In the Spring of 2011, an incredible group of musicians walked into my life, changing it irrevocably. The Brownchicken Browncow String Band of West Virginia played a gig at the small neighborhood bar I was working at in New Orleans and we all took to each other instantly. By that summer, I was the caboose on the Chicken Train, traveling with them around the East coast of the United States and photographing them at many different venues. It was the happiest summer I’ve ever lived and while those memories will stay with me for a lifetime, I’ve been afforded the opportunity to create more memories with these guys!
Justin was always the most level-headed of the group; he is calm, collected, and seriously cool. He’s a man of few words but when he speaks it’s either profound or profoundly funny. When I found out that he and his girlfriend, Maya, had gotten engaged I was ecstatic! Maya is kind, sweet, beautiful and has a devotion to Justin that can be seen in the way she looks at him. Maya has the same power with words that Justin has- she often says things that I cannot believe came out of the mouth of such a pocket-sized ball of sweetness. But that is exactly why I adore her and why she and Justin are a perfect match.
When they asked me to photograph their wedding I was in tears of joy. I felt so honored for them to want me to be a part of their day sharing their perfect love. What had originally intended to be a Maui wedding turned into a New Orleans elopement. While you can imagine I was a little bummed about not being able to photograph them on such a beautiful backdrop as Maui, the ceremony they had was so perfect for them there’s no way I would have had it any other way. They had a Voodoo “broom jumping” ceremony on Halloween in the Faubourg Marigny neighborhood of New Orleans. In order to have such a ceremony, they were tasked with finding very specific items- a broom that had never swept the ground, two pennies, and pink champagne- and enjoyed spending the day hunting them down together. At their ceremony, everyone arrived in costume- including their Voodoo officiant and their photographer (see below!)- and it was a beautiful celebration of a stunning love.
You may be wondering why I’m just posting these now. Well, I finally got the chance to photograph Justin and Maya on Maui just a few weeks ago! We did a wonderful newlywed shoot on the beach and I am excited to share the images! But first, I give to you Justin and Maya’s New Orleans Voodoo Elopement.