Some people are amazing. Just in and out- flat out- amazing. That is exactly how I feel about Laurelle and Drew. When Laurelle and I first started chatting, I instantly loved her. I could tell that our personalities were similar- and her laid back nature was something that I absolutely adored. The second she said that she was having a country themed wedding- my heart jumped out of my chest. YES!! Honestly, the key to my heart is through a country theme and amazing cake.
We started talking about our families, and Laurelle mentioned that her fiance, Drew, was in the Army for 7 years and was deployed to Afghanistan, Iraq, and Africa. Anyone who knows me knows that am over the moon grateful for our veterans. Over the last 4 years, I have coordinated fundraising efforts for my company that has generated over $150,000 for the Semper Fi Fund, the Gary Sinise Foundation, The Travis Mills Foundation, Your Grateful Nation- and this year we will be fundraising for Folds of Honor. I give photography discounts to our veterans (as well as first responders and teachers), and am a proud supporter of The Hometown Hero Project. So- having the privilege to be the photographer for an American hero- SIGN ME UP!
After a few weeks of chatting, figuring out the perfect location, theme, style, outfits, and more- I finally got to meet them. I'm going to be honest- since I primarily do all of my communications with the bride- I never really know what to expect with the grooms. I'm always a slight bit nervous to meet them- although I don't know why because I have never met a "trouble maker" groom yet (that could be because I have only worked with remarkable couples). When we get out of our cars to make the introduction- I knew right away that I had nothing to worry about. THIS FAMILY WAS PERFECT! Drew jumped out and introduced himself- without any type of timidness. It was about 3 seconds before he cracked the first joke- and I'm going to be honest, he set the mood for the day. I knew that it was going to be a very organic and entertaining photoshoot- and I appreciated his humor and free spirit that lightened the introduction and first meeting jitters.
I got to meet Laurelle and her kids- who were just SO sweet. Seriously, we had a two hour photoshoot- and it wasn't until the last few minutes that the kids started getting restless. To be fair, there was a promise of Taco Bell after the shoot- and if I were the kids, after about 20 minutes I would have been demanding my Cheesy Gordita Crunch. I have seen full blown adults get fussy after a half hour, so for these kids to last as long as they did, without complaining- and being attentive enough to randomly jump in photos as quick as they did throughout the day.... let's just say that I need to start getting parenting tips from Laurelle!! As for Laurelle- I honestly felt like I already knew her. From our initial conversation, to the many chats about family, clothing options, wedding day schedules- to even a haircut that her son gave himself the day of the photoshoot (to "fix it")- I honestly felt like I was just meeting up with a long lost friend. She is exactly the person who I had pictured- and I just hope that I met her expectations after our first meeting.
As the night went on, we got a ton of photos. On the bridge... on another bridge... don't forget about the bridge over there, then that other bridge HAHA!! I LOVE Crosswinds Marsh because you can have 10 different settings, and they are all on bridges. We mixed up the night starting with couples photos, adding in the kids, going back to couples photos, switching things up with a few military themed photos, and so on. As the sun was setting and the sky started becoming a beautiful color- we got the last few family photos before we called it a night.
All I can say about this photoshoot was that it was a pleasure. It was laid back, it was fun, just slightly sweaty, not too "mosquito-ey"... just enjoyable. Now it's going to be an excruciating wait until their wedding in September, but at least I get a few months to plan all the amazing country themed photos that I get to take. Laurelle, Drew, and kiddos- thank you so much for choosing me as your photographer, and for being kind, and strong, and entertaining!
For their full gallery, check out: https://beckysteffensphotography.pixieset.com//mrandmrsbriones/