The purpose of life is not to be happy. It is to be useful, to be honorable, to be compassionate, to have it make some difference that you have lived and lived well.

— Ralph Waldo Emerson

The quote I chose for this shoot was far from random. Truth be told they never are but typically I’m looking for quotes about love or life or happiness. The amazing thing I’ve learned from spending some time with Emily and Andrew is that though they are very much in love, and very much happy together their lives are focused on how they can affect the world around them. I first started chatting with these two as they were on the mission field in Tanzania working with Andrew’s parents’ organization that drills wells for fresh water in small villages without a safe water supply. Just hearing these two talk about the adventures they’ve been on and the way they’ve shared culture and life together already brings into perspective how sheltered so many of us are. I was so bummed when we couldn’t find a time with our schedules to coordinate me coming out to Virginia to shoot with them where they live but it because clear pretty quickly that where we shot wouldn’t really matter. In fact I’m fairly sure we could have done this session in a parking lot and the images would have looked the same just because Emily + Andrew are so focused on each other. I can’t wait to share more about them and be a huge part of their wedding day but for today I’ll just share a few of my favorite moments from their engagement session. A HUGE thanks to Emily + Andrew for allowing me to shoot them exactly as they are. They’ve quickly become very important to me!

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