Eric & Heather

The Promise.  That was the name of the song they danced to during their first dance as a married couple.  The Warwick Melrose Hotel's ballroom set a gilded, turn-of-the-20th century scene that something to behold.  A decade of wedding photography often means few things surprise me.  That's part of why we are exceptional at what we do.  We a re prepared and know what is coming and nothing is going to shake us.  We are ready.  Yet, in a good way, every now and then, I am surprised by an emotion during a wedding, and that is the case with Mowry wedding during their first dance.  At first I thought it was Johnny Cash singing but no.  Once the dance was over and the couple were taking a break I was so moved by the moment I had to ask who the singer was of the song.  Sturgill Simpson.  Go give it a listen and you'll be as surprised as I was.  It was a special moment to remember.   Nicholas L. Laning   ...

BASIL LANING

Basil died on Thanksgiving Day. When we found him, I knew he was dead before I even reached his body.  Son of a rancher.  I’ve seen lots of death.  His velvet puddle of a face lay cold and still in my hands.  All I could hear is Hannah wailing in sorrow, occasionally managing to push out his name between the heaves, “Basssssill.”  Despite whatever I thought I might think or feel when then day came, I thought and felt nothing at first, nothing but tearing inside myself.  No thoughts would come to me.  It was as if I didn’t move, didn’t accept the moment it wouldn’t be real.  After a couple minutes my mind lurched forward through the haze, and my first realization was that it was Thanksgiving Day.  My boy died on Thanksgiving Day.  That’s when the memory hit me… You see, it’s not the first time Basil has brushed up against death.  His stomach flipped years ago and was saved because I knew what to look for and we got him to the vet with but a couple minutes to spare.  So fast did it all happen that I helped put him up onto the operating table and stayed in there throughout the entire surgery as they released the trapped pressure then sewed his stomach to the abdomen wall so to prevent it from ever happening again.  Last year he came within an inch of death, again.  A virus ravaged his body, and for days he shook with fever and pain as the vets gave him IVs and meds to give him a chance at fighting it off.  At one point, in between trips to the vet, I just lied down next to him as he shook and trembled.  One of the greatest joys in my life over the last decade has been to come spoon my big mammoth son of a dog.  Every time I would do so I could feel endorphins and joy and happiness coursing through me.  Not this time.  He was my boy, and it ripped my guts out as my fingers tips fell in the ever deepening valleys between his ribs as his body wasted away.  The longer I lied there with him the more the darkness grew around me.  I was spiraling under a wave a horror, rage, and disgust at the thought of losing him.  Hannah, watching me with concern from our bed,...