Engagement | Long Hunter State Park, Nashville, Tennessee
(SORRY IN ADVANCE: This intro is long.) This is probably the best session of my life to date, for so many reasons. And I’ll get into that in a second, but for now, let me be sappy about Matthew and Zara and the fact that two of my all time favorite people are getting MARRIED next July!
I guess the best way to share the story of how I met Zara is to first talk about how I knew Kathryn Rigsby. Kathryn and I went to middle and high school together (G2BARR!!) and I was a year older than her. I graduated and went off to college, but one semester into college at Vanderbilt, I found out that Kathryn was also headed there too for her undergraduate degree!! We met up, worked on her valedictorian speech (which she nailed), and she and a few of her friends shadowed me for a day on campus. It was SUPER fun.
Anyway, as Kathryn’s first semester at Vanderbilt was approaching, I asked her if she knew who her roommate was, and lo and behold, it was the one and only Zara. Knowing nothing about Zara, but fully wanting to know everything about Kathryn’s future roommate, I found Zara on social media and followed her. Zara recalls looking back and wondering why this random Vandy girl followed her on Insta ;). (Kathryn, thank YOU for being such a good friend and for being Zara’s roommate!! I love you DEARLY.)
A month or so goes by and I finally meet Zara and WOWZA — this woman is one of the most joyful, hilarious, friendliest, kindest, and most encouraging humans that I’ve ever met. When she walks into a room the entire room just feels so much brighter. She’s selfless, generous, silly, talented (like have you seen her ART), obsessed with the Taj, and is my all time favorite Chikila date. She’s incredibly intentional with everyone she meets and you just WANT to be her friend and are drawn toward her.
And that’s exactly what I did. I knew I wanted to be friends with this girl, and now, years later, I got to take her engagement photos with Matthew and I get to stand by her as she says yes to him!! I’m overjoyed for these two and excited for them to impact the world as a married couple.
But okay, now time for Matthew. I believe that I met Matthew through my brother and his friends, and I think Matthew just showed up at my house one day for some type of party that we were throwing. I had no idea who he was, but I knew he went to Vanderbilt and was in Navs. Fast forward a few years, and he asks Zara out on a date and the rest is history for the two of them. But let me tell you about Matthew. This man is filled with so much integrity, compassion, encouragement, love, support, and joy. I’ve seen him pronk through a field like a springbok (go google it and think about him doing this at 10pm at night) and his silliness matches Zara’s so well. He’s so generous to those around him, stands by his word, thinks over his decisions so well, and is so selfless.
I’m PSYCHED for these two goobers to get married in FL in 2022. They’ve both encouraged me in my walk with Jesus in so many ways and have always given me great questions to process and sit with that really challenge and encourage my faith. I love y’all. So MUCH.
>> But okay. Enough sappiness. I said that I would talk about why this session is probably my favorite one to date. WELL, besides it being photos of THE Matthew and Zara, this session has shown how much I’ve grown in my work in this past year. Last fall, I really struggled with nailing the colors and using lighting to make my photos stand out. I struggled a LOT with editing fall photos. But this session was perfect in every way. I even nailed two very different skin tones, which might not seem that hard as a non-photographer, but it really is and I’m very proud of it. ALSO, sweet Zara was in a full leg brace (long story: she tore her MCL and ACL while biking) and so walking and sitting and moving quickly was really hard. But man — you can’t even tell. These two just love each other so much that none of these potential problems could screw up the photos and we created magic. I mean, scroll for the SUNSET.
M&Z, you guys know how much I love y’all and look up to you guys. Thanks for inviting me into your lives and being people that I can always talk to about anything. Zara, miss you always.
OKAY now after all that sappiness, SCROLL THROUGH FOR THE BEST TIME OF YOUR LIFE.