This engagement shoot with Rachel and Logan at St Charles Riverfront is definitely my new favorite. Not in the least because these two are so adorable together. But because they have a very unique story to tell:
We met in 2013, in Huangshan, Anhui, China, while I was teaching English at a high school there. My neighbor’s daughter married his co-worker, so all of the co-workers were invited over for a festive lunch and sing-along. My roommate and I sang a Chinese song, which happened to be his favorite, so his co-workers forced him to go up and sing with us. It turns out we were both nervously and excitedly stealing glances at the other while singing, though we didn’t realize until later that the instant attraction had been mutual. Unfortunately, I had to return to America a few months after that to begin medical school. We have been dating long distance, seeing each other twice a year for the past 3 years, and are just about to complete the final step of the fiancé visa process in early May. It’s hard to pin down an exact moment when anybody proposed, but we both knew that we wanted to be together and stay together. We have tackled barriers from language to culture to distance–one of the things I love best about him is how open minded he is to considering new ideas, and also how patient he is. He often patiently listens to me explaining things in a roundabout manner when I don’t know the best, most direct way to say something in Chinese. We are so excited that beginning in early June, we will finally be able to spend all of the wonderful “mundane” moments of daily life at each other’s side.
They wanted their engagement photos to involve travel/trains since they’ve done a lot of traveling together and, in fact, getting to Logan’s home town from Shanghai requires an overnight train ride. I found out about the train tracks at St. Charles Riverfront while I was shooting an old hickory golf club wedding a couple weeks ago. Both St. Charles Main Street and Frontier Park have a lot to offer in terms of photogenic spots. So that’s where we were headed.
Our original plan was to meet at Picasso’s Coffee House. But I didn’t realize until later that they would have been closed for the day before we got there. So we met at the Starbucks on S. 5th Street instead.
Rachel ordered some tea and I sat them down at a table outside where it was quieter and we could have more privacy. We got to know each other a little bit. As I asked them to talk between themselves, I started to take pictures. I knew it wasn’t the best spot and, even though we were under a tree, the sun still created some nasty shadows on our faces. But that didn’t really worry me because I was mainly trying to get them to loosen up and become less aware of the camera. To further that cause, I decided to take them for a stroll on the Main Street before we headed towards the riverfront.
I think I did a pretty good job because they started getting more comfortable in front of the camera and looked so much in love in the pictures! Watch the video below and see for yourself. 🙂