To have and to hold, from this day forward, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, until death do us part... A beautiful bride is trying to fight her emotions while saying her vows, gently holding her partner's hand and holding back the tears. I am struggling with my own emotions, feeling my eyes watering, grateful that I can hide behind my camera. I am just a photographer, and my job is to capture this moment in time, so that the couple can keep the memories of one of the most special days of their life.
Natalie and Glen have been together for a few wonderful years. They have two beautiful boys, and have been living a very happy family life; until last year. It was then when the most vicious and soul destroying disease struck, and tried to defeat them. However with the support of her partner, their families and friends, Natalie came out on the other side, stronger and more beautiful than ever before.
The battle with the horrible disease brought them even closer together, and saying the vows is just a symbolic seal of their unconditional love for each other. They really do understand the meaning of "for better, for worse, in sickness and in health". They have lived through one of these moments together. Natalie and Glen are now starting another chapter in their life together, turning the page onto a hopefully much brighter future.
It seems strangely that fate has brought me here, watching this couple take their vows after all they have been through. Their story of love, survival and bravery reminds me how fragile we are and how painfully short our lives are. We may not get days and days of doing things that make us happy. We need to focus on what is really important and make the most of what we have. We need to do the best we can to be true to ourselves and share our happiness and love with those who matter to us most.
At this poignant moment I suddenly come to realise that it is an end of a chapter in my own life. Not as significant as the experience that Natalie and Glen have been through together, nevertheless it is still an important moment for me. It is my last official wedding after three years of building my portrait and wedding photography business. It has been a long road, along which I met a lot of wonderful people, went through some incredible experiences, had a few falls, got lost and found myself again. It allowed me to grow into who I am now, appreciate the life that I have and the people I love. Though I enjoyed the journey, it took me away from where I really wanted to be. So another chapter for me opens, giving me back my freedom to do what I love most, landscape photography.
Don't wait for things to happen. Make them happen. Take the journey, no matter how difficult it seems to be. If you fall, don't give up. Get up again and keep on walking in the direction of your dreams. Focus on what you love. It will set you free...
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