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March 4, 2015

Wedding Wednesday : Love is the Greatest Story : Samantha Lauren Photographie

For me its all about stories.

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What do you want to leave behind for your generations? There are small lives, small stories, living and breathing inside of all of us. They are the ones that add up to who we are. These tiny parts of us cannot be defined. They cannot be measured. They cannot be quantified. They are what we do on a day to day basis, they are the gust of wind that catches us at the right moment when we are looking for something from the world itself. They are the long walks, the signs we pass all the time and sometimes never see. They are the smallest and biggest part of who we are and what we are defined by.

I believe in families of all kinds. Great, big, loud, in-your-business families. Small quiet families, I believe in the people that grow to become your family. I believe in different kinds of ways of being and having a family. These are all part of the small stories inside of you as well. These people shape your being. They have been there for you and seen many sides of yourself whether you meant to show them or not, and that gives you something. It gives you a way of looking at yourself that possibly wasn’t there before. It gives you people to bounce ideas off of. It gives you support and love. It gives you the first basis for what you may want to become in this life.

More than anything I am looking for those small stories within you.

This is Sam+Stella, my maternal grandmother and grandfather on their wedding day in November of 1948. We have the most photographs of their love story. My grandmother is still alive but my grandfather passed two years before I was born. I am named after him, Sam – Samantha, and even though we never met, his bloodline runs through my two first cousins and I, and these images will live on.

StellaSam

I believe Love is the Greatest Story of all. Love defines us past what we ever previously knew possible. In my book, Love is the longest reigning emotion over all the emotions that were ever to exist in this world. Love is the culmination of all of those small stories within each of you.

This is John+Alice, they are Stella’s parents, my maternal great-grandparents, when they were married in December of 1926. Alice passed before I was born in 1981 but I knew my great-grandfather John. He lived in Florida into his 90s, and I only got to see him maybe once or twice a year. My older Floridian cousins had a better relationship with him due to their proximity, plus being a little older and able to understand the weight of what knowing him meant. I was 14 when he passed.

AliceJohn

When you think of a person’s life as a whole, often as I do with my great-grandparents or my ancestors before them, there is only so much we know about them, especially if you don’t have any or many personal memories of them. If we’re lucky we know their birthdate or place of birth or when they came to America but more often then not, the facts we do know are of their marriages, of their children’s births, their children’s marriages, their grandchildren’s births. These are stories rooted in Love. The only reason we know anything about what these events may have felt like in their lives is because they were important enough to be photographically documented, kept sacred, and passed down through the family. The documents only tell us the dates, but the images tell us the feelings and stories.

This is Moishe+Bertha. They are my paternal grandparents. We don’t have a wedding photo from them although we have many photos of them as a young family in Israel with my father and his brother. The only wedding document we have is a marriage license written entirely in Hebrew. My grandfather was born in Poland and my grandmother in Vienna. They met in Israel after they fled the Nazis but most of their family was lost. My grandmother had one sister who also survived and came to America but we didn’t know them until my father found the children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren of his Aunt on Facebook a few years ago.. literally long lost cousins! It never ceases to amaze me the amount of people that can descend from one couple. MosheBerta

My mother is big into genealogy and as a result, I am quite interested in it as well. However when you search for your family what you find is documents- government shipping lists, census records, birth certificates – but these only go so far. Images tell us the story.

I did not stumble upon this profession. It is not an ‘accident’ that I am a wedding and family photographer. It has been calling to me in different ways for many years before I even began taking photos, and every year that I do this, the message only gets more clear. I put my whole heart into my business and I am so excited to work with couples who also see the beauty and the value in creating memories for themselves and their families.

This is where the root of me comes from. This is the part of me inside that drives what I do. I know that above all else, creating and preserving images and stories is the most important work I can do.

What are your stories? How can I help you tell them?

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