A romantic, outdoor engagement for two high school sweethearts…
I first met Cary several years ago when I was photographing his senior portraits involving football and VW busses! Since then he’s finished he went on to play college football and earn a pre-med degree at Bucknell and propose to his high school sweetheart, Penn State grad, Lauren.
Lauren and Cary reached out to me because, in their words: “We really appreciate is your ability to photograph the individuality of each couple, it allows every photography session to be different and unique. We love when your photos highlight the environment to capture the entire perspective and energy at that moment in time without sacrificing the intimacy of the couple in the photo.”
Both the opening image and the photograph below showcase the beautiful local environment in Shippensburg and the intimacy of this couple. The image below really shows their energy and active lifestyle :). I used a slow shutter speed to capture their movement through the forest…
Lauren shared, “Before we started dating, Cary and I had the same lunch together in high school. I saw him walk across the cafeteria wearing his football jersey, looking so handsome. My friends saw me looking at him and made a casual comment about how cute he was.”
Cary continued, “I was so nervous to talk to Lauren! In high school, I really only identified Lauren as being the ‘pretty senior cheerleader.’ I didn’t even have my phone with me the day I got her phone number from her friend, so I typed it into my calculator as a number! Thankfully, I went the whole day without erasing my calculator and texted her that evening for the first time. I was so nervous!”
Lauren continued, “I had my license before Cary since he was younger than me, so I picked him up for our first date in my silver Volkswagon Beetle and crossed my fingers that he wouldn’t be too tall for my car! Thankfully the rounded roof put that fear to rest and we headed to the movies, split a popcorn and watched “Blind Side” together.
There is quite a height difference between these two! Lauren wore wedges and was still always on her tip-toes to reach Cary– I just thought it was sweet…
Lauren shared, “Being long distance was a huge part of our relationship. We started dating in high school where we had a few months of being in the same place, same school. From there I went to Penn State for school, so Cary’s home football games were what brought me back home and allowed us to see each other.
She continued, “When Cary graduated and went to Bucknell to pursue a degree in biology on top of being a student athlete, we knew time together would be an additional strain. Again, his home football games at Bucknell allowed me an opportunity to see him play and then see him after the game. There were some Saturday’s where I would go directly from a Penn State game at Beaver stadium and drive to his games — I would take my Penn state jersey off, put my Bucknell jersey on and be ready for his game (even though I might have a Nittany Lion sticker on my face from earlier that day, lol).”
You can really see how much they enjoy their time together in this next photograph. I used a tilt-shift technique to achieve this look…
Their relationship was strained by distance as they focused on school and getting their certifications as they worked towards their career goals of becoming a doctor and nurse.
Lauren shared, “Our career choices are demanding professions that require a lot of education, time spent studying, and work in the hospital. As a result, we understand that the end result of being a physician and nurse is worth the sacrifice of time spent apart now.”
Lauren shared, “Right now, a lot of that craziness has settled because we’re both graduated and can finally focus on our wedding and the excitement that surrounds planning our future together. Our engagement session was a really sincere, sweet reunion for us and the start to our new chapter.”
I love reflections, they have a way of capturing the surreal elements of a relationship so well and also look pretty cool :). If you look closely you can see them holding hands all the way at the bottom of the frame.
Lauren shared, “Our personalities are a little goofy especially when we are together.” Here you can see that they waded into the water together and are playing around in the background, I focused on their sandals…
Speaking of playing around, there was that time that Cary grew a full beard in a matter of seconds, hehe 😉
Lauren & Cary’s attire was so soft and romantic and really helped to bring out that look in the reservoir as well!
Lauren explained, “The forest accentuates the romantic, simplicity of our relationship. Our wardrobe was a reflection of what we hope for our wedding to look and feel like – soft blush, romantic, rustic yet elegant. ”
Lauren reminisced about her senior prom, ” I was so smitten with Cary from dinner and dancing to photos with friends. The DJ played a slow song and in the quiet moment of dancing with my head resting against his chest, I knew this was it. I had found my forever!”
Cary and Lauren, thank you for opening up to me and allowing me to capture your story! Please share away :). The reservoir was so much fun for part I, but I can’t wait to show you Part II at Memorial Park Stadium!