Congratulations, Matt & Kelly – It’s gonna be a beautiful day!
Summer, who also goes by “Grey,” has been a favorite of mine, both on the front end – with the elegant glamour and beautifully-lit photos she posts – and on the back end, where we’ve emailed back and forth and yakked about meeting one another sooner or later. She is one of *my* industry greats, with an eye for detail and design that blows me away. Last fall, I started studying her work – her Shoot This, Not That workshop, the “Punch Drunk Love” editorial she designed for Southern Weddings, Jasmine Star’s shoot for Exposed – and she inspired a completely new approach to my work.
I started asking myself WWGL – What would Grey like? – and began to take a more active role in styling my sessions than I had previously invested. I created pinboards with color palettes and prop ideas, and started collecting inspiring sessions from my favorite photographers to share with clients so they could see what I was seeing. I began working with my clients beforehand to define locations and a story that reflected who they are.
In spite of my new direction, though, my goal has always been – and always will be – to create my art from what is real. In Matt and Kelly’s case, this was easy, easy, easy, because they often stopped by Whole Foods for a picnic on their way to the sea, and they often chased down Kelly’s hat when the wind blew it off, and Matt often stopped to pick up gladiolas for Kelly on his way home from work. But while the details make a huge difference for getting published, they don’t tell the whole story.
I always lose my clients to one another at some point during the session, and even when I’m choosing my shots, this is when the reality comes quite literally into the picture.It was Matt’s gently insistent love for Kelly – and her deep wonder at it – that took my breath away and made this session what it was. You have to have an amazing love, and Matt and Kelly do. I keep replaying the softness in her voice as she told me how she treasures their relationship.
I think God must have decided somewhere early on that Matt and Kelly were meant for one another – God and most of their friends and coworkers. Matt’s friends told him he had to see this pretty girl; her friends practically forced her to go meet him. As Matt was leaving Kelly’s office on the day they met, her coworker slipped him Kelly’s number, but Matt called honorably the next day to ask her for it directly. Over the course of several years and several break-ups, their hearts became deeply entwined until neither could imagine life without the other. Matt proposed over Thanksgiving last year, with all their family gathered around.
Matt and Kelly blew me away with their spring-themed session, shot on a cool January day. Matt’s quiet, solid strength offers the perfect stay for Kelly’s brightly passionate approach to life. I love how he sees her – and how she just keeps falling back in love with him. They have a fun romance, a sweet, hopeful love that has grown deep through the seasons of their relationship. The intimacy that they share in the littlest things made this simple shoot an absolute joy.
Venue: Isle of Palms County Park
Gladiolas: Tiger Lily
Hair: Casey at Canvas Hair Color & Design
Cake & Confections: Whole Foods Bakery
White Dress, Boots, & Turquoise Necklace: Francesca
Black Dress, Blue Throw, Matt’s Hat, Kelly’s Hat: Target
Matt’s Shoes: Converse
Pink Necklace: Old Navy
UPDATE: Less than 24 hours after this reveal, Matt and Kelly have been published at Grey Likes Weddings! You have to have an amazing love for this kind of breathtaking. Believe me, Matt and Kelly have it.