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Photographer Remakes 20-Year-Old Wedding Album for Couple Who Lost 'Everything' in Wildfire

Jason Duaine Hahn

In November 2018, a string of wildfires burned through hundreds of thousands of acres of land in Southern and Northern California, killing more than 80 people and destroying thousands of homes and businesses.

One of the largest of the series of blazes, the Camp Fire — named for nearby Camp Creek —  broke out in Butte County, killing at least 48 people, and burning through 130,000 acres and destroying more than 7,500 buildings, most of them homes, CalFire reported at the time.

Marc and Mary Taylor lost everything in the wildfire, according to KCRA. The couple, who have been married for nearly 20 years, lost countless mementos, one of them being their priceless wedding album.

With their anniversary approaching on Aug. 14 and no photographs from the day to look back on, Mary went out on a limb and asked the photographers if, in the off chance, they had somehow kept copies of the pictures from their special day two decades ago.

The answer would shock them.

“They came back to me and said, ‘We dug immediately, and we found them. We have them,’ ” Mary told the news station. “And I told Marc, I said, ‘Oh my God, they have them.’ And so we both started crying.”

A CalFire firefighter monitors a burning home as the Camp Fire moves through the area | Justin Sullivan/Getty

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“She comes out and [Mary] says, ‘They’re gonna remake the album. And bring it and give it to us. We were just like, ‘That just doesn’t happen,’ ” Marc added of the moment they found out they would see their photographs once again.

Richard Briggs, who photographed their wedding, said he still remembered how in love the couple was as they prepared to exchange vows on that day 20 years before.

“I remember him crying as she was walking down the aisle,” he told KCRA. “I thought, ‘These people are so much in love.’ “

Marc and Mary Taylor, with Richard Briggs in the background | KCRA

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Briggs explained that while the photos were faded, his wife was able to edit them and recapture their color after he scanned them into a computer.

“From those images, I was able to make an album,” Briggs said.

The gesture was invaluable for the couple.

“It gave us a piece of something back after losing everything,” Marc said. “I don’t know how to explain it. There’s no words.”