Over the past few months, Airika and I have spent a lot of time reflecting on our business, our selves, and why we are photographers. Sure, photography helps us pay the bills and provide for our needs, but that's definitely not what drives and motivates us. And of course we love photography; there are few things we enjoy more or feel as passionately about than creating images that are beautiful, artistic, and meaningful. But there is more to it than that, too.
For us, it all comes down to our desire to share the gifts and abilities that God has given us with those he brings into our life. We have been incredibly blessed, and there is nothing more rewarding than turning around and giving back our time and our talent--this is what feeds our souls and gives our lives meaning--it's why we fell in love with photography, and it's what makes our pursuit of this business worthwhile.
This is really where Lydia and Joao come in. Back in May we received an email from Airika's sister, Hannah, asking us to pray for her friend Lydia. Lydia was originally planning to get married today (September 10), but her younger sister Maura, who was going to be her maid of honor, had just passed away after a year-long battle with cancer. Airika and I both have younger siblings, and we couldn't even begin to imagine what she was going through. No one should have to go through the pain of losing a sibling, something made even more difficult when trying to plan for one of the most important days in their life. Because of everything that happened, Lydia and Joao's wedding plans were completely changed, and Lydia thought that she could no longer have the wedding of her dreams. A big New York wedding was no longer in the cards, and they were now looking at a small, simple summer ceremony at a relative's house in California.
Once they had a new date and a new venue, Lydia and Joao called us to see if it would be possible for us to photograph their wedding. The more we talked to Lydia, the more we saw that she is a passionate woman, full of life and a deep love for those around her. We knew that there was nothing we could do to take away the pain of losing her sister, but we felt very strongly that we had to do something. So we offered to give what we could as photographers – our time.
After making arrangements to fly down for their wedding, we called one of our favorite Southern California event designers, Shawna Yamamoto, and shared Lydia's story. We were thrilled when she offered to design and decorate the entire event for Lydia and Joao! We really can't say enough about Shawna and her husband and it was our joy to partner with them in giving Lydia the wedding of her dreams.
We hope you enjoy Lydia & Joao's photos, and that as you witness the love and joy that they share, you will be inspired to begin looking for new ways to be a blessing to those you come into contact with in your own lives.
Lydia and Joao~It has been such a blessing to work with you, and we hope that these moments bring smiles to your faces and joy to your hearts. Much love~Gerald & Airika
We got to spend a few minutes with just Lydia and Joao right after the ceremony, but we didn't want to eat up time that they could be spending with family. Instead, we offered to give them a day-after fashion shoot. Photos from that will be in our next post...
If you are interested in reading more about Lydia's sister Maura, her story, and how you can help further the cure research for sarcoma cancer, visit Lydia’s mother's blog, Maura. Life After. or Lydia's blog at Life. After. Maura.