I have been fortunate the past couple of years to have been given freelance assignments by several non-profit organizations in Savannah. Recently Step Up Savannah, a poverty reduction organization, hired me to capture photos in some of the most impoverished neighborhoods in the area. It was the first time I had been in many of these neighborhoods for something other than covering a crime or news story for the paper. I have always found working for non-profits very rewarding and I really enjoyed the challenge of documenting these neighborhoods.
From time to time as I’m going through my daily newspaper assignments I interact with people and immediately know that my day was brighter having met this person. That was certainly the case last week when I met the Orsini’s at Savannah Square. When I walked in the health care room I saw Mr. Orsini standing over his wife’s bed. He introduced himself as Sebastian, but was quick to say “everybody calls me Papa”. “Papa” proudly talked about the couple’s children as he sat in a chair at Emma’s bedside and lovingly held her hand.
The Orsini’s have been married since 1937 and over the weekend they were honored along with other couples celebrating milestone anniversaries at the Cathedral of St. John the Baptist. Being in my first year of marriage I can’t help but wonder what it would be like to celebrate 75 Valentine’s Days with my wife. No matter how many we share together I hope that I will still be as in love as “Papa” and Emma appear to be. He told me that “her being in pain brings tears to his eyes” but that they’ve “had a good life together”. “Papa” leaned in to tell Emma that he loved her and as I was leaving he gave me a parting bit of advice… “Don’t go to bed angry, you both have to give a little.”
Often when you do something professionally,people close to you usually will ask you to help them with your services. That’s how I came to shoot my first wedding, just a few months after beginning photography classes. My brother was getting married before the city magistrate, and asked if I would shoot a few pictures. I was so new that I shot it in black and white because that is all I a learned to process and print at that time. A lot has changed over the years. I have gone from shooting weddings for family, to friends, to friends of friends, to now people who see my work online. Since I met that someone special and fell in love myself, I have had a completely different perspective of love. I guess you could say I found my muse.
Today I feel honored when I am asked to share in the joy and excitement as a couple starts a lifelong journey together. Nothing is more special than documenting a couples love during an engagement shoot or on their wedding day. It is this new found joy that has led me to launch a new website dedicated to my wedding and engagement photography. I am simply expanding my Photos by Rich Burkhart brand (www.photosbyrb.com) with my new exclusive wedding website (www.savannahweddingphotosbyrb.com), which joins my regular website, my business facebook (www.facebook.com/photosbyrb), and my blog (www.photosbyrb.wordpress.com).I am really excited that I am able to do this with new pictures from my most recent engagement shoot with Sally and Rob. I had a wonderful time working with them as we took pictures at several locations around downtown Savannah. We spent some time at Forsyth Park where their wedding will be held this October.So, if you or someone you know is looking for a photographer, please have them look at my website. I will do my best to see that the photos I capture tell the everlasting story of the love they shared on their wedding day.