Having the opportunity to work with other photographers is always huge honor, even more-so when not only are you photographing one of Philadelphia's best wedding photographers, but someone you call a friend. Amanda is one of those rare people whose joyful demeanor spreads like wildfire wherever she goes, and as you can see, she and Rich together have a pretty amazing energy. I'm so glad I was able to spend an evening documenting their love, the whole shoot was a blast - plus, they treated me to tacos and french fries afterwards, and it really doesn't get any better than that.
A huge window overlooked the schoolyard from my 4th-grade classroom - most of us spent the better part of that year staring longingly toward it and dreaming of recess. I had a pretty defining moment in that room. The layout of the classroom changed pretty regularly, and on this particular day our desks were arranged into little groups of five, a perfect square with two pairs of kids facing each other, and a fifth desk stuck awkwardly to the side. The lesson was on math, and although I’m no mathematician, I’ve always been fond of the subject. Our teacher scrawled out a question on the blackboard, I can’t remember exactly what it was. Next, he wrote down two answers. He read the question aloud and after waiting a moment, he pointed to the number on the left “Stand up if you believe this is the correct answer,” he pointed to the answer on the right “stay in your chair if this is the correct answer.” I practically flew out of my chair. I was standing there with my hands on my desk, looking at the number on the left feeling absolutely, 100% percent certain that I had chosen correctly. My eyes shifted to Mr. Post, standing with chalk in his hand at the front of the class, peering at me over the tip of his thin-framed glasses. “Are you certain?” It was then that I took a moment to look around the classroom.
Not a single one of my classmates was standing. NOT ONE.
Kids snickered as I stood there in the center of the classroom all alone, all eyes on me, my face burning with embarrassment. He read the questions aloud again. Still, no one stood. Mr. Post folded his thin, lanky arms in front of his chest and looked me dead in the eye “Morgan” he pointed to the answer on the left with his stub of chalk, “are you certain that this is the correct answer?” Every head in the classroom shot toward me and I plopped back down in my chair, my face crimson red. Mr. Post shot me a knowing glance and turned his back to the class, lifting his hand to erase the number on the right. He turned back toward us, cleared his throat, and said “had Morgan remained standing, she would have been correct.” After a long pause he continued speaking but I'm not sure what was said, I tuned out the rest of that lesson and dwelled on what had just occurred. I don’t know if my fourth grade self had ever been so pissed off in my entire existence. Not at my teacher or at my classmates, but at myself. I KNEW what the correct answer was and yet I allowed shame and embarrassment to change my mind. I had given up on what I knew to be true because of the opinions of others.
I was scared to be different and stand up for what I believed, and I’ve been trying my hardest since that day to NEVER let that happen again.
This day plays in my mind often, pushing me to believe in myself and trust my intuition in times when it feels easier to conform. Like most things, it hasn't always been easy, it's a lesson I've had to re-learn once or twice, but this memory encourages me to see myself through and to remain unwavering in those moments when what feels right for me doesn't look like what everyone else is doing. Whether it's in my art, my business, or any other aspects of my life.
So, let this be a reminder to stand up for what you believe in. Stand tall and own your truth, in everything that you do. Have confidence in your intelligence and intuition and never second guess yourself based on the opinions of the masses, because you, my friend, are not meant to blend in.
When Vanessa first reached out she told me that she had been searching and searching since moving to Philly for a photographer whose work that she felt connected to, so you can imagine how honored I was that she chose me! We met at Azalea garden and spent a morning creating some magic behind the Philadelphia Museum of Art.
Thank you, Ken & Vanessa, for trusting me to document your awesome family!
After a week of rainfall and seemingly endless gloomy skies in Philadelphia I woke up on Sunday to blue skies and eighty degrees. A reprieve just in time for my session with Sarah and Matt. I packed up my gear and headed toward Ocean City, just a few hours before sunset. The ride was beautiful, occasional clouds and streams of magical "post rain" sunlight, but not storms. I thought for sure we were in the clear.
About an hour before we were scheduled to start, I stepped onto the beach to find a soft breeze, blue sky and sunlight shining on my shoulders - perfection. Our session was scheduled to start at 6:30, and at 6:27 I got a text from Sarah that read "Are you okay? Are you in your car?" ...That's odd. I thought, of course I'm okay, it's absolute perfection out here! And then it came. At 6:30 on the dot, with a single clap of thunder, the sky opened up. I sprinted back to the Jeep as the torrential downpour began, just in time for our couples' session. We decided that we'd wait it out in the hope that the seemingly endless black sky would clear. If it didn't, we settled on the idea of a quick Notebookesque shoot in the pouring rain. At least we'd have something.
After about thirty-five minutes, the storm rolled out over the horizon and we headed back to the beach. Needless to say, we're glad we decided to wait it out. The variations of light, and sky we had to work with were absolutely breathtaking. Clouds, a bit of fog, haze and a bright orange sunset, were everything I could have dreamt up for our last light session on the beach.
Have a favorite shot of the bunch? Let me know in the comments!