For weeks Rex told Ashley he wouldn’t make it to Christmas in Cincinnati with her family. The two hadbeen dating long distance since Ashely moved back to her home town to work as a pediatric physical therapist. Because of the distance, Ashely was really hoping to see her far away love.
Two days before Christmas, her mother asked Ashley to make a last minute gift run. The shopping route took them past Ashley and Rex’s Freshman dorms (where they met nine years ago). There, waiting on the same steps they climbed together on a daily basis, was Rex. Ashely’s mom pushed her out of the car, (she at least stopped first) leaving the two alone. As she approached, Rex bent to one knee and amongst hundreds of glowing candles, asked Ashely to be his wife. She happily accepted!
Kate comes up my front steps carrying a bag full of clothes on one arm and a bag of shoes on the other. “I brought options.”
“Wonderful!” I said. “Let’s see what you’ve got.”
I’ve known Kate for a few years now. She is tall, striking, and fun. Her fiance TJ is laid back and with all-American features and a Midwestern easygoing nature.
Kate shows me her options and we select a black dress with a slight cowl-neck paired with jeweled flip-flops for her first outfit. For the second, she chooses a grey-blue dress with ruffles that reminds me of the soft tones of dusk and the waves on Lake Michigan.
It’s the part of the summer when nearly every evening ends in warm-golden light. During Kate and Tj’s session, the sun is low in the sky–it cuts through the steel beams of the El and wraps around their figures. It carves out the texture in the bricks and brings out the amber in her eyes. Then later, it softens into pinks, blues, and purples.
They walk together on the beach, Tj’s arm draped over Kate’s shoulder. They move toward the shoreline, where Kate, barefoot, walks carefree through the waves and Tj pulls at his pant legs to keep them from getting wet.
When the sun is nearly set, they sit together in a position of comfort. Kate leans into Tj and their limbs tangle together.
It was a beautiful evening. Thank you Kate and Tj for letting me document it.
I’ve known Amber since the days of TLC, Step-by-Step, and my baggy jeans phase. She is my sister’s best friend and like family to us. I’m so happy
for her and Sean! Their wedding is this August; it will be the second time I return to “The Good Life” (State slogan, but who can argue?) for wedding photography this summer. What a bonus-I get to return to my roots for a job I love to do! It’s going to be so special to see Amber marrying her love-who happens to be a GREAT GUY!
Love you both!
A few side notes:
1. I was nearly arrested during this session. Ok, ok, I wasn’t nearly arrested, just nearly ticketed for photographing on the tracks-an old school habit that didn’t use to be a big deal. Luckily Amber charmed the police officer and even got him to pose for a picture!
2. At the end of the session I gave Shawn a big squeeze. “Ah, you’re a hugger just like your sister,” he said with a wide grin. “Yep! It’s a Rife sister thing.” Sean, expect a hug come August!
We started at Northwestern’s library, a location Lindsay and Matt have spent a lot of time in over the past few years. Both graduate student at Northwestern University, the two share a common love of books, travel, and now Brazilian music. Matt wasn’t always a fan of the samba rhythms, but he developed an appreciation after dating Lindsay, who DJ’s a Brazilian radio show every Monday.
Between Northwestern’s library, modeled after Oxford’s famous shelves, and 2nd Hand tunes with rows and rows of music to flip through, I was in heaven. Thank you Lindsay and Matt for choosing such out of the box and IMHO interesting locations! I can’t wait for the wedding! P.S. To the viewers-It just so happens that one of the locations we photographed at was a wall with the graffiti art reading “Don’t buy diamonds.” Coincidentally, Lindsay’s engagement ring is diamond free.
The morning of Nick and Molly’s engagement shoot, the sky was overcast and threatening. I worried the rain would fall exactly when we began shooting. Glancing up at the dark gray, sad sky, I said, “Why today of all days?” Then I checked myself, backtracked and pronounced, “It’s going to turn out amazing. The light’s going to be beautiful.”
Thirty minutes before the shoot, it started to sprinkle. It seemed my declaration faded without a response. It was a light drizzle though, so we didn’t cancel the shoot. By the time I met up with Nick and Molly, the rain was finished, and the sky was beautiful.
The rest of the shoot turned out great. We snapped a few pictures in the city before heading out to the “country,” aka Barrington Hills aka the most picturesque suburb I’ve visited to date.
Molly and Nick are a case of a successful blind date. “I asked Molly to marry me the first time three months into it.” Granted there wasn’t a ring at that point, but it was promise of what was to come for them. They just “knew.”