3 Year Anniversary Photos (& Being Married to a Photographer)

Let’s be honest. There are blessings and curses when it comes to being married to a photographer. The curses? You always have the be photo ready. The camera will come out AT ANY POINT. Messy bun, no makeup, and sweatpants? That’s fine, but you better expect it to live eternally on the coffee table photo book for everyone you know to thumb-through.

No, I’m serious. You can’t even wake up without the camera being out. Some days I seriously want to break all the cameras (but I don’t because that’s our livelihood, and I’m not that crazy).

Let me give you an example. This picture below is in our 2014 coffee table photo-book. And every. single. ONE. of my friends has seen it when they come over.


You see the way I feel in the picture? I still feel that way some days when the hubs thinks he’s being covert, sneaking from behind his back this massive, bulky Mark III that I can spot from across the room. Heck, I can sense it coming out even when my back is turned.

To me, it can inhibit a moment.

But to Cole, every scenic drive, every view from a porch, every random, seemingly insignificant moment is a chance to remember, to re-live, to tell a story. It’s the way he shows that he values this moment, not that he’s trying to interrupt it.

See, the bulky box doesn’t sneak out unless Cole is moved by how important a moment is.

I love him for that.

I also sometimes do not love him for that. I don’t know if you have a photo-loving family member, but sometimes it’s like I just want to wash the dishes to wash the dishes, not to remember this moment of washing the dishes forever. Actually I don’t even want to wash the dishes right now, so please don’t make me remember it!

As a writer, I don’t have much ammunition against this. I mean, what am I going to say? You better stop it, Cole, before I get my pen out and write something horrible about you in my notebook. Don’t make me get the pen out!

As a woman, like all women, who notices her every extra pound or blemish or unflattering outfit, it’s hard when any moment could be one that ends up on your wall forever, for everyone to look at.

But, I’ll be honest. The blessings seriously outweigh the curses.

When I’m not stuck on myself and how I look and what people will think when we put our memories in a book, I realize that these really are the moments of life that we all want to remember.

You know, the pajama moments. The don’t-give-me-that-look moments. The little-ones-ruining-the-dining-room-centerpiece-because-they-were-running-to-give-you-a-hug moments. Yes, even the dishes can be a moment you want to remember (though I haven’t quite gotten there yet).

Cole is a wonderful leader in that way. While I’m a big picture, big-moment thinker, he loves the details. He loves our everyday. Just the other day, we had a conversation about it.

I ranted. “No more pictures! Put that camera away. We have a million, and let’s be honest. I look like a homeless person right now.”

“Ash, I’m not taking a photo because you happen to look good in this particular moment.”

“I know, but I still look like a vagabond,” I retorted.

“Yes, and not all of life is picture-perfect. I like the days you look like a vagabond. Those are my favorite days. I want to remember those, too. I want to remember those most.

Knowing that there was no way to argue without looking consumingly vain, I ultimately conceded, but made sure to shoot him a look that said I clearly wasn’t happy about it (which he of course documented).

In that conversation, Cole reminded me that this is the stuff of real life, the things going on behind the all the “highlight reels” that people post on social media.

This is our actual life together– vagabond hair and dishes in all their messy glory.

I realize in our three years together that the blessing to be able to remember any moment you want to is an astonishing one.

So I’m thankful.

I’m thankful that God has given me three years with the man who loves the messy moments.

Here are the pictures of our anniversary shoot done by our (baller!) partner photographer Brett Seay. Her work is seriously incredible. I’ve included the professional, editorial-type photos. But I’ve also included some behind-the-scenes moments, too, to remind myself and you that having cool photos is great, but life is not an editorial.

It’s a messy, funny, crazy journey made up mostly of our vagabond moments with a few I-actually-feel-like-I-have-it-together moments sprinkled in. And then years later we look back and realize, nope. I was just as much a mess in that high-and-mighty moment, too.

So here we are in year 3, a mess, trying not to look like one in pictures taken by an incredible photographer who has a way of making the mess shine through in a beautiful way.



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