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Beautiful | Unique | Timeless

Disengaging to Engage

March 15, 2018

Marie Janssen straightens her daughter's wedding veil.
Marie Janssen buttoning up her daughter's wedding dress.
©Katherine Joy Photography

I hear the click of the camera. It’s not me. I’m not pressing the shutter. I’ve heard the clicks all morning and it feels so strange. This is the most important day of my daughter’s life and I’m not photographing her. It feels so wrong yet, paradoxically, it feels completely right. I chose to disengage so I could completely engage.

I chose to be present.

On this day, I use my God given lenses to drink in every moment – my eyes. My eyes drink it all in and my heart creates its own slideshow that I will replay until the day I die.

My fingers are not on the shutter….they are buttoning her gown and putting on her veil. They are embracing my firstborn, holding her close remembering the day I heard, “It’s a girl!” A girl. I cried for joy over my beautiful baby. Now, I cry again…still tears of pure joy. She has grown into a beautiful woman I am ridiculously proud of. She has found the love of her life and I know he will love her until his last breath. Yes, joy. Joy tinged with sadness that the years that once seemed so long suddenly became too short.

Years becoming short is the reason we must choose to be present. It’s so easy to be consumed by technology and numerous distractions. Even the joy of photographing our families can actually cause us to miss out on moments. Sadly, that very joy of documenting every moment often means we aren’t even in the photos our kids will one day look at. “Where is Mom?”

Well, on this day, I chose to be “Mom”. That’s all my daughter wanted and needed. If I’d had a camera in hand, so many beautiful photographs of me experiencing the moment would have never happened. I’m in the picture. I’m present.

I challenge you to be present in your own life. Turn off the phone/TV. Put the camera down.

Just live. Just be.

Disengage to engage.

It’s the best gift you can give to your family, one they will unpack for the rest of their lives from a box labeled “Memory”.

Marie Janssen straightens her daughter's wedding veil.

Bride with Mom before wedding at Rosa Lee Manor

Bride and Mom embrace before wedding at Rosa Lee Manor.

Marie Janssen watches the Daddy/Daughter first look at Rosa Lee Manor.
All photos ©Katherine Joy Photography

Hair & Makeup for me: Face Forward
Bride’s Hair: Erin Doak
Bride’s Makeup: Face Forward


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