Mr. & Mrs. Hayden Hampton! this was an ABSOLUTELY amazing day for a wedding & to say that I am beyond blessed to have been the photographer for Drew & Hayden would be an understatement. But, I also got to work along side some unbelievable ladies & I promise, every second captured of this day will blow your socks off.
welp, I won’t even lie about this.this post, it’ll be a long one. but I promise- it will be worth the read.
a few months ago, I was messaged by Elizabeth (daughter of the bride) and Sylvia (bride) about booking my services for a wedding date in March, 2021. I, of course, checked the dates, we were good to go, discussed contracts, got to know them a little, and secured it all. we set up the sit down where we got to know each other, asked the questions, learned more about Doug & Sylvia’s desires when it came to wedding photography & how I would capture their day.all the normal stuff, right?
here’s what you should know though. this wasn’t the “normal” for me. I do weddings often. all shapes and sizes, locations, pandemic and non-pandemic sizes. I do “micro” weddings, I do 200 guest count weddings. whatever comes my way- I am up for it. this wedding though, it got me.
the two beautiful humans you see here, they’ve been through it. both Doug & Sylvia experienced great losses before their paths found each other. they met each other as two widowed people, didn’t think for one second they would find forever in each other, and now- have a beautiful wedding blending all of themselves and what they’ve created in a family, on a beautiful Saturday afternoon, March 6th.
you’re looking at two beautiful humans, very different but very similar. Doug is a very clean-cut, retired military, won’t crack a smile to my awesome jokes unless he is dropping his head a little so it is kinda hidden (but I still caught him ;)) and Sylvia being a soft-spoken, happy to please and spend all of her time making sure everyone around her is tended to and taken care of. Doug & Sylvia met on a blind date through a friend. with no intention of moving on, just kinda—- happened.
Sylvia is 64 years old & Douglas is 75 years old. Douglas was married for 50 years and Sylvia married for 43 years. and now, they are going to spend the rest of their days together, with the memories and experiences of their past, and go forward happily and fulfilled, with hearts full, and new fresh memories to have. so grateful I had the opportunity to be apart of this beautiful day and hear the story, capture the tears, and I got to watch Dougie (literally, I have fallen in love with these little old men!) do the chicken dance. never-dreamed-it-would-happen!
Taylor & Bae.. if I could put into words what your wedding day was for my heart, it was pure & utter joy. it was also cold, & raining. windy & not ideal for a beach wedding. however, let me tell you what I learned. Taylor’s father would have celebrated his 65th birthday here with us on Thursday, the same day this wedding took place. Taylor knew the weather chances, she knew the forecast. she knew it wasn’t ideal for everyone else-but for her, the date meant everything. now she celebrates one of the best days of her life, becoming a wife to the man she loves deeply, and the day her father was born- on the same day. I wouldn’t have missed it for the world, even with the wind, rain & cold. I love the personality between you two, the love y’all share, and the absolute ease of being around you guys. you are two beautiful people & this wedding brought SO much joy to every single person there! so friends, I introduce to you Mr. & Mrs. Bae Lamastus <3
I have spent some time in the last few weeks researching ‘child sex traffic rings’ ‘human trafficking’ and of course, after news came out of multiple celebrities and large businesses such as Wayfair, I have been patiently waiting and watching the news to see if they would expose it all to me..
it seems like a really big deal. why wouldn’t this be blowing up in the news? why isn’t this a bigger deal to everyone?is it a new thing?-no, no it’s not. but, is it getting worse?-absolutely.as a mother, I can’t fathom my child experiencing anything on this level. I can barely think of them going through pain & disappointment in life. but, there are children out there who ARE experiencing this, right now.
“Victims of sex trafficking are often lured into enslavement by the promise of a better life, only to find themselves trapped in exploitation”
..I don’t know you. I don’t know your opinions or feelings on this subject. I don’t know if you would rather turn your eyes away from the truth and let it be. but, I do know, that NOW I KNOW what I know, I would be a coward to look away and not try to make a difference.does a photoshoot with zero profit make a difference? no.. probably not.
will the people out there who see these pictures have a spark of curiosity and do some research on their own? more than likely, yes. if we don’t speak up, who will? if we don’t stop looking at the statistics and ACTUALLY try and make a change, who will? the hard truth is, children are being raped. they are being exploited. they are being USED as tools for disgusting men and women to PAY for their bodies, and children as young as SIX MONTHS have been rescued from child sex trafficking sweeps.if we don’t stand up, if we don’t yell it from the rooftops-NOTHING IS GOING TO CHANGE.DO YOU HEAR ME?
NOTHING WILL CHANGE!
Did you know the 10 states with the HIGHEST percentage of human trafficking INCLUDES FLORIDA?! right here, where you live. do your research. help us make a change. HEAR US. save the children. save the babies, save the adults. BE AWARE, open your eyes. LET’S DO THIS.
always a pleasure being with this precious family. neighbors turned friends. dogs that like to dig under the fence and visit each other, kiddos that climb same fences and throw toys back and forth to share. we’ve survived pandemic woes, we’ve enjoyed front porch sitting with each other, complaining (mostly me.. well, me. totally me complaining), kids running the cul-de-sac, making all the memories. we’ve exchanged prayers, good thoughts, dinner. we’ve asked for the missing ingredients to a meal and our kids- most importantly, they’ve grown to love & know each other well.friendships, trusting conversations, memories that will always be in our hearts.. it isn’t easy to come by these days. but, it sure is appreciated when you have it. Johnson family, thank you for having me today. your company was needed more today than you realize.