I love weddings that break the mold. That may be a cliche in the modern wedding mindset that has done a complete 180 from the church social hour weddings of previous generations, but though it may be the hallmark of this decade, it is full of passion, heart, emotion and life. That is what I look for every day in my wedding imagery. I want people to be themselves and then to get back images that don’t just show what they did, but make them feel how they felt. So, when Amanda and Shawn told me they were renting out a Jewish summer camp for a 2 day extravaganza, I barely could stay in my seat.
When we arrived at the camp, lunch was out. It was exactly what you’d want as a child, cold cut sandwiches, potato chips and that nondescript red juice that no one really knows the flavor. As soon as the afternoon bell rang, everyone flowed out onto the grounds to climb, canoe, shoot hoops, swing on the giant swing, feed goats and just enjoy a beautiful Washington Saturday.
Once the afternoon’s activities had come to a close, things adjusted to be a little more traditional. There was a first look, couple photos, bridal party photos and some time with the family. The couple began the ceremony with a private Katubah signing. This intimate moment unified the couple in the eyes of their faith before proclaiming it to the rest of the community with a public ceremony. The actual document was flourished in beautiful pen and hebrew that recognized their equality, love and was full of the life from the PNW that they call home. It could not be more beautiful.
Then, they headed over to a small grove where the whole community got to share in their joy. With tears on so many cheeks, it was a beautiful moment of joining two people together forever.
One of my favorite parts of a wedding day is the sunset session. Not just because that is when the best light happens, but because everyone is so relaxed. By then, there is nothing but dancing and joy left. All the stresses are passed and what remains is two humans who are just living on the love they proclaimed earlier in the day. How can you not be enthralled by a simple moment where a beautiful landscape envelops the couple taking the next step toward the rest of their lives?
The evening finished with hours of dancing, smores, macarons and more stars than anyone could count. In other words, perfection.
Joe Tobiason is the primary photographer at JTobiason, a Seattle based photography company. He has been photographing weddings for 6 years alongside his partner Erika. See more of his work at JTobiason.com or @JTobiason on Instagram.