Category Archives: Riverside Portraits
A couple weeks ago I received a sneaky text from Sam asking the sly question, “so would you happen to have December 15th booked yet? I’d like to tentatively, secretly reserve you for a particular occasion…” (smiley face smiley face smiley face). To which i promptly called back with hushed squesls and excitement. It wasn’t offical. Nothing was official of course. There was no ring. And that angst was setting in mixed and colored by sheer joy. So i grinned to myself with a sprouting idea, told her timing would be perfect and hung up. I immediately called Jesse and pitched an idea that sounded a little like this, “so, this is going to be way presumptuous of me, but…i’m still gonna go for it. Would you by chance happen to have the ring yet?” He was getting it that Friday. Perfect. “I’m going to be in town to shoot in a few weeks, would you be up to letting me possibly scheme with you??” He was. He did. And i ‘sponateneously called Sam the Sunday before my Monday Riverside Mini Shoots, June 18th, and asked if she could whip up a sassy outfit, grab her honey, indulge in a bit o’ romance and meet me for a Sweetheart shoot ‘just for fun’ at the park. She was game of course.
I started off with just a few fun casual portraits. Honestly, Jesse and I hadn’t really set up an agenda. So my mind was racing with a gameplan while trying to maintain a really casual front so Sam wouldn’t suspect anything :)
I love this picture below with that glow behind Sam’s gorgeous face and sparkly eyeballs :DI pretended to hem and haw a little looking for a few more spots with fun sunbeams. Asked them if they just wanted to walk along the lake. They were down. We found a secluded peninsula. Perfect. I was able to mutter to Jesse: “the code words will be ‘I’m gonna back off and you have to give me a whole 60 seconds of romance…”… So that’s what I said. And that’s what they did.
They talked and snuggled for a little under that darn tree. I couldn’t hear anything. I actually started to wonder if Jesse was gonna flip the script and ask for a different spot. Or something… I’m so glad i just shut up and watched and snapped away…
(Do note Sam’s funny face in that 3rd picture to the far right. You should ask her what choice explitive she used when she got a closer look at the ring. I burst out laughing)
Her eyes DANCED!
couldn’t stop looking at her new bling bling
SO stinkin excited for Sam!
We trotted back to show Lawson and the kiddos the new finger decor.
I’ve known Sam for a LONG time! Watching her go from highschool, through college and into adulthood–wrestle with big things, grow with Jesus, meet Jesse and now engaged–sheesh! I’m so overwhelmed with joy for her! Can’t wait for your wedding in December dear friend!!
Here is a sneak peak into my senior session with Alison Moore. More golden loveliness can be seen on her gallery HERE. :D
…there love story continues. :) If you didn’t catch P + V’s part one, go Here. And take note that after you trudge through all the gooey tenderness, at the bottom of the post you’ll get to read the first-hand account of their proposal back in December. Beware though. He sets the bar UBER high. It’s kinda ridiculous actually. | lkm
I really would like a huge glowing canvas of that bee in the branches (image below left)Such a pretty little thing :)
and oh my gosh, can they get their goof on!I don’t get it either. African flossing? My heart just swells at the idea of God blessing Peter with Vanessa as his bride…a woman whom he loves, tends to, cares for, who loves Jesus and others. The innocence and sheer delight and new experiences and amazing sense of ‘team-mate’ ahead of them–yup, there’s the grapefruit in my throat again. My joy in my brother is unabashed. The blessing in having him include me in these plans and attempts to woo his lady is beyond me. The phone calls and questions and opinions on ‘how should i do this?’ made my heart swim with glee :)
So….here’s the proposal story I’ve been gushing about. (as told by Peter)…note: at the end of Vanessa’s semester abroad in Africa, Peter joined her parents to spend Christmas on safari and traveling about the country. I know. Sick huh?
Sent via facebook to all their close friends shortly after they got engaged…
She said yes! Here’s how it happened:
On December 25th, I gave Vanessa her first clue: a small silver treasure chest. The next day I gave her a silver key with the verse 1 Peter 1:22-23. The third clue was the movie Muppet Treasure Island (in which Gonzo says the line, “to Zanzibar, to see the Zanzi-barbarians!”). Fourth clue was a hand towel and fifth clue, conveniently placed on her bedside table by her dad this morning, was a photo album showing the timeline of our relationship so far.
Last night, we arrived on Zanzibar island off the coast of Tanzania (in eastern Africa). I immediately began to scope the area for the big question, since I was planning on burying the ring in a cherry wood treasure chest I had a guy make for her. I approached “Gharib”, a local African at the receptionist desk and in a conspiratorial tone said, “I am planning on asking my girlfriend to marry me tomorrow but I need your help.” His eyes lit up. He was in. He found me a shovel and a place on the beach that was on the edge of the Breezes Beach Club property. Mr. Johnson talked to Sarah, another helpful worker to get a glass bottle for the treasure map. The closest she could find was a wine carafe—it would have to do. I then had Vanessa’s brother Aaron set up a camera behind a tree as I buried the treasure chest next to a palm tree. I made the appropriate pirate markings on the piece of synthetic leather I had burned and dirtied (for authenticity of course), and then went to pick up Vanessa.
She had all the clues ready with the additional zebra striped bowl we picked up in South Africa. I then gave her the wine carafe with the treasure map which she untied and gazed with artistic appreciation for a few moments before looking to me for direction. “Well, follow the map, I said.” So we did. I purposely made the dotted pirate route wind through the club grounds before looping back along the beach to the chosen palm tree. She noticed the camera first and laughed. Then she noticed Aaron sulking in the shadows of the tree and laughed some more. Aaron turned on the camera and discreetly took off down the path. “Oh look, a shovel!” she said. “Well, what do you think you should do?” I asked. “Maybe I should dig in this soft dirt over here…” she jested (so maybe I’m a pirate in training and didn’t cover my burial site so well). She dug up the treasure chest, unlocked it with the key I had given her as a clue, and opened up the chest to find a journal and a small box. The journal had some words about love and stuff and then after reading John 13 I had her sit on the treasure chest while I washed her feet in the zebra bowl. I dried them with the red hand towel (4th clue) and had her open the small box. Inside was a smaller box containing a black ring box and inside the ring box was…the ring. I told her some more stuff about love and running the race alongside each other and more mushy stuff and then said, “Vanessa Nicole Johnson, will you marry me?” She said yes. We hugged for a few moments then realized how humid it was so we headed in to breakfast with Vanessa’s family.
Praise God from whom all blessings flow. Hope to see you soon.
Peter (& Vanessa)
Last February I got an amazing series of phone calls from my brother, Peter. It started off like this: “Hey sis. So…i have my eyes on someone.” Oh my word. Was I thrilled. My brother is pretty amazing. He loves Jesus more than anything and when I heard that Vanessa was the one that had captured his attention, I choked on my asparagus. He spoke of her heart for others, the way he loved serving with her–and then he told me about her issue with SOCKS and I was sold. They spent nearly a year dating, getting to know each other better and then when she spent a semester in Africa with her nursing program from APU this past fall, he spoke of his incredible longing for her. My brother…a man…longing for this woman whom he wanted for his bride. He proposed in Africa by the way…. but i’m saving that story, written by my brother, for tomorrow. :) | lkm
the ‘how to dip’ coaching session was full of belly-laughs
your guess is as good as mineThis is Peter talking to my other brother Nathan who was SUPPOSED to have come hang out for the afternoon. Peter arrived at the session, spent an hour cuddling with his fiance and then suddenly gasped and shot a look at Vanessa, “we forgot Nathan.” It’s kinda funny now -noitisnot- especially remembering Vanessa’s look of horror and Peter’s genuine look of remorse. I haven’t seen Nathan in 9 months….yes, yes I am still bitter.two of my favorites from the day…I vote no glasses for the wedding. What do you think? I get another sister!!! Part Two coming tomorrow :) Along with one of the best proposal stories I’ve ever heard of… :)