Southern weather is always quite unpredictable, especially here in Mississippi. One day its 70 degrees, and the next its 20. Trying to plan anything around weather is quite a challenge for sure! It just happens that during the coldest week of winter, I got to photograph the most warm-hearted couple.
Gary and Susanna were up visiting family for Christmas and we figured out a time for them to sneak in an engagement session! Gary is originally from Mississippi and went to Ole Miss, which made the campus one of the stops on our winter adventure. Susanna is from Panama, where the two of them met and currently reside. They both have quite a passion for teaching and will soon be moving somewhere in Asia to continue their current career path. I have to say, I was quite jealous of their adventurous spirit and almost asked if I could come with!
Of course I'm joking...three is definitely a crowd. haha!
To prepare for our engagement shoot, I arrived a bit early, checking out the campus in all its glory. I have to say, it is quite beautiful. The beautiful architecture of the buildings and southern charm of it all definitely won me over. Normally, I find myself staying out of all the hoopla of college sports, but now I guess I'll just have to side with University of Mississippi from now on. Sorry MSU! I know how hardcore Mississippi fans are so please no hate mail from the MSU crowd! ha! :)
Along with checking the campus out, I bundled up with a couple layers, making sure I didn't shiver while taking their photos. Blurry photos can be quite artistic at times, but I thought this couple would appreciate their faces in focus. haha!
Soon after I finished roaming the campus circle grove, Gary and Susanna arrived. Susanna let me know she was willing to brave the cold to show off her cute outfit. I told her beauty is pain and her outfit was totally worth the sacrifice of being comfortable! We started off our photo shoot in front of the big Lyceum building, which is the oldest building on the campus. It definitely made for an impressive backdrop for a couple of shots!
Next, we roamed around the circle, finding what I like to call "gems" among the campus. With each transition to the next stop, the two bundled up to try and hold on to a glimpse of warmth before I made them take their coats off again. haha! I am telling you, these two were just troopers and never complained once. You could see they were just happy to be with each other no matter the circumstance and excited for this new journey they were on together.
I do admit that dancing in public place, without music, and in front of a woman (yours truly) you hardly know can be a bit awkward. But, guess what? I don't care! You know why? Well because you get these true emotions and facial expression that can't come from a pose.
Pure happiness. Pure embarrassment. Just kidding...definitely happiness.
As the afternoon sun began to get lower in the sky, we headed to our next location, Rowan Oak. Rowan Oak was William Faulkner's former home and was built in 1844. He lived there with his family for over 40 years and in 1972 his daughter sold it to the University of Mississippi to promote Faulkner's literary heritage. This home and property has definitely been one of my most favorite places to shoot in Mississippi and I thank these two lovebirds for choosing this location! Everything about it is quiet, peaceful, full of charm
We were not the only visitors at Rowan Oak that evening so Gary and Susanna had a little audience at times, which they didn't seem to mind very much. I think they were too cold to care! As chilly as it was that evening, I love that you'd never know by looking at these photos. I say we pulled it off Gary and Susanna!
As a remembrance of the evening, I did make them take a few more photos on the way to the car. I'm guilty of always telling my clients "this is the last one" and then end up coming up with another idea that I just HAVE to make them participate in. Sometimes those last minute photos end up being my favorite so I can never resist. :)
Congratulations Gary & Susanna! Thank you for letting me be a part of capturing your story!
Locations: University of Mississippi (Ole Miss) Campus & Rowan Oak (Oxford, MS)
Photographer: LunaRae Photography