I would never tell you that every couple is immediately comfortable in front of my camera; on the contrary, most sessions start out with nerves that are practically visible, through both body language and facial expressions. I will always remind my couples that this is totally normal, and I mean it when I say it – even I feel uncomfortable as soon as I’m on the other side of the camera, wondering how I should hold my arms and if I’m slouching too much and whether or not my hair is doing a weird thing. Emily and Billy were different, though — they started out immediately with jokes and were cracking each other up, which I quickly understood to be simply the way they are. They first met through a dating app, and as I led them through the streets of Elgin for photos, they laughed when I had them stop directly in front of Al’s Café. Emily then told me this happened to be where they’d had their first date, and it felt a bit special to have ended up there without knowing that detail beforehand.
Spending time with these two is easy – they’re laid back and funny and goofy, and really their session could be summed up as them having a bunch of fun together and me just tagging along to document it. We happened to get this afternoon of beautiful weather for their session, too – it’d been windy and rainy in the days leading up to it, so this sunny, late October afternoon felt extra wonderful. I think a lot about the ways in which people approach their engagement sessions – some intentionally pick a location that means something particular to them, or a beautiful backdrop, or a place they like to visit together. When we were choosing a location for Emily and Billy’s sesh, she told me the location itself really didn’t matter too much to them, and looking at these pictures reminds me of why it doesn’t really matter too much to me in their case, either – because it instead puts the focus entirely on them and their love and the way they make each other giggle, and that’s really what it’s all about anyway.