Thursday, September 30, 2010

Where are they now :: Todd and Candy

Earlier this summer, I met up with Todd and Candy in Springfield, MO.  Todd and Candy married  October 6th, 2001.  Their wedding was the very first wedding I ever shot.  Their wedding is what started it all.  I wasn't their hired photographer, but Candy knew I liked playing with cameras, and especially enjoyed using black and white film... yes, you heard correctly... film. She asked me if I would be willing to shoot some candid images of their day.  Without having a single clue about f-stops or shutter speeds... let alone what the heck ISO meant... I agreed.  And so, with my friend's Nikon N 60, and a few rolls of Ilford black and white film, my life as a photographer began.

I thought it would be interesting to catch up with them, and see where life has brought them over the years.
Meet the Sitclers:

How did you two meet?
We met at Antioch Church in Overland Park, KS on a Sunday morning. I had been working at the church as an intern for 2 years, Candy was coming in from Arizona, where she had worked with a church for 3 years. We were in different ministries, but worked together around the church on a number of different projects. The more we worked together, the more our friendship grew.

How did you propose?
I didn't just want to do the stereotypical dinner and an engagement. I wanted it to be memorable. A good friend suggested that I make a day of it and lead her on a scavenger hunt. I enlisted the help of a number of friends who all made it happen.

At that time, Candy was the church receptionist. I was able to work with her boss and have Candy run some errands she would think it were for the church. Candy went to three businesses owned by members in the church to pick up items "needed for different ministries." Each one contained a gift and a card (numbered in the order I wanted her to read them). At the last location, she was instructed to open card #1 and follow the instructions.

The first card instructed her to go to her home where I had set up her VCR with a tape I made for her. It was a simple slideshow of our times together put to the Caedmon's Call song "Somewhere North." The other cards took her to locations of memorable times we spent together; talking late over dinner at McDonald's or sharing a coffee at Starbucks.

The last card took her to the Overland Park Arboretum where we had spent time walking through the gardens and trails together. While sitting there reading her last card, I walked up with her favorite flower, Stargazers. I told her how much I loved her, got on my knees and asked her to marry me.
What was your favorite part about your wedding day?
This is going to sound like a fake answer, but the WHOLE day would have to be my "favorite part." I can't pick one point out as the best. The family, friends, events, and my lovely bride, made it all incredible.

 Any advice you would give to newlyweds?
I would tell newlyweds what my father told me on that day: If the husband chooses to serve his wife, putting her needs always first, without looking for that treatment in return, and the wife chooses to serve her husband, putting his needs always first, without looking for that treatment in return, then both of their needs will be met, and they will live a wonderful marriage.
This can appear to be somewhat out of reach. Over decades of marriage, we all will have bad days, and may even have horrible seasons, but I believe that God isn't asking for perfection from us, He is asking for excellence. I walk this out, continually fighting and believing that one day, I will be the man my wife deserves.

What is life like now?
I love our life. As of this date, we have 2 wonderful boys; Joshua & Devin. We've moved 3 times since we've been married, and are doing what we love as youth pastors. We've been together through times of plenty, and years of want, but we are a team, we are a family and we choose to love each other everyday.

Any additional comments? 
Everyday I realize that I don't deserve my wife. She is too good, too beautiful, too wonderful, too gracious, too lovely to be mine. The choices of my life should have brought a damaged marriage. But isn't that the definition of Grace; To receive more than you deserve? My wife is the Grace of God in my life.

Wow, Todd!  What a testament to a marriage that's truly committed to each other, and committed to the vows and promises made!  How I long for this kind of marriage for all of my brides and grooms... past, present, and future!

It was so much fun catching up with you both, and to see where life has brought you.  I'm so grateful for the opportunity you gave a naive little 21yr old on your wedding day.  I'm honored to know you both, and am so glad to call you my friends!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010


He was a boy with a disability, yet he had the ability to touch so many lives.  I feel so lucky to have known Charlie.  He first came into my life in 2003, when he entered into my preschool class at The Children's Center for the Visually Impaired.  From the very beginning I knew there was something special about Charlie... I felt drawn to him, and loved spending time with him in the classroom.  Charlie couldn't communicate in the same way you and I do... he had his own unique way.  His smile was infectious, and when he was happy... you knew it.

This past spring, I had the opportunity to photograph Charlie with his Mom.  It was so good to see him, and to see how much he had grown.  His mom shared school pictures, and stories... memories, and the many silly things Charlie loved to do. She also shared concerns and sorrows...  Charlie had been through, and struggled with a lot.  I'm so grateful for the time I had with him that day, because this past Monday, Charlie passed away.  I had been to the hospital just the day before to visit him.  I was able to hold his hand one last time, and before I left his side, I felt him squeeze back.... almost as if he were saying goodbye.  I'll never forget that little moment we shared.

His death is bittersweet.  Bitter in the fact that he is gone, but sweet in knowing that he is no longer in pain.  Sweeter still, is the fact that I believe I will see him again... only then, I will see a different version of Charlie.  A Charlie whose body is whole... A Charlie who can run and walk... A Charlie who can speak and see clearly... A Charlie without pain.  It will be like meeting a whole new person.  What an amazing moment that will be!

I love these images of Charlie with his Mom... So special!

Charlie, you were loved by so many, and you will be greatly missed by all of us.  Thank you for touching our lives... thank you for your smile and laughter... your silly ways... Thank you for being you. I look forward to the day I will see you again...
I cannot wait to meet the new you!

Thursday, September 09, 2010

Oh Brother

When he was born, my sister couldn't wait to hold him... I just wanted to play with him.  When he got a little older, he had a knack of driving me nuts.  A couple years later, we fought like cats and dogs.  I couldn't stand to be with him, yet couldn't live without him.  He was a boy, now he's a man.... He is my brother.

Last weekend, I was able to spend some time with my brother.  When I moved away from home after High School, he was still in Junior High.  I feel I missed out on so much of his life by moving away.  I missed out on a boy becoming a man.  Even though he still drives me nuts... I love my brother, and am so very proud of him!

He was always a ham in front of the camera when he was little... Time changes many things... not this one, though!

Pretending to work...
What a stud!  :)

Matthew, you may not have always believed this, but I am so glad you are my brother.  I'm grateful, and honored that you are in my life.  I am proud to be your sister!

Wednesday, September 01, 2010

Kansas City Engagement :: Renae & Drew

"You have nice eyes"  
It was an awkward moment, when I told Renae and Drew to look at each other and ignore me for a moment.  
As my shutter fired away, I could hear Renae say this to Drew, 
"You have nice eyes"  
So much of who we are can be conveyed through our eyes.  They are in fact, the windows to our souls.  As I shot Renae and Drew's engagement session last Saturday, it was evident that their souls are matched perfectly, and I believe that, (as cliche' as this may sound) in that moment when Renae looked into Drew's eyes... she saw herself.

These two were so much fun to photograph, and Renae was absolutely GORGEOUS!

Go on with your sexy selves....

I love this!

Renae and Drew, thank you so much for this honor!  I cannot wait for your wedding next June!

CLICK HERE for a slideshow of this session!

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About Christina

One of my favorite memories from my own wedding, aside from marrying my husband, was when my Dad walked me down the aisle and I leaned over and whispered to him, "I'll always be your little girl."  I love that moment!
     It's moments that make up our lives, defines who we are, and ultimately create our destinies.  Many such moments have brought me to where I am today.  I began photographing in 2001, and began Sandberg Photography in the fall of 2006.  This has been a huge dream of mine, and I believe that God has given me a gift of capturing unique and special moments; without Him, I am truly nothing!  I owe this dream to Him!

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