In my last post I talked about some of the struggles that I’ve been going through, and how Tim unknowingly inspired me to find the will to face them. I now want to focus on one of the most inspiring wedding events that I’ve ever had the fortune of covering; Natalie and Tim’s “Access-a-Wedding”, as they put it.
Wedding Photography in Toronto has been good to me over the years. I’ve been able to witness some things that I never would have otherwise. I’ve shot over 300 weddings as a Toronto wedding photographer, many unique in their own ways. Why it took 9 years before having the privilege of covering the wedding so unique, I have no idea, but it was a privilege none the less.
I met Natalie and Tim when I was the photographer for Natalie’s brother Cooper’s wedding. Their family was so caring and open that I really became close to everyone in a way that doesn’t often happen as a wedding photographer. When I learned that Natalie and Tim were engaged, the idea of covering their wedding intrigued me. After 9 years as a wedding photographer, anything that is different or challenging is a good thing. I was happy when Natalie and Tim contacted me with their wedding date, wondering if I was available.
I had probably thought about Natalie & Tim’s wedding and engagement session before hand more than any other event that I’ve ever covered. I found my self thinking about things, ideas for the shoots months before. I spent time visualizing the shoots, in an attempt to prepare. In the end, I realize that I thought too much. This is often the case with wedding photography I find; over thinking things can be more damaging than good. Don’t get me wrong, it’s great to have a few ideas ready to go, but nothing beats being in the moment with the couple and letting the creativity come. I really found this worked best with Natalie and Tim’s engagement shoot, and tried to continue with it on their wedding day.
Of course once Natalie & Tim’s wedding day came, so continued the ridiculous record run of rainy wedding days that I was having. I think it was about the sixth in a row by this point. Nonetheless, rain or shine we were having a wedding. The entire wedding took place at the Evergreen Brickworks, and featured an amazing level of hand-made visual elements. Natalie’s wedding dress was created from scratch by herself. The green theme was accented in almost every element of the wedding. There were even a few serendipitous existing visual elements that seemed so perfect that we had to include them, like the “2040 Personal Mobility Concept Vehicle” that touched on both the mobility theme and the green accent. Sure, it would have been much nicer had the weather cooperated, but we were finding plenty to work with inside the Brickworks – even if we were limited to the small corner that was ours for the night (there was also some sort of festival taking over two-thirds of the building and bringing in droves of people). Sometimes obstacles are really opportunities in disguise.
When all was said and done, the uniqueness of Natalie and Tim’s wedding had nothing to do with disability. The most unique element was the purity and whole-hearted love that not only their families, but also every single one of their guests exuded. I mean that in the most honest way possible. I went into this thing with my assistant Keith, using the term “the wheelchair wedding” (not in a negative fashion, but as a preparatory reference), but we both look back on it as an enlightening event that showed us what the human spirit is. What family is. That being good has nothing to do with religion or beliefs, or even acceptance. It has to do with embrace, commitment, and love. These are the qualities that empower us. These are the powers that enable us, and nothing can disable one who has these powers flowing through their very core. I wrote in my last post that Tim is not disabled; that he’s enabled… Now you know why. I hope one day you get to meet Tim so that you can see all of this for yourself. In the mean time, here’s a great place to start: therosecentre.ca