Autumn Hope Gallagher
Love drives me.
Coffee drives me, too.
I love love. New baby love, old college sweetheart love, toddlers in a mud puddle love, all of it.
Motherhood Changed Me.
Visceral. Primal. Marrow. Wildfire. Drought. Monsoon.
I expected it to change me, but I didn't understand how deep and core-shattering (pun intended) it would be. The love a mama has for her babies (in my case two boys) is something that cannot be described with gentle words. Watching an episode of a National Geographic safari expedition to see lions is more likely to help you understand what I'm getting at if you're not a mother.
Babies are the deepest, truest, most honest love when it comes to doing what I do. If I could spend 8 hours every day of my life documenting other mama's relationships with their babies, well dammit I'd do it in a hot second. But yo. Good childcare is expensive. So I limit my time away from my boys when I can.
I bring everything I've lived... from childhood to womanhood to being a spouse to motherhood, to each session. I come with gratitude to witness the early moments, joy to watch the first steps, and a little bit of ache in my heart when I've photographed your little one's first year of life... when that turns into the 2nd/3rd birthdays, it makes my heart hurt. Not in a bad way though - it truly is something only a mama can understand. I bring appreciation of the love and joy and pride and breathtaking hurt all at once.
How I feel when I look at my own babies (who aren't really babies anymore)- I feel that when I document your little love. I promise you I will photograph your babies in a way that is true to your relationship with them. Because mama? I see you. In a way only a mama can see another mama's heart.
But first, I am a wife.
My husband is my best friend.
I met him in 2001... I think... but we started dating in late 2002. We married late 2012.
He is a physician - currently in his 2nd year of general surgery residency. It sounds glamorous, but he sits somewhere in the range of 95-115 hours at work per week... and we have no family here to help us. But he lets me believe I'm a superhero. Because I motherfucking am.
He is focused and driven and an annoying perfectionist. He is skilled. So skilled. I don't have words that can describe his abilities... When he was a preschooler, part of his hand was cut off in a total freak accident in his dad's woodworking space, leaving parts of some fingers intact with others halved/mangled. Piles of surgeries later, he was worse for wear, but I believe that's what began his journey to the man he is now. I am absolutely convinced that his early trauma played a large part in his ability to overcome the technical challenges that would normally hinder an average surgeon. Y'all familiar with the name Rick Allen? Yeah. Same idea. Honestly, if I were to have a choice to have my life saved by a "normal" surgeon and one with parts of their hand missing, I'd ask for the one with fewer fingers... you're nearly guaranteed to be saved by someone who is obsessed with exceeding expectations.
My husband is committed. To us. To his family.
He asked me to marry him while we stood in the middle of a glacial runoff-fed river in Glacier National Park. In his underwear. #reallife .
He's an Eagle Scout.
My husband is my high school sweetheart and my arch nemesis. At times, he is the only one who can lift me up from the insanity of life and motherhood and love, and other times I'd like to get in the car and drive off in a rage-fueled tantrum and never have to see his face again. And then he reminds me to breathe.
My husband is my best friend.
He sees me.
I am a photographer of love.
The relationship I described in the section above is exactly what I seek to capture when I photograph weddings. Whether it be a getaway elopement, a courthouse gathering, or a massive celebration with all your friends and family. I want to capture the emotion. The excitement. The love that cannot be truly described with words.
I want to capture your love. The side glances. The wrinkled noses and deep breaths. The (unexpected)tears on a wedding day.
I WILL cry on your wedding day. I will not apologize for it. I will laugh, cry, dance, and love with you that day.
I will take care of you.
I will work my ass off for you on your wedding day. Your photos will tell your story.
THAT IS MY PROMISE.