These florida sweethearts got fancy and grabbed their favorite luxury champagne Veuve Clicquot for a finale of their Orlando Florida Engagement Session in Kraft Azalea Gardens, Winter Park. By this point Megan & Kyle had gotten comfortable with me and the camera. We had all laughed a little, shared more of our stories and bonded a bit. Truly, it is this point in LKM engagement sessions that I (laura) settle in and breathe the best parts of romance. The goal in all our sessions is to ultimately find a natural, authentic stride where the attention is on each other and not the awkwardness. These two leaned into that and it was such a sweet place of comfort with each other. The backdrop of the gardens was exquisite and we ended on such a note of celebration. Highlights below! (if you didn't see the first part of their engagement session, here is Part 1)
Pami and I went to highschool together about 15 years ago. She doesn't remember this but she may have saved my butt in chemistry class with a few late-night studying sessions that may or may not have included a bag full of cheetos, angry flash card reviews and a temper tantrum (or three).
Pami attended Biola University, studied nursing and thrived in Southern California. Through a series of events, she made her way back to Antipolo, Rizal and is currently the (temporary) director of a birthing clinic called Shalom. The long road that brought her back to the Philippines is only one hand-crafted and intuitively designed--a journey that she is smack-dab in the middle of. She works 12+ hour days and administrates, serves, teaches, coordinates, collaborates, delivers, nurses, nurtures and saves...
On this morning we woke up before the sun and I colored her face and did her hair and found a few nice things in her closet and went out to a place where bamboo stalks were glazed with warm morning sunbeams. Ants worked, birds sang, crickets strummed and the hum of a southeast asian jungle was alive and strong.
We hiked through the blanket of humid air a bit. Finding a rickety bridge and a few off-the-beaten-path spots, I took her bags and asked her to breathe.
I spent about an hour with my friend and hoped SO badly that something would turn out well; that these pictures would be beautiful and she would feel beautiful.
Pami rocked the whole darn thing. She carried herself with such poise…(Grin) Don’t get me wrong. It was work to get there. Some of the stuff we attempted were ridiculous and we caught ourselves giggling and wondering what we were doing out in the middle of nowhere with a half-constructed trail. Sweat dripped off my nose while I perched myself on a fallen tree with leaves the size of dinner platters. I tried not to think of the ants with fangs drooling over my foot that dangled above them. I shot and directed and just wanted to love my friend.
Fast forward to last week when I sat working in the air-conditioned comfort of my Arizona apartment wrapping up a few edits from our time in the jungle—thousands of miles away. My moonbeams were her sunbeams and as I was writing, my quick email slowed and some thankful thoughts from deep places surprised me. The session was so much more than a editorial project for my portfolio. Here was this precious lady who shared a few pieces of her worn but obedient heart looking ever radiant in a place that is not always comfortable but a place that she chooses to love and pour herself into. And I was so thankful for her. For being able to see a sliver of the life she lives and people she loves and leads and her heart and spirit that is surrendering. daily.
here are a few highlights...
So there was this girl. I barely knew her. Had had more interactions with her on facebook than I had in real life. You could tell she was on a journey--soul searching. She embraced the quiet moments, reflected, sat still, appreciated little things, appreciated people--she loved them and served them and thought deeply.
She is also a fantastic actress.
I didn't know where she was in her career as an actress but knew I would like to meet her and capture some of the spirit. I felt drawn and appreciative of the way her life made me want to sit still too.
So on a whim, I connected with her during one of my trips to SoCal. I asked to treat her to a lifestyle headshot session. Hit or miss, we would get a diversity of emotions...Then traffic argued and fussed and light left quickly and we kept ourselves confined to her yard. We laughed. We thought of ranges of emotions and type-sets to capture. And my favorite ended up just being her. The ones with her down on the steps of her home...deeply authentic. simple.
The time post-shoot was spent sipping on homemade iced tea from mason jars, sitting on her bohemian couch in her quaint white bungalow in the heart of LA. I listened to more of the story I had tracked with in snippets over the years...and it was more special in person. We talked about patience for the right things. We talked about the beauty of not knowing. We talked about surrender and faith and loving others despite our own confusion. We bonded over authors and books. We shared stuff the other hadn't read or heard of. I met her dog Lucy. I. Love. Lucy. And now we are friends.
So here she is. My beautiful friend Bridgette.