The Giggler

Elizabeth and John, Canon EOS

My friends Elizabeth and John just got engaged recently. {Congratulations you two!} I had the pleasure of photographing them in all sorts of sweet romantic poses, but this one is our favorite in the end… the one where they are laughing with each other and being silly. Isn’t that really the best part of being alive?

I know that before I found Matt I was always keeping copious lists of all of the qualities I wanted to find in a partner. Every time I was on a long bus ride or waiting at the doctor’s office I would make a new one. “Makes me laugh til I pee my pants” seemed to make it on every list.

Well, I got my wish.

During the first week we were dating, I happened to have paint chips in my bag. We invented a game where we made up stories according to the names of each color. The rule was that you couldn’t look at the names ahead of time, but had to slowly reveal the next color as you were spinning the tale… “This is a story about ‘Cameron’s eyes’ and it’s a very, very, strange story. He woke up one day to find that his eyes were ‘blue rivers’ and whoever he gazed at would get washed away in them…”

You get the picture.

Needless to say, we laughed so hard at each others’ stories we could hardly get through a meal on our dates. This game was a big part of our initial connection since the traditional getting to know each other/dating stuff made us nervous and feel awkward. The paint chip game gave us access to each other in a strangely intimate way. In honor of this, our friend Sasha designed our wedding invitations to look like paint chips.

Making each other laugh is still the biggest part of our relationship. Even at our hardest moments, we have found humor. And somehow there is a refuge in this.

Years before Matt and I started to date, I started a photobooth project on the web. I asked people to take photobooth pics and answer a series of questions. One of the questions was, “If you were a superhero, what would your power be?”

Matt responded with, “I would be The Giggler, and you would giggle.”

Little did I know he would be my Giggler forevermore.



  1. jenn
    Posted August 15, 2004 at 9:18 am | Permalink

    what a great picture of your friends… love seems to be all around you! how wonderful. i love this picture because it’s so natural.
    what a great story about matt. very sweet and romantic.

  2. Posted August 15, 2004 at 9:58 am | Permalink

    Great photo… I also love love your unique wedding invites. Anything un-traditional is totally cool in my book when it comes to weddings! I have wondered about your photo-booth project and if it was still “going on…” If so, I have one I’d love to send of me and my 14 year old nephew this summer from Six Flags. We had so much fun we did it times… total dorks, but we laughed so hard, I think I did pee my pants.

  3. Julia
    Posted August 15, 2004 at 10:34 am | Permalink

    I love the natural, comfortable way your friends look, being with each other. Hats off to you, for being able to capture those special, imtimate, “non-posed” moments. I truly loved looking at this photo. Also, I took a peek at your “paint chip” weddding invitations…how clever and special they are!! Most of all, your “giggler” story really warmed my heart and made me smile. What a lucky (& deserving)lady you are to be in the midst of such love. :)

  4. malaika
    Posted August 15, 2004 at 10:41 am | Permalink

    what sweet love you and matt share…and how wonderful to have so many beautiful people in your life supporting and sharing in your love.

  5. Gayla
    Posted August 15, 2004 at 11:10 am | Permalink

    You really do a great job of capturing the people around you in spontaneous moments.

  6. Posted August 15, 2004 at 9:13 pm | Permalink

    You always seem to catch people at the right moment, when they are shining and fully themselves! Also, I LOVE your wedding invitations – usually, they are so simple and white, but yours are perfect! Colour is a wonderful thing.

  7. Posted August 15, 2004 at 11:29 pm | Permalink

    Oh, that reminds me of my first date with Rama.
    We were laughing so hard so much that he actually had to ask me, “Can we please be serious for a little while? My cheeks and hurt too much.”
    We’ve been laughing ever since.

  8. cheryl
    Posted August 15, 2004 at 11:58 pm | Permalink

    I’ve just today taken a deep breath and booked tickets to – literally – fly to the other side of the world and have a drink with an old fling… Why? Because we make each other laugh in that completely beautiful, no-one else gets it, kind of way…
    Wish us luck…

  9. Posted August 16, 2004 at 7:03 am | Permalink

    Thanks for sharing your story and posting the picture. It gives hope to those of us still on the quest :)

  10. samantha
    Posted August 16, 2004 at 9:33 am | Permalink

    wonderful pictures! that is the kinda stuff I would love for my own engagement pictures. And laughing together is the most important quality in a relationship, I think. You’ve got to have someone who makes you laugh, someone whose laugh makes your stomach flip over. I seriously once had to break up with a guy for several reason but one of the big one? His laugh drove me crazy.
    What a great idea for wedding invitations!

  11. Posted August 16, 2004 at 11:38 am | Permalink

    Too sweet! A beautiful capture to go along with such a sweet story. Genuine laughter makes everything better.

  12. Liz
    Posted August 16, 2004 at 2:10 pm | Permalink

    Did anyone listen to last week’s “This American Life”? There was a segment about a blind date and different cultural expectations regarding what makes a good date. In it a Russian woman asks why Americans are so obsessed with making each other laugh. But I can’t help it — I love the fact that my husband makes me laugh all the time.

  13. cooper
    Posted August 18, 2004 at 8:18 am | Permalink

    Andrea, I must tell you – your site is just wonderful. I read the posts along the way and remember them through busy, crazy days and smile.
    The giggler! You are his superhero! And ours to enjoy.
    Thank you.

  14. nancy
    Posted August 19, 2004 at 4:11 pm | Permalink

    what a wonderful surprise finding this website. It made my day to see your images and see your journal entries that made want to keep exploring further in. I am at work but I have bookmarked for future.
    your paint chip love story is wonderful wonderful wonderful! I would like to use it in a book I am pulling together- if you would be willing to share it with the rest of the world, let me know.