Hi, we're Hunter and Sarah, a husband-and-wife, luxury wedding photography team. We’re also educators, helping other photographers build profitable and sustainable photography businesses.
As wedding photographers, one of the best parts of interacting with so many couples is hearing their stories. Each engaged couple has such a unique journey that’s brought them to where they are, and it’s one of the first questions we usually ask when we sit down to talk wedding photography with new couples. If you follow our blog, you know that we love to share stories as we show off images from our sessions – both our clients’ stories and stories from our time together.
However, it occurred to us this fall that the story that’s featured the least on our blog and social media is our own! Now that the cold weather is settling in and we won’t be shooting sessions three times a week, we finally have space on our blogging calendar to tell our own love story! As high school sweethearts, it’s a long one, but we hope you’ll join us each Saturday this winter as we share our story.
On our second dating anniversary, Hunter gave me a photobook filled with pictures, ticket stubs, and other trinkets that we had collected since we had begun dating. He called the album, “Remember that Time?” and it was filled with little reminders of fun dates and adventures we had had. Unbeknownst to me, just a few months into our relationship he had been making small notes on his phone anytime we went somewhere new or had a fun adventure with friends so that he could one day give me that book. When we sat down this fall to talk about this blog series, we couldn’t think of a title that was more true to us than “Remember that Time?”
The fall after Sarah and I’s relationship changed forever and we did our first photoshoots together, we got really lucky that our third dating anniversary happened to coincide with our schools’ Fall Breaks. With a four-day weekend ahead of us, I hopped in my Jeep after class on a Friday afternoon and picked Sarah up on our way down to the Outer Banks. It was almost midnight by the time we arrived at my parents’ beach house, but they had still waited up to welcome us.
We crashed pretty hard that night, but spent the rest of the long weekend surrounded by family, but with plenty of opportunities for walks on the beach and long conversations with each other. On the night of our anniversary, we went out to a nice dinner at the only oceanfront restaurant still open in October. We watched the sunset while we ordered our meals (we weren’t even old enough to order a drink yet), and just enjoyed our time together. After our meal, we walked out to their private gazebo that overlooked the shore and listened to the waves crash, feeling like we were the only ones around for miles.
Looking back, there wasn’t a specific thing that Sarah said, or an exact moment when I made the big decision. It was the way we laughed together, the way she interacted with my family, and the way she loved and cared for me so well — I just knew she was the one. This was it. My search was over. Even though we had been dating for three years at that point, something in me changed during that long weekend, and when I returned to Charlottesville, totally revitalized from a few days by the beach with my favorite people, I took an envelope and wrote “Engagement Ring” on it. I hid it in my room in a place where she wouldn’t find it and from that day on, I began to put away some of my (meager) paycheck from my tutoring job every month.
Over the next two years, our photography business started to make a little money, and some of it went into the envelope. After my junior year I had a full-time job for the summer, and every month some of that paycheck went into the envelope. During the semesters I picked up extra shifts as a tutor, and some of that went into the envelope. Even though I didn’t make much while in school, and most months I struggled to scrape 50 bucks together for the envelope, slowly but surely over the next two years it grew until, one afternoon, I decided to take a trip to a jewelry store…