by Emily townsend

Rain Rain Go Away


"Sing rain rain go away for me," Samantha had sent me a text message the morning of her wedding. "I feel just fine with whatever works out." Sam's perspective had a lovely, carefree, and open air. I first met Sam in Germantown at a local venue that hosts intimate porch concerts, she was one of those people you meet who is immediately a good pal. So when she asked me to photograph her wedding day, I was elated, not only because it was a job in an oversaturated industry, but because I knew there would be an sense of liberation in her celebration. On that cloudy September afternoon, as the festivities were falling into place, we were reminded of Alanis Morsette's Ironic, "It's like rain on your wedding day."

The Woods & Beyond

In a twist of events, and possibly due to Sam's overt positivity, the rain held off and I shot one of my favorite weddings thus far. It was an intimate, quiet & loving ceremony by the Schuylkill River at Wissahickon Valley Park in Philadelphia. Sam, Aaron & I walked along a trail to take portraits. They had the idea to walk barefoot in the river as I captured their carefree attitude and uninhibited love for one another. I was in awe of this couple's ability to transcend traditional norms, let their hair down & get their feet wet.

A Ceremony by the River


Vows were exchanged by the running river. Branches stuck up from the earth and family members wore handmade crown strewn with fresh flowers. It was intimate and quiet as two gentlemen with string instruments serenaded the group by playing enchanting songs. Relatives & grandparents stood to tell stories and speak on love; tears flowed and laughter echoed. Sam & Aaron's daughter, Gracie, was in the small audience and looked on with the same childlike wonder I saw her parents exhibit in the portraits I took.

The Take Away

It was a cloudy day in September, but the rain held off for this exchange of love. What can Samantha & Aaron's charming wedding day teach us? Besides being exceptionally beautiful, I found their bright & boundless perspective inspiring. It definitely made photographing their wedding beyond delightful. Each wedding I attend sheds new light on my outlook of love & celebration. What makes really makes a wedding day shine? The sun doesn't have to be out because it's all about peering past the pressure of perfection and going with the flow.

Emily Townsend


Emily has been photographing since she was a tender teenager. Delighting in creating artistic and unique portraits, Emily makes portraits that speak LOUD. Photography is like a second language to Emily, as she explores individuality of each person and/or couple who trusts her to capture their essence & distinctive nature.

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