I met Nick and Luis at a wedding I was photographing last year. During the reception, Luis told me a little bit about their story. You could see the fire in Luis’ eyes — this was real for him. They had not been dating long, but they already knew they were going to get married. Neither of them was expecting love when they met, but it had found them with surprising passion and mutual admiration. A few months later, I was thrilled the day I answered my phone and Nick’s voice came through.
I’m going to be honest for a second. As a photographer, while I always feel a connection with my couples, I don’t feel every story and couple equally. It is safe to say I got a little extra emotional at Nick and Luis's wedding. Starting during the ceremony I became aware of a different depth to the day. Luis was looking at Nick, and his eyes said it all: love and gratitude. Luis was living out his perfect day with the person who met his gaze and matched it. Nick looked back at Luis with such obvious affection and love that it was impossible to miss. Everyone there was caught up in it. People leaned forward in their chairs, wanting to catch every word that was shared. It was so clear that Nick and Luis had found a safe place in each other, and it is beautiful.
At the deepest level, marriage is about connection — it is two people who no longer wander the world alone, but have found their home in each other. When we feel connected and grounded, the very essence of every true love story, our light shines a little brighter and our step is a little quicker. When marriage works, the connection of marriage brings about so much life and energy and beauty in the world — not just for the couple — for everyone who knows them and even the strangers they interact with.
As I was finishing their portrait session, I had tears running down my face. I was overwhelmed with joy for Luis and Nick, and I couldn't hold it all in my heart.
Words and photos by Brandon of Roost Photography
Valerie Lighthart Photography
Brandon Brown of Roost Photography has always loved taking photographs. Early in grade school he used to steal his dad’s Minolta 35mm and use up all the film. In middle school he had a vintage Polaroid and spent far too much of his parents’ money on packs of film. His graduation gift from his parents was a 35mm camera that he wore out in 13 months. Through all this, he never thought of himself as a photographer — just someone who took lots of pictures. And so, for many years he led a secret double life as a ‘paparazzi’ — taking tens of thousands of photos each year of landscapes, beautiful people, students, his own family, and whatever else he found interesting.
In 2014, following an unexpected "opportunity" to rethink his life — a dizzying, high-elevation, total re-imagining kind of opportunity — he decided he wanted to be a “real” photographer. While it was scary at first, being a photographer has been one of the most exhilarating and rewarding choices he has made.