Sunrise at the Peaks of Otter

I think every bride deserves the perfect backdrop. Because after all, a bride’s beauty is best showcased by a beautiful scene. I usually throw out a few crazy ideas (fully expecting to be shot down) and every once in a while a bride agrees and something amazing happens! This session was one of those times! A crazy idea, an awesome bride, and the perfect day! Now when I say the perfect day imagine this; it was 4:30 in the morning when we drove to the base of the mountain, 38 degrees outside, and there were 25 mph winds whipping around the car… Sounds delightful, right? Well the old adage of “there’s a price for beauty” has never rang so true! Sometimes pushing past being uncomfortable has big pay offs and I think you will agree that this session was just that. A beautiful pay off. Kandice truly was a good sport and hiked a mountain, so that right as the sun rose I could capture these epic photos.

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Ryan + Kandice – Lynchburg Love

One of my favorite things about spring is all of the wonderful engagement sessions that happen! Unlike summer and fall where engagement photos can be taken right after an engagement happens, springtime explodes with love from the past winters quiescence. Ryan and Kandice are prime examples of two beautiful people who’s love is very evident. Both Ryan and Kandice met in Lynchburg Virginia, but after life and college had happened they both had gone their own ways. Funny how life can bring you full circle when things are meant to be… These two are excited about life, love, and what the future holds and after spending some time with them I can’t help but be excited for them. Their wedding is going to be one for the books and I’m so thankful to be a part of this whole celebration. The photos were taken in and around Lynchburg and Forest Virginia and as you can see we had a blast taking them! We had to run from a few ornery cows, but what’s an engagement session without a little excitement haha!

 

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Choskie & Kristin – A Greenbrier Vow Renewal

You’ve probably met them before: Those couples who have been together for years—maybe even decades—and are still madly in love with each other.

Perhaps it shows in the way they look at each other, the subtle way they stay connected by touch, or in the kindnesses they show each other. However it is revealed, their passionate bond is unmistakable. Long after the first blush of infatuation and young love has faded; these two people not only love each other, but they are delighted to be in each other’s company. These couples are hard not to notice. They hold on to that intangible quality and remind us all what’s just so incredible about love to begin with. Choskie and Kristin reminded me of all this and more. This vow renewal showed me true, deep love that stands firm.

I think there’s something to be said about staying madly in love. It takes hard work, intention, and selflessness. Choskie and Kristin have done the work and stayed the course, putting love first and to me that is real beauty. Beauty that I can only hope to capture.

Choskie and Kristin we’re headed towards 8 years of marriage when they planned this small, beautiful getaway to renew their vows at the Greenbrier. Just the thought of taking the time to celebrate love and all things sacred that marriage holds made me delighted to be a part of their day. We wondered throughout the property finding wonderful places to shoot and as you can see this vow renewal was gorgeous!

I hope you enjoy these two reaffirming their promise and love to one another, but more importantly I hope you’re keeping the love alive as well!

Just for fun I’ve included “Seven Things Madly-in-love Couples Do to Stay That Way” at the bottom of this post!

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Seven Things Madly-in-love Couples Do to Stay That Way

1. Listen

Listening to your partner reaps benefits in every area of your life together. When you listen, you’ll learn things that will help you love the other person more deeply. You’ll catch a glimpse of your partner’s hopes and dreams, hurts and fears. You’ll hear about things you do that make your partner want to withdraw. You’ll discover ideas and thoughts previously unknown to you. If you’re not in the habit of listening—really listening—you’ll miss all these things and more.

2. Value each other

When you value someone, you won’t want to belittle or tear down that person. You’ll also be less inclined to take that person for granted. And you definitely won’t be careless with his or her heart. When you truly value someone, you’ll see and appreciate what that person brings into your life on a daily basis. Even better, you will find ways to communicate that appreciation every chance you get.

3. Forgive

No matter how deeply in love, two human beings are bound to hurt each other with thoughtless words, selfish actions, or inconsiderate neglect. Forgiving each other for those hurtful acts is the cornerstone of any lasting, harmonious relationship. Without forgiveness, slights and offenses accumulate like boulders on a highway. Devote yourself to clearing obstructions in your relationship through forgiveness.

4. Laugh together

Laughing reduces stress, improves communication, gets past facades, and releases feel-good hormones in the brain. It creates great memories, helps grudges fade, and knits hearts together. Maybe your partner is always cracking you up. Or maybe neither one of you is all that funny, but you both laugh-until-you-cry at the same movies. Wherever you find it, laughter is good for love.

5. Be kind

When it comes to keeping love alive, kindness is essential. For one thing, it breeds appreciation. It also builds trust. It’s hard to stay in love with someone around whom you walk on eggshells because you never know when the next criticism or putdown is coming. In this manner, kindness is the antithesis of abuse and mistreatment.

6. Flirt

Flirting helped you fall in love, and it can help you stay in love. And don’t just flirt with your words—some of the flirtiest things can be said best with body language. Flirting says to your partner, “I’m still attracted to you and still crazy about you!”

7. Protect

Couples stay in love because they value the love they have. That means they do whatever is necessary to defend and safeguard their relationship. All kinds of unwise behaviors–addictions, affairs, lying, misplaced priorities—can jeopardize your unity and undermine your intimacy. That’s why it’s critical to be intentional about protecting what you have together.

Falling in love is one thing. Staying in love is another thing altogether.

May 6, 2015 - 1:25 AM

jenny - Mykkah! these are breathtaking! love the honesty [and that green room with perfect light!]

Drew + Allie – Richmond Romance

Drew and Allie’s wedding was picture perfect if that’s not too cliche to say! The weather was amazing, the church was beautiful, and everyone was dressed to kill! As I look back, there are so many things that I loved about the day itself, but seeing Allie so excited will always be the thing that stands out most in my mind. There’s just something wonderful about the purity and innocence of a wedding. It’s almost like Christmas to a kid. Sure they are 20 something kids, but the expression on their faces says it all! It’s like Christmas for me too because I finally get to see the plans that I’ve talked about with the bride and groom for so long, come to life. What will the dresses look like? How will the bride look? What kind of details will there be? It’s just so great to see it finally come together in one beautifully wrapped package that is the wedding!

The feeling of the wedding was just as contagious as Allie’s excitement. The bridal party seemed more like family and fun was everywhere. The wedding day progressed as most weddings do, but one of my favorite times is when I get to shoot just the couple. I usually try to sneak them away for about 15 minutes around sunset and it’s then that AWESOMENESS is created. What could be more romantic than a newly married couple at sunset just hours after saying “I do?” Not a whole lot in my book and it’s that romance that inspires me.

Most of the time when we get back from shooting the couples portraits the party’s pretty swinging, but with Allie (who’s an actual dancer) the place was off the chain! Young and old were cutting a rug, not to mention Allie’s dad was going head to head in a dance off with Drew! It was so much fun and everyone was having the time of their lives. There was cake in the face, practical jokes as the garter toss catcher thought he would be putting the garter on Allie’s beautiful sister, and conga lines to the door. What a celebration!

As you’ll see in the photos below, this wedding was full of beautiful things and gorgeous people, But what I loved most was getting to share this precious day with two wonderful people that turned their day into not just your average wedding; but one full of fun, excitement, and most importantly deep love.

I can’t thank you enough for allowing me to document such an important day!

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Jesse & Courtney – 1st Anniversary

What could be better than celebrating a couple’s first year of marriage with a sun filled portrait session? Jesse and Courtney had just returned home from a year of living in Italy where Jesse played professional basketball. It had to have been an amazing first year because these two were still stuck together like glue. It was definitely refreshing to see how their marriage had thrived while they were away.

I like to think that I’m not a sap, but these two “had me at hello” – haha! At every shoot, a wedding, an engagement session, even a family portrait session, I’m on the lookout for beautiful moments, ones most people pay no attention to.
These beautiful split seconds are the sparks I live for. And if most people are a spark, these two had to be an explosion! I loved watching them hold hands and laugh together as we walked to different locations chatting about their new experiences. They are still in love and capturing that fact was awesome!

During most shoots I coach people to help them interact in a way that sets up the photo I’m after, but with these two I almost felt lazy. All I had to do was sit back and watch them. It was clear to see their love for each other was all that mattered that day; each was the star in the other’s sky!

Love is such a priceless possession! Jesse and Courtney inaudibly challenged me that day to love more, want less, and prefer – above all else – the one I love. I really hope you enjoy these photos, but more importantly I hope these images remind you to nurture the love you started and never forget the promises you made.

I leave you with this:

“So it’s not gonna be easy. It’s going to be really hard; we’re gonna have to work at this everyday, but I want to do that because I want you. I want all of you, forever, everyday. You and me… everyday.”

― Nicholas Sparks, The Notebook

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