He could no longer wait for the right moment to come. He had to make it happen. High school was drawing to a close and each day that passed was a day that he could have told her. A day that he could have taken her on a date. A day that he could have gotten to know her better. He decided that he would not let one more day pass him by. So he found her in the hallway and took the chance. He laid it all out on the table, told her that what he felt for her was something deeper than just the friendship they had shared for the last couple of years. And to his surprise, she felt the same way.
So it began. Hours of talking about anything and everything, dates so magical they felt like they were living in their own fairy tale and a summer that seemed like it would never end. It was a love that came on so strong so fast that it would scare most people. And it did, but not them. They knew, even then, that they had found something real. In those three months together they learnt more about each other than they ever could have imagined. More than that, they learned how to care about one another, how to grow together and they built a connection so strong that nothing could break it. While others said that it was too soon, too fast - they savored each passing moment. Every experience, big or small, was a gift to be treasured. Because although they knew they had found the perfect person, they knew it wasn't the right time for them yet. So with heavy hearts they said goodbye as summer turned to fall, unsure what they future would hold but confident that they would find each other once again.
They went their separate ways, venturing out into the "real world" on their own, struggling to find their way. Because, really, how could you find your place in the world without having the person you were meant to share your life with by your side? Two years went by - he joined the Marines, she pursued her dream of teaching Italian. Change came fast and often, but one thing remained constant. They would each think back to that summer - a glimpse of what could have been. Nothing before or since had even felt so real. They never felt more at home, more complete, than they had in those few months.
So when he came home from boot camp, he found himself in a familiar predicament. No longer willing to wait for the right moment to come again, he knew he had to make it happen. He wouldn't let another year, another month, another day pass him by - he had to find her. And so he did. This time he didn't even have to lay it all on the table, one look in her eyes and he just knew that she felt the same. And so it begins. A life filled with hours of talking, magical dates and a complete confidence that their love can overcome any time or space that may ever come between them. Because it already has.
JEN & JOE
Jen & Joe are one of those couples that fit together like a jigsaw puzzle. Once you spend time with them you completely understand how they work together. To say that Jen is a force of nature is to put it mildly - she is so full of life and love that it practically just flows right out of her. When you see her with Joe you can tell that's one of the many things that he loves about her. Joe is more reserved - steady, strong and constant, willing to take on the world for her. Together they are the perfect balance. She shows him the pleasure in the little everyday things and he helps her navigate through all of life's ups and downs. Believe it or not, we could see that about Jen and Joe right away, back when we first met them in February to talk about their wedding. We couldn't wait to do their engagement session, to be able to translate that connection into pictures they could treasure for years to come.
Jen scouted out locations and decided on Topsmead State Forest in Litchfield for their session. We had never been there and we very excited for the chance to photograph at a new place, especially one as beautiful as Topsmead. Jen was beyond excited when we arrived - not only for the pictures, but for the solid couple of hours of time together with Joe as well. It was insanely windy that day, but Jen & Joe were troupers through it all - venturing out all over the forest, even climbing a tree at one point. Of course the cold wind was made a bit easier by Jen's aunt who had stopped by the Forest before the session and left Jen & Joe a "surprise" - a thermos of hot chocolate (which they very graciously shared with us - thank you again!). We could go on and on about how sweet these two are together, but we'll let the pictures speak for themselves.
Jen & Joe thank you for such an amazing day! Can't wait to see you both again in July!
When we drove into Tompsmead Forest in Litchfield to meet up with Jen & Joe we were immediately beyond excited. This place was so cool and we saw like a million places to shoot and we hadn't even parked the car yet. We started their session right outside the parking area underneath these huge pine trees right by a stone wall.
We already knew that Jen & Joe were a great couple but when we started photographing them we truly saw how sweet they are with each other.
The beautiful even light with the little bits of sun poking through in the background was wonderful.
I personally loved this tree-lined roadway into the park, if that was the only place for us to shoot that day, I would have been completely content but as you will soon see this place had so much to offer.
Kathleen captured this sweet moment as Jen & Joe took a seat on the stone wall.
I grabbed this relaxed portrait of Jen & Joe before going in to explore the park.
As we got in a little bit we took a quick detour in order to take a couple of shots by these apple trees.
While we were by the apple trees we had noticed these really beautiful blueish clouds rolling. I absolutely love the contrast between the clouds and the vibrant green grass and how they seem to meet each other in a perfect line.
As the weather was changing the park was filled with this incredible energy. The wind was blowing, there was no one else around, it was really perfect.
As I was capturing some shots from down the hill Kathleen captured this photo Joe picking up and embracing Jen.
This is also Kathleen's shot...
...as I was capturing this one at the same moment. We were totally in love with that tree...
...so of course we had to go over to it and spend a couple moments by it.
Seriously if we had to tell Jen to stop smiling (and why would we want to do that) I think it would be impossible. Jen has such a energetic and bubbly personality which combines so nicely with Joe's laid back and steady personality. They certainly fit together nicely.
Don't ever underestimate the importance of a great straight-on portrait. Parents, family members and newspapers love them! :)
We headed over to the house that was part of the park where we spotted a couple little nooks to have some fun with. We really loved the texture of this wall and the light coming in.
This is one of the nicest things ever. Jen's aunt who knew Jen & Joe were meeting up with us for their engagement session left a card and a thermos filled with hot chocolate for us to share. It was such a nice treat on this cool October day.
I like how the wooden beams added to this photo. This is my view...
...and this is Kathleen's view just a moment later. Aren't Jen's eyes wonderful!
There was a small garden that we stopped by right outside the veranda before we headed out to one of the fields in front of the house.
Most of the lawn was cut but for those of you who know Kathleen and I well we found the grass that had not been cut and headed right into the middle of it all. Plus this spot gave us a great view of the house in the background.
Love this moment! :)
And this is the reason that we love un-cut grass. It gives such great detail and visual interest to the image.
Have we mentioned yet how into each other Jen & Joe are?!?!
I absolutely love this black and white image that Kathleen got of Jen and Joe stealing a kiss when they didn't think we were looking. :)
It was such a great day and Jen and Joe were totally willing to do anything even lay down with each other and relax in the slightly wet grass. :)
Out of these three images, my personal favorite is the one at the bottom right that Kathleen shot. I love how Jen and Joe are out of focus. Such a nice image!
Doesn't this photo make you want to take a day off just to lay in a field and watch the clouds go by. So relaxing!
After relaxing in the field for a while we did eventually head back up by the house where we found another garden to shoot a couple of photos in.
We really enjoy playing with depth-of-field to create artistic and timeless images.
Remember how I said we really loved this tree? Well, since we loved it so much we wanted to make sure we stopped by again to grab a couple more shots.
This shot makes us smile! :)
I really like the angle of this image that Kathleen photographed.
This was such a fun session filled with a lot of sitting around, relaxing and laughing. This house which at one time was a private residence provided such a nice backdrop.
Where did the summer go? I think we could have found a little more time to kick up our feet. We will have to put it on our TO DO list!!
On our way back to our cars as we were finishing up their session, we just had to take a couple more photos at the place where we started. I was inspired to take my own photo of Jen & Joe out of focus to show the beautiful roadway.
Autumn time in CT is one of our favorite times and I think this image pretty much shows some of the reasons why.
Jen & Joe, you are such a great couple and we can't wait for your wedding. Thank you so much for spending the afternoon with us and for bringing such great energy with you. We hope you enjoyed your session as much as we enjoyed capturing it for you! ~Rob & Kathleen~