I first met Kaitlynn at a destination wedding in Florida that I photographed a few years back, and since it was a small wedding, I had a chance to interact with her and the other guests more than I would be able to at a traditionally sized wedding. It was wonderful. They all made me feel like one of the crew, and it was one of those celebrations that sticks with you afterward.
A few years have passed since then, so I was both surprised and thrilled when I received an email from Kaitlynn this year. She and her fiancé, Mason, were planning a destination wedding in Sanibel Island, FL, and they wanted me to capture it. (!!!) Though we’ve emailed back and forth quite a bit over the past few months while sorting out logistics, their engagement session was the first time I had seen Kaitlynn in person since the wedding we first met at, and my first time meeting Mason. The three of us met at Garfield Park Conservatory to begin their session, and though they live in the Chicago area, this was their first time visiting the space. I loved simply watching them explore the conservatory — looking up and around and holding hands between lanes of cacti and giant leaves, and as Kaitlynn said “I’m so glad we ended up coming here!” to both myself and Mason as we roamed, I thought the same thing. One of the best parts of engagement sessions is having the chance to get to know and chat with my couples a bit more, and as these two shared their history as a couple with me followed by the excitement over the wedding plans and what their future holds, I felt really grateful for afternoons like this – seeing what a couple’s love looks like up close, in the quiet moments in between, and feeling the shift myself when they start to feel more like my friends than my clients.