Just a few before I go to sleep. Today was a dream, and my whole heart is grateful in ways that words will never touch.
Registration for the next round of my online photography class opened yesterday, and there is so much I want to say. I want to share about how, when I was 5 years old, I spent my days playing school with my one-eyed, matted fur stuffed animals, feverishly scribbling across my chalkboard, my pretend lesson plans in hand. I want to share about how every single time I have taught online, over the last six years, these students have changed my life. Some have become best friends, business partners and my most favorite artists to follow. Gosh, there is so much I want to share, but I feel like showing you their work might speak louder than any words ever will.
Here are some of the students from my September black and white class. These women are incredible, their stories from all around the world are profound, and I am eternally grateful that I am able to hold the space, month after month, for such brave creating.
I would love to have you in my November class. It's the perfect season for curling up with a hot cup of tea, making a bunch of new friends from across the globe, and creating the best photos of your life.
Last weekend Thomas and Mel captured Anna and Aaron's wedding at Club Getaway in Connecticut. This awesome couple rented out the entire summer camp for the weekend and it was incredible!
I am often asked how we are able to deliver our images so quickly to our beloved couples. Our average is 7 days. The answer is simple: we keep the number of weddings that we accept each year incredibly small so that we can devote ourselves entirely to our people. There's no long list of events numbered and waiting for the never-ending editing pile. Not here. Instead, we all gather around our computers and relive the awesome memories of the day together, right after they happened. Because that's when the echoes of the day are still loud in our hearts; when we can still smell the flowers and hear the friends all singing/shouting along to the last song of the night. The magic is still palpable, the images, fully awake and alive. We are wedding photographers, but we aren't really wedding photographers, and if you understand what that means, then you understand why, of course we average one week delivery time.
We couldn't have it any other way.
These are your moments, the memories that will outlive us all, and they deserve to be treated like the most important photographs in the whole wide world. Because the thing is, we believe a hundred years from now, someone's grandchild's grandchild will stumble upon your wedding book, and in that moment they will feel, without any doubt, they actually are.
Four minutes ago, it became my 36th birthday. And I can promise you, never in my life have I felt so ready for what is to come.
There is always a tremendous amount of uncertainty when thinking about the future, but I hope there are things that remain unchanged. I initially wrote this as a list of things I hope to do this coming year, but then I realized, you know what? I already am. And going back and changing the, 'I hopes' and 'I wills' to 'I ams' felt so very beautiful.
My name is Michelle Gardella and I am 36 and,
I am finishing my novel.
I am devoting myself to physical health.
I am moving into the home we just bought and filling it with as much love as I possibly can. Roots feel so good.
I am dedicated to mindfulness and intention.
I am soaking in every second with my children and continuing to put them first. Sure touring the country promoting myself sounds great, but you know what's even greater for me? Volunteering every other day in my kid's schools and being there to tuck them in every single night. Nothing matters more to me and that's the truth. Nothing even comes close.
I am in need of the support and unconditional love of friends and family and I do my very best to give it right back.
I am meeting incredible women at the rivers.
I love naps. So much. Especially naps with the windows open.
I love wearing giant XXL sweatshirts around the house every chance I can.
I hold Thomas' hand in the grocery store even when I wanted to punch him in the eye two hours before. He's my person and that's all there is to it.
I have no way of knowing what tomorrow brings, but if I can hold on as tight as possible to these truths, I know my heart will be filled with flowers.