If you sit me down with a cup of coffee or some great tea and ask me about my grandma I can easily talk to you about her for days. She was the kindest woman you’d ever meet, never met a stranger. She was a Murphy – as Irish as they come, which meant she loved a strong cup of tea in the afternoon and an occasional whiskey in the evening. 😉
If you know anything about me you know that my grandmother was a lot of things in my life, one of my best friends, a role model, more like a mother than a grandmother in many ways, and helped me find my love of photography. She was fabulous and I wish you could have known her.
She was known for turning her living room into a full-fledged photo studio. Backdrop, studio lighting, the whole situation. She was also known for grabbing her camera and running from the house because she saw beautiful light down by the lake and just needed to capture it while she had a moment. Loved watching the deer, she loved buying people gifts, she did not bake pies. She would have told you that. She also would have followed that tidbit up with the mater of fact statement that she simply wasn’t “that kind of grandma”, although she knew exactly which roadside stands to buy them from.
I bought her a coffee mug that she only used for tea that said “Amazing Grace” on it (her name was Grace) and you’d have thought I bought her a car. She had a way of making you feel like the most special person in the world.
I mean, I’m biased. But I’m correct.
To me, she was my grams, my steady place through my life, and my legacy to aspire to. For so many others, hundreds (she always regretted not counting), she was their wedding photographer. She captured the most important moments within their lives, watched as their babies grow, and gushed about how stunning and gorgeous they looked in their dresses.
I have strong memories of sitting on her living room floor watching her put together wedding albums. Back in the day, wedding albums were books that were printed images and then hand pieced together. Page by page, photo by photo. It was tedious work I’m sure, but she never seemed to mind. She loved telling the final story, building albums for her couples, and always commenting about how this couple’s babies, and then their babies would be able to look through it someday.
I’m sure many of those grandbabies are enjoying those albums by now.
When we design albums it’s a different process. It’s state of the art. We use technology specifically designed to create the best album for our couples. I personally design all of our albums. I design them big, I don’t want to make the final call on the most important moments of your day, and then we walk through the final design together. Most of our couples upgrade their albums in some way, adding spreads, or creating something custom to remember their day because they too value what a wedding album means. Once that process is completely done it goes through a final proof and retouches making sure every spot is perfect. Something that wouldn’t have been unimaginable when my grandma was photographing weddings. Then we send the completed design to our album company which then begins the process of hand-building a wedding album. We use a company which is well known as the best in the world at what they do. They use the best ink technology, the best colors, the best papers, and the best stitching techniques to build a story that deeply I hope you’re grandkids will pull off the coffee table one day and oooo and awww over what you looked like in your wedding dress. Because I bet you looked amazing.
Times have changed. I use to tease my grandma that our albums were better than hers were, but the reality is that every time I design a wedding album I think of her. I remember laying on her living room floor as a child watching her lovingly build a legacy for someone else and I’m grateful to be able to do the same for someone. Every time I hold one of our albums I remember that grandma always knows best.