Janine and Jeff’s wedding was a celebration that was a long time coming. Not only for the couple but also for the kids, family and friends, including me.
I first met Janine 10 or so years ago at a wedding photographer get together in Kansas City. She lives in Council Bluffs, Iowa and owns and operates JM Studios and decided to come to Kansas City for the afternoon and meet some fellow people in the business. We started talking and have been friends ever since. Over the years we have grown close and have been a open ear for each other through all of life’s changes. She consistently impresses me with her ability to have a positive attitude no matter what life throws at her all the while balancing a business and raising two wonderful children. A couple of years ago she called me one day to say her marriage was ending. The months following were difficult for her as she continued the balance of work, children and dealing with the change in her life. She remained positive throughout it all. Then I got a call she had met “a boy” as she put it and told me all about Jeff. They both soon realized how hard dating is with work, and family demanding their time and attention. So they did the best they could and spent time getting to know each other at breakfast dates over pancakes. It was awesome to see my friend so happy. Jeff was perfect for her and for her children. They quickly became a tight family unit. So, when I received a phone call telling me of the upcoming wedding I was thrilled and honored to be asked to photograph it. This wedding had so much meaning and story it was hard to keep up. Fortunately, Janine had the genius idea of asking our good friend and talented photographer Kirsten Lewis to help out that day photographically and I was grateful to have her.
Being able to document an event of someone close to you is not something that happens often but when it does it is special. Every aspect of their wedding at Sawmill Hollow Farm in Missouri Valley, Iowa had meaning. For starters Janine asked fellow photographer and Foundation Workshop friend Verna Pitts to be her officiant for the ceremony. Verna is a special lady that means a lot to all of us. Having her there was perfect. The food for the night was fresh pancakes flipped onto the plates of hungry guests as a tribute to those breakfast dates, desert was ice cream from the shop next door to Janine’s studio, and guests threw ice cream sprinkles at their exit. Throw in the prefect mix of close family and friends, an unexpected rain storm, and an acoustic performance of Wagon Wheel to end the night and it just could not get any better. Being able to document this wedding, shooting with Kirsten, and having my wife and kids there made my time in Iowa something I will never forget. Thanks Janine and Jeff for trusting me.
Janine’s son Caleb in his room.
Janine getting her make up done.
Janine is known for her perfect fish lip faces from her childhood.
Caleb getting some help from Jeff with his tie. Photo by Kirsten Lewis
Last minute potty break before the ceremony. Photo by Kirsten Lewis
Janine’s son Caleb bought a box at the school store with his own money to carry the rings as part of his ring bearer duties.
Photo by Kirsten Lewis
What turned out to be one of the best things of the wedding was the rain. Even though the band had to pack up early they ended the night on the porch with an amazing acoustic rendition of Wagon Wheel. Everyone was singing along as Janine and Jeff danced the last dance. Photo by Kirsten Lewis