Mike + Hannah | Charlottesville, VA Engagement

"he feels like he's been there for hours, 
and i can tell that he'll be there for life."
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She is a few years younger, and her immediate pit-crew of friends agreed: Mike is a dreamboat.  He was the standard, ("I want someone like Mike.") but obviously he wasn't a realistic future option.  In the same way being the next Rolling Stones big-star isn't a realistic career option.  Funny thing about those shot-in-the-dark dreams: sometimes they happen.  Unbeknownst to Young Hannah G, Mike thought she was the standard of smart, engaging, kind and lovely.  But she was young, and that's weird, and... and.  Funny thing about time and strolling into your twenties: age blends away a bit, like the spread of watercolor paints.  After years of secret mutual pining, travel, school, career and growing-into-themselves Hannah and Mike reconnected.  And at their first date, in a downtown diner, they talked until closing and came alive together, both knowing without a doubt that they were never parting ways.
These two are last-Adele-chorus hot.  The day we did this session was over 100 degrees and 80 percent humidity (steamy).  I joked with them that it's too bad they aren't into each other.  "Sorry if we kiss too much," as they'd go at it again.  It's special when people with so much outward obsession are more marked, more noticeable by their deep friendship.  Throughout our shoot we paused to talked multiple times, getting carried off by conversation.  They invited me to have guacamole and tacos before I headed home where they both asked me questions, shared their life passions and laughed.   Their hearts are big, and friendship-centered view of their future is delightful and serious.  They felt more like "a sweet old married couple" in the way they eased in and out of taking turns talking and communicating 'as a couple.'  It was refreshing (and made me want to call my husband just to talk the whole ride home!)  I am grateful for the cool things in life like passion, connection, long talks, lips, effort, favorite Mexican places, stories of old, and red nail polish. photo charlottesville_virginia_engagement_shoot_downtown_im_kristen_photography5of38.jpg
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God lit up my week when I got to meet you two!  Next up: their wedding! (I had tears streaming down my face during the ceremony.  Not "tearing up," but actual tear stains through my foundation.)
"I could hold you for a million years 
to make you feel my love."


Erin James | Portrait Session Part II

“i was born with an enormous need for affection,  
and a terrible need to give it.” 
[audrey hepburn]
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-- part one of erin's portrait sessions --

The tagline for Erin James' new online magazine is "Vintage values for elegant women, chasing the lost art of being a lady."  She has made references to Kate Middleton, June Cleaver, Grace Kelly and Jane Austen.  Her mind is a landing strip for the "beautiful little things that make life rich."  As Erin shared with me her hopes for this new career direction, I knew I wanted to photograph her with every bit of lady from a different generation.  Given that in her day-in, day-out life Erin's look is a bit more of a "Carrie Bradshaw"/Malibu Barbie/California Baby I want to display her inner Audrey.   These headshots and portraits are more practical and functional (than, say, a black tulle ball-gown), but I love seeing this part of Erin, too.  
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to book your own i'm kristen portrait session, 
especially in the maryland/virginia/dc, or oklahoma to dallas areas