I recently sent out a call for entries for a personal project. My goal was to photograph couples and at the same time tell their story. Each session would celebrate the couple and their love for each other. I also asked that the couple choose a location that was important to them, a place that has meaning.
I received my first response from Dianne. I was blurry eyed with tears running down my face before I was through reading her letter. I think their story is best in her words. Here is a shortened version of what I received.
“Phil and I have a pretty awesome love story!
We dated when I was 18, we both worked at the Wigamog. We had a wild summer romance! Our stories differ on who broke who’s heart, but our romance ended that summer. He was always my “one that got away”. We each moved on, married other people, but he always had a secret hidden place deep inside me. We didn’t speak for many years. I have been separated from my ex-husband for 4 years. Almost 2 years ago I was writing a blog about being a single mom in Toronto. My girlfriend convinced me one night to join match.com. I wrote a blog about the dates I had been on. Phil read the blog and realized he couldn’t lose me again.”
“The first time I saw him again it was like the 18 years disappeared. He was more handsome than I remembered and I knew I was “home”. We both have our own careers and interests, but at the end of the day, we prefer to spend our time together. He is my best friend, my biggest supporter and true love. I think that the Wigamog would be a place that is important to both of us. There are spots that have meaning for each of us individually and together. I remember the place I first saw him. He remembers the place he first saw me. It is the place our paths first crossed. Thanks for letting me tell our story! I know a lot of people don’t get a second chance with their soulmate, but we are one of the very lucky couples who did. We don’t take it for granted or lightly. ”
The location that Dianne and Phil first met was once a bustling family run resort in Haliburton County. Overlooking Lake Kashagawigamog, it was a gorgeous year round, family destination resort. Ironically, it was where I worked my first summer at the age of 14. I know the Wigamog holds a special place in many peoples hearts. Many lasting memories, like Dianne and Phil’s, were made there. Unfortunately, the resort now lies in ruins. Abandoned, infested with animals and in a state of disrepair.
Dianne, Phil and I took an emotional stroll through the property. Here are some of the images that I captured.