As I drove out to Alena & Christian's house, through small winding roads that passed farms, fields and charming little rural homes, I felt the hustle and bustle of the weekend slip away and found myself reminded of why I love living far away from big cities. It was early evening when I arrived and was joyfully greeted by their two red labs.
Their spacious back yard is up against a river and we proceeded to spend the next two hours hanging out along - and in - the river as the dogs played and the sweet peace of golden hour set it.
When we began the shoot, Alena commented about how in deciding on location & outfits, they wanted it to all be natural and authentic - "we're not models" she said. And they're not - they're so much better.
They're two people who've already spent the better part of a decade together and the friendship, chemistry and unforced moments of sweetness made this feel more like just a summer evening at home, where we happened to be taking some photos. Their connectedness was so easy and sweet, playful and sometimes teasing.
This is what I love - getting to spend time capturing real people in ways and places that are real and authentic to them and the life they've built together. Maybe it's not always at home - but in setting or places that my couples enjoy or find beautiful.
This will go down as one of my favorite sessions ever, and I might have a little jealousy that this is all in their back yard.