If you’re a wedding photographer, how do you serve a client who has absolutely no eyesight? A photographer and videographer over in Australia recently teamed up to create a special tactile wedding photo album for their blind bride.
Steph has a condition called Cone Rod Dystrophy. It’s an inherited eye disorder that progressed until she became completely blind shortly before she first met her future husband, Rob.
To create a wedding video Steph could cherish, Lemon Tree Film House worked to capture as much audio and narrative on the wedding day as possible.
“James and ourselves would describe, as much as possible, every little detail to Steph from the direction of the sun, to the landscape, expressions on loved ones faces, how beautiful Steph looked in her dress,” the videographers say, “and every time we described a scene to Steph we were reminded just how lucky we are to be able to see those details with our own eyes, how we take our vision for granted every day as we look into our lover’s eyes, watch our children grow, ocean waves roll and the sun rise and set each day.”
Day also came up with the idea of presenting Steph with 10 pieces of fabric throughout the day that were each infused with a different essential oil. By feeling and smelling the fabrics afterward, Steph was instantly brought back to those special moments during her wedding.
Several weeks after the wedding, the couple took a flight to Sony Australia’s private cinema to screen the wedding film for the first time.
Day’s gift to the couple were textured prints by Vision Australia and a tactile wedding album.
“[T]extured prints by Vision Australia allowed Steph and [her blind mother] Linda to run their hands over the prints and feel the raised outlines and shaded areas so that they could truly envision the scenes presented in the images,” Shaun and TJ say. “Though they couldn’t see the colors, they could imagine them as they touched the raised arc of the rainbow that appeared on the wedding day.”
The tactile album was something that took months to build, and it caters to nearly all the human senses: smell, touch, sound, and sight.
Inside the album are the 10 pieces of fabric along with 10 bottles containing the essential oils that were used. The moments they helped capture were carefully matched with photos and audio snippets by Day, allowing the couple to both remember their favorite moments together while enjoying the book.
“Needless to say, they were absolutely overcome with emotion,” Shaun and TJ say. Here’s a video of the day the gifts (which were provided for free) were revealed:
On the day of the wedding, Day asked Steph what she wished sighted people could learn from her journey in life so far.
“I wish sighted people could learn to be more appreciative for what they’ve got,” she replied. “I think so many people take things for granted, like sight for instance. Even though I don’t have sight, I’m not breakable, I’m not made of glass and that you can overcome any adversity.”
The creatives say the experience of getting to know Steph and shooting her wedding has changed their outlook on life.
“Though we can’t give Steph back her sight, she’s absolutely opened our own eyes and made us see more clearly just how lucky we are,” Shaun and TJ state.