I can't exactly remember the first time I met Graham, my cousin Brittany's fiance. Want to know what I do remember? I remember visiting Pop at the nursing home and him asking me if I'd met Graham Cracker yet. I was like, "who?" Pop thought that was funny. He loved giving out nicknames. I think teasing was his way of giving his approval. If he liked to tease you, then that meant you were alright in his book. Pop liked Graham. I could tell that right off the bat. Graham came to Mobile with Brittany many times when she traveled down from Memphis to visit Pop during his last few years, but I never really got to know him all that well. When we all arrived at the church the day of Pop's funeral, Dad and I suddenly realized we'd forgotten to bring Pop's special crucifix. The crucifix had been used at Memaw's funeral the year before and had been a gift to Pop from our pastor. It was a source of strength for Pop. There was no way we could go ahead with the funeral without having that crucifix present. Without a seconds hesitation, a voice spoke up and said "I'll go get it." The voice that spoke up belonged to Graham. Two minutes later, he and I were in the car racing back to the house for the special cross. I had so many emotions running through my mind that day. Funerals are never easy, even when you feel like you have a little warning that they're coming. I was so grateful to Graham for being there for our family. In that moment, I felt like I met him for the first time and I knew that he'd become part of our family one day.
Together, Brittany and Graham are just the sweetest couple. They have such generous, loving hearts and keep a positive outlook on life, despite having endured many personal struggles over the past few years, including Brittany's mom being diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer's and Graham's dad's unexpected death. Through these trying times, Brittany and Graham have been there for each other and their families.
When Graham called and told us he was going to propose to Brittany, we were beyond excited and a few months later I had the pleasure of doing their engagement portraits for them. I shared some sneak peeks from this session a few weeks back, but now that the bride's Save the Dates have gone out, I have the go-ahead to share the full session preview. In short, this session could not have been more fun. We had a fabulous location, the rain in the forecast held off, and we were able to incorporate some very personal touches into their shoot, including beach hats that belong to Brittany's mom and Graham's dad, shooting at the life-guard hut where they took their first beach photo together and Brittany's favorite spot in Fort Walton for catching a sunset. Needless to say, I thoroughly enjoyed spending the afternoon with these two. Enjoy this full preview of their session! :)
To read Brittany's story of helping her mom, Sylvia, live with early-onset Alzheimer's, visit her blog here.
Save the Date!!! These were super fun! We owe a huge shout-out to my sister who did the lettering for the chalkboards and was my assistant on the shoot! Can you guess which one of these was their official Save the Date shot? :)
This solo portrait of Brittany is one of my favorites from the whole day.
We put Graham up to asking for permission to use the lifeguard hut for some portraits. The lifeguards were super awesome and let us have free reign of the area when their shift ended for the day. Talk about lucky!
These two love to laugh!
Even though it was an overcast day, we were blessed with a pretty sunset. Now that Brittany and Graham have sent out their Save the Dates, the countdown to the wedding is on!
Aunt Sylvia came along for the session. I love this mother-daughter portrait of the two of them.