Over the past few years, I have been honored to meet some AMAZING couples. Moreover, I have been tremendously blessed to read their "Love Story." Since 2012, I have been offering a “Define Your Love” Photo Session Giveaway to couples!
I want you to go down memory lane with me, to see some of the submissions! Here are just a few I had the opportunity to photograph and fall in love with.
Brandon & Lanisha
My father once said, “Finding the one you love will come as a complete surprise because it will transpire, not while in search of it, as the heart sees what is invisible to the eyes.” I must concur that he was accurate when he stated it would come as a surprise because to say that I had absolutely no intention of meeting my life partner at the annual Atlanta Greek Picnic would be an understatement. Now to my father’s second point, I must disagree as my heart and my eyes were in complete harmony as I admired her beauty, eyes affixed on her smile and heart beating rapidly consumed in her elegance. I know what you are imagining, my beautiful fiancé covered in a casual summer dress walking in the vibrant sunlight with the wind blowing through her hair.
She was in fact surrounded by her sorority sisters, attempting to do the “Dougie” in a causal summer dress with the vibrant sunlight directing all the attention on her and there was no wind at all. I was a bit upset at the time with my fraternity brothers for not providing the money required to get the hotel and was ready to go back home at this point. But as we all know, “fun” equals global medicine. The life in her smile and the excitement in her laughter pulled me in within seconds and I immediately grabbed my line brother and said, “That is going to be my future wife”.
Too nervous to speak directly to her, and too prideful to be let down in front of my fraternity brothers, I began to act silly. I attempted to exude confidence, and poke out my chest to illustrate I’m a pretty fit guy.
We finally decided to push our egos and pride aside and to not miss an opportunity on something special. While surrounded by her sorority sisters and my fraternity brothers I could no longer resist, I gave her “the look” and asked if she would walk and talk with me. She was hesitant at first, but eventually decided to come along. This would only be the beginning of our love story. Immediately we connected, the conversations were stimulated by substance, sincerity, and relevance.
We literally lost track of time as we traveled majority of downtown Atlanta walking and talking for hours upon hours. For three long days and late nights we shared our experiences, goals, and fears breaking down barrier after barrier slowly falling in love with the thought of being together. We would begin conversing during the day around 5pm and would end up falling asleep wherever we ended up by around 8am the next morning. We were uniting our emotions and minds, slowly engraving memories in our brains and places in our hearts for one another. We were falling in love. Never mind the 50 parties and every variety of single educated male and female in the country. Never mind the distractions put in front of us from our fraternity and sorority members. No matter where we were, we navigated toward one another and enjoyed each others company every single day until departure.
She had it planned in her mind that she would never talk to me again once we departed because she refused to involve herself in a long distance relationship. I traveled back to the state of Delaware and she returned home to Ohio. We continued our intense conversations, one minute she thought I was great, the next minute she hated me for living in Delaware. But what she didn’t know was that I was holding a dear secret to my heart. My father had been diagnosed with cancer and I had been working to get back to Ohio for the past three months. I didn’t want to bring it up as I didn’t want to stir up all the excitement to only be disappointed later. The distance was causing frustration for the both of us and pushing us to our limits until one day I received a call that I would be receiving a promotion and would be relocating to Columbus, OH.
My first day in Ohio was the day I decided I would begin to save for the ring and the rest of my life with Lanisha Whaley. Because I wanted to ensure she had a love story that never ended I put a lot of effort in preparing for the proposal which is why I started planning nine months in advance. We went ring shopping and of course every ring she picked up I yelled to the top of my lungs, “Girl are you crazy? That’s way too expensive, put that down!” Only to return and get the one she cried about the most. Words of advice for any male looking to propose, “Never get the ring six months prior to getting engaged”. You will end up driving yourself insane. Every moment seemed like the right moment...
Brittany & Geremiah
If I had to put a title on our love story it would have to be the corny cliché "Opposites Truly do Attract". Almost everything about us is different! He is very outgoing and spontaneous, whereas I always have to have a plan/schedule or routine to live by. I am a homebody and he feels at home wherever we may be. He's a city boy (but he will tell you he grew up in the country) with four older siblings, and I'm the suburban girl, the oldest of 3. Our differences make us right for each other allowing us to gain a new perspective on life and help "fill in the blanks" for one another.
It was my first day as an co-manager for Kroger. I was supposed to meet another co-manager at the store whom I would be shadowing the next two weeks. I arrived at the store five minutes before he did (the only time I would ever beat him somewhere in our).
When we first came face to face, we locked eyes. The very first thing I noticed was his smile! It can make anyone's day brighter and any and every woman blush a little; its just so contagious! Being my normal self, I was quiet and reserved. I instantly noticed how well he spoke to his employees while still maintaining his professionalism. He could sell water to a whale if he needed to, not because he is sly but because he is so sincere and can talk confidence into anyone. As the day went on I heard employees whispering and giggling. At the end of the day, he explained why. The ladies in the deli had made the comment that we looked like Barbie and Ken and it had spread around the store. Everyone knew that he liked me, but could not work up the courage to admit it. Instead, he always responded to them, "I'm just keeping it professional."
As soon as I left the store that evening I had to call my mom and tell her about my day, which obviously consisted more about the new guy I met rather than the actual work part. I had to tell her how attractive he was and about his great smile. I went on and on about his lively personality. I was all smiles that evening. I had never experienced a feeling quite like this. Apparently he had done the same thing, because two days later he told me that his mother was coming up here to meet me, because he had told her that I was "beautiful as Sh!t" and she had to see for herself. This really caught me off guard, because this is when it really hit me that my feeling towards him were mutual. It was also the first time a guy's mother took the initiative to meet me. Needless to say that I was nervous, but he was just as nervous I was because he did not expect for his mother to want to come up to the store to meet me. I didn't know what to expect, but she greeted me with a hug and said that she had never heard him describe another woman like he did me so she had to come see for herself.
Two weeks later, I gave in to my stubborn ways and let my guard down and we went on our first date to Wings and Rings. Now that I look back, I laugh. For some reason I was so nervous!! I didn't eat any of my food and barely said a word at first. He probably thought I was the weirdest girl. As we started to leave, we stood in the parking lot for about 3 hours or more just talking...
Franklin & Kelli
Scott and I met through mutual friends while in college in the fall of 2008. He was invited out for my birthday with a large group, and we became friends very quickly. We flirted on and off for a few years and even went on a few wonderful dates, but I graduated and moved an hour away in 2010.
In March of 2011, we reconnected, and have been head over heels ever since. Scott's easy-going attitude and fun-loving personality has made for a wonderful start to our lives together. On March 12, 2013, Scott surprised me at home with a custom made photo book he had published of our story together. He compiled pictures of us growing up, our two years dating, and toward the end included a picture of my engagement ring.