It’s an old cliché. A picture is worth a thousand words. There are 73 pictures below, or the equivalent of 73,000 words according to folk wisdom. About the length of an average novel. But I don’t think even that many words would do the following story justice.
To be honest, I barely know where to begin in trying to tell this story in words. I need pictures to make sense of the world around me. And I need pictures to reassure me that what I remember is what really happened. Because sometimes the truth is hard to believe. A week before I had been photographing a beautiful outdoor wedding reception on a warm spring day in Sydney. And here I was on the other side of the world, during a long Swedish night on the cusp of winter, photographing an Orthodox wedding conducted in Romanian.
I suppose I should start with the couple at the centre of it all, Georgi and Andrei. Both were born in Romania. Like many of those from Eastern Europe, they travelled west in search of opportunity and adventure and ended up in Stockholm, where they met, fell in love and decided to marry. And through the sort of online communication that in our modern connected world can bring complete strangers from other sides of the world together, I ended up in Stockholm photographing their amazing spectacle of a wedding.
A few days after their wedding, I was still in Stockholm and met up with Georgi and Andrei for lunch. We ate and shared a few drinks and talked for hours—about our pasts, where we have come from and the people in our lives who matter, and about our futures, our dreams for what is yet to come. It’s one of the things I really love about what I do—being invited by people I hardly know into the most important day of their life and both sharing and documenting the experience. And through that, these people I meet go from being strangers to lifelong friends.