Jess & Drew

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Drew & Jess invited me to shoot their elopement in the New England National Park. I drove down the day before to meet them and do some scouting and shooting, and the following day was their elopement: a secret ceremony in the Gondwana rainforest. It's hard to describe how beautifully strange the day was: in the morning we were walking through ash-fields where forest fires had been burning just hours earlier, the landscape cloaked in a smoky haze: by evening we were standing in the clouds, with rain falling around us. And the ceremony was like a kind of wilderness theater: when Drew & Jess walked down the aisle and into the circle of their friends, the rain began to fall down through the Antarctic Beech trees. And then the sun came out and struck through the canopy and filled the glade with eerie yellow light, flickering in the brook that ran by us; and then it became dark again, with ominous thunder; and light once more, with birds singing. And the rain came and went, seemingly at every poignant moment, as though a director was orchestrating it all.

It was magic to be there to experience it, and an honor to have been chosen to photograph it. Drew is an Australian Geographic photographer, and the forest is one of his great passions. He and Jess have spent a lot of time there, exploring and shooting. It seemed to me that the forest had opened it's arms to them that day, like a familiar and welcoming friend, showing off it's many moods and gently, playfully putting on a show for them.