The wedding party signs “I love you”

13 09 2010

I love this photo—had fun photographing this group yesterday afternoon by the koi pond at the Sayen House and Gardens in Hamilton, New Jersey. Left to right: Jennifer Thorpe, bridesmaid and Abbie’s closest friend; Brian Stewart, Todd’s brother-in-law; Patricia Strohmeyer, bridesmaid and Abbie’s cousin; Gregg Hlavacek, best man and groom’s brother; Natalie Gray, matron of honor and Abbie’s best friend; Todd and Abbie

How I Met Abbie and Patty
I design and produce the Hearing Loss Magazine, published by the Hearing Loss Association of America (HLAA). In early 2008, I was surfing the web looking for blogs by people with hearing loss. I stumbled upon Abbie’s blog, Chronicles of a Bionic Woman, and was immediately impressed—she’s a great writer and very funny. Her blog chronicled her hearing loss and subsequent cochlear implant surgeries. I asked my editor, Barbara Kelley, if we could profile her. I contacted Abbie to see if she would be interested, and she ended up driving from New Jersey to Virginia, bringing along her cousin Patty (bridesmaid shown above), for a cover photo session. Abbie wrote the article for the May/June 2008 issue of the magazine. You can see the results of the cover session (and download the article) on my blog here. Check out the glamour shots (which included playing with wigs!) I shot of Abbie and Patty after our cover session was done here. Because of her writing skills, Abbie was recruited as the official blogger for the 2009 HLAA convention in Nashville.

How I Met Jennifer
I found Jennifer Thorpe’s blog, Stereophonic Bionic, on Abbie’s blogroll and that’s how I became friends with Jen (bridesmaid shown above), whom I finally met in person at the HLAA’s 2009 convention in Nashville. While there, I photographed her with her lovely family for the cover of our July/August 2010 issue of the magazine. Read all about that issue and see the cover here. We were talking about her (wonderful) height (she kept taking her shoes off so she would tower too much over her fellow bridemaids) and she told me she’s the shorty in her family—her parents are 6’2″. I would love to have some of that height! 

As Fate Would Have It
So here we are, three years later, and Abbie is asking me to photograph her wedding. And to think this all came about simply from perusing blogs on the web! Isn’t technology just grand? Here’s a cool fact: Abbie became an Advanced Bionics (AB) mentor and mentored Gregg (the groom’s brother) when he got his cochlear implant. Then Todd decided he wanted to go the implant route and Gregg suggested he contact Abbie so she could mentor him through the process, too. During his best man’s toast, Gregg said that initially the three of them had an e-mail trifecta going, then after awhile he wasn’t included in the e-mails as much—which made him wonder what was up! Eventually, his suspicions were right—romance was blooming between Abbie and Todd! Again, all through e-mail—a bond was formed. They write about how they met on their wedding blog hereOnce again, isn’t technology just grand? 

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.

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