THE IMPORTANCE OF A PHOTOGRAPH / by Kelsy & Butch McCartney

Family, friends and loved ones. They've got to be the meaning of life, because when they go it seems you'd give everything to have them back. Telling stories with friends helps; especially while flipping through photos of your most beloved memories. Lately, we have been viewing our photography in a different way. Pointing our lenses in a slightly different direction. We've always been aware that photographing someone's family was important, but it seems the more we photograph special events with couples who we become so close with, the more we realize how important these photographs are. These words aren't anything ground-breaking, and perhaps it's because we don't really know how to express what we are feeling at the moment with words.

You know those photographs of your parents and grandparents that you hold in your hands every now & then and absolutely adore? That's what we are trying to create. We want to capture a moment within our images that 25 years from now — even 45 years from now — makes you feel something. If our bride & groom's grandchildren are holding the prints that we delivered to them and smiling from ear-to-ear, telling their sisters and cousins how young & beautiful their grandma is… then we've accomplished our goal. That's how much value we place on the moments we see happening at the weddings we photograph.

We recently had the privilege of photographing an amazing event. It was a wedding. Family & friends flew and drove from near and far. Smiles and happy tears were everywhere to be seen, and this particular Saturday in July was absolutely beautiful. The property at which the wedding was held was that of the bride & groom's home, and it was decorated SO beautifully by the incredible Evolutions in Design team here in Wausau, Wisconsin. It was the joining of two beautiful families. We had never witnessed a wedding like this before.

We've only personally known the Hugus family for a short time. Just two weeks before their wedding, they asked us to photograph their celebration. Thankfully, we happened to have that day available! A few conversations over the phone and connecting with them on their wedding day has been the extent of our interaction. But it didn't take long for us to realize how incredible this family is. Words can't quite do justice when describing the affect they have on you — we guess it's that when you are around them, you can truly feel their warmth. And John, who ended his 17 year battle with cancer just a few days ago, had an especially welcoming presence. The smile he gave us, having not even known us for more than a couple weeks, made us feel important and genuinely appreciated on his wedding day. We are so very thankful that we were able to capture the happiness that surrounded John on his & Robin's wedding day. We will remember that day always, and couldn't be more grateful to have been a part of it.

Love | Kelsy & Butch

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All images captured on film with Hasselblad 500cm, Contax 645 or Nikon F100 and Fuji 400H + Ilford HP5 film.