I first met Jackie over drinks with a mutual friend (Hi, Peter!), and I remember immediately thinking she was cool. It was one of those moments when I got a strong sense of the person I was talking to without knowing much about her life. She was witty, friendly, at ease with herself. When it came time to leave the bar, she mentioned a boyfriend and I thought: whoever he is, he’s probably fantastic. Someone this cool must be in a great relationship.
So I wasn’t really surprised when I heard that she was engaged. When we met the couple to talk about photographing their wedding, my suspicion was confirmed: she’s found herself a gem. And so has he, of course. I got that warm glow I get when I meet two people who are utterly comfortable with each other and considerate of each other, who are about to make a permanent deal out of it.
The Jackie and Marcus photo shoot began, as all good days should, with a hearty brunch, then proceeded to The Forest of Nisene Marks State Park. Despite how stuffed to the gills we all were, these two did not hesitate to climb on every redwood stump we pointed to, and they perched on many a mossy log at our request. This shoot involved more hiking than any previous one, more yogic poses, more fording of woodland streams. I was grateful for their willingness to try so many of our ridiculous ideas, and impressed with their ability to make them work.
I found myself falling under the spell of their sweet, easy romance, their obvious chemistry. They looked so right together, and whenever we left them alone for a minute, they flirted with each other. It was pretend flirting that quickly became real, if you can picture that. There was a moment when they were standing on a bridge looking at each other when I thought of a quote from a great work of literature (though I couldn’t remember which work until later): Whatever our souls are made of, his and mine are the same.
Turns out that line is from Wuthering Heights. Which was a funny association to make, because Jackie and Marcus are not wild children like Catherine and Heathcliff, running around the moors getting drenched, experiencing fateful dog bites and plotting revenge on several generations of people. I believe their plans for the evening involved watching Lost with some friends. But you don’t have to live a life of drama and intrigue between the covers of a book to have a true union of souls.
Having already expressed my profound approval of their relationship to them in an email, and now having written this post, I think I should now hire myself out to anyone who will be giving a toast at their wedding. Loved ones of Jackie and Marcus, just send your rough drafts to me. I’ll have ’em polished and ready for October.