Back in 2013 when you asked me to photograph your wedding in the Dominican, I was taken aback. Why on earth would these two wonderful creatures want a barefoot rucksack wandering amateur photo journalist- not even a 'photographer'- to fly out with them to a tropical paradise to document this beautiful union? You barely knew me, and for whatever reason wanted me to be a part of the Shamber experience.. and it forever changed my life.
The two of you succeeded at pushing me miles outside of my comfort zone.. literally. I got on a plane, went somewhere tropical, and photographed a wedding?! Those are most usually three hard no's in my book. I can't imagine my life now without having been that part of yours. I have never met two people more obviously in love. With one another, with the beautiful family you have created together, with life and everyone in it. I was then- and still am- eternally honoured to have been included in your journey.
I was hesitant at first about the whole thing. I didn't know anyone else who would be attending besides you two, the bride and groom. I have anxiety that can get quite intense at times, hate flying, can't handle the heat, and felt very overwhelmed about being relied upon to document this momentous event.
Shane quite often took the time to check in on me, to make sure that I was comfortable. He reassured me constantly that it would be okay, everything would work out fine, and you'd both love the photos, and loved me being there with you. I felt bad that I was taking up his and your time with these reassurances, for being invited back to your suite in the evenings for a drink and a chat. But he wouldn't let me feel bad or guilty or in the way.
As the week progressed and I got to know the rest of the Shamber crew, I eased up quite a bit. I quickly overcame the anxiety that had me choked, and I was able to enjoy the rest of the week with this amazing group of family and friends. It ended up being one of my most memorable adventures to date.
This whole experience set the tone for the rest of my life. I gained the confidence I needed to choose a path for myself that was more outgoing, that allowed me to 'talk to strangers' more comfortably, and to step outside of my comfort zone over and over and over again. Without this I don't know where I'd be. Probably still hiding from the world in a dank basement, working the night shift to avoid human interaction. He changed me, you all did. I couldn't be more grateful.
Shane may be gone from the physical plane, but the energy and love and joy that he had instilled in everyone he came across will surely live on forever. Thank you...
Please share their story, and contribute to the GoFundMe page set up to help cover costs in this difficult time.
If you would like to help me get home from the west coast to attend Shane's celebration of life, please order yourself or a loved one a gift from my Scentsy store. As Amber is my scentsy mama, she will also benefit from my sales. Thanks for reading and sharing. Stay blessed!