Seven years after Hurricane Katrina destroyed their homes and the treasures inside they held dear, three New Orleans couples reclaimed some of what they lost by recreating their wedding pictures with the help of the Digital Wedding Forum. "It was so much fun," said one of the brides, April Allen, in an interview with ABC News. "It wasn't just one photographer, it was 20. We got hair and makeup. It was actually more fun and no stress—at your wedding, you're stressed about every detail."
The forum, an organization of wedding and portrait photographers, has maintained a close relationship with New Orleans since the storm, and this year chose to host its annual convention in the city. But just showing up wasn't enough for the group's 122 photographers. Led by industry big-name John Michael Cooper, the photographers put out the call for couples who'd lost their wedding albums during Katrina, re-staging the portraits in a "Pay it Forward" shoot a few weeks ago.
Although they haven't yet seen the final result, Allen and her husband of 17 years, Daryl, are already appreciative of the new memories the forum helped them capture. "It's something you can really never get back," Allen explained. "What we do get back will be different but will still be in the same spirit." —Phillip B. Crook