Jelani + Chonita | British West Indies - Made in Anguilla

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Under the cover of darkness and with light reflected from the moon I set out on the streets of Anguilla to shoot the wedding of Jelani and Chonita. It was about 5 AM and no one else was on the road except for me. I struggled looking through the foggy Toyota Corolla windshield to find the turn off for the Cap Juluca Resort. For a moment I reverted to driving on the right side of the road but then corrected my course promptly. Once I arrived at the couple's private villa I took a deep breath and then entered the front door praying for a beautiful day and a peaceful mind. I also prayed for Jelani and Chonita who have shown such strength and courage through recent challenges they have shared with me. Certainly, I felt privileged to document this joyous occasion and meet their friends and family.

As the couple dressed and I captured detail shots, the sun rose quickly and illuminated the sky in a miraculous display of light. For a few minutes the rays pierced through the clouds in approval of the day and also cast a shadow onto the neighboring island of St. Marten. I learned that Jelani has an impeccable sense of style and fashion while I was shooting his wardrobe for the day. Not far behind, Chonita carefully selected jewelry to adorn her wrist and then slipped into a flowing wedding dress befitting of the beach ceremony. Both of the wedding bands were truly unique and I discovered they were custom designed by the couple. The orange, yellow, and green flower bouquets provided a strong contrast against the aqua Caribbean Sea and blue Anguilla skies. Conita's bouquet was was fitted with a photo in loving memory of her mother and she also kept her mother's bible close.

The sand at the ceremony site was soft and so was the heart of every guest that watched as Jelani and Chonita exchanged vows. During the final prayer I continually gazed at the rocks adjacent to our location. I just couldn't keep my eyes off of the surging water and foam receding from the jagged points. It finally struck me why and I took the couple there first to shoot right after the announcement of marriage. There is a special message under that photograph (third from the bottom).

Here's a few images from the wedding as a preview to the slideshow that I'll probably finish when I get back from Ghana. Enjoy!


Message for Jelani and Chonita: I know that you are facing rough times (the rocks) now. It seems like the pain continues to linger (the foam) despite everything that you have done right. Sometimes even when you do not realize it the stress from others (salt residue) may become part of your own stress and corrode your will to move forward. Always remember to trust in God above all else and then reach out to each other for support. Touch and agree that you both will make it together. Happy days are ahead. You have two beautiful children that are a shinning example of your faith. You are all a complete family now and I wish you the best for your future.

Ross Oscar Knight


SBrownART said...

Beautifully Done!

I love the placement of the flowers at the pool!

Your creativity is flowing!

Have a Merry Christmas Mr. and Mrs. Knight!


Anonymous said...

WOW--simply gorgeous..My faves are back to back: (1) Pic w/ flowers by the pool (2) Pic w/ couple standing by rocks. The first of my faves looks like a painting and the second pic is amazing. You can truly see the love and strength between Jelani and Chonita and with love and faith, they can conquer all. Congrats to the Newlyweds and God Bless!

P.S.--Finally done w. finals and am catching up

Trice said...

Absolutely beautiful. What a wonderful job done. I love the picture of the hanging dress and the photo of the couple on the rocks.

You are the greatest Ross any couple that is fortunate to have you photograph their special day is in for a treat and many wonderful memories as a result of your great eye and creativity.

Merry Christmas

Anonymous said...

the gifts keep giving.
enjoy a merry christmas.


JEM said...

Wow...So I have been enamored with your photography since "Remember the Ritz" and I find it such a privilege to view your photos.

I am so touched by the way you relate to those you photograph as well your bond with Mrs. Knight and the rest of your family.

Such inspiration given to this couple! I hope they are as inspired by your words as I have been.

Happy Holidays!

Anonymous said...

I can't wait to see the slideshow.
I can tell by these pictures that it was a beautiful wedding.

Angel said...

It never fails, I am amazed by your photos each time I visit your blog.

Shorty945 said...

I'm new to Blogger, and I wanted to say that you are really talented. I pray that when God blesses me with my mate, I'll be able to afford you!! lol

-God Bless You, and Mrs.Knight!!

Lisa M. McGainey said...

Me Like. Me like alot! My faves are the gown and the flowers by the pool. You havs such a remarkable talent. God Bless.

How's Brandy?

Xiomara said...

Beautiful!! is all I can say!

Chari said...

Love the Bible and the evening pictures :)