The bushfires in the Mount Lofty Ranges north of Adelaide started a little over 2 weeks after I had been there to photograph for Nik and Jess. Their wedding had been held on a beautiful farm in a small town called One Tree Hill, about 30km north of the city. It was strange but I kept checking the progress of the bushfires to see if it was heading that way. On a day that peaked at 37.7 deg C with strong winds, it wasn’t looking good. Over the next few days, the temperatures eased and fire authorities managed to get the fires under control with the loss of 27 houses and thankfully no lives – and the farm was also safe. The experience again reminded me how quickly something can be taken away. One minute it’s there, the next it’s gone and we need to appreciate and love what we have.
And if we talk about love and appreciation, Jess and Nik are one of those beautiful couples that display it in spades. They met in high school nearly 8 years earlier and struck me as being completely in sync. They’re gentle and respectful around each other and you can see that they dearly love being together. And they have lots of love to share – the moment I walked in the door to first see Jess on her wedding day, she literally skipped over to give me a huge hug. I can still remember how tightly she grabbed me and how happy she was to have me there. For me, that’s just the best feeling, you know you’re going to be part of the celebration rather than simply the photographer. And that’s exactly how it was – I went to Nik’s place and his dad was offering me some of the traditional Croatian spirits practically as I arrived. I probably spent just as much time talking to their friends and family at the reception as I did taking photos but that’s just the kind of day it was. It was easy to see from the people around them how these two teenagers had grown into amazing adults. Their wedding may have been a long time coming but they’d already spent years building their lives and it was humbling to be invited into it for a day.