Anticipation had been building over the winter since their daughter contacted me about a special session she wanted to gift her parents for their 50th anniversary. Finally, spring arrived and I couldn't wait to FINALLY meet Dennis and Sharon! Having recently moved further north from Bloomington, MN to enjoy their retirement, they chose to meet at the beautiful Taylor Falls, Minnesota.
Of course, for me, this meant the perfect excuse to arrive early and do some exploring before they arrived. This sign kept me from meandering too far off the main trails alone. (Although I sort of hoped to spot them so they could have their pictures taken, too.)
This is that moment when you're like, really? My job takes me to places like this? I love Minnesota!
Meet Dennis and Sharon.
I asked them how long it had been since they had their pictures taken. They laughed and said they couldn't remember the last time. I immediately knew we'd be having fun with this one. It was with great honor - and JOY - that I photographed this sweet couple.
Me: Can you just hold hands and walk together for a moment?
She smiled: Yes, that's what we are known for....
Learning about people and their stories is probably the best part of my job. I asked them what they loved to do together when they were young and still dating. Dennis didn't hesitate to answer, "Dance!" So, I responded, "then dance with your wife! Right here!" Immediately, they fell into step with each other. I just stood back and let them be while behind the camera, my heart was melting. The way they finally relaxed and just looked at each other.... priceless. I even got an impromptu kiss! (Yes!!!)
I love it when clients hike with me. But these guys being willing to hike with me to get that perfect spot? Now THAT was fun.
Being a photographer often means several hours a day behind the computer preparing pictures. Spotify, coffee and podcasts keep me company during this process. While working on Dennis and Sharon's images I loved what Kevin Kling said on The Losses and Laughter We Grow Into on my favorite podcast, On Being:
As children we are closer in time to the Creator. As a child, I realized who I connected with. It was my grandparents. We were in the same light. I was in the dawn, they were in the twilight. Because of that, they were heading to the Creator and I was coming from the Creator. And because of that we spoke a very similar language.
Do you remember having that connection with your grandparents?
Do we ever really grow up? Or better yet, should we?
And finally, the answer to that question I promised: "Tell me the secret to staying together for 50 years..."
Sharon: You learn as you go.
That's it?! I was looking for fireworks here. But here we have it: Marriage is full of learning and that never-giving-up kind of love and all the hard and good stuff in between. May the years only get better, Dennis + Sharon! Congratulations. xo!