always been

But I never set out to be a photographer. I was (and still am!) going to be a writer. And then as I worked toward that writing goal, someone put a camera in my hand and asked me to try telling stories with something besides words. So with an English nerd's love for character and tone, a romantic's love for poignant beauty, and a realist's love for imperfection, I dove in.

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always been a

That was back in 2010.

Since that time, photography has changed much of my life. It's brought me some of my dearest friends. It's reshaped the way my husband Danny and I view serving others. It has even literally taken me around the world. One thing that hasn't changed: my soul-stirring desire to tell stories that feel so real you're sure you knew them before you heard them. Or saw them. It's my privilege to tell those stories for my clients, and for the generations of their families still to come.

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Colleen + Mike – Crozet Engagement Portraits in the Blue Ridge Mountains | Charlottesville Virginia Wedding Photography

Tuesday, July 9th, 2013

They met in high school, in their home town of Orlando. Then, together, they headed off to college at the University of Florida. Then Mike moved on to get his masters in journalism at Northwestern — and Colleen couldn’t go with him, because she had her new nursing job back home. But once Mike landed a position in Virginia and Colleen was ready to look for a new nursing job, she followed him to the mountains. Because he asked her to go with him not just there, but everywhere. As his wife. And because Colleen had most certainly said yes.

We were so excited to get together with Colleen and Mike in Virginia last month! We met about halfway between their home and our northern Virginia base — right in Danny’s old stomping grounds in the Blue Ridge Mountains, a little town called Crozet just outside of Charlottesville, which was the very town where he’d gone to high school. And we couldn’t have asked for a better setting for their shoot.

We began the afternoon at Chiles Peach Orchard –an orchard Danny had also frequented as a kid. Colleen and Mike made it look even more beautiful.Like every single other groom we’ve ever worked with, Mike wasn’t entirely sure that the camera would love him. Guess what? It looooved them both. We did, too.I thought Colleen’s necklace was fantastic. And so was the way she couldn’t help giggling around Mike. Serious favorite alert coming up!
Peach picking — I think it took Colleen back to her high school basketball days as they jumped for the ripest fruit at the tops of the trees.
These two were so awesome — you would never know that it was pretty much the hottest day of the year. As soon as we wrapped up in the orchard, we all headed inside to the shop and bought cold drinks . . . then Colleen and Mike made a quick change and we headed out to explore some of the country roads nearby.

Confession: Danny and I had scouted said country roads in advance. And we had found a few spots that made my mountain-loving heart absolutely sing.And we found some amazing light. Colleen + Mike, you two looked fabulous!Perhaps my two favorite shots of the whole day. . . .I could have stayed there forever, just watching the sun slide across the sky and the shadows of the clouds above shift across the hillsides.

But we had a few more stops to make. And we found horses.There was one more place we needed to visit: A quiet little roadside field, with the most breathtaking view. Colleen had told me she didn’t really care where we shot their engagement session, but she wanted a mountain backdrop for part of their engagement, because the mountains have become a big part of that Florida girl’s everyday life. So we found Colleen some mountains.Oh, yes, Colleen wanted these two Florida grads to Gator Chomp for a few photos . . . and here’s what happened . . .
. . . which was the last bit of convincing I needed. Colleen and Mike, your wedding is going to be an absolute blast!But they can be every bit as romantic as they can be silly. This picture makes me just sigh.Want to see more? Click on for Colleen and Mike’s slideshow!

You two, we were so, so thrilled that we were able to get together in Virginia to get to know each other and shoot your engagement session in the Blue Ridge Mountains! We were already excited for your Dubsdread wedding in February, but now we’re doubly exciting. We can’t wait to see you again in the winter!

~ Laura

  1. […] I love this moment. Then came the time for pictures with just Colleen and Mike. After their engagement session in Virginia last June, we knew these two are perfect together. It shows in the way they interact, the way they […]

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