Okay, engagements are supposed to be happy (none of the drama that tends to accompany weddings has reared it's ugly head yet and you're basically on cloud nine), but posting these photos kind of makes my heart ache. Emma and Bobby's love story continued on after this day into a beautiful wedding and an even more beautiful marriage, but damn I miss them. Neph and I both had the privilege of standing beside these two during their ceremony and partying with them afterwards but since that day in November, I think we've seen them twice? Three times? It stings just a little bit to remember how excited I was on this day with these two because they were just... our people. And, as much as they are still our people, life and miles have gotten in the way. Then again, life and miles have made it that much sweeter to get to look over these precious photos and relive this moment. In a triumph of love and romance, and in a testament to the reconciling power of the Gospel, Bob got down on one knee and Em joyfully accepted his request to share her life with him. It was a sacred moment, and I loved being there with them in it. Hopefully, you will too. ;)
Jack and Julie got married in her uncle's backyard.
They got married. They didn't only throw a wedding, have a big party, and celebrate till the wee hours. Sure, they did those things, but they didn't do only those things. They began a marriage. They stood before their friends and family and invited Jesus into a lifelong covenant of selfless love and courage and commitment. They held each other's hands and looked into each other's eyes as everyone bore witness to the miracle of self-sacrificial love.
It may sound over-the-top, but that's really what happened. And that's what I'll always remember about Jack and Julie's wedding day. A miracle took place, a fight was taken up against all that is cynical and individualistic in this world, and a marriage began. We were there, all of us, to witness love and celebrate it. And we did, and it was magical. Their love was magical, because it was a love built on Jesus and His love for each of them.
I haven't spent a lot of time on this, my little corner of the web, mainly because I had a heart attack (literally) and life has been crazy, both before and after. But even when I have been here, I haven't been as straight forward as I'm going to be now. I don't think it was on purpose, but maybe there was a filter there before. A thin one, just a hint of one, but one nonetheless. And I've decided I don't want that filter to be there anymore. Life is too short for the filter. So instead, the truth is this: I delighted in Jack and Julie's wedding because I saw Jesus in them.
I saw Him in them and in their love. It was an experience that will go down in the books for me.
I still have to post their engagment shoot, so I'll go on and on about them later. For now, I'm just gonna get my ass in gear and get this sacred day up on the blog already. Press play for some sweet sounds and enjoy!
PS – The loveliest of lovelies, Miss Lehua Faulkner, shot this wedding with me so some of her images are scattered throughout. They're perrrty.
It's a beautiful thing when your friends make stuff you're excited about it, when they do things you admire and just plain like. That's Anchor Paper Co. Our friends, Drew & Kelsey, started this beautifully crafted, hand-letterpressed paper company and I like it. Reeeally like it. Watch-out-don't-drool-it's-so-gorgeous like it. Drew is the most brilliant typographer; I'm consistently floored by him. And Kelsey is... well... Kelsey's just too much for words. She's a stylist, a storyteller, a chef, an encourager, a creator. The list goes on. The four of us (Neph included) have long talked about collaborating on some Anchor stuff – because that's what you do, right? You laugh with your friends, you cry with your friends, and you most definitely create with your friends. When Valentine's rolled around and, along with it, their beautiful French Feelings Collection, it was time. I sat down with Kels and she told me her vision. I squealed, I was so excited. Everything came together in a whirlwind week and what follows are just a few images of the story we captured... I love the way Kelsey tells it here, but for the rest of the images, visit the Anchor Paper Co blog. Do me a favor and turn on some "La Vie En Rose" while you're at it.
Have a romantic afternoon!
I have this belief about weddings... well, I have a lot of beliefs about weddings, actually, but one of them is this: weddings are not for acquaintances. They're not. Rather, they're for friends and for family and for loved ones. These people are witnessing one of the most important days of your entire life. They are there to laugh with you, to cry with you, to commit to support you and your marriage through the years to come. Even with all its celebration and joy, a wedding is very much an intimate thing. That's what I believe, at least. And that's why my photography isn't under "Rebecca Trejo" or even "Becky Trejo." It's under Becks.
I was born Rebecca, have gone by Becky since forever, but Becks is like my accidental friendship litmus test. I can always tell when a friendship has truly blossomed, because one day, out of nowhere, they'll turn to me and say "Hey Becks, hand me that wine opener," or "Does this top look stupid with these shoes, Becks?" or "Becks, can you Tivo the opening ceremony of the Olympics next week for me??!! I don't want to miss it like last time!!" It just slips out. Becks. It's mindless, but it's what my friends call me. And if I'm going to shoot your wedding, we have to be friends. I don't deserve the privilege of being a part of your huge day any other way. I need to know you and your story and you need to know me. We need to laugh together and talk boys together. You need to be instantly comfortable in front of my camera. And on the off chance that you end up moving to Canada years later, I need to come to your brother's apartment and drink wine with you and party with the gang and cry a lot and laugh even more (I miss you, Lisamarie).
This is how I capture my brides' wedding days. As their friend. So imagine the serendipity when one of our friends is getting married and we get to shoot the wedding! The important part is already done!! Aahh! It's celebration time! That's what happened when Tori & Andy got engaged. Andy is in Neph's worship band, and Tori is the love of his life. To say they are made for one another is an understatement. Andy is a torrent of enthusiasm and excitement – such a blessing in this indifference-riddled and apathetic day – and Tori is just enough love and humor to keep up with him. I could go on about them for hours, but maybe I'll save that for the engagement session I have yet to blog. For now, turn on some Drew Barefoot and enjoy their wedding... (My sweet, talented husband joined me for this wedding, so all the boys getting ready? That's him. And much more.)
Mac and Reggie's wedding was a joy to capture, for so many reasons. A joy because they chose to get married in an art gallery on Abbot Kinney. Because they have incredible family and friends who welcomed us and celebrated all day. Because they're gorgeous. But most of all, because their love is Quiet.
Don't get me wrong. Mac and Reggie aren't quiet people. Mac and Reggie are funny and vibrant and engaging. But their love, it is quiet. It is a deep love, and exceptionally strong... Quiet.
It is the love I long to shoot each and every day. It is the kind of love that isn't needy, doesn't need to be in close proximity at all times. It is the kind that silently reaches across a room as they mingle with friends in opposite corners, always connected. It is a calm love and a confident love, and because it is confident, they are at ease. And that ease invites others into their love, into loving one another. I have said before that one of Neph's greatest blessings to me is how he carves out – and guards – a space for me to grow and change, to be transformed as I walk, to try and to fail. And that is what Mac and Reggie, for one another but also for everyone they spend time with. They carve out spaces.
Mac quoted Tom Robbins in her vows to Reggie, saying "Love is the ultimate outlaw," and how true that is. Indeed, I have no doubt Mac and Reggie will "aid and abet" one another because their love is never in question. Never doubted. They have found home in one another, and wherever that home goes, they are up for the adventure. Because no matter, they carry their love. Their quiet, and deep, and exceptionally strong love.
Enjoy their wedding day.
Mireyah & David are two of my favorite people.
I'm not exaggerating. Really. Two of my favorites.
They are so different, but yet they fit together so perfectly. Dave is hilarious, to say the least. So dryly funny. I mean, laugh-until-you-start-choking funny. Besides Neph, Dave probably cracks me up more than any other person on the planet. He cracks all of us up. But Mireyah, most of all. He talks, she laughs. It works out pretty well. And that's how it goes with most things. Where Dave is tough, Mireyah is gentle. Where she is kind, he is strong. Where he is logical, she is full of feeling. And she is generous. So ridiculously generous with her time and with with her attention. When you are in conversation with her, it is as if nothing else is more important or pressing to her than what you are saying at that moment. To say you have her full attention is such an understatement. She is engaged, never rushing. Where David's waters are quick and flowing, Mireyah's are still and deep. They are so different, but so wonderful together.
Which means, when it came to their engagement shoot, it had to be something special. These are some of my best friends, people. This deserves a... road trip! :)) So we grabbed some friends and headed up the coast to Los Osos (think San Luis Obispo). We left on Friday, driving well into the night, and awoke Saturday morning ready for adventure. In other words, we had no idea where we were going or what we were going to do. We had heard about this crazy forest and thought that might be a good place to start, so we asked around till we got some (kinda sketchy) directions. Who knows if we actually ended up in the place we were looking for, but then it didn't matter. We found a spot just as cool. Photographs ensued. Endless photographs, because each of our friends is a pretty sick little Instagramer in his/her own right. The six of us together probably made for hundreds of shots. I'm not joking.
We didn't stop there, though. We had come to Los Osos for forest or shore, and HILLS. We were determined to shoot somewhere amongst the boundless rolling hills throughout the area. They were so green, and so breath-taking. So we drove for what felt like hours, racing the sun, in search of a place to shoot. A place, that is, without a barbed wire fence and a NO TRESPASSING sign. It seemed every single hill was reserved for grazing. So finally, we did what anyone would do.
We found a dirt road with a few mailboxes out front and decided to take our chances. I'm not sure any of us were too confident of this plan, but what can I say? Group think, people. The sum was braver than the parts (at least my part, that is). Until a farmer rolled up behind us in his old pick-up and (somewhat) nicely asked us what we thought we were doing. We told him our wonderful friends were wonderfully engaged and we were trying to take some quick but wonderful photos of them. Or something like that. His response: "There's a few of us farmers along this road. You can use my part of it, but watch how far along you go. Not sure anyone's home up the road right now......... Just be careful of the dogs."
Dogs? I love dogs! No problem.
"They aren't fenced in... and, uh... well, you don't want to run into them. "
We all looked at each other, hesitated, but then breathed a collective "Screw it. Let's do this." At least that was the gist of it. And I'm so glad we did. It was such a beautiful setting, not just for the photos but for all of us to witness. It was a spectacular sunset. I stood there, watching the sun go down, so overwhelmed by the beauty and the immensity of Jesus' creation. At the risk of sounding cheesy, it was a very special moment. Granted, a special moment during which I had to wear gloves because my fingers were about to fall off from the cold. Nonetheless, it was a such blessing to be there and a blessing to get to shoot our beautiful, head-over-heels friends...... and an even bigger blessing that we all made it into the car, literally sped off, door still ajar, just as the dogs made their way over the hill toward us. Phew.
Confession: This website has been ready to go for about three weeks now.
Three weeks. And that’s probably a conservative estimate.
Why, then, has it not been up? Simply because I'm nervous. That's about it. Nervous as all get out.
Not about the images, or the work. Not even about “striking out on my own” for the first time, without my courageous hunk of a husband. It’s this writing thing.
For those of you that have known Neph and I for some time, you’ll remember when eighty eighty-four (the now commercial aspect of our photography business) first started out. It was tough, but it was so fulfilling. Inspiring. I treasure that time. We both worked so hard and enjoyed it so much, but with Neph having a fifty-hour-a-week job art directing and designing, then shooting and editing on weekends, the vast majority of writing blog posts fell to me. And I loved it. My love for words and for connection cannot be overstated. Truly. I so thoroughly enjoyed sharing our stories and our lives. And I did it a lot. A whole lot.
But life has changed quite a bit since I rolled up to that desk, in the cozy office with white-paint-peeling wooden floors in our sweet little house with a screened-in porch and grassy front yard. Now Neph and I live in a loft in the very heart of the City (and I mean “City” with a capital “C”). Fully equipped with cement floors and exposed beams and brick, we love it. But it is different. So very different. Groceries are no longer carried five feet from the back seat to the front door. More like thirty yards and a couple flights of stairs. And Tonka’s walks no longer lead past the neighborhood fire station on tree-lined streets. Instead, it’s cracked asphalt and dog parks without grass. The list goes on...
And yet, we know, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that this is where Jesus has led us. He has been abundantly gracious with us. He has opened doors and brought to life dreams I only dared dream in the quiet little edges of my heart. He has fostered love and excitement and joy in us. He has brought us here, and to so many other places – in our minds, in our hearts, and in our walks, most of all. It has been a time filled with revelation, with the granting of eyes to see and ears to hear things we never saw or heard before. And along with all of it, a new home, a new community, a new ministry... so much new.
And when it comes to new, I am either all out or all in. I mean all in. I don’t begin projects, I tackle them. And that approach pretty much extends to all other areas of my life. I so love Peter, the Disciple, for this reason. Slicing ears off, jumping out of boats, declaring the Christ. He goes big. And quite often eats it, face first. But that is what endears me to him, and what encourages me. I get going, and I usually end up a little too far ahead, forgetting about the one Who’s supposed to be leading this whole thing. I trip, I get lost, I end up in places I don’t want to be, but He calls to me and His voice leads me back. He looks at me with deep compassion and fierce love, bandages my scraped knees, and carries me the rest of the way, pointing out the turns I took left instead of right.
Right now is one of those carrying times. Which means I’m a little timid. I’m not pulling up to this tall desk with the same confidence, the same steadiness of voice. But now I think maybe that’s okay. The Becky typing these words is not the Becky of 2 years ago. It is not the Becky of 3 months ago. It’s just me. Becks. Who still loves stories and words and images, whose fingers still tingle every time I reach for my camera. I’ve been busy and I can’t wait to share it all with you. There’s so much to catch up on and I kind of want to jump up and down right now, because I’m getting really excited! Getting past the nervous, to the excited! The so excited! Thank you for getting here with me, so many paragraphs later, and for that I’ve got a sneak peek of Mac & Reggie. Ain't they gorgeous together...