"Close your eyes and take a moment to imagine the future...
…the wedding is over. You've started your family. It's just a typical Saturday morning. How many kids do you have? Boys? Girls? How old are they? Where are they and what are they doing? Where is Brian? What is he doing? Where is Anne? What is she doing?...
…now open your eyes. Tell each other what you saw."
Cue all the tears.
In fact, if you look closely at Anne's chin, you'll see tears streaming down her face.
This was, hands down, the most emotionally raw portrait session I have ever experienced. It wasn't just about the pretty location or the hair/makeup, or the outfits or the poses, even though it might have started out that way. And it definitely had nothing to do with being Pinterest "worthy". Instead, they opened up. They communicated...and not always with words. It wasn't all tears either - they laughed and danced, made each other feel safe and secure, needed and desired. It was no longer about getting photos just for their "save the dates", or checking off one more thing on their wedding to-do list. It was about connecting. I could have put my camera down and they would have kept going.
That's how real this was.
To clarify, I'm not a wedding photographer. I'm a portrait photographer. And I whole-heartedly believe that an engagement session should be done with your wedding photographer as a way to build trust and create a relationship that you will absolutely want to have on the day of your wedding. Honestly, it can make a big difference in your images. BUT engagement sessions are still portraits and I love working with couples. So, on occasion, I have been known to do a few engagement sessions, but only as a wedding gift for my closest friends (if they so choose).
And these two most certainly qualify. Anne has been one of my best friends since our Freshman year of college, and I was with her when she and Brian met for the first time in Vegas. Yep, Vegas! That's where their story begins…and I love it! It was as close to love at first sight as you can get...well, for Brian at least. ;) It was so cute to see him completely mesmerized by Anne that entire weekend. Thankfully, he wasn't like a complete stranger that we met on the Vegas strip, haha; we were all there to celebrate the birthdays of some mutual friends. So back in Phoenix after the trip, but before they started dating, he'd always ask me questions about her. And like a little kid with the biggest crush, he wanted to know what she thought of him. It was incredibly sweet. If he could have passed her a note that said check yes or no, he would have. And to this day, he's still mesmerized by her every move. You can easily see how much he adores her just by the way he looks at her. He couldn't hide it then, and he doesn't have to now.
We always want the best for our friends, especially our best friends. Like family, we tend to be over-protective and wonder if the new guy is the real deal or not. We question his intentions, his character, his heart. But that didn't happen with Brian. I could see his heart from the moment they met.
He's a good man. The right man. The real deal.
I'm so happy you two found each other, took a chance and let love win. When you got engaged, I cried. LIKE A LOT. Haha, but I was just so happy for you both, I couldn't help it. You guys belong together, like the little old couple in Up. No one has ever made Anne as happy as you, Brian. She laughs harder, dances longer and glows from within. I love you both so very much and wish you nothing but continued happiness! And I cannot WAIT for your wedding!! Is it February yet??
Maybe these photos will hold us over until then? :)
Shout out to Harley Chapman for doing a gorgeous job with Anne's makeup! Thank you so much, girl! Love working with you! You're the best!
Shout out to the amazing husband and wife team, The Hoskins, who Anne and Brian hired as their wedding photographers, and I'm SUPER PUMPED to party with them at the wedding! If you or someone you know is getting married, I encourage you to check out their work!