed in their wedding clothes, and Ashlie even got her hair and make-up done the same way she did on her wedding day! I hope you find their honesty in sharing about their marriage 5 years and 2 kids later encouraging as it was for me. (below)
“After we got married, we entered a rapid chapter where we were demanded by the kids. People kept reminding us to prioritize our marriage before the kids… but that totally went down the drain and had a big toll on us. I feel like a mirror was placed in front of each of our faces that forced us to reflect on the reality of where we are and what we’re going to do with that – am I going to continue focusing on me, me, me? Or am I going to love you as Christ has loved? I thought I had been loving him selflessly, but I realized that I was loving under my own accord. I had become so fixated on doing things for him and then wondering why he wasn’t feeling loved. And I read this quote – “To love someone is not first of all to do things for them, but to reveal to them their beauty and value, to say to them through our attitude, ‘you are beautiful. You are important. I trust you. You can trust yourself.’”
We are grieving the time we lost, grieving the fact that there were times where we hurt each other.. But we know that because of God’s grace, we are still here. Kim is a gift and a promise to me, and I know that my God fulfills his promises. So no matter how hard it is, we’re still here to choose to love, to grow in communication, to bring things into the light, and enjoy our alone time even if it’s just being at home in our PJ’s after the kids have gone to sleep!”