Stephanie, a redheaded animal lover with a passion for making a difference. Felix, a military man who has finally made his way back home to his girl. After years of being apart, late night Skype-dates, and anxiously awaiting his next visit, these two finally get the happy ending (or beginning) they deserve. (Warning: super long and sappy blog post about friendship, forgiveness, and the sweetest of love stories!)
True story: I met Stephanie in the first grade and we were childhood best friends. I remember when she met Felix in high school and they just seemed to fit. She was the crazy redhead and he was the calm Puerto Rican who loved her with the sweetest of intensities. I immediately noticed that he was just good, and was the total gentleman that she deserved. As time tends to do, Stephanie and I eventually grew apart, but the magics of Facebook allowed us to keep up with each other’s lives. Even through all the years of traveling with the military and pursing her degree, I was thrilled to see that these two remained in love and appeared stronger than ever. I’ll never forget the one day that I saw a tagged photo of Stephanie on Facebook, and saw that she had a ring on that finger. I was so excited that they were getting married after all this time, but a part of me was saddened that I wouldn’t be there to celebrate with her. It had been years since we’d spoken, but my heart was still missing my redheaded best friend. When we were little we would always dream about our adults lives and somehow they were happening without the other in it.
And again, as time tends to heal all things, we were suddenly all at dinner catching up over the last 5 years and all that we’d missed. Apologies were said and tears cried, and somehow we were then talking wedding details in a crowded bar in Winston-Salem. I wasn’t arrogant enough to believe that after all these years, they’d want me to shoot their wedding. I’d missed too much and we’d all changed from who we were in high school. So when they asked me to be their wedding photographer, I was shocked and over-the-moon excited to capture this amazing couple who’s beginning I’d witnessed. A huge part of the way I serve and love people is through my gift of photography, and to be able to serve them in this way is something that I never imagined I’d get the opportunity to do.
This couple is one of the most amazing, resilient, and fun-loving couples I know. It has been a long journey for them to get to this place: for their plans to finally include them staying and traveling together. They share a love that knows no bounds or obstacle. When Stephanie told me that he proposed during a hike to Stone Mountain, I knew that a mountain-top engagement session would be perfect. Imagine: her beautiful long hair blowing in the wind, the mountains towering in the background, and the sweetest of cuddles by the sweetest of couples. And on top of that mountain on a very chilly and windy Wednesday, we created something amazing together. We created art. Their connection is so tangible that with a snap of the shutter, it was there. I know that I’ve missed a lot of time getting to know these two, but what I saw on that mountain last week was magic. True love like that cannot be faked or broken, and what an honor it was to be able to capture that in service to them. They braved the cold and wind, hiked up a mountain, and went along with my crazy ideas, and for that I am so thankful. My heart is so full. Thank you.
Thank you, Stephanie & Felix, for giving me the immense joy of photographing your love. I cannot wait for your beautiful fall wedding!