We had plans. The best laid plans. But you know what they say about the best laid plans. Mice come and steal them away or something like that? I don’t know, I’m not great with adages.

Steph and David are east coasters who are currently living the west coast dream. Meeting in school at Virginia Tech, their relationship began in our great commonwealth, but when David got the opportunity to take a job in Seattle, this pair knew that it was the perfect time in their life for a little cross-country adventure. So, they packed their things, hugged their families and headed out west to the land of Space Needles, Seahawks and Starbucks. Taking on a new coast, together.

Like I said, we had plans. Plans for a session in Virginia while S+D were home for Christmas visiting family. But tight schedules, dreary skies and frigid temperatures made for less-than-ideal Plan A conditions. But if Plan A had worked, this gorgeous session never would have happened, I wouldn’t have had a great PNW adventure, and you all wouldn’t be treated to some absolutely stellar views of the Seattle Skyline from Kerry Park or the Puget Sound during a clear day’s stellar sunset. During that evening of exploring around Seattle with these two, I probably sounded like a song on single-track repeat, shaking my head and remarking over and over that Steph and David’s session was ruining me, spoiling me with views and scenery with which the East Coast just can’t compete. And it’s true, I was spoiled and I know it’s not exactly realistic to request that every couple I work with travel to a new city with me just for a couple of engagement photos. But it’s also true that the inspiration the city of Seattle gifted me did not stay in Seattle when I left. I got to bring it home as a little souvenir. So, Steph and David, thank you a million for the chance to tell your story in a place that is such a big part of this chapter for you. Can’t wait to see you again back in good ol’ Virginia when you two say I Do!

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I’m just gonna come out and say it: Evan and Casey’s relationship is the embodiment of most of my very favorite things. 1) Wild adventurousness. 2) Adoring sass. 3) A deep and abiding love of doughnuts.

So, clearly, when we first got together to chat about their wedding day, it was basically love at first sight. Much like it was for Casey and Evan, who met in their first semester of grad school at Georgetown. In the whirlwind 2.5 years since then, they began their relationship, Evan asked Casey a pretty important question just months after they became “official” (she said yes!), they adopted two adorable lab puppies, earned their master’s degrees, logged hundreds of miles of trail runs, created a home together, landed stellar jobs, ate plenty of doughnuts, and planned what is set to be one incredible wedding day this May. Hello, power couple!

I met up with C+E at their shared alma mater to wander their old stomping grounds, hang out, and create some images to help them remember this wild time. As a sass aficionado, I love the way Casey and Evan love on each other. They drive each other crazy in the sweetest of ways, a la The Notebook’s Noah and Allie and quite frankly my camera and I just eat it up. The laughs, the smirks, the sweet way Evan smiles at Casey when he’s pushing her buttons, a relationship based on shared humor and intelligence and a willingness to push each other outside of their comfort zones—it’s a beautiful and FUN thing to see! Plus, these two are just smokin’. I can’t wait to capture them on their wedding day in just a few months! For now though, you’ll just have to appreciate their good looks and endearing charm in engagement form. Enjoy!

 

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Imagine: for your birthday, your boyfriend—the one who you grew up with you, who endured 1,000 miles of long distance between Radford, VA and Lincoln, NE with you throughout college, who now shares your home and adorable dog child, the one who is undoubtedly the love of your life—gifts you the best present you could ever possibly imagine. WAIT. PAUSE. I know what you’re all thinking. Obviously it was an engagement ring, Steph, this is a post about Arlene and Cody’s engagement, of course. Au contraire, my dear friends. You see, it wasn’t an engagement ring at all, but a pair of tickets to the New England Patriot’s home opener in Boston, where they would be raising their new Super Bowl Champions banner and where Arlene would get to see the other love of her life, one Mr. Tom Brady.

PAUSE AGAIN. I still know what you’re thinking. Not the engagement, ring? What on earth was Cody thinking?! Well, I’ll tell you what he was thinking. He was thinking that he knows Arlene better than anyone, and that she would treasure this once-in-a-lifetime experience to go see her beloved Patriots even more than she would love to slide a sparkly ring on her finger. After all, the girl DID name her sweet puppy, Brady, after her quarterback crush! But the story doesn’t end there. (Plot twist!) Here’s the part that Arlene never saw coming: she never expected to be flying home from Boston without a boyfriend. How could she? She had no way of knowing that by the end of the weekend, she’d be calling Cody “fiancé” instead!

I just absolutely adore these two, and not because they are outrageously down-to-earth, sweet, and fun to boot. I love them because when you arrive to an engagement session location and the late afternoon winter light is perfectly bathing the hillside and river front in smooth golden light—but it’s 18 degrees outside; when you get to photograph a new love story at one of your favorite, most naturally beautiful venues in the area—but it’s 18 degrees outside; when your fun and extremely photogenic couple and their adorably sweet pup make your job simple by being natural pro’s in front of the camera—but it’s 18 degrees outside… that’s when you pray for a couple like Arlene and Cody. Honestly, as I culled these blog images, I was blown away by how joyous and comfortable A+C look, when it would have been beyond understandable for them to be huddled together, shivering, shooting me death stares for asking them to stand in the cold and be lovey. Arlene and Cody’s go-with-the-flow vibe shows me why they are so darn good together, and why they are gonna take on this wild world hand-in-hand, one wave at a time.

Enough rambling, time for y’all to fall in love with A+C, too! Can’t WAIT to photograph these two say, “I do” this fall in what will hopefully be some slightly warmer weather ;)

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