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NOVEL

Click on the NOVEL link  to order. Thank you and I hope you enjoy these historical images as much as I have! Love Wins,
Jan 
 

This is the first and only book to chronicle Wedding Photography with 170 pages of images from the beginning of photography 1856 through  the pandemic.

The earliest of recorded history, including hieroglyphics, has shown us that humans are social creatures. Couples have connected and shared their lives together since humans existed. We also know historically that we like to celebrate. These customs have certainly continued into the twenty-first century. Families uniting, couples uniting, countries uniting, birthdays, holy days, and holidays in every culture—we have created traditions to honor and celebrate what is meaningful to each of us. In 1977, I purchased my first single lens reflex 35-millimeter camera for the sole purpose of capturing memories of my two young children. It didn’t take long for me to be captivated by photography. I installed a darkroom, and people began to ask me to photograph their families and children. Eventually I was talked into shooting my first wedding, and once the bride and groom rode away into the night, I said to my helper, “I will never do that again!” I processed all the film that night before I went to bed. I was so relieved that I had well-exposed negatives, and I was then smitten for almost forty years. At that time, professional photographers in the Mid-South were not plentiful. We had Olan Mills, a small one-person studio at department stores shooting subjects in front of a plain background, taking five or six pictures. And there was only one other woman professional photographer in the area, Beverly Rucker. Commercial photography was her specialty. Countless times during consultations, the bride or her mother asked about my husband, the photographer. I was amused because I knew I had something unique to offer—the female gaze, including my distinct eye and intuition. That turned into two sets of unique female eyes when my daughter Vicky, an artist in her own right, became my assistant before she was a teenager. During thirty-eight years of photographing weddings across the Mid-South, I fell completely in love with the entire event. It was fulfilling to watch and photograph each loving and excited couple, their families and friends, their whole hearts immersed in every moment. I also have immense admiration for the talented professionals in the Memphis, Tennessee, area who specialize in putting these fabulous events together, making it happen at a particular place and time. I certainly learned the value of hiring a professional when one wants a job well done and the expertise to handle on-the-spot surprises. I watched people use their gifts to the best of their abilities, including the bride, groom, and family who put forth their most creative selves. It was like watching a Broadway production. Everything was planned specifically for those families, friends, and groups of people who will never gather together again. Those experiences coupled with my adoration for antiques inspired me to begin collecting vintage wedding pictures. It didn’t take long for this to become an obsession. I have ended up with hundreds of wedding pictures that span from the mid-1800s, just as photography was born, to current times. My collection is valuable, interesting, and teaches as much about fashion as anything else, and I believe it must be shared for others to appreciate. I wish I knew every name and story that goes with each face. I have pored over them for so long that I’m sure I know some of the stories and personalities. I hope you will as well. In this book, you will have the opportunity to view how much culture has changed since 1856. That is the date of the first wedding image. Even Queen Victoria regretted not having photographs of her elaborate event with Prince Albert, so twenty years later, they re-created it to have wedding pictures of
 their own!
 

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