What does 16 years of marriage look like?
For the life of me, I could not envision it prior to the session. I have seen several couples who have been married for 10 years, and several who have been married for 30 or more, but the thought of 16 years eluded me. Perhaps it is because when I look ahead to my 16th anniversary, I will have a son who is rapidly approaching his first year of college. It is surreal to imagine it.
Enter ASP's March winners.
We started off the session with a little bit of a hiccup. Salado is a popular art town, and it hosts several events on weekends throughout the year, so I generally expect a little bit more traffic on the weekends. I definitely did not expect this weekend's festivities to engulf 3/4 of the town. We were essentially banished to the far end of town, an area which I have not utilized to its full potential (in other words, I had no set locations for the shoot). My clients did not so much as bat an eye at my ill-preparedness. We explored the area together, stopping at picturesque locations that I wish I had known about before and have filed away for future reference. I can't tell you how grateful I am to have such understanding and adventurous clients!
I chatted with them during the shoot, as I am wont to do. It generally helps relax my subjects and makes the outcome of the portraits more natural. Happily, I found that, though the conversation was great and we had a few laughs, they were perfectly natural just being together. They seemed to fit into each others arms like two pieces of a puzzle. They required very little direction beyond an initial modeling or suggestion. But the one thing that amazed me the most was their reaction to one of my standard requests: "Tell me about your first date."
They looked at each other. They smiled. And then they burst out laughing.
I have had several clients that have been married for about as long as I have. Without fail, that statement elicits a giggle, a chuckle, even uproarious laughter. To see an identical reaction from a couple that has been together for so long was inspiring. So, what does 16 years of marriage look like? To be honest, it looks a lot like any marriage. There is some teasing, some ribbing, some laughing, a whole lot of tenderness and patience, and, my very favorite part, oodles of affectionate gestures. I can only hope that my art does their love justice.