All I can say to start off is how completely blown away I am by the couples I meet. It’s pretty intimidating when you realize how much trust people put in you when they ask you to document a very special part of their life. Mallory & Jordan were just #ANOTHERONE …
sorry, I had to heh heh. I had met Jay at his sister’s wedding almost a year and a half ago, and it was really crazy to realize that he was Mallory’s fiancé when she reached out to me to take their engagement photos.
Firstly, he proposed in Aspen, Colorado. Paradise for the snowboarding duo. Keeping up with the winter theme, they wanted to do their photos in the snow. At first, we planned for Big Bear. NOPE. After talking to my friend Djae, I had the crazy idea to text Mallory and see if they were game to going all the way to Yosemite and once they said yes in a matter of days, I knew this couple was too down. TOO DOWN.
Aside from having the snow, the falls, the mountains and everything in-between, what made this day super memorable for me was hearing their story when we went to dinner. They were so incredibly open and honest with me that at times, I seriously was trying to stop myself from tearing up. Okay, I for sure teared up, but I was willing myself from letting that tear roll down my face. HAHA.
Mal and Jay are long-time lovers. Ever since high school actually. But to be frank, they had time apart. It wasn’t necessarily a bad end, but with starting college, moving, the questioning of identities, and the ever-lasting struggle of being content with your own individuality, they went their separate ways. It was pretty darn separate. They said that they didn’t speak for about two years. During this time, Mal moved up north to play college soccer and Jay was getting ready to go to the navy.
One fateful day, an uber driver dropped off Jay at a sidewalk in LA for a wedding showcase event. He was accompanying his sister and that driver dropped him right in front of where a certain someone was working the event. That someone was Mal. She’s also a boss in the wedding industry and plans weddings. They made eye-contact, but none of it was verbal and long-story short, that spiraled a huge tornado of emotions, leading them to meet up soon after to talk.
They talked about their time apart. Thinking it would be a tense conversation, they instead talked comfortably about how they’ve grown, how they’ve learned to be independent, how God has shaped their lives. How although they tried to forget their lives with each other, filling that human void with something that wasn’t Jay or something that wasn’t Mal just didn’t work. Can you imagine? You haven’t seen someone whom you loved in two years and seeing them for the first time, you think they’d be a stranger, but it feels familiar and warm.
Weeks pass by and Jay goes to the navy. He says that he expected to feel alone, but little did he know he would meet God-given brothers that were there, side-by-side through the pushups and the fatigue and the strenuous training until now, still side-by-side during his newly engaged season. They kept in contact though. Mal didn’t want to be attached to him while he was away, but basically, she picked him up from the airport, and he told her he didn’t want to be without her. They were back together ever since, this time better than ever. They needed to be apart to be better for each other and better for themselves.
A couple years later, we have a snowboarding trip in Aspen, a promise, a ring, and now we’re here. Something supernatural happened that day in LA. Out of all the places that uber driver could have dropped Jay off, it was face-to-face with his future bride that he always had a his heart set on.
Either I’m just super sensitive or my couples take pleasure in making me cry, but when I was eating dinner with Mallory and Jordan, I knew that’s where I was supposed to be and that everything leading up to this dinner just happened for a reason. I loved how their photos came out, sure, very important, but it was an insane moment for other reasons. I left feeling inspired, hopeful, and strong, especially in a time where I wouldn’t necessarily use those three words to describe myself. I’m not very good at receiving affirmations, I’ve said this a lot in the past couple weeks and it’s become a bit of an inside joke. I get super awkward and in an effort to not seem overly-humble, I tense up a bit. Not sure why, maybe the bio major stress pushed me off an incredibly high horse. However, on this night, my friends who were in Yosemite had left before the shoot and I was alone for the night and the rest of the Norcal journey. Mallory and Jay drove a separate car on the way out of the park in the dark; a one and a half hour drive that’s not fun. By this time, it would be my third time driving this road out of the park. Later they told me they in the car, they said I was a “tough chick.” Maybe it was for driving a long windy-road alone in the dark, but I had the inclination they were suggesting something a bit more. I’d like to think I’m a tough chick, but sometimes it’s hard to feel so tough when you are sometimes so blue and overwhelmed. Although a short remark, it definitely resonated with me in the days to come. It helped remind me that I am strong, in times when I want to be strong for others yet forget about myself and the joy that I experience when I’m doing what God drives me to do.
All-in-all, I’m eternally thankful for these two. For their example, their charisma, the laughs we had, and their friendship. I’m also thankful that they trusted me to meet in a forest six-hours away with no service at a location we pinned the night before in a thirty-minute time frame where I had to give them the make and model of my car in order to identify me in such a vast space. I’m also taking this moment to thank all the other friends I’ve made before them who lift me up. You guys have given me a great track record. No client horror stories yet. Knocking on wood.
Here’s a taste of their photos. Who’s going to be next. I got a National Park Pass now guys…let’s go.