Oh, Kaely and Joe. These two, man. These two hug you and talk to you like a friend and tell you to hop in the backseat of their truck, even when they first meet you. They originally met at a wedding a few years ago – and in a meet cute that feels perfectly Kaely-and-Joe now that I know them, they first starting chatting over the s’mores bar, when Kaely saw this guy who she couldn’t believe wasn’t putting any chocolate on his s’more. Joe was living out west at the time, so he and Kaely began their relationship as a (very) long distance couple. Joe was explaining the details of this to me during their session, while Kaely was changing into her second outfit – he mentioned how much he loved the scenery and the vibe and the life he had built out there, but that once he met this girl, he could no longer imagine being anywhere else but with her. He eventually moved back to Illinois, and they started their own life together, complete with a home and two active pups whom they both adore (and who I met via our video chat meeting). I feel like I’ve gotten a little glimpse of this life they’ve built, and it’s one of those glimpses you can’t help but smile about.
We went to Joe’s family farm for their engagement session, which also happens to be the place where Joe proposed to Kaely this past summer. I can’t claim to know for certain that it’s a place where they feel at home, but it definitely felt that way as I watched them laugh and tell stories and beam at each other in the tall grasses and the barn that Joe has known for years. And as I’m typing this, I think that feels sorta fitting, in a way – because something about these two people in the company of one another honestly made me feel at home, too.