If a picture is worth a thousand words, then these photos of Crystal and Josh are the sweetest chapters of a romantic novel. Crystal reached out to me looking for a pin-up inspired couples session, and since these type of shoots tend to be so much fun and allow me to let loose artistically, how could I refuse the opportunity!
I have some history with this vibrant couple. My first meeting with them was when I captured their family portraits several years ago, when their now teenagers were just elementary school kids. They later invited me back to take precious family photos in a time where her beloved Aunt Audrey was nearing the end of her life's story. I am so honored that they trusted me to capture a truly special and very emotional reunion.
Which brings us back to this session, where we met in downtown Norfolk. We explored several different locations, from the Neon District, filled with colorful and textured backgrounds, to the storied and historic Ghent District, home of the iconic Naro Theatre.
It can be difficult to find time for yourself these days, never mind getting moments away as a couple, especially when that time is filled with work, errands, commitments, and for those of us who have children in school, dealing with the problems of virtual schooling. Life can feel like it's quickly passing us by, so Crystal and Josh used this session to slow down time, connect with each other, and savor these moments together. Even better, they let me put this time in a bottle, through pictures, and now they can go back to this feeling with just a glance.
Crystal and Josh posed for pictures with relaxed ease, requiring little direction. Everything felt natural and when they stared into each others eyes, it was like their love had no limits, entrancing anyone who stopped to watch. Crystal's bright face radiated even more every time Josh would pull her close and you could feel the warmth.
Their love story is quite amazing and a testament to the power of love. Neither of them were actually looking for a mate when they found each other, but love follows its own rules. When they were out on a date while the kids were in school, they decided to get married on a whim. They eloped and never looked back.
In Greek mythology there is a story of how Zeus cut humankind in half. "Man's original body having been cut in two, each half yearned for the half that had been severed. Love is simply the name of for the desire and pursuit of the whole."
Crystal and Josh definitely found their other half, creating the whole love they share today.
As we were wrapping up, something surprising happened that ended up being one of my favorite moments from this session.
Throughout the day, we had been playing some old school Americana music to help set the mood. Near the end of our time together, we played Josh's favorite song from that genre, "Sway" by Dean Martin, and they shared an unplanned moment, something an elopement doesn't normally allow. They did something normally seen only on a wedding day. In the middle of a public sidewalk, in the light of day, they had their "first dance" as a married couple. It was spontaneous, sweet, and moving. And for a moment during this fun and creative photo session, I was transformed into my normal job, a wedding photographer. No longer was I suggesting poses, instead I was capturing the beauty of an event that requires no instruction. Onlookers who passed by on the street and in their cars were instantly changed into wedding guests, and proving that they understood their new roles, they shouted congratulations, honked celebratory car horns, and cheered them on. For a short sweet moment, everyone and everything around us was transformed by this perfect moment.
Love is its own ceremony, and requires no venue, no guest list, and certainly no permission.
Crystal and Josh, thank you for choosing me! I am always honored to be asked back and be part of an ever evolving story, especially one of love. I understand the faith and trust you have placed on me to document these memories that will be passed down through the years.
“Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength, while loving someone deeply gives you courage.”