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Behind the Vows

Sunday, July 8, 2018

I'm still swooning in the sultry heat and the soft hazy last of June light of my niece Claire's wedding to Cam.




I'm just going to lift this from Farm Forward, so you can ponder what's packed into this angelic creature. Brains and ethics and a keen sense of what's sustainable, sensible and kind.

With a background in food systems, public health, and environmental ethics, Claire directs Farm Forward’s outreach to institutions, food retailers, and food service companies to improve the welfare of farmed animals by aligning institutional food policies with consumers’ values. Prior to joining Farm Forward she managed the Food Systems Policy program at the Johns Hopkins Center for a Livable Future, and was a U.S. Borlaug Fellow in Global Food Security. Claire has written extensively on issues related to animal agriculture, institutional food procurement, and labor in the food system. She earned her MSPH in Human Nutrition from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in 2014.

Sealing it with a kiss, or three.

Together, Cam and Claire are going places, on land or sea. Cam not only knows everything about sailing; he and Claire know about brewing too. Look for Forward, their artisan brewpub, coming in Eastport, MD; follow them on Instagram @forwardeastport 

I'm so proud of my niece, of my sister and brother-in-law for raising three amazing women, and I'm thrilled to have been there with Phoebe and Liam to witness this wedding.

After the ceremony, I was delighted to turn my lens on my grand-nieces and nephews. Kids love a wedding, especially one with plenty of room and soft grass to run around on. Here are BigBasket Flower Girl Cait, raven-haired Clara and her sister Maddy.

Oh look! My kids, with Max, Maddy and Clara! Later in the evening, when it was too dark to take pictures, Max tore up the dance floor with his Michael Jackson moves.

Needless to say, watching Liam and Phoebe interact with their cousins is always a delight.

Charlie tackles sweet Will, who fielded the roughhousing with good humor.

The kids helped fold up all the chairs, and Will and Charlie led the charge.

Sometimes it's bewildering to be so much smaller than everyone else.

Especially when your mom keeps slipping away from you! Ben, Cait's little brother, holds back a wail as he searches the scene for Christy, who's occupied with bridesmaidy duties. I'd like to raise a salute to Will and Tyler, for their long, good service as dads, doing their level best to keep young mothers Christy and Courtney free to enjoy their sister's wedding.

 I fell deeply into watching and photographing the kids. Kids, after all, are most of the reason for the binding legal agreement that underlies all the flowers and vows. They are why we promise to have and to hold, from this day forward, with all that "til death do us part" stuff that I find creepy, which Cam and Claire jettisoned altogether. Hear hear! It's hard enough to stand before 200 witnesses and promise the rest of your life to another person without bringing The Grim Reaper shuffling into the gathering.

Kids are worth all the plans and the machinations to keep two human beings together, for as long as it takes to launch them.

 Charlie may turn out to be the naturalist of the bunch. He's intensely interested in birds, herps, insects, fish...and his great aunt Jules is standing by to help.

A leg lifting contest.

Maddy, running. What's better than Maddy, running?

Answer: Clara, Cait and Maddy, running.

And cartwheels, with Cait in awe, and Amy studying a flower.

 As night fell, the girls got their dresses good and dirty making sand castles on the bank of the Severn River.

And as the sun set over lavender water, the two wedding photographers took Cam and Claire out to the end of a dock. The osprey nesting just off the dock was none too pleased, and she circled, complaining bitterly, as memories were made. 

I love this meta-shot of the process! Such a private, intimate moment...a ticked-off osprey flapping, creaking and chirping just overhead...hold that pose! So romantic. Such is one's wedding day--a mix of the sacred and mundane that still takes your breath clean away, and leaves you wondering what hit you.

I poached the poses at a great distance and a much less interesting angle with my 300 mm. telephoto. Here's what they were getting (again lifted from Instagram, with thanks to Jenn Manor Photography.

Photo by Jenn Manor Photography.
I would imagine that professional wedding photographers have a name for people like me, who imagine themselves photographers, but often wind up blocking your carefully set-up shots. I'd love to know that name. Tools? Goobers? Anyone?

I had a ton of fun being That Annoying Photographer, and I spent most of the next day selecting, cropping and editing the best photos for a decidedly nonprofessional wedding album for the newlyweds and my family.  I decided to share the love with you, too.

I hope you'll join me in wishing Cam and Claire best of luck in all their endeavors on land and sea.

 Crape myrtle snowfall. No rice was thrown at this wedding! Rice is food, and Zicks don't throw food.


Such a splendid, lovely day. I'm sure everyone will love your photos. Once again, you have worked your magic for us. Thank you Julie.

How I loved attending this wedding through your lens and thoughts!

I get the food protectionism. Never liked the idea of using food in kids' crafts either, which so often seemed to be the norm. Wonderful time and photos. Thanks for sharing the blissful day. Kim in PA

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