Last October, had you asked me who my favorite wedding photographers were, you would have gotten some of the answers many people I know give: Amelia Lyon (and that cool West Coast vibe), Jasmine Star (probably the best business woman in wedding photography), and a few others. But there was a recent addition to the list that most of my friends hadn’t had the pleasure of seeing yet.
I can’t remember where I first saw it. It was likely some sort of letterpress blog, as the reception was adorned with some beautiful old wood type, but it wasn’t those blocks of wood that spoke to me. It was this evocative sense of honest, human love in every photo. Certainly, the photographer was helped by such a(n honestly) stylish couple; from the handmade clothes to the Vogue shoot in your livingroom arrangement of the bridal party. But there was such a story there, being told by some savant with a camera.
When I saw that name in my email – Clayton Austin – I could barely contain myself. I was in some meeting I couldn’t stand to be in and it took every bit of patience for me to wait until we dispersed to read the body. We might just be on the same page and could we discuss the possibility of me working on some thank you cards?
Over the course of this journey, I learned just how intentional it was that those first images were honest views of a couple – one who would experience the throes of passion and the loneliness of selfish fights. No marriage is all roses and no spouse perfect (facts I seem to prove more often than I care to admit), but true love works through the messiness and grows old in an honest love and awe for your partner.
And here is the result. A hand-made paper letterpress printed – one pass at a time – in three colors (well, two colors and one blind pass), an accent stripe of hand-dyed muslin, stamped by hand and sewn together – one at a time on the Singer I borrowed from my wife. A wax seal, hand applied (as you can clearly see – practice will make perfect) finishes of the package. Sensing a pattern here? Sometimes the process is more important than the product. Sometimes they’re both equally important.
all photos by Clayton Austin
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