Carrie and Josh: the back story

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Usually a sleepy summer month, this August has kicked my… this is a family station… you know what.  Its been a flurry of shooting and traveling, generating oh-so-much to share.  Even so, I have to take a step back.  This past June I shared a gorgeous wedding and promised to fill you in on the back story: the engagement shoot and bridals that led up to the big day.

Many couples aren’t sure how to approach their engagement shoot but Carrie and Josh had no doubt, they pulled us right into the inner sanctum: the house.  Mind you, most couples do everything in their power to hide renovation projects from public view, diverting social plans with even the closest of friends to nearby restaurants until such time that the tarps and paint buckets have made way for the great reveal.

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What brings two people together like a renovation?  Just about everything else, according to divorce statistics which put home renovation towards the top of the list of stressors on a marriage!

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Yes, its inconvenient: ducking under dust walls, tripping over power tools, footprints all over the floor like dance instructions gone awry.  Carrie and Josh don’t even seem to see the present, only the possibility.  From the moment we arrived, it was clear that this was no “starter house.”  If all goes as planned, this will be the house where they raise their children, where they will retire and where their grandchildren will come to stay.  So it makes sense that the beginning of the story, photographically anyway, should be here.

The front door was installed the day before we arrived.  So it seemed like a good day to take a picture in front of it.

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If you look to the left, you’ll see a tree with redish leaves, a Japanese maple I believe.  This is the “forever” tree.  This is where a picture will be taken on the day of every big event, every first day of school, every family portrait.  The tree isn’t much to look at right now, its still young.  But give it time.

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We pushed back this portrait session three times because Carrie wanted so badly for the kitchen to be finished for these shots.  But you know how it is… take a contractor’s estimate (i.e. 3 months to complete) and multiply by 4 (a year to complete) and you’re going to be a lot closer to the actual finish date.  Josh’s very favorite thing is Carrie’s yellow cake with chocolate frosting so she wanted pictures of her baking cupcakes.  While she had to make the actual cupcakes offsite and bring them to the house, it didn’t keep us from some fun in the kitchen.  So now you understand the groom’s cake….  And you may recognize the cake topper as well.  DIY, baby!

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After cake we decided to take a walk down a the path that winds through their property to the river.  Gus, their dog, wanted to come along.  It was the perfect ending to the day and I’m guessing this same walk will be the perfect end to a lot of days.

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Carrie and Josh’s wedding took place at Willow Oak Country Club where the willow oak became a theme of sorts.  The location was no accident, they knew that trees would play a certain role in their wedding wherever it took place.  It was at Maymont that Josh proposed to Carrie, a place where they liked to climb trees when first dating.  So of course, her bridals should be taken there.  The big surprise, for the moms anyway, was when Carrie mentioned that she really wanted to climb into a tree in her wedding dress for the display picture at the wedding.  Bless her heart, Carrie climbed right on up there, heels and all.  And that’s where the flare of the sun through the trees became a recurring theme, something that luck allowed me to repeat through all three of their shoots.

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While there were certainly the traditional poses, I loved this bridal portrait session for its whimsy.  Carrie was so willing to be playful, to romp with wild abandon, which made me romp right along with her, camera in hand.  I wish that every bride could feel so beautiful and carefree.

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So here it is, a blast from the past and a nod to the future.  Congrats once again to Carrie and Josh!

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