New Blog Series! "What love looks like?"

Happy Wednesday Everyone! 

One of my favorite things as a photographer is that I see things through the lens that no one else realizes until they see their pictures. It's my job to capture all that emotion, and then tell their story. I have decided that I need to do a better job at the "telling the story part," rather than just posting pictures here, so I have decided that I am going to post a picture(s) that "looks like love to me", and share the story behind the picture. 

One thing to mention: if you are hoping that this will be a weekly posting of how perfect the people are in the picture, and their perfect life, etc., this ain't the blog for you! ;) In this day and age of Facebook, Instagram, and all the others, it's easy to look at someone's feed and want what they have.... The reality is we are all human, and no one has a perfect day or life! My whole motivation behind creating this blog was to remind everyone that the "imperfections" can be so beautiful, and help shape who we are. The challenge today will be writing this blog without crying the entire time since this story is so special to me! 

Meet Alex and Indranee Wijesinghe

Alex and Indranee at my aunt's wedding (25 years of marriage. Circa 1980)

Q: Why pick your grandparents to start off this series? 

A: They are the oldest love story that I can remember.

Q: What makes them unique? 

A: My grandparents were the perfect "odd" couple! As a child I remember wondering how on earth those two ended up together! 

My grandfather was no picnic. I really believed for the longest time he and I had very little in common. He wasn't the kind of grandfather that showed a lot of affection. He was highly opinionated, loved to compare his camera vs. mine to determine whose was better, and was known for not always saying the right thing at the right time. But more important than any of that...That man LOVED his family! He sacrificed so much to give our entire family a better life, he believed in always doing the right thing (even when it cost him at times), wrote love letters to my grandmother (the love of his life and his whole world), he was a true patriot (America was his home. And woe be it to anyone who had an unkind word to say about his home!), and most of all he was a Godly man. It wasn't until he died that I realized I had so much in common with him. For that I am thankful! 

My grandmother is another story all of its own. I always thought I had the most in common with her. I share a portion of my name with her (Stephanie Indranee), I like to think I am as patient as she is, and I definitely got my talent for wrapping gifts from her! She was the one who was always giving us hugs and kisses, read and played with us, and made it a point to be current on our love lives :) 

I realize now how important it is to have the qualities of both of them! 

Q: What do you think made their relationship work?


In all seriousness, yes lots of prayer made things work because of their love and devotion to God. But, they also loved each other in a way that I don't think that I can ever be able to put into words. The best I can do is give some examples of things I saw them do for one another that no one else could have done, or appreciated quite like the other. 

  • He always made sure all the knives were sharp in the kitchen for her, and she always cooked him dinner.
  • She always ironed his shirts and sprayed them with cologne, and he always made sure that she got roses on her birthday, Valentine's Day, and their anniversary. 
  • He didn't always say the right thing, and she was always sitting close enough to him to be able to kick him under the table :) 

It didn't always make sense to me, but it did to them. 

The Truth of it all: We can learn so much from both of them! 

While I love the picture I shared above, the picture I really wanted to post for this blog, I can't. My grandmother would kill me if I even dreamed of posting it because she's wearing her bathrobe. But it's a cellphone pic my dad texted us kids two days before my grandfather died. It was a picture of my grandmother holding a cup of water while my grandfather drank from it. And the text he wrote just said: true love. 

That's it. That is what 60 years together, and all those idiosyncrasies had translated to. That's what love looks like to me now. Those last few days and moments together, just doing the things for one that the other could no longer do. So when I see love now, I don't just think of beautiful wedding pictures, or cute family portraits, I think of the two of them trying to hold onto one another for as long as they could knowing that their time was short...Love is patient. Love is kind. But most of is REAL! 

Our whole family came home for the first time since Pappa's death a few weeks ago to celebrate my cousin's wedding. Walking through their house I kept expecting to hear him ask me some camera question, or sit in his chair to take a nap. Instead all that is left is the picture on the wall of him, and all the memories he left us with. 

For all of you out there that are so intent on having the perfect life together, I have news for you...IT AIN'T GONNA HAPPEN. But, if you take a moment every day to see all the beauty, and embrace the imperfections, I can promise you life will be more amazing that you can ever imagine! 

Until next time...

XOXO, Steph 

Just a few images from the amazing life they shared :)