This is not one of my usual happy blog posts, in fact it's quite the opposite. Recently I was charged with the sad task of retrieving these wedding images from my archives because the groom, Todd, passed away very suddenly at the young age of 32.
Sacha and Todd were married on a sunny, breezy day in September of 2002 in the Garden of the Gods. They had come all the way from Kentucky to tie the knot here in the Rocky Mountains. I remember their wedding distinctly because it was such a pleasure for me to be part of their day -- not only was I the photographer, I was the sole witness! The ceremony was officiated by my dear friend Reverend Judith Spicer, who has also since passed on. I have many fond memories of working the occasional elopement with her, just like Sacha and Todd's ceremony.
I received a call from Sacha last month. Oddly enough, she and Todd had crossed my mind not too long ago because I had shot a tiny elopement in September that reminded me of them. So I was very surprised to hear from her. Through tears she explained that Todd apparently had a congenital heart condition that no one was aware of, and that he suddenly collapsed and died on October 8th. She very much wanted a few prints from their wedding to remember him by. I recalled that they were so poor that they had only ordered a bare minimum of prints back in 2002, so I reassured her that I would send her everything. It was heartbreaking for me to look at these images again and see how happy they were that day. I cannot imagine what Sacha must be going through.
I only shot one roll of film at Sacha and Todd's wedding, a mere 36 exposures. Nowadays that would be unheard of -- with digital we shoot so many pictures it's ridiculous. I like to think that what I captured in 36 exposures will help preserve Todd's memory for Sacha and their families, and that Sacha and Todd's infant son will one day look at his father's face in these images and see himself.