About 3 weeks ago, I had the privilege of shooting the wedding of Ann Wells Clifton and Blake Farman. They chose the scenic background of Ocracoke Island, North Carolina as the place to get married. If you are unfamiliar with Ocracoke Island, let me try and give you some idea of what, and where that is in our beautiful nation. To get there from here, you first have to drive up I-95 for about 4 hours. At that point, you get off the Interstate and follow a State highway to what is known as the Outer Banks.
I had always heard of the Outer Banks before, but I had no idea that this area of land was actually, a literal strip of land about 10-15 miles off the coast of North Carolina. So, at any given time, you are on a highway that cuts down a narrow piece of land that is about 30 yards wide. You can see the ocean on one side of you, and on the other side is even more ocean. It truly is surreal. This highway, on average, moves at about 35-55 miles an hour. Which means, you best not be in a hurry for something. And after that, you still have to ride a ferry for 40 minutes to get on the island. Once you get on the island, it is like the world as you know it stops in time. It is an hour an a half to the nearest major grocery store, and about 5 hours to the nearest Target.
You are immediately surrounded by life of another time. Cars and trucks move to the side for golf carts and bicycles. And, it becomes apparent that having a boat is a way of life on the island. The pelicans and seagulls constantly move in the most magnificent of blue skies, while the island residents walk around waving to each other with this inner peace that cannot be described. It truly is a magical place that is so far removed from what you and I might call the “civilized world.”
As soon as we arrived, the wedding excitement began. The rehearsal dinner was in full swing, and the night’s festivities were about to begin. And, as I was mingling about with the wedding guests, I started to realize something special about this wedding. I started to realize how wonderful it is to be involved with one of the happiest of occasions that one can be a part. A wedding is a grouping of friends and family from both sides, coming together in celebration of two people making the ultimate commitment. This commitment has been trivialized in our society, but it is celebrations like this that makes me feel as if it is coming back. And, it was a celebration. The lights, the DJ and the energy of the guests prompted me to start playing with my camera. I started to “drag” my shutter while the party carried on into the night. I was able to capture this image of Ann singing at the top of her lungs, while her closest friends danced around her. I truly think that this image should be on an album cover!
Later that night, after the party was over, we walked back to our rooms at the The Berkley Manor. You have to see this place, and let the owners tell you about it, to really begin to appreciate it. Stories like, the builder drew the plans for this house out in the sand, and his pony went everywhere with him. (Even inside the house.) And, as I was standing outside in the driveway telling Lisa about how wonderful this place was, I looked in the sky and noticed that I could see every star. I forgot how much that humbles me. It is the little things like that, that the civilized world takes from us. This wedding had given me this gift back. 😀