It's Valentine's Day! I felt like blogging about some of my favorite couples. As a professional photographer, I've had the opportunity to photograph MANY couples and have seen some amazing love stories. There are, however, a few love stories that definitely stick out in my mind. Some of these beautiful couples are people who are near and dear to my heart, some are clients with an undeniable love for each other, and some are clients, who have over the years become sweet friends.
This is the first year in many many years that I, myself, have my very own Valentine. I was married to my husband, Brooks, in November of 2017. I hit the "Jackpot of Love" with this man, as he is a bleeding heart romantic to his very core. He knows the meaning of love and shows it each and every day. I'm an incredibly blessed girl and God knew what He was doing when He sent me this sweet man. The photo's above are photo's that I took of us during our engagement as well as on our wedding day. (Yes, this photographer actually took her own engagement and some of her own wedding portraits!)
The 4 couples below are 4 couples who have played a role in my life and their marriages have stood the test of time. They are couples who I have enjoyed watching over the years, taking notes, receiving counsel, and sharing life with. They are couples that, to me as a woman of faith, embody what the Biblical definition of marriage is. I love to see couples who have been married 20, 30, 40, 50+ years and have a completely solid foundation of love for God and each other.
I have loved watching my Mom, Joan, and my stepdad William over the years. They have a beautiful relationship that you can see the fun loving spirit and loyalty that they have with each other.
Terry & Marty are my "Frarents". (very close friends who have become like parents) Married 47 years and have loved each other through both good and hard times. They both have very different personalities, but at the end of the day, they are one of the most loving and caring couples I've had the privilege to know.
Teresa and Richard have been married 36 years and the love and respect they have for each other has always amazed me. Teresa became physically disabled early in their marriage and they both worked through it and are one of the strongest couples I know. They love having fun and spending time together and have not allowed physical limitations to get in the way of doing what they love!
Pastor Pat and Pastor Larry Freeman were married for 55 years before Larry wen to be with the Lord in 2016. They spent their entire lives dedicated to the ministry and leading precious people to Christ. Pat told us during our pre-marital counseling sessions that Larry was the "real romantic" in their marriage, which is how it is in my marriage. Pat still wears Larry's wedding ring as a testament to their love.
Th Photo's of the couples below portray couples that are in various stages of their relationships and marriages but their love has inspired me.
Emily is my daughter and at the young age of 19 is dating a wonderful young man, Nathan. So many young relationships could learn a lot from them. They are putting God center of their relationship, they spend a lot of time talking about the "important stuff" and always seem to put each other first. As a Mom, I couldn't be more proud of my daughter and her special young man who has become like family to us.
Lisa and Dwayne are local potters (Wildchild Clayworks) who work together to create incredible pottery pieces. The fun they have together and the love for each other is very very evident.
Elizabethanne and Jonathan are a couple I have loved watching over the last few years, both giving love and marriage a second chance, blending their families together with a total of 7 children and a handful of fur children. They affectionately call themselves a "herd" and their family story is heartwarming.
Cassie and James were the very first "tourist" family I photographed back in March of 2010. I have watched them as they went through the most difficult thing a couple could go through as they helped their sweet baby girl Karsyn battle cancer and then lose her to that battle several years later. Through it all they remained strong and their love has grown. They now have another sweet little girl and this photo was taken during the maternity session.
Jill & John are a couple with 8 children who have managed to not only survive, but thrive through John's absence serving in our military. John may have been absent in body for quite a few years of their marriage, off and on, but it is obvious that he only has eyes for Jill and vice versa. I spent an afternoon with them and hearing the love they have for each other gave me so much hope as an at that time single woman.
Heather and Michael were some of my first local clients that have become friends over the years. I've photographed their family numerous times and have gotten to know them. They are one of the couples that, for me, you can just "see" the love they share for God, each other, and their 3 children.
Whether it's blending a large family, learning to work side by side day after day, making a relationship thrive when you are apart from the other, or facing unfathomable tragedy together, it is often the most challenging things we have to face together that truly solidify a relationship into a lifelong treasure.
The last set of images are images of clients. A few I've become better acquainted with and they have shared their beautiful stories with me. A few simply inspired me by the evident love that they share. A few have been married for 50-60+ years! These are the things that inspire me on Valentine's Day. Love that embodies the scripture in the book of 1 Corinthians 13: 4-8.
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.
May you have abundant love in your life, today and every day!