The gorgeous stormy desert sky and the majestic towering saguaros set the stage. It was Collin looking into Emily’s eyes while tenderly caressing her arm. It was the way that perfect little tear welled up in her eye and rolled down her cheek as he lovingly said her name over and over again. It was her unadulterated joy that spilled out in the form of a giggle – the kind you just can’t keep in. I’m getting chills writing this as I think back to Emily and Collin’s sweet engagement photo shoot.

We met on a Thursday evening, they both came straight from work and we were all running a little behind because of traffic. But that was not going to ruin their photo shoot! Before we started, the three of us held hands and I prayed over them. It was my hope and prayer that Emily and Collin would be fully present during our time together and walk away from their shoot feeling more in love and more connected than ever.

Connection is so important in marriage and it doesn’t happen by accident. If we’re not intentional, it’s so easy to let the days pass by without truly feeling connected to each other. One of the most surprising (yet seemingly obvious) things I’ve learned through my marriage over the past couple of years… is the importance of eye contact! If Joel and I prioritize spending even just one solid minute of uninterrupted conversation and eye contact right when he gets home from work – it doesn’t matter how long we’ve been apart or what we have going on that evening – we feel connected in such a deep way.

I wanted Emily and Collin to start their photo shoot experience with that deep connection. The result was so much more than beautiful photos. They shared precious moments together, they had fun, they laughed, they slowed down, they truly cherished one another. And now, through these photos, they have a window back in time to this sweet season of their life.

Emily and Collin, thank you with all my heart for trusting me to document this joyous time of your lives. Thank you for loving each other in such a pure way. Thank you for shining the light and love of Jesus. I am so excited for your wedding! I know the Lord will be magnified in every part and I can hardly wait to capture it all!

Engagement ring:

Emily’s dress: Barker Dress in Rust by Petal and Pup

Emily’s shoes:

Emily’s necklace:

Collin’s watch:

Collin’s shoes:

Collin’s shirt:

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