Hilary Spencer Creative Photography » Creative photographer specializing in weddings, engagements, and family photography. I'd like to make you smile.

Thankful.

Alie and Tyler

I will always be a romantic. Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan will always make me cry (it’s the damn golden retriever, I swear) and the Royals will always give me the warm butterflies knowing they’re all finding love and having extravagantly ridiculous nuptials that you end up looking at like a car crash (I CAN’T NOT LOOK AT IT).

This year has really given me a lot to think about. Like, far too much. My little brain has been whirring and stirring and meandering through all sorts of ridiculous processes, and it wasn’t until the other day that I let myself do something I haven’t done in a very long time. I looked adoringly at wedding dresses.

Ok – full stop – I’m not crazy, I’m not getting married, and I’m not in the market. (Now – if there’s a dress company that wants to sponsor me… I’m your girl.)

I realized that I’ve been preventing myself from truly letting myself enjoy things. Whatever it may be that has stood in the way, grief or loss or frustration, I’ve been preventing myself with the understanding that I need to be fully healed in order to let myself be happy. What kind of backwards thinking is that, brain? I thought we had this under control here.

It felt almost clandestine to open up the BHLDN website and sneak a peek at their latest bespoke gowns, with gentle fabrics and whispers of lace and incredibly delicate necklines. I actually felt my heart sigh and realized – I LOVE weddings. I love details. I love fashion, and all things beautiful and I’ve not let myself love these things from a dark, bitter place that I’d rather not see again.

If you’ve met me, you know I’m not necessarily the picture of femininity – I’m a rough around the edges, I’m messy, I swear like a trucker, and I would rather get muddy with my dog than pampered on any day. But man, show me some delicate tulle and I’m a puddle on the floor.

I’ve been doing a lot of thinking as to why I’m in the business I’m in. Someone posted on Facebook asking photographers why they photograph weddings. Never have I let myself say out loud, “It’s because I love weddings!” because that’s not cool. Or so my brain said so. But honestly, after that brief affair with BHLDN I’m coming out to say it – I love weddings.

I love the storyline. I love the fairytale. I love the fact that on that day, in front of your closest family and friends, you are making a promise to your best friend that you will travel the rest of time together, because you honestly can’t picture not having them in your life. I’m not a fan of the extra-extravagance, don’t get me wrong here; I’m a fan of the quiet whispers. I’m a fan of those tiny little details and storylines behind the scenes of mothers and daughters and fathers and sons, and the mess that can be family and the force of friends. I’m a fan of the light falling on the letter he wrote to you that morning, and the quiet shake of his hand as he takes it in yours. Or her hand. Or their hands. I’m just a great big fan of love.

Weddings were not the original plan – I did not set out to become a wedding photographer. I did, however, set out to take beautiful, timeless images of couture and humans in their element; somehow, some way I ended up finding that in weddings.

I set out to write this post to exclaim my thankfulness for this past year and the year to come. In normal fashion, I’ve rambled a bit more than I’ve meant to. But I do want to express my gratitude to anyone whom has stepped into my life this past year and beyond; anyone who took the time to check in, took the time to distract and take me places to shake me from the funk of reality. To the man who has now seen me cry over poorly made coffee and has picked up my pieces time and time again, and still comes to the rescue with that damn smile every time. You’ve seen my posts on social media of the wonder that is mental illness, and it takes a village of support to give me the good days that I have been having more frequently – so thank you. To all of you. You all know who you are.

Wrapping up 2017 is a mixed bag of feels. I did not expect to be where I am, this time, a year ago. I can say that I’m having a heavy dose of Dorothy-comes-home-from-oz; the cast of characters who are now in my life are truly irreplaceable and I am just so grateful to have what I have, and do what I do. My stupidly handsome golden retriever is snoring next to me; I think that’s a good place to finish.. so I’ll just say this: To all clients, friends, family and in between, I wish you all a very safe, happy and rewarding New Year – here’s to 2018, and the bucket of crazy that is sure to come with it. //

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