Engagement Session: Sam & Andrew

Are you guys ready for the most adorable engagement session?!? I had the great pleasure of documenting this special time for a longtime family friend, Samantha, and her sweet fiancé, Andrew, while I was back in Pennsylvania and I have been itching to share a few highlights with you guys!

 

Samantha is the very best friend to my younger cousin, Lisa, and over the years, I have had the great pleasure of watching their sweet friendship blossom. We’ve spent 21st birthdays together and almost every Memorial Day for the last 10 years chilling by the pool. Flash forward to today and these childhood besties are still going strong hence the reason I felt compelled to love on Sam and her adorable fiancé.

 

This session has been in the books for quite some time now. When we first started talking about engagement photos, she mentioned that she would love to have fall colors in her photos since they would be getting married in October. I love that she wanted to incorporate the beautiful fall foliage of the Laurel Highlands into their shoot so I made it a point to fly back in November to help make her wish come true!

 

We could not have picked a better week for a portrait session. Though it was a little bit chilly, the colors were in full force and I couldn’t wait to capture these two celebrating their love story. We decided to meet at Linn Run State Park in Ligonier, Pennsylvania for an afternoon basking in the last little bit of sunlight before Daylight Savings hit.

 

We started our shoot at Adams Falls. We even blew off a few smoke bombs but I am not gonna lie, the shots were no bueno. My assistant, aka My Mama, wasn’t the best special effects coordinator so we ended up with a few photos of these two choking on the smell of the sulphur but I gotta give them props, both Andrew and Sam just laughed it off.

 

It is amazing how much I got to learn about these two while photographing these images. Considering how long I have known them, I thought had their personalities down to a T but sure enough, they kept surprising me. Sam and Andrew have 2 completely different personalities. Sam is wild and crazy, witty and so hilarious at all the right moments and by contrast, Andrew is quiet and stoic, smart and more than happy to let Sam take the lead 80% of the time. But together, these two have their own personality. Together, they both smile bigger and brighter. They have that sort of affection that only could only come from really knowing one another. After all these years together, I think it is fair to say that these sweethearts have got it figured out.

 

After playing around at Adams Falls for a bit, I told them to jump in the car to follow me on a little adventure. We raced our way down the mountain towards a dirt road for those really pretty natural light photos and then we made our back towards Ligonier so we could fence-hop. Yes, I do trespass with my clients’ consent and thank goodness these two are always down for an adventure. We made our way to a small stream that was surrounded with sugar maples and elm trees. When the light began to flicker in, these two got their snuggle on for some of the most adorable shots.

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Our last set of images were the best. Sam wanted to add a little personal touch to their shoot. Since they got engaged in New York City, she had brought along the infamous “I LOVE NY” shirts for a few fun shots.  I even laughed out loud when I realized that Andrew had been wearing it all along under his flannel! Smart guy, he is!

 

If I were to offer any solid piece of advice to these two as they embark on this wonderful journey together,  it would be this…

 ‘It burns like a blazing fire, like a mighty flame. Many waters cannot quench love, rivers cannot wash it away.” Song of Solomon 8: 6-7

In other words, love each other hard through all of it because there will be good and there will be bad but you guys, you will always have each other to lean on. Remember that and remember that marriage is work, really hard work but the absolute best kind of work too. Stay true to your love for one another and you two will be golden. Oh, and Congratulations!!

 

Laurel Highlands Portrait Session

These 2 goofballs are back up on the Blog! Their first official photo shoot took place at a waterslide at Linn Run State Park in Ligonier, Pennsylvania. Today, we are not going to talk about the shoot. You guys know the speal, We took pictures in a park and it was super awesome. Instead, we’re gonna chat a little about having these buttheads for baby sisters and the wild ride it was been.

The first thing you should know is, my sisters are 18 and 16 years younger than me.  I’ve been out doing the whole college-marriage-adult thing while they have been dancing on stage at the Palace and learning to play the saxophone. In the past, the girls would talk about my brother and I to their elementary school teachers and they’d laugh and think “How long have I been teaching?“, knowing very well it had been more than over a decade since a Greece had last sat in their class. It’s amazing how kids can do that to you. Abbie actually asked me one time what Saved by the Bell was and Gabbie has no idea how truly awesome NSYNC’s Christmas album is. They have no sense of 90s culture and it breaks my heart. But, they have taught me about Vine, Snapchat, Instagram, Ed Sheeran, Zac Efron, Ruth B and about a million other things.

My sisters have also taught me that life is this huge circle and and we just keep going round. It’s true what they say. Time flies. It feels like just yesterday that they were swimming in the baby pool with Reyna (my pup) at my old house on Tollgate. They loved that little pool. We pretended Reyna was the shark and she was gonna get them and we ate popsicles and pretended the Barbies were mermaids. And, then I blinked. Now it’s all Twenty One Pilots and Harry Potter, Selfies and Makeup. The world was much simpler back then.

 Truth be told, getting to be there for all their stages of life has been one of the greatest joys of mine. It’s all in the little things. Like, how they love to sing old Stevie Nicks jams in the car or how they are in constant search of their Troll dolls and how they always wanna go to the Skate Hop. I mean…deja vu much? Guys, this is stuff we all did, 20 years ago!

It is crazy to think that I used to worry about our age gap. Schmage Gap! I’m hip. I’m cool. Or, at least I’m gonna try to be because I always want these girls to know that they can come to me with anything that is weighing on their mind or peaking their interest. That’s what it’s all about, right? Being their role model is something that I was never prepared for but somewhere along the way, I found a rhythm that worked. Abriana and Gabriella have taught me to look at the world with a different set of eyes and I am thankful for them. In a way, they have always kept me grounded yet always looking towards the future.

FOR THOSE OF YOU WHO DON’T KNOW ME: My name is Angelina Norris. I am natural light photographer based in Dallas-Fort Worth, with roots in the Laurel Highlands of Pennsylvania. I specialize in family and lifestyle portraiture with an emphasis on real moments. I believe that the best portraits are a combination of  genuine intimacy and playful experience. I live for the opportunity to test out the waters of new shoot locations and discover new places all around the globe. If you would like to book your unique portrait session, shoot me an email at therustienailhead@gmail.com.