So much laughter. Stephen and Greta are always completely themselves, which means so much laughter and so much ridiculousness. I am inspired by people who can let loose and be 100% present in the moment. I am inspired by the freedom of the now. I want to always create a space where people can be themselves uninhibitedly. This is where honest imagery is created. Stephen and Greta create that space wherever they are. Stephen began jumping in the middle of our shoot at Cone Manor in the NC mountains, remembering that he needed to get his 20 jumps in for the day in order to build up his bones. Greta started laughing hysterically and a space of boundless joy opened up. Watching the two of them interact is watching a young, vibrant love that you know will never fade. They are playful and lighthearted. They are hilarious and adventurous. I love that they can have a soft, quiet moment together and in the next breath run, jump, and laugh uncontrollably.
Stephen proposed to Greta deep in the woods near Cone Manor overlooking the mountains. After Stephen asked Greta to be his partner in life and she said yes, they walked back down the path to a picnic table filled with lanterns and dessert and enjoyed an evening picnic together celebrating their commitment to one another. When I think of Stephen and Greta, I think of the endless intimate, soft moments that they have together. The ones where it is just the two of them and all they can feel is the warmth of each other’s love.
Stephen and Greta have walked through challenging waters this past year. Stephen was diagnosed with two autoimmune diseases. I remember the day when Eddie and I were sitting at a brewery with the two of them and our other siblings and they broke the news to us. They were both broken and disheartened; as we all were when they told us what Stephen was up against.
But I have never seen two people fight so hard against unfortunate odds. They decided that they would not take the grim outlook the doctors gave them and became determined that with faith and a fight they could face anything together. Greta’s support for Stephen has been so beautiful to witness. They have completely changed their diets and the way that they live. They have shifted their priorities and have learned the depths of current sacrifice in order to protect their future. They have made me transform the way that I look at health and my future, but more importantly, they have shown me how to unconditionally support and love someone else and how to fight for one another. Their hope in one another is inspiring.
Contentment. That is what I see within the two of them. They are content and full with one another. You see it in Greta’s eyes when she is watching one of Stephen’s ridiculous acts and you feel it when Stephen wraps his arms around Greta’s shoulders.
It is always so much fun to see the way in which they fill one another with joy, but to be able to capture their raw love through photography is an honor. We had so much fun watching the sunrise above Blowing Rock and dancing and running through the fields of Cone Manor. It is always exciting to go back to the places that have become an intrinsic part of two people’s lives. Stephen and Greta—thanks for being an amazing reminder that each moment is precious and that there is always more room in the air for laughter.