After spending three days at Winvian Farms I can say that a tomato can change your life, or at the very least can change your perception. You can have a food experience so delicious and so profound that it leaves you inspired to create something amazing of your own. Food is an integral part of the Winvian Farms experience. Their farm to table restaurant headed up by Chef Chris Eddy has been awarded 5 Diamond recognition year after year. Not only is the food beyond amazing, it is also grown on site. Each leaf, fruit and vegetable soaked up nutrients from the earth beneath our feet and was drenched in the same sunlight we felt on our faces. Our first day at Winvian Farms we took time to wander the grounds and explore the gardens. Cascading cherry tomatoes were truly the center piece of the garden for us. Their colors were a rainbow of hues transitioning from green to yellow and at their ripest a bright red. I have a deep respect for the artistry and knowledge required to work the land and create delicious food with the fruits of your labor.
Why would anyone bother to grow their own food when they could get something just as high quality in a market? What is the point? Why would anyone go to all that trouble? On the surface one could say that being directly connected to the food source allows for more control over the final product. Which fertilizers are used and the type of seeds planted would yield a tomato that would taste a certain way or have a particular color. This idea that the process puts us in control of the outcome is true, but with creativity and the artist, I think the energy actually flows the other way.
Know the land know the people
Going through the process of cultivation and getting to know your subjects or ingredients affects your inspiration and creative ability. Our process of getting to know our clients is more about us understanding them than it is about us being able to control what they do or who they are on wedding day. We form a relationship based on trust with the people and families we photograph. I believe that people who cultivate the land for food also build a trusting relationship with the earth. The root of all love is understanding and the true spark of creativity comes from love. We give and take from each other with the common goal of creating something beautiful. It is the artists connection and understanding of their subject that makes for stellar work.
No matter what, a tomato will be a tomato and our couples are going to be themselves. Tomatoes much like people are varied in size, shape, color, texture, and taste. A chef can cook a tomato to highlight its sweet flavor or complex tangy qualities. A tomato’s color and shape can be used in a composition on a plate the same way we compose the human form within a frame. A gardener chef can see the beauty in a tomato. Natural forms, unusual taste, or irregular color make it special, not flawed.
As we continue on our journey as wedding photographers, we move closer and closer towards a vision of wedding day which encompasses a full spectrum of human experience and emotion. We love lightness and darkness, highlights of joy and mysterious or unresolved emotions below the surface are what we look to capture on wedding day. Justine and Sola are brave clients who don’t shy away from who they truly are but choose to embrace it instead. Young and old, happy and the sad. It is okay to feel a little bit of sadness on wedding day. To feel sad that you are fully leaving home and creating a new family, or maybe just simply realize that you are part of the wheel of time. We see the old wedding photographs of our grandparents surrounded by flowers displayed as a memorials and realize that one day it will be our faces there.
Approaching character traits not as flaws, but as an important parts of a complex and beautiful being lets us think beyond a strictly exterior documentation. We strive to create candid images that capture people as they are in all their glory on wedding day.
What we want for ourselves we also want for our clients; truth and storytelling that gets beneath the surface.
I know who I am. I know that I am a complex human. I’m not two dimensional. I am simultaneously ugly and beautiful, perfect and flawed. It is these things that make up who I am, and that’s what I want to pass on to future generations… the truth of who I am and the truth of where they come from. We want this same respect for the truth for our clients as well. In that truth and the balance of nature, joy is contrasted with sadness. In embracing this range of emotion, we aim to preserve these memories with depth, rather than superficiality. The Wheel of Time will continue moving on alongside the farm. Old trees grow alongside the fresh sprouts of spring.
Justine and Sola, thank you so much for bringing us to Connecticut to photograph your wedding. We are grateful for your support of the work we are producing and the creative journey we are on. Thank you so much for being so real and honest with us in the days leading up to your wedding and for sharing your hearts with us so candidly.