He is a baker. I’m a barber. Together we’re kind of an old school couple.
Although we have been engaged for some time and the wedding is right around the corner, we wanted to do an engagement session anyway. Tyler (this is a very special post, so I’ll call him by his real name for this one) and I are both very uncomfortable in front of the camera, so we wanted to get a little practice before the wedding day.
Bobbie of Roberta Rae photography is an old college friend and incredible photographer, wedding and otherwise. Although we had lost touch after school, once I ran across her and her work again of Facebook, I knew that she was our shutterbug.
This engagement session, in Bobbie’s capable hands, turned into the most beautiful morning and images, filled with love, rainbows, strawberry fields, raspberry thickets, haunted houses, trespassing and MAGIC.
There is a creek that runs all the way through my neighborhood and all of Illinois. Ever since I was a kid, it has been a near mystical place for me, the site of my first puppy love, tree fort building and imaginationland.This place makes everything feel like a movie.
Years ago, a development company was working on buying up all of the houses on this one street that this creek runs through. There were a few homeowner holdouts, and the process dragged on until the real estate market crashed. Since then, those houses that were bought up have been sitting and decaying, slowly being eaten alive by the woods.
For this shoot we tramped though: one amazing, deteriorating, ivy encrusted house; a long and winding driveway to a house tucked in the middle of the woods with the tree fallen across the path, surrounded by a thick blanket of wild strawberries and tiny toadlets; a haunted house that I desperately want to break into where Trudee found that coffin that one time; the lonely tree with a creepy and unexplained narrow bricked 10-foot deep hole next to it; an artfully molded but somehow untagged watertower, and the lush, reedy, tall-grassed creek.
In other words, our own little secret piece of heaven.
Back in 2009 I had just returned from Canada and I needed a quick bar job. A called a friend of mine from choir in high school who I thought could be an in (I knew he worked at a busy bar nearby), only to find out that he was now the GM. He hired me of course, because I am a bomb-ass sever, and I came in for bar training. That was the day I met Tyler.
The boss loved to dress up his employees, and it was Oktoberfest, so needless to say, Tyler was wearing leiderhosen. One day months later, we decided to get together for an Invader Zim marathon during the one week that I have known him beardless. We fell in love in pretty short order. Before long the managers at work didn’t even bother giving us separate sections – we just got a big blob of a section to figure out between us.
Two and a half years later, I’m the soon-to-be step-mamma to Morgan, the world’s most badass 4-year-old, and Tyler and I are happier than ever. Our messed up senses of humor keep us at until the wee hours of the morning, laughing until we hurt because we’re like kids at a sleepover. What we have here – how everything important to us lines up like the stars, how we know each other’s littlest quirks and oddities, to how we trade barber services for back rubs – what we have here is something pretty special.
Bobbie is a crazy person. She set out from Wisconsin at 6 a.m. to meet us just north of Chicago at 8 a.m., because she is a morning light fiend. It started out slightly overcast, which made for some great softness, but after about an hour the sun came out in spades, nice and hazy with the heat.
I wore a rainbow maxi dress from Modcloth.com, one of my favorite stores in the entire world. I found it when my size was already sold out, but I signed up to get notified when and if it was back in stock. As soon as it was, I snapped it up. My amazing Tree of Life necklace was leftover from a class taught at Facets of Isis, a cute little bead shop in downtown Palatine.
We went thrifting for Tyler’s look. Many of our conversations revolve around the things he would wear were they socially acceptable. Like capes. A Mumford and Sons-inspired look is one of those that actually is socially acceptable, and we found his Banana Republic shirt and pants (we didn’t even realize they were both BR until we got them home) for next to nothing at a little resale shop near us. His sweet hat and cuff come from Futurgarb in Wicker Park, just down the street from my barbershop. A few cats live there and just hang out. It is awesome.
Tyler and I are not naturally comfortable in front of the camera. Bobbie managed to make it all seem effortless, both directing us easily and just snapping away when we started doing things right on our own. I think we’re ready for wedding day photography now!