Behind the Scenes of our Six Year Pittsburgh Anniversary Shoot
You may have read that we had not invested in photos of ourselves since our wedding day SIX years ago. Our treasured engagement and wedding photos hang all over our home. The only problem is that six years ago we were 22 and 23 year olds just out of college. And it shows. We look SO young! But I kept putting off having updated photos done because I believed it was only something to do for HUGE milestones in life: Marriage and babies. But then I realized that was silly, and our life now is worth documenting. So Naz agreed and we began the process of locking down all of the logistics to making these anniversary photos happen.
Our schedule was filling up too quickly and we were trying to maintain some semblance of balance in our life. We had a random free weekend in May and decided to block that off for some much needed rest and time *alone* together. That was supposed to mean no work and no commitments. As fate would have it, an available shoot date with our photographer turned out to be on the weekend we had blocked off. We decided this would be a fun date addition to our relaxed weekend.
It did not take long for more commitments to come up and work to get scheduled. Suddenly our long, relaxing weekend was getting shorter and shorter and life was just getting busier and busier. On my to-do list was to get everything taken care of for this six years in the making photo session. Where to have the pictures taken? What to wear? How do we pose? What to do with my hair?
However, under the pretense of busy, the logistics of this photo session were pushed to the back burner while life continued to move at lightning speed. The "special weekend" approached rapidly. Suddenly there was no time to even think about buying new outfits - although I had had dreams of a long, flowy Rent the Runway style dress. Oh well. We would have to "settle" for something we already owned. But what? I hadn't even done my nails. Worst of all: We had yet to solidify what location we were even going to go to. I put so much pressure on finding a location that was "us" yet wanting a California coast level look (not exactly "us" seeing as we are Pittsburghers ;)
Then, just like that, we find ourselves in the midst of a busy Saturday morning: Naz gone at a shoot all day and me stressing out about wanting our pictures to be perfect but failing to plan the logistics necessary to make that happen due to the craziness of our schedule. He finally gets home late afternoon, about an hour before we had to go. I had still not decided what we would wear and was getting more frantic by the minute. Did I mention I had just drowned my phone earlier that morning so it was soaking in rice, as I said prayers for it's revival?
Typically when Nazari gets home, he comes to find me with a "hello" and a kiss. However, not on this day. He does not come up to greet me or see if I need any help. And I "can't" go downstairs to him because I am scurrying to get everything ready to go. I don't feel as though I should call him upstairs as I have convinced myself he doesn't care about this weekend together, or these photos. I get more upset by the minute. So you can imagine my temperament 35 minutes later, after stewing that entire time, when he does finally stroll upstairs, oblivious that anything is wrong.
Somehow, I am near tears. What had happened to this precious weekend? Where was the rest and relaxation. And WHY did he not seem to care that I'm drowning in overwhelm overthinking all the missed details and believing the untruth that he doesn't care about me. He is blindsided (which probably just made me more upset). Immediately he's (understandably) irritated with my attitude and in disbelief that I'm anything but happy. We exchange words that are far from kind.
But it's time to go. We have an appointment to take photos To go act in love. This doesn't help.
As you can see, at some point in that 20 minute drive downtown, we made up. We had a blast running around our favorite city with our favorite photographers turned friends. Everything worked out and exceeded anything we could have hoped for. When we see our gallery of images, we can't stop smiling. We don't think of the silly fight beforehand and the novice lack of communication. We see two people who are more in love than ever after six years of sharing life and working through conflicts: some trivial, others on a much grander scale. Striving to minimize the assumptions and miscommunications referenced above. Working to do better the next time. And praising God for grace in the process. And the fact that while we are far from perfect, and stories like the one above are oh so painful, its the process of working through them that makes us stronger and brings us closer.
Here is the beautiful blog of images from the extraordinary Jenna Hidinger Photography. It is our highlight reel. One we will treasure always, possibly even more because of the gritty behind the scenes not pictured. ;)
And here are a few of our favorites from the day: