Current circumstances aside, Kelsey & Jonathan's destination wedding in Old San Juan, Puerto Rico was a photographer's dream and that full wedding will be featured here soon, but I’d be remiss not to touch on the obvious: it’s kind of odd posting dreamy b&g portraits in Puerto Rico when the island is still in shambles after the catastrophic duo Irma and Maria devastated the island.
If anything, I feel these images are that more meaningful now that the island will never be quite the same after the storm. Just like New Orleans post Katrina and Houston post Harvey, a new strange spirit lives in the air of a rebuilt city. It's an unusual red pushpin in their timeline that will one day be written about as a turning point demographically, sociologically, physically, financially, etc. But it's more than that. It's hard to put a finger on it, but there is from then on an energy in the bones of the city- and not just in the physical lingering reminders- but particularly in the forged strength that masses of total strangers found together. It's permanently shaken-and-weary, but also this beautiful thing happens when perfect strangers have shared a traumatic experience.. when someone who may have cut you off in traffic yesterday is now helping you find your loved ones or gather what few belongings you may have left. When perfect strangers are human to each other.. running on fumes together.. when they huddle the worried masses and --finding strength in each other -- begin to rebuild. Step by step, stone by stone.
The first thing I loved about Puerto Rico was it's people- OUR people- and I have no doubt that their resilience and pride will be the foundation upon which they will begin to rebuild but they simply do not have the resources to do this without our help so let's rally together people! In case you've been living under a rock and/or have the attention span of a 12-year-old, Puerto Rico is *still* under great duress -- the word "apocalyptic" is being used people!! -- and our government has all but looked the other way and plugged it's ears, also like a 12-yr-old. Anyway, without digressing/getting too political here/saddening this beautiful post.. while we might not all be Chelsea Handler and able to donate a cool mil to the relief efforts (v. cool of you, Handler!), every donation really does help. You can donate several places, but here and here are a few all-encompassing ways to contribute.