making a final decision has been ridiculously tough.
we want to reach out + hug you . . . in fact, we're ready to move in with you!
CONGRATULATIONS, magda + jan. You are our GRAND WINNERS.
Which means that in june of 2009, SilverBox Photographers will be traveling to warsaw, poland, along with your friends and family from 20 (even 30!) other countries around the globe to witness your celebration of marriage in one of the few Warsaw churches that survived WW II. [historical note #1: 80% of Warsaw and almost all historical buildings were destroyed during the Warsaw Uprising in 1944 and had to be rebuilt from scratch, often from only old paintings.]
it's the element of TRANSCENDENCE that kept our hearts coming back to magda + jan.
jan and magda's wedding testifies to the power of love to transcend national boundaries, international warfare, even exile. there is a palpable EPIC QUALITY to this couple's story.... for jan's family, the wedding is a profound homecoming ~ a return to a homeland that was devastated by World War II . . . families wrenched apart . . . neighborhoods, lives, and national treasures destroyed. Jan's parents were forced from Poland during WWII when jan’s father:
"fought the Nazis for a free Warsaw, was wounded and taken prisoner. Later liberated by American forces, he fought with the British to the end of the war and started a new life in Canada."
Meanwhile, jan’s mother’s home in Poland:
"was annexed by the Soviets: she was deported to Siberia, escaped to India and finally made her way to Canada. During the Cold War, returning to Poland, or even re-establishing strong ties was unthinkable. Nonetheless, the family kept strong Polish traditions."
The chance for jan's family to return to Poland, after nearly 60 years abroad ~ to witness his marriage to a woman born + raised in Poland to whom he'll be wed in the same church were his grandparents were married ~ must be powerful indeed, not only for past generations, but for the generations yet to come.
Ultimately, the contest and your stories inspired us to think about when we make pictures, who are we making them for?
the chance to document jan + magda's wedding is thrilling in part because their story starts many many years before they were born. we love not only how much jan + magda mean to each other (he was so smitten he learned polish for her!) but what their union means to generations of their families. we envision wedding photos that exalt in not only the couple's relationship, but in their families' lives and histories.
Pictures are a family's heirlooms.
above, amy's favorite (ever) couple shot:
grandma jane had left the baby (aunt jan) with her parents to travel across the country by train to meet her husband's ship (the USS Little) as it came into port. [historical note #2: the USS Little was later destroyed by kamikaze attack of appx. 124 planes near Okinawa May 3rd, 1945] Yet on this day, the boat anchored on the West Coast (possibly Seattle) and he was reunited with his wife (and lucky for us, reunited in the proximity of, based on image + print quality, a professional photographer ~ a local journalist perhaps?)