Cuyahoga Valley National Park, Ohio
While planning our engagement session with Ashley and JJ they offered some direction that we really resonated with. They explained that they wanted their photographs to feel adventurous and natural. As such, we decided to go to Virginia Kendall Ledges, coincidentally the same area of the national park where Ashley and JJ had their first date. It was a more free flow shoot than normal; we just hiked around and stopped when we saw something gorgeous.
At the beginning of the shoot, everyone was a little cold, both conversationally and physically (it’s hard to be 100% natural immediately when there’s a camera involved, there’s just something about it). However, as we walked around (and got out our Hot Hands) we got to learn a lot about Ashley and JJ and their story. One of my favorite stories of theirs was their engagement story–Ashley was coming home from a trip to Africa and JJ was waiting for her at the airport with a sign that had her name on it as she came down the escalator. As she was riding down to the surprise of seeing him there, he flipped the sign and it said, “Will you marry me?” Ashley said it was a total surprise; JJ had picked out the ring himself and planned everything without her knowing!
We continued exploring the National Park, slipping down snowy banks and squeezing through narrow rock passages. While it was still considerably cold, we were able to enjoy such a unique experience.
It really does point to what we’re good at–making friends and getting to know people, even if it isn’t perfect connection immediately we work with the couples that we do because we believe we were built to work with them. Something in their DNA and ours connects; our stories are similar enough that our kindred spirits will carry us to success.