OooO my goodness me! O-M-G! I can’t even! You just wait! This one is a goodie! But first, I need to tell you a little (long) story – Hannah Barlow Photography style! There once was a couple who needed a wedding photographer for their Wheeling, WV wedding. They found Hannah Barlow Photography, of course, and hired me. While trying to schedule their engagement session, the photographer (me) learned they didn’t actually live locally or close to where they will be married. They actually live 4+ hours away near Dayton, Ohio. So, scheduling their engagement session was more difficult than normal. We also learned that my husband just happened to be on the same base as the groom-to-be and actually “knew” him (knew who he was, at least). It’s a small world after all! Sing it! So, we chatted…and chatted some more. I mentioned I had a photography friend reunion in Charleston, South Carolina coming up at the end of April. The couple just happened to be traveling to that area AT THE EXACT SAME TIME. I’M NOT EVEN KIDDING. How does this stuff happen?! So, that’s the end of the story for now…to be continued below. I know you probably get sick of me saying this…but it was meant to be!
So, we shot their Charleston, South Carolina Engagement Session last weekend! It was a dream come true. We can go ahead and check that right off my bucket list!! I’m kind of glad I started their blog off with a story…because this session was most certainly storybook worthy! ENJOY!
Everyone, meet Kourtney and Brandon!
HUGE shoutout to my good, photography friend Larissa Lord for getting this all set up for me. I had no idea where I was going. Each year our group (who all met in a photography class back in 2016) picks a city to visit and usually one where one of the friends resides. I’d never been to Charleston, South Carolina and definitely not for a professional engagement shoot! Need a photographer in that area, CALL MY FRIEND?! She’s phenomenal! Larissa Lord Photography! So, yea…she got me set up to meet this beautiful couple at the Dock Street Theatre. It was amazingly gorgeous…and amazingly crowded!! I’m a country gal, so fighting people for a spot during an engagement shoot isn’t my usual. I mean…at weddings I’m used to it, of course…but not engagement shoots!! A lot of patience…and a good bit of photoshopping later…we now have a CLEAN engagement session! I mean…just look at them though! I can’t even! I need MORE…so much more of these two! And my friends were planning on totally being paparazzi and taking photos too…not sure what happened but at the last minute they disappeared! HA!
We did some walking, of course…and not just for the photos. These two put up with me for a little over an hour. If you’ve met me…or been to a shoot, you KNOW what I tend to do…wander…wander about! Well, I was in Charleston, South Carolina after all!! So, I wandered my little heart out all over the town! And they just followed along and we chatted and it was AMAZING!
So, these two met through some mutual friends back in 2014 just a few months before Brandon left for a deployment overseas. Whomp. Whomp. Don’t all military love stories start out this way?! Seems to be the common theme. I, of course, have experienced it first hand…so I know. It still blows my mind that both Brandon and my husband John were on the same base at the same time when Kourtney was deciding I was going to be her wedding photographer! I mean…what are the chances?! My husband had only been going up there every couple of weeks for the last six months…it’s just crazy! Anyway, so these two stuck it out through the deployment and countless letters and care packages later. Been there! It’s amazing but distance does typically make the heart grow fonder. She tells me that once he returned, they picked up right where they left off! I think their love shines through these photos! Don’t you?! Anyway, these doors though (below)! I mean…they couldn’t take a bad photo (both the doors and the couple..HA!). I told them to look at me…snap. Look at each other…snap. Lean in for a kiss..snap! Done!
More walking…because…why not?! The colors…the GREEN! FINALLY, it’s green! AHHHHHH!! I’m such a happy photographer this week! You just could NOT go wrong! And you all know I’m a big romance novel reader. I seriously can read 2-3 books a week if I put my mind to it! So, you can imagine my reaction when I’m reading their descriptions of each other in their fun facts survey and they’re saying all kinds of things like being each other’s best friends…and then Brandon says “She’s loving, caring, and everything I’m not.” <— Ugh. Come on! THIS is why I love my job. It’s like reading my favorite romance novels but in person. I’m such a lucky gal (and sappy too). Then, Kourtney followed it up with “he’s reliable, caring, and makes me feel safe”…and even mentions how they make a great team! If I wasn’t on my husband’s laptop right now, I’d totally insert a swooning GIF right now.
Kourtney’s also another one of my “easy” brides (so far…HA!…we’ve got a long way to go to their July 2020 wedding). I’m kidding though, of course! I usually can get a pretty good read on people right out of the gates via email and during our first correspondence. She did NOT disappoint in person either. Heck, she’s even more beautiful and laid back in person and Brandon’s not bad himself!! He’s also extremely photogenic. Combine that with his wife-to-be? It’s every photographer’s DREAM! I told her she gets model status after all this!
I can 110% assure you I’m going to try and create a composite of this one below…Cinderella style…this winter! OooO good grief!! Can you hear me squealing?! I was squealing like a machine! SO PRETTY!!! SO SO SO PRETTY! My inner little girl watching her favorite Disney princess movie is just glued to this photo below!
Alright, so then we had to do an outfit change. AND I almost forgot about their outfit change (THANK GOODNESS Kourtney said something)! I was too focused on not totally losing it from excitement and focusing on the task at hand. So, we moseyed back to their rental car. After they changed, I caught a ride with them. We were originally going to go to Rainbow Row which is a famous spot in Charleston, South Carolina, BUT…they mentioned this “pineapple fountain” they might want to try out. And I was intrigued, of course. Then, they told me that’s where they got engaged….UmmmmmMmmMm YESSSSS PLEASE! YES! YESSS! YES! The decision had been made. We were going to the pineapple fountain. Once we got there, my real Hannah colors came out because I saw this sky and about freaked out. I started running around and rushing. Many of you are probably cracking up because you know exactly what I’m talking about and can picture it! But come on! You all know sunsets go FAST. So, to calm myself, I took this photo below just to be safe in case it disappeared and I needed to photoshop it back into the photo later! HA! I also saved this on my mac and it will now be in my “Hannah’s Skys” folder and named “K&B Sunset.jpg”.
AHHHHHHHH! Gorgeous right?! You just wait. It keeps getting better and better! Do you want to know more about how we all ended up right here? Well, I’m going to tell you! It makes this fountain and couple SO much sweeter (if that’s even possible). So, last August, Kourtney found an envelope addressed to her with plane tickets to Charleston, South Carolina. She tells me she loves pineapples, the beach, and southern charm so this is a place she always wanted to visit! It’s perfect, right?! Fun Fact: I did have to Google this but the pineapple and Charleston go back to Christopher Columbus (or so I read). But anyway, their first night there they went to dinner and then walked over to this famous fountain. She suggested they make a wish, so she pulled out two pennies. She then asks Brandon what he wished for and then found him down on one knee with a beautiful ring (which you’re going to see here soon). Ooo man. OooO man Ooo man OoOO man…doesn’t it make this photo so much sweeter?!
I mean, I could tell they were getting real comfortable with me and my camera at this point. Look how relaxed!! THIS might be one of my favorites (below)!
Seriously, it’s so hard to decide! And seriously…I was running around like a crazy person at this point!
A modified dip for you all! You know…I don’t dip much anymore…I need to start doing that again!! It was once “my thing” and somehow…and I don’t know how…I’ve lost it! I bet it’s all this blogging. Fogs my memory! HA!
In my head, I was freaking out with excitement and I knew I was just going to keep on shooting until I either got the look…or lost the light! I never did get the look…they were SO easygoing about all this! So, we lost the light a bit…and I just kept on pushing the limits! Camera cranked. Flash on board. I couldn’t stop!
I mean really…so good, right?!
OK…one more. This is also one of my favorites! I could dance right now. Can’t you just picture their wedding photos?! AHHHH!
…and right before I turned them loose…I got this shot of her beautiful ring right by their car and literally on the curb! HA!
That’s it on the third engagement session for the week! The next blog up is going to be a wedding blog! Can you stand it?! I can’t stand it! Kourtney and Brandon will be having a Catholic wedding ceremony in Wheeling, WV and then following it up with a summer reception in good, old, Glessner Hall! With these two? I can see a very VERY lengthy wedding blog coming your way in July 2020!
Happy Thursday, everyone!
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