Jordan & Arshia’s Love Story by Arkansas Wedding Photographer
The title of this blog post may seem pretty lengthy, (and so is this blog post) but I want to address both Jordan’s and Arshia’s love story and the mentorship I had with Danielle Green, of Layers. The experience as a whole was incredible, and for me to try and share either by themselves would not do them justice. So, here we go.
I reached out to Danielle on the last day of 2017, asking if she offered mentorship sessions. I saw something in her work that pulled me in, and as a new photographer at the time, I wanted to learn everything she would teach me. Over the next few months of following her work, I was able to figure out that it was her art of storytelling that was drawing my heart in for more. Like any good book or movie should. It should captivate you.
Over the course of several months we had several video chats where we spoke back and forth, and where she shared bits and pieces of what and who has inspired her over the years. However, I think the most valuable advice she gave me was to not look at other photographers for inspiration but to instead watch movies, read books, look at art and find inspiration in other mediums. It seemed simple, but it has been a game changer for me.
I started being intentional with what I was putting in front of me, and I began to see people from a new perspective. I looked at how lovers interacted in the movies, and even started people watching throughout my day. Humans are incredibly emotional beings, and I may sound like a creeper, but it is truly beautiful to see how people react to each other when they think no one is watching. Im talking about the subtle way hands reach out to find their lover’s. How a mother bends down to their child so they will not only be heard but feel heard. How kisses and hugs last a little bit longer right before a goodbye. To capture intimate moments like this, it takes intentional connection. Danielle taught me that to truly capture and write their story it takes becoming enveloped in it.
With Jordan and Arshia, that was so very easy to do. They have a love that you unknowingly melt into. Jordan wrote this in his first email to Danielle:
“When she was a little girl, long before we loved each other, long before we met, Arshia loved Ferris Wheels. Or rather, she loved the idea of them, the look of them. But she’d never ridden one. Growing up, she’d tell herself, the first person that I ride a Ferris Wheel with—that’s the person I’ll marry, that’s the person who’s my soulmate. Many, many years later, maybe a month into our relationship, she sat straight up in bed: She’d remembered that, not long after she and I had started working together, we’d gone to the Arkansas State Fair for an assignment. There had been a Ferris Wheel. We’d ridden it together. At the time, she hadn’t given it a second thought. But there you had it. The thing is, it would be one thing if that had been the only serendipity—the only seemingly far-flung coincidence. But the truth is, they happen all the time, to the extent that we’ve just started calling them “things that happen.” The greatest thing to happen, however, was meeting her—there can be nothing better.”
He wasn’t lying. The “things that happen,” that they described to us the night before their session, were happening everywhere we went. There was magic all around us that day, and it was freaking cool to be there and witness it. Jordan and Arshia wed on November 11th, and recently on facebook he shared this:
“It’s funny, being at a loss for words, when every sentence strung together seems to fall so short of describing what these past few days have been like—what it’s been like to have had such an outpouring of support from so many friends and family members; what it was like to hold your hand and say “I do” in a place that felt so removed from everything, where it felt like walking on the moon. And y’know, I’m sure that someday I’ll find the words. But for now—today, and every day—I’ll just say this:
More now, A. Even more now.”
*cue the tears* because LIKE I SAID, they have a love that you melt into.
Thank you, Danielle, for sharing who you are with me, and for helping me create this beautiful story, with you, for Jordan and Arshia.