Cool things happen around Joby & Thierry. Things like alligators showing up in your photography session, or learning how to play bocce, or Thierry making you an apple tart. Joby & Thierry are the kind of people that invite you into their lives, open wide the doors of their hearts, and let you make yourself at home. They share their hobbies, their food, and their hospitality. In short, they give you themselves.
Joby & Thierry have been dear to our hearts since we first met them a few short years ago. We had the privilege of photographing their beautiful wedding, and every year since we’ve gotten together for a fun anniversary session. This spring we met at the Noxubee Wildlife Refuge near Starkville, Mississippi. Jon & I had never visited the Refuge before, and we were blown away by the wild botanical beauty of the place. And by the alligators! This guy was very curious about what we were up to. I was very glad we were on a boardwalk, out of his reach!
I had a special joy in my heart during this session – an immense feeling of gratitude and thankfulness. Last year, we photographed Joby & Thierry for their first anniversary, and at that time, Joby was halfway through chemotherapy treatments. A few months after their wedding, Joby was shocked to discover she had breast cancer. One moment they were newlyweds planning out their first Christmas together. The next minute they were in a battle for Joby’s life.
The story of her treatment & recovery is Joby’s to tell, but I was inspired by her faith, optimism, and courage. Joby kept her friends & family updated with regular emails. (I’ve saved every one of them!) Joby wrote once, “Cancer has given me new perspective on altruism towards other people and the need to really have ‘relationships’ with people and not just a passing “hey, how are you?” with no concern for the true answer.” Those are wise words.
So that’s why this session is a little extra special to me. When we marry, most of us repeat the words “for better or for worse, in sickness and in health,” but we really don’t think about what that means. Joby & Thierry had to live those words out when they were just a few months married. And it gave Jon & I so much joy to celebrate their second anniversary with them, not just because they had been married two years, but because they had overcome.
Joby & Thierry love this little picnic spot on the Bluff Lake Boardwalk. I am posting lots of pictures of their picnic because that cheese was DELICIOUS. (They are always kind and feed their photographers.)
Joby & Thierry, your friendship is a gift to us. God bless you both.