Good afternoon and HAPPY TUESDAY!
I’ve got another new couple for you all to meet – Candice and Dan! Please enjoy their fall, farm, engagement photos! Fall is here, ya’ll! ENJOY!
So, these two may be “new” in front of my camera together as a Hannah Barlow Photography couple…but they aren’t really new to me! You see, I did Dan’s brother’s wedding back in 2017! You know the Amanda who is one of my VERY loyal blog readers (and commenters) and also comes to all my Aisle Be Ready wedding workshops as a past bride!? Yep! She married Dan’s brother, Tom. So, Dan got to be in front of my camera back then even though it was more on the sidelines (and I’m sure he was happy about that). I’m going to search for some of Candice too! She was there. I just hadn’t met her yet! Candice has been to my workshops now, as well, and has also been victim to some bad selfies we took at Drovers!! I bow to you people who take good iPhone photos. It’s HARD! But that’s become our new tradition too now! After those workshops, if you choose to come, plan some extra time afterward because we’ve been getting a bite to eat too!
But anyway, back to this couple and their families and the story! Dan and Tom are both country boys. My husband is a country boy too. I’ve learned something about these kinds of men over the years of my wedding photography journey. They pretty much all hate photos BUT are more than willing to do them for their women. Dan wasn’t overly excited…ok…he wasn’t excited at all! My husband hasn’t taken professional couple pictures with me since our wedding…11 years ago. I GET IT! Have no fear! Enter Hannah! We can do this! AND WE DID! And look how great they are together! AHHHHH!
Candice told me she loved when Dan gave a “real” smile…those teethy smiles as I call them. Well, we got two! And even though she’s laughing hysterically, I love it all the more! I always tell my couples to just laugh through it when they need to because those often end up being my favorites! I also coined the “giggle smile” while editing this session for all future Hannah Barlow Photography sessions. I feel like when Candice smiles…she smiles with a little, subtle giggle and it goes all the way to her eyes! Speaking of eyes…if these two decide to have children, they’re going to have the most beautiful eyes ever!! Is that weird?! It’s probably weird to blog that kind of stuff but us photographers have a lot of thoughts when we edit (if I’m being honest)…I just happen to blog them! And I sure hope she wears a veil because I’m having visions of what I can do with that thing!
So, these photos were taken on the Raab farm, Dan and Tom’s parents, of course. I knew this place because I did Amanda and Tom’s engagement photos there THREE years ago, as well! (Amanda…how is that even possible?!) I LOVE when couples choose locations dear to their hearts! It keeps things fresh and fun and gives the photos (and the blog…let’s be real here) a great story! This particular day I met Dan’s dad at the bottom of their driveway when I arrived. He was working on something with the big tractor. He told me I could just drive around him through the grass and that’s when I remembered why I loved these people so much! They’re kind and they’re country folk (which usually goes hand in hand..but still). These are my kind of people! I got to pass a horse and some cattle too. Then, I got to see their mom who I couldn’t help but hug (and who I later found out had texted Amanda and told her she was creeping through the window during this session which totally made me laugh AND smile).
They also have one of those perfect trees that goes “fall” before all the other trees do! There is still so much green out there but you can do a lot with a photo when you have just one tree that volunteers! Huge shoutout to their dad for not mowing it before we did these! So, I was trying to keep Dan in mind the whole time. The last thing I wanted to do was make this experience miserable because you all know how it goes on wedding days. We never have as much time and it can be stressful…so I wanted to make this as enjoyable as possible. So, I kind of told a white lie and CANDICE about BLEW IT! I said, “I won’t make you do any of that ooey cutesy stuff.” And then she gets this appalled look on her face and I’m trying to communicate with my eyes and tell her to cool it…”OF COUSRE, WE’RE GOING TO DO THE CUTESY STUFF but we can’t let HIM know that! I’m just going to do it slyly…like a fox!” See? I’m even wordy when I’m trying to communicate telepathically. I got you, girl! I’m still laughing over that though! I haven’t told her this yet either so she’s probably laughing too while reading this. So, I think my comment prompted her to have him spin her…maybe it was me…she did throw my plan off for a hot second!
…but we got a great outtake out of it all! HA!
It all worked out because catching people off guard ends with the most genuine photos! There is just something about movement that makes people relax! I yelled for them to kiss and they did!
I clearly already had a lot to say in this blog (I should probably stop saying that because I think every just expects it at this point). BUT STILL…I realized while typing up this rough draft that Candice hadn’t filled out her couple survey. I don’t necessarily need it but I was really interested in how they met and how this love story came together. So, I got her to fill it out today and I’m SO glad I did! I kind of already knew their engagement story because she’d mentioned it once or twice and then they both pointed out during this engagement session that they’d been engaged just at the bottom of the driveway. So, let’s work backwards and start with the engagement story! BUT FIRST…a really pretty black and white!
Ok! So, the proposal! It was the first Friday in January. Candice and Dan decided to go for breakfast at one of their favorite places – Oglebay. Dan was getting ready and Candice noticed he was getting more dressed up than usual but she didn’t think much about it. Oglebay happened to be setting up for a wedding and Candice mentioned they should get married there someday. On the way home, they stopped at the end of Dan’s parents’ driveway (seriously…this driveway gets a lot of action). Dan said he wanted to look at where their future home is going to be built one day. Candice got out of the truck and found Dan down on one knee! AHHHHHH!!!!! Chills! Again, I love that it’s all happening on the Raab family farm especially considering these two brides of mine became Raabs (or will become) so it’s just so perfect there are so many memories there!
Candice also followed up that story with….AND I QUOTE…”I had tears alllll day and even have tears typing this up! Also, everyone was at work ….. and no one would answer my call. hahaha” . I can’t stop laughing because I can picture it!
I kind of love the point in the engagement session where clients start making suggestions because I know they are getting comfortable with me and my camera! Candice asked if they could sit in the field!! OF COURSE! Mom was getting a front row seat from that window I bet! HA! Also, I should have mentioned how we got to this field. You know…there are all kinds of gentleman in this world! Some open doors for ladies. Some step on electric fences for ladies. Dan may be the first one…but he’s also the second one. That’s right. I’m a country girl so I just had to giggle. He stepped on the fence to allow his future wife to step over. Then, he followed it up with me. Call me old fashioned but it’s the little things like that that get me! I wish I would have known he was the more shy type though (I didn’t know until reading the fun fact survey just now) but there was a tiny second (real tiny) I thought me might be a jokester and act like he was going to let go of it at the last minute WHILE I was stepping over…but he didn’t! Extra gentleman points for Dan! HA! THAT is where he and my husband differ greatly! Maybe that’s why I’m so skeptical?! HA! He doesn’t read these either so he’ll never know! <— Testing. Testing. NO ONE TELL HIM!
Another thing I love about country men? They don’t get all worked up over the BIG things…like finding and choosing their wives. I mean…my husband literally found me across the road (it’s true). Actually, we both worked for my grandmother at her garden nursery but that’s a story for a whole other time!! ANYWAY, my point is…I notice the differences in couples, their personalities, and their stories. Candice and Dan met at a demolition derby in August of 2012. She said she is pretty sure he waved and did not utter a single word. Then, they ran into each other again in October of 2012. Ironically, he was dressed as a cowboy and she was a cowgirl (for Halloween, people…don’t get crazy). You’d THINK that’s how it all started because it kind of seems like that’s where the conversation would really start…nope. They took a few shots and that’s that. THEN, they saw each other again a few months later in December. They didn’t stop talking after that, officially started dating in 2013, AND HERE WE ARE! See what I mean?! These kind of stories speak to me!
I also LOVED this moment when Dan “Mr. I don’t like photos!” had to tell Candice what I wanted them to do. I’m pretty sure this is my test shot when she was questioning the instructions and he was telling her what needed to me done! HA! LOVE IT!
…and we got some really good laughs over it!! The end is always my favorite!! We’re all cozy now!
GRAND FINALE SHOT! AND THEY DON’T HAVE DUCK LIPS!! YESSSS! I even asked Dan how bad it was…and he may have lied to me but he said he didn’t expect it to go that fast! Maybe he was being a kind gentleman again? I’ll take it! WOO HOOOO!
Well, that’s it! It’s all going to come full circle with that Oglebay comment she made the day of their engagement because these two are becoming ANOTHER set of Mr. & Mrs. Raab next September and one day after my birthday! YESSSS! It’s going to be AT Oglebay, of course! It’s going to be AMAZING!
The Raab boys better brace themselves…I’m coming for ya again!
BUT don’t they look pretty snazzy dressed up?!
THANKS FOR READING!
OoO and why am I always taking and posting photos of cows when I’m with the Raabs? I know…I know…they are farm families BUT…I take photos of LOTS of farms and couples on farms and it seems I only ever photograph cows when I’m with the Raabs!! Maybe because these creatures almost ASK for me to take photos of them?! Seriously, Dan’s Dad yelled, “You’re going to have visitors in a minute!” I turned around…and this is what was right behind me!