"We're local and a little nerdy, and our family and friends love us too much to let us get away with eloping." That was Annie in her introductory e-mail to me, nearly nine months ago, and I'm glad she and her then-fiancé-now-husband Abel didn't just run off and get hitched by themselves. Otherwise, I wouldn't've been able to shoot their gorgeous Seattle wedding day, which started on the 31st floor of the Sheraton downtown, progressed to Pioneer Square and the waterfront for photos—including a stop in front of the office building where they first met—and ended at intimate Melrose Market Studios on Capitol Hill for the ceremony, reception, and a long night of dancing. It was a pleasure getting to know these two—their dry humor, their excitement talking about the details of the day, their clear love for one another—and I hope we get to cross paths again.
More often than not, I'm the one driving the car, but on the rare occasion that I get to sit in the passenger seat, I like nothing more than to shoot through the window at whatever of interest happens to glide by outside. Back in western Maryland for the holidays, we passed through my father's—and grandfather's—old stomping grounds, Lonaconing (a.k.a. "Coney"), a town stuck in time on the edge of Appalachia and the buckle of the rust belt. Here you'll find a few derelict factories, some scraped-clean coal mines—along with the now-sagging board-and-batten style houses the coal companies built for their employees—and not much else. It's authentic though, by which I mean that the mom-and-pops still outnumber the national franchises, and there's a kind of sad, wabi-sabi beauty to the way the place is gradually fading and falling apart. Most of the following 35mm shots were taken along Route 36 between Frostburg and Barton, and as much as the area lends itself to this kind of blink-and-you'll-miss-it photography, I'd like to go back later this year to see my grandparents and spend some real time exploring on foot.
Abel and Annie were one of my first 2015 wedding bookings, and I was happy to meet up with them last week to shoot some engagement photos in and around Pike Place. The forecast called for rain—no surprise in mid-November—but we were unexpectedly greeted with a gorgeous afternoon, culminating in one of the most golden golden hours in recent memory. Can't wait to shoot their wedding in March.
Those were their pet names for one another, and it should be easy to guess who's who. Rob and Martha have been together a long time, but decided this year to throw a big party with their extended families and get married. Oh, and they had a mariachi band play them—in a huge, dancing procession—from the church to the reception hall down the street.
For the past few weeks, I've been working on putting together a book with photos from my trip to India this summer alongside a written account of the tragedy that took place there. For those who don't know, my father died in a hiking accident while we were trekking in the northern state of Uttarakhand. It was an intense and harrowing experience—for everyone on the trek—but I feel fortunate, at least, that the days I spent with my dad before his fall were the best we'd ever had together, a time for us to bond and reconnect in a way we hadn't been able to in years. Perhaps, at some point, I'll tell more of the story here, but for now, I'd like to share these photos and dedicate them to the memory of my father, Terry Broadwater.