LAYERS, sweet layers : the richness of life

The Gemming & Self families (and the many aunts, uncles, grandparents & cousins) are the kinds of people you just love to be around: kind & considerate, thoughtful & fun. So fun. I've documented lots of weddings and thus have been to many a wedding dance and this one, well just takes the cake! Wow. Plus: just a plethora of personal touches & meaningful aspects to Jennifer & Zac's celebration found in every corner. Layers & layers of great stuff to document.

And thinking about layers: PHOTOGRAPHS can sort of have layers, too.
And don't we LOVE it when they do!
Layers add to a picture's story-telling potential.

Know that term "a person of substance" (versus, "just a pretty face")? ~ maybe photographs can be like that as well. Some images have substance & context & depth and it's through these elements, that the picture tells a story & relays the emotion of the moment.

Guess I'm thinking of "of substance" as the opposite of "superficial"...
Having a bride look over her shoulder & smile...sure it can show pretty maybe even lovely but that doesn't show context; doesn't tell the story. Look-here-and-smile shots show how someone looks, not how they feel. They celebrate hairstyle & makeup and maybe clothes.... but at the end of the day, stuff that's pretty well superficial to what's happening in the larger, ah, picture.

Wedding photography includes a place for the fashion of the day...sure, absolutely. BUT there's so much more. What SilverBox strives to be about is the "so much MORE." That's what we're after; that's what makes our hearts sing: the MORE, the SUBSTANCE. Layers, baby, layers.
(Plus, when it's time for the fashion stuff, let's break out of the box a bit shall we....but hey, that can wait for another time. For now, let's stick to substance...)

Jennifer's grandma came into the dressing room moments before the ceremony's start. A hello hug. A loving embrace. Quiet words of wisdom... Look at how much we can infer from the expression on Jen's face & Mrs. Gemming's body position (even with her back to us) ~ affection, admiration, respect, connection. Jennifer is not JUST beautiful here (though my oh my is she ever BEAUTIFUL here!)...but it's the "so much more" that makes this image so compelling.

....still looking at the above image,
- Jennifer-as-bride, is definitely the central part of the story we see in this picture. But it's the MORE...the context of the dressing room, that row of beloved "onlookers" framing & grounding the moment that tell the story. Compositionally, those onlookers form a strong leading line ~ but their meaning is much deeper than placement. This picture shows how that moment unfolded. Hopefully this is the kind of picture that will help bring back the memory in years to come. And for those who weren't among's from the picture's context that we get a sense of time, place & emotion.
-In the lower left of the frame, you see Jennifer's maternal grandma. Look at her focus; note the look on her face. Standing at her side is her son-in-law, Jennifer's Dad, who at this very moment is seeing both his mom & his daughter (& the love they share) on his daughter's wedding day. And then we see Jennifer's bridesmaid looking on as well. Wonder what she's thinking...of her own grandma?, how she & Jennifer met?....

Oh I love this job!

and I LOVE these families!!

There may not have been a dry eye in the room as Craig's (Jennifer's dad) reminisced during his toast about seeing Susan walk down the aisle on their wedding day. And above you can see Susan beside while he offers a toast to their daughter on her wedding day. Susan's head slightly titled in concentration as she listens, really listens, to Craig's thoughts. In the foreground: the just-married couple, Jen & Zac, with open champagne bottle on their table. Jennifer, with flowers in her hair & her head slightly atilt (see the family resemblance in that posture?) as she listens, really listens, to the thoughts her dad shares.

Have I mentioned how much I love this job?

In an ideal world, we'd all sit down together and share all of the things we see, all the elements we love, in each of the day's story-in-pictures. The part we'd MOST LOVE is hearing what you see (and feel), when looking at these pictures, too. It's sometimes called "reading a photograph" and it fascinates us. But alas, so often pictures must speak for themselves.

And they do. Think of your grandma's house -- is there that box of old photos? I love that box. But we're lukcy if the pictures inside that box have a name or a date scrawled on the back. In a box of old pictures, we rely on the images themselves to tell the story. And tell stories they do.

What SilverBox tries to do through our pictures is to create authentic images that not only speak to you, but will speak to your grandchildren, and their grandchildren. And where was I going with all this???? -- Oh yeah, so often it's the layers that help to give an image its voice.

And now, here are the SEVEN (b/c at this very minute it's indeed 07/07/07)
Seven things you just gotta LOVE
about Zac & Jennifer's wedding:

1. Jennifer's mom, Susan, made individual monogrammed wedding-cake cookies for each & every guest. [Over 200 mind you.]
Can you believe how intricate these are?

2. FAMILY!!!
Here's just one more example (of many) of the fabulousness of these families: Jennifer's Grandpa was the minister of their ceremony. This is right before their kiss -- look at his smile!!

3. Manners & Generosity of Spirit.
Look how considerate Zac Self is...
(more good manners in action: #4, below)


Zac & his dad restored this car themselves.
(A 1949 Ford? ~ why would cars like this EVER have gone OUT of style?? The details, the lines, the curves...all the way down to the hubcaps, just BEAUTIFUL.)

When Jennifer & Zac came down Missouri Methodist's steps, they got into this car & drove off to their reception.

I was completely blown away by the beauty of this car's lines. From a design perspective, this is certainly the most impressive car I've ever seen...such meticulous restoration (talk about details & Layers!!)...and to think of its restoration being a father-son project over the years truly touches my heart.

5. EYE CONTACT between Zac & Jennifer ~ oh the love! What chemistry these two have! They're so in tune with each other. OK, visually what a bonus for the people engaged in such eye contact to have lashes as luscious as these...(oh la, la)

6. BRIDE BARBIE -- I knew when Hannah (who could be one of the Seven Great Things all on her own!) opened her flower girl gift Friday night that this gift -- Bride Barbie -- would be a big, BIG, hit. Here's Barbie (and Hannah) at the salon:


It was a wonderful day with one of those couples who just seem made for each other. What a joy! Wanna see more? Click here for more moments.

Thanks for taking a look!
Jennifer & Zac: the slideshow.
~amy enderle