She was nervous on their first date and admits to drinking a little too much as a result. She says she talked too much and he says with a smile that he wasn’t 100% sold that night. Yet, the nervous energy of their first date and their 2-hour living distance didn’t stop them from forging ahead. He cares about her in a gentle way. When asked where he’d go (anywhere in the world, any amount of money, anything you wanted to do) for a date, he said he’d sit on the beach somewhere tropical because she hates the cold.
She describes him as being thoughtful, intelligent, and having a good sense of humor. He in turn also loves her sense of humor, and says she is caring and has a strong head on her shoulders. Together, they describe their dreams for their marriage and life. And it’s all mixed in with laughter and romance.
I first met Sarah and Nathan last August when I photographed Sarah’s sister’s wedding. Imagine how excited I was when Sarah contacted me about her own wedding next year! I love working with repeat families and this family is especially great. (I think Mama Winn is the sweetest!)
Sarah recalls how Nathan proposed: “I had worked my usual 12 hour shift and when I was walking into our house at 8 PM, there was a note on the door. It read, ‘I know you’re tired, hungry, cranky, etc. … but I want to play a game. It’s called Follow the String.’ I walked inside, put my things down, and follow the twine that was strung all around our living room, down the stairs, up the stairs, around the kitchen, and then it went under our closed bedroom door. Along the twine, he had typed out on note cards (in chronological order) different events in our relationship, beginning with how we first started hanging out. On the back side of these note cards was either a picture or an inside joke relating to that specific memory. Some were funny and some were sentimental, accurately summarizing our relationship.
“There was also a beautiful bouquet of a dozen roses on the kitchen table because his dad always said, ‘A Rose never gives anything less than a rose.’ Nathan, of course, was at the end of the twine on one knee in our bedroom. I don’t even remember what exactly he said, but I said, ‘Yes!!'”
We met in the Amanas last week for their engagement session despite a huge rainstorm moving our direction. (Another reason I love them: their go-with-the-flow spirits!) We had exactly 15 minutes to shoot before the predicted downpour started. I shot quickly, but 15 minutes is not a lot of time. We ended up finding this amazing corncrib which provided the perfect rain coverage for them while also allowing natural light to hit them. I stood across the gravel under the eaves of another building with my zoom lens. It wasn’t ideal, but I am so so proud of these images. They are especially special to me because I know the work it took to create them and the non-ideal situation we were all in. I bet you can’t even tell though, right?
One trick to shooting in rain (if you don’t want it to look like it’s raining) is to find an open shaded area (like this corncrib) and shoot with a really fast shutter speed. That meant bumping up my ISO, but it was worth it because I don’t have rain streaks appearing in the images because I was shooting somewhere around 1/800th of a second. You’ll find that if you shoot slower, even at 1/200, you may get those gray little water streaks appearing in some of your images especially against dark backgrounds. If you want it to look like it’s raining, shoot slower (the slower you shoot, the more streaks you’ll get, giving that water downpour movement in your images), but if you’re trying to minimize the look of rain, shoot fast.