Lightning in a bottle

Lightning in a bottle


“Sometimes in life, you get lucky enough to catch a little (lotta!) lightning in a bottle. And when you do…you marry it!”

Allison & Gary

Allison and Gary will tell you that when they fell in love it was the equivalent of catching lightning in a bottle. Something that seemed so elusive until they found themselves smack in the middle of their real lives wondering if this is really as powerful of a partnership as it seems. This is what it is like when you are loved beyond what you ever felt was possible. Anyone who spends any length of time around these two can see their connection. They are so completely in tune with showing the gratitude and love that they feel for the other and the way that they parent together is the kind of stuff that makes you feel like wow, the future of the world really will be okay.

I have known Gary for many years and through some pretty big life changes in both of our lives. He is one of my best and most thoughtful friends. To say that I was extremely apprehensive when both he and Allison approached me to document their day would be a huge understatement. The pressure!!! No, was my first thought, I couldn’t possibly. Way too much pressure, I could never make anything remotely close to showing them what I think their love looks like. I had my mind made up until I asked Gary why, why me? We looked at each other for what seemed like several minutes without speaking. He opened his mouth a few times but nothing came out as he got choked up.

My beautiful friend is a man of very few words. One of the things I love about him most is that his actions will show you the wonderful person who he is. However, It was in those silent moments that words became unnecessary because I could feel what they both needed and it became obvious to me that I had to tell their story. I realized in that moment that there is no pressure with them because I didn’t need to be anything more than a mirror for them to reflect back what everyone already saw. Everything I see in their love is authentically who they are and something in me split open and I began to tear up from the power of the emotions and of course Gary and I had a good cry. Right about now all of our friends are laughing and saying “… are they crying again?” hahahaha YES, why yes we are, shut yo faces, we are grown adults and we will cry when we want to =)

You can live a whole life thinking this is what love is and that you found it and then your life takes a turn to this is not what love should be. Not all relationships will work out but one important lesson that I have learned is that whatever you experience in your life and how you live it will prepare you for what is to come. So much love has come from and because of the past chapters in the lives of these two and I know that neither would change a thing because the universe lined up everything to happen in the order and in the way it was supposed too. How you have grown together has also prepared you for this next chapter because you are making a family with each others’.

I have LOVED watching Allison and Gary fall in love. Not in a stalker kind of way but in a hopeful and filled with admiration kind of way. Blending their families, navigating multiple homes in multiple states, being strong role models for a daughter and sons, actively supporting each other and their dreams, they make these obstacles to some look like freshly paved asphalt. Allison is the perfect match for Gary. She is so thoughtful and believes so much in documenting all of life. She has built a life for herself and her boys and is fiercely devoted to putting positive energy into every facet of it. She is grounded yet open to adventure and beautiful in ways that she is still unaware. Allison is a nurturer and you can see the profound effect that this has had on the kids, Gary, and I’m sure countless hearts that she touches on the daily at work. She is laid back and easy to be around, which also makes her very easy to love. She says Yes to life, all the parts, not just the perfect ones.

Together they are proof that when you find someone who passionately supports you doing what you love then the things that were once stressed over become joyful. When you find someone who not only accepts you for who you are but also challenges you to be more of that because they freakin love who you ALREADY are – this kind of love will not just fulfill but will also transform you. You will bloom like never before. My wish is that you always continue to bloom my darlings. You deserve all of the warm and fuzzies that life has in store for you and I cannot wait to be a part of so many more. I Love you both and congratulations on finding and flourishing with each other!!!

One rainy evening in the 19th century our Philly friend Ben Franklin caught some electricity from lightning and stored it in a Leyden jar. A difficult but for the first time ever, not impossible feat. One rainy evening in Pennsylvania during the 21st century 6 hearts became one and instead of catching the electricity they made their own.

I just broke the seal and boy does it feel soooooooooooooo good, ya know what I mean!!!

It has been over 3 and a half years since I have blogged a Wedding or Portrait session. It was also about that time that I changed my entire business model and business name. Even though I was no longer telling these stories online via a blog site I was still hand writing thoughtful notes and creating love filled wedding and portrait work that I would sneak a pic or two on Instagram. Several months ago while attending a wedding for another one of my best guy friends I was seated with many of our friends who are also in the industry and was presented with unbeknownst to them, some constructive criticism. To be fair, there were no open discussions that were critical at all but when among friends whose work you respect, you should take their observations or questions with the kindness in which it was delivered. During this casual table talk one of the questions posed to me was

“Chingi, do you still shoot weddings or anything?”.

Holy shit! I’m thinking to myself, wow, have I changed my marketing so drastically that my peers don’t know what I do anymore? WTF, I’m thinking in my head again, if my peers don’t know what I do or what I currently offer then how would my past clients find me to refer me or future clients ever find out what I do… I mean, have I been posting too much food and puppies on IG, ahaha. Oh no! Have I retreated too far. Have I forgotten that sharing is caring?

Well love bugs, the day has finally come. I’m hitting the Publish button on this post and I am so honored for this couple to be my first Photography related blog since leaving the big studio behind for my more boutique and curated experience. Oh, and YES, about what I do…

” I don’t just shoot weddings, I’m not a wedding photographer. I tell life stories using words plus still and moving images – I’m a lifetographer.”

~ Chingi

#lifetographer #lifetography #ibuildtimemachines #lovewhatyoudo