One day during my college years, I wondered why I was there. Academically, it was getting so difficult and the stress was immense. Then, it hit me that anything in life that’s good; like really good is hard to achieve. It takes time, patience, investment, and a lot of relentless effort. In other words, it’s hard work. I mean, isn’t that right? Marriage is hard, raising children is hard, college is hard, a good friendship is hard, success in anything is hard, having a business is hard… the list goes on. Anything good is hard work. That’s one thing we are trying to instill in our children; that life is not fair and it’s hard. When they respond with, “But, it’s too hard!” We always say, “That’s right and you can do it.”
On this blog, I begin with this because we are now old enough to know that anytime we face an obstacle, we know that we must endure it and good will come out of it. So, let me tell you in a nutshell the story behind the photos of this blog post and why posting this is such a big deal. Booking Nina + Nick was simply easy. Not all bookings are, but let me tell you… this couple made it so quick and simple. Through her photographer friend, Nina contacted us via Instagram and within days, her wedding in 2020 was booked. They’re excellent decision makers and we appreciate that very much. Craig usually meets our couples, but because they live in Savannah, they did a video chat. I’ve only seen them on Instagram, so for all of us, their engagement shoot would be the first time that we meet each other in person. After making everything official, we planned their engagement session in May, but guess what? We had to reschedule because the weather decided not to cooperate. Next scheduled date was in June. This time, the weather was FANTASTIC! I mean, as humid as Savannah can get in the summer, it just couldn’t have been better. So, Craig and I and one of our assistants who was going to film for us for CO Backstage Pass came and we began our road trip. Craig and I drive usually at least an hour for shoots and because we usually drive for vacations, so 4-5 hours on the road isn’t that bad to us at all. We kept the conversations going in the car, so we got there in no time. It was also our very first time at the beautiful Wormsloe Historic Site. This is one of Savannah’s signature tourist site, and we were so happy to be finally shooting here. Gosh, it was so gorgeous! We got there early to scope around the location and see where exactly Craig wanted to shoot. Nina texted me that they were 3 minutes away, so we waited for them by the gate. Then, she called me. “Uh oh… why is she calling?”, I wondered. As soon as I said, “Hello”, her voice didn't sound right. She was breathing heavily, and I knew something was wrong. They got into a car accident. WHAT?!!!!!! First and foremost, we asked if they were ok because in the end, that’s what matters. Thank God they were! Then, I soon learned that it was a four car pile up and two of them were theirs because they drove separately. Oh my word… I felt terrible. As I’m speaking to Nina on the phone, Craig has this concerned look on his face wondering what is going on. Nick was driving his mustang to have a few pics taken with it. We know how much he loves it so we hoped that the damages were not severe. This was not just a little fender bender. So, in that moment, none of us knew what to do. Do we wait? Do we pick them up? If we wait, how long? Do they need to go to the hospital? Do we just cancel and leave? All of us were trying to make a decision quickly. So, we waited a little while and then got another phone call. As most of you know, a car accident is a huge hassle and it was going to take some time to get things straightened out. The impact was big enough for them to get checked out at the hospital too. So unfortunately, we had to cancel. They kept apologizing and we felt terrible… Situations like this happen in life and it’s not anyone’s fault. We were so glad that they were ok and that we can totally reschedule the shoot. Can you guys believe that this happened? We’ve never had a story like this for a shoot or a wedding before. Craig and I decided to have early dinner there and just look around downtown Savannah a little and then head back to Atlanta. Nick even emailed us the sweetest email about how bad he felt. That’s when we knew that this couple was genuinely the most kind couple.
After things settled for them, we rescheduled again. They say, “third times the charm”, so that’s what we all hoped for. We had to wait another month, but again, anything good comes with time, endurance and patience… So, we patiently waited. Because they chose outfits for spring, they had to change outfits too because now in July, it was going to be crazy hot and humid in Savannah. The week of the shoot finally came and guess what, ya’ll? The forecast was calling for rain… LOTS of rain! “You have got to be kidding me.”, is what I said. Why?? Why……????? Have they not endured enough? It’s so hard to make a call when you just don’t know exactly if it’s going to rain or not. Especially because Savannah is almost 5 hours from us, we had to make a good decision. So, we all decided that no matter what, we should just go for it. We even wondered if they could come to Atlanta instead, but the forecast here was the same. Then, we had the idea of doing a morning shoot which meant that Craig and I had to begin our drive at the latest at 4am. But hey, we were willing to do it! One thing I love about my hubs is that he is very tenacious. So, that’s what we decided. Later that night, the forecast changed its mind again and there was just no way… the chance of rain was just way too high. So, we called it off. AGAIN. LOL! Really, we just all had to laugh it out. I mean, what is getting frustrated going to do, right? So, we all called it a night. Then, morning came… As soon as I opened my eyes that morning, I saw sunlight and then shook Craig to wake him up. He said, “what?” I responded with, “um…. why is it not raining?” Craig was like, “OH. MY. GOSH!” We quickly looked up the forecast on our phone and guess what ya’ll? It basically cleared up. By this time, it was 9:30am. To make their original shoot time, we had to leave here at least by 10:30am. Craig and I looked at each other and said, “Should we just go? Do you think they would be up for it and just go for it?” So, we called Nina. They had already taken the day off, so yes, they were totally up for it. So, we decided to go! But, my mom left to go to the gym after knowing that our shoot got cancelled, so we had no one to watch our kids. I called my mom asap and told her the situation and asked if she could please come back. I’m glad that she was able to answer my call in the middle of the Zumba class! lol She, without any hesitation, said, “Of course!” and came back to save the day. My mom is so helpful… if she knows that we need her especially for work, she will do anything for us. Now, everything seemed to be going well. It seemed that everything was getting put into its right place. We got ready as soon as we could and just headed out the door. The shoot began and 3pm and our eta was 2:30pm according to our GPS. We made one very quick stop and got there around 2:45pm. It was PERFECT! Wow!
You see, Nina and I got to become great friends over the last couple of months from texting each other with various things. But, I’ve never met her! So to see her finally in person was like being united with someone you haven’t seen in years. She came out of her car so excited. She was the HAPPIEST bride I’ve ever, ever, EVER seen! Her smile was so bright and we were all simply just so happy. Nick arrived in his Mustang and it was good to see that his car was fully restored from the accident. Nick is just as sweet as Nina, and when we all met, we gave each other hugs as we celebrated this victory! LOL! It was awesome! Yay!!!!! It was truly happening. From that moment on, nothing went wrong. NOTHING… absolutely nothing got in our way. They looked fabulous in their outfits and the scenery was as magnificent as we had imagined this location to be. It couldn’t have gone smoother. Craig was in photographer’s heaven. Every shot was coming out beautifully… he could have shot there for hours more. So happy that Nick was able to get a few shots with his car that he wanted too. After about an hour there, they changed their outfit and we had dinner together and got to know them more. I just LOVE talking to them! LOVE their personalities so much. It was our first time meeting them, but we talked like we’ve been knowing each other for years. It was GREAT! After the best Vietnamese food we’ve ever had, we headed to downtown Savannah for some causal shots. Then, we met the most beautiful sunset. Sunsets are something that’s out of our control for shoots. You either get them or you don’t. It’s something that you can’t “create”. But my oh my… there was one this evening, and it was GORGEOUS! Just see for yourself in the photos! After it was over, we sadly had to say our goodbyes…. After saying bye to them, I said to Craig these exact words. “I want to be Nina’s friend. Wish we lived closer.” Craig laughed so much. But seriously, I was not kidding… I’m so keeping in touch!
Ah…. we will always refer to Nina + Nick’s engagement shoot as the “photography miracle” shoot. Through this journey, we all had some disappointment, lost hope, and wanted to give up. But, look at the ending! Again, with anything good in life… with anything that’s worth fighting for, with anything that you truly want, it ain’t easy. It just isn’t. What if we did give up? What if we didn’t endure through all of this? The most beautiful things about this was that none of us got upset with one another. We all never lost respect, honor or kindness. In fact, we felt so bad when they kept saying, “I’m sorry.” No, I was sorry… we were fighting over who was more sorry. LOL… Oh wow, aren’t they the nicest couple, ya’ll? I just can’t wait for May of 2020. You know why? Because that’s the day that these two will be saying, “I do.”, and we have the honor of capturing that day, and I get too see my Nina again!!!!! hehe This time, “the show must go on” no matter what. Because even if there’s a tornado coming, we are going to get these two married! Nina + Nick, it’s been a joyful ride… it wouldn’t have been such a great story if you guys weren’t in it. We are so grateful for you and am I happy to be blogging this or what?! It’s done now. Woot woot! We did it! Love you guys dearly and see you in about 10 months. It’s going to be quite a day, so get ready to celebrate!
With much love,
Craig + Unchong
(PS - By the way, this is the longest blog post I’ve ever written for a wedding or engagement shoot. Just sayin’.)