“Any man who can drive safely while kissing a pretty girl is simply not giving the kiss the attention it deserves.” - Albert Einstein
Where to start with this shoot? I am honestly at a loss for words. The short and sweet of it is that we started this session with Justin + Nichole at a small town fire station and ended it at the top of the world. The actual details however are a lot more beautiful.
When Nichole called me the morning of the shoot to tell me they had a "good idea" I had no idea it would mean driving 40 miles down a dirt road to the top of the mountain. If I had, I would have completely agreed. Instead she started with "Let's shoot some at the fire station where Justin works". Transparency here : I was nervous. I'm of course picturing in my head a fire station in Brooklyn with awesome poles to slide down and 101 Dalmatians running around in the background but afraid that it would be a small old brick building with a few red trucks inside.
Side note here : God always has an incredible way of shutting me up and teaching me a lesson. I pulled up to a small brick building with a few red truck inside a few hours later. The result however was exactly what I didn't think it could be. Nichole and Justin are at home here and it's where he spends his days. There's a comfort zone that they started their shoot in that allowed them to be sweet and in love from the get go and though I didn't expect it, I was completely floored by it. These two are the real deal of a whirlwind romance with God all wrapped up in it.
I wouldn't know more of the details about Justin until we were standing with our toes hanging off a rock a few hundred feet above the ground below us, but that's jumping ahead. What I do know is that in the 8 months these two have known eachother something clicked and it's obvious to watch. Justin's a big dude with a soft heart and a super gentle touch. I laughed on our shoot that he was the biggest guy I've ever heard giggle (and that's completely true). He's confident in who he is and loves being the guy that Nichole holds on to. Truth be told, Justin is a talker. He loves stories, loves smiling, and loved this whole process (at least partially because these are a few of the most important places to him in the world.) I'll spare the entire story, but to find out that Justin prayed with a complete stranger at the top of one of these cliffs to straighten out his heart and his life was enough to give me chills. Clearly this mountain top, where he brought Nichole (and carried her with a hurt knee) on their second date has some importance.
Nichole on the other hand is as sweet as anything southern you can imagine. This girl is all smiles wrapped up in a very polite package. She squeezes when she hugs, laughs when she smiles, and stares at Justin like he hung the moon. I couldn't get over watching him help her to the edge of one of these drop offs. She's terrified of heights (great location choice guys) but when I suggested they sit off the edge she completely trusted him to help her get on her butt. I was far enough away, I'm not sure if her eyes were open or not, but I know she had a pretty good grip on him.
I can't say enough about this session. Clearly we were in a place that set the bar for beautiful. In fact aside from the fact that the suspension in my car may never be the same, I had as much fun on the drive to the mountain as I did at the top. The entire day was therapeutic in an odd way for me. Almost like Nichole + Justin gave me just as much or more than I could possibly have given them just by getting me so far away from the pace and rush of the life that I typically live. I can honestly say, I'll never look at engagement sessions (or little brick buildings) the same and I can not wait to watch Nichole walk down the aisle to Justin.