ellie + tate | ringwood, il engagement.

Ellie started her first semester as a freshman at Bradley University in the fall of 2012, and she ended up meeting Tate at a party that first weekend out as a college student. As she told me this story, I thought back to what I was like as a baby-faced college freshman: a little meek and uncertain, but wildly excited by all of the life to be lived ahead of me – all of the things that I would experience in the years to come that would shape who I was and would I would eventually become. One of my favorite things about couples who meet at a young age is the fact that they’ve seen each other through these uncertainties, and they’ve watched each other learn and grow and become even better versions of themselves. With a few years between them in age, Tate graduated earlier than Ellie, and she rooted from afar as he went off to law school while she was still working on her degree at BU. I met the two of them when they were in midst of this stage of their lives – I photographed Tate’s brother’s wedding in 2015, and Tate was the best man. He spoke in his toast at their reception of how much he admired not only his brother Bobby, but also Bobby and Katie’s relationship in general – most importantly, he mentioned how they helped set a high bar for what he aspires to in his own relationship. I thought back to this as I photographed Ellie and Tate, two years after I had photographed Bobby and Katie – and as I noticed the way they laughed with one another, and how comfortable and content and giddy they still were, and how they felt just as much like best friends as they did a couple – I thought it seemed as though Tate had found exactly what he was looking for.

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