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Stories, Travel & Adventure

The day I attended my first South African wedding

Right before the New Year I attended my first South African wedding. It was beautiful. And attending the wedding turned into being the wedding photographer with a few hours notice. So, I also photographed my first South African wedding. It was an adventure. I’ve been looking for new opportunities to learn more about the culture. However, I didn’t quite expect it to happen this way. As a photographer, I’ve photographed a few weddings over the past year or two. I know the general layout of a traditional American ceremony – what happens when, what details are important, etc. But this…this was a whole new culture. And to be honest, I was nervous because I had no idea what the order of events was or what details were important to capture. It basically boiled down to the fact that I felt like I had absolutely no idea what I was doing or where I was supposed to be at any given moment! And yet as soon as the festivities began, it was so easy to get caught up and swept along in the excitement and beauty of the day. Worry fell by the wayside as the moments unfolded with bursts of color, smiles […]

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Stories, Travel & Adventure

Her name was Joyce.

There were about eleven of us crowded into that small room. The Ugandan sun shone through the open window above the cot that lay on the cement floor. Her name was Joyce, and she supported herself in the sitting position. The first thing I saw in this beautiful woman was that she was radiant with peace and joy, despite the fact that her body was frail. Her smile shone brightly against her dark skin and light danced in her eyes. There wasn’t much in the room other than her sleeping mat, and it was easy to tell that she had very little in this world to call her own. This woman was living in less than ideal conditions and yet she was so happy. The joy that radiated from her was contagious, but at the same time my heart was breaking. You see, Joyce had AIDS. Although this took place over a year and a half ago, the details are still vividly engrained in my mind. I honestly don’t think I’ll ever forget that picture – her joy in the face of such difficulty and pain. She looked so calm. So peaceful. And yet she was in the midst of a raging storm. When Americans go to third world countries, the idea is […]

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