A photographer’s job is so much more than just snapping a button on a camera. It’s getting to know the heart of the people in front of my lens, to hear their stories and have the opportunity to tell them. After all, it is stories that bind us together in the human experience. Stories have the power to reach across every kind of divide, and they remind us that we are all in this together. They have the ability to impact and affect change as we see our own struggles, hopes and dreams reflected in another’s life. What a gift.
Being allowed into so many sacred, intimate moments and being blessed with capturing and sharing the stories of my couples and families is something I take so seriously. Natalie and Logan, an incredible couple from Chicago, came to me this winter for an engagement session. These two wanted a Sedona adventure session as epic and joy-filled as their relationship. What better way to celebrate than by climbing a mountain in dress clothes? As we explored the beautiful red rocks, I learned that this pair had an amazing story full of love, hope, and beating the odds to make it to their happily ever after.
Natalie, who is a nurse, has a God-given passion for helping and healing patients diagnosed with cancer. It is in the hospital that she met Logan, who caught her eye with his kindness, joy and unyielding sense of humor. He was immediately drawn to her radiant spirit, heart for serving others and her obvious beauty. As Logan healed, they got to know one another very well, and discovered how much they had in common and loved spending time together. It’s true that the best relationships begin with a solid foundation of friendship. Over the next few months, they became inseparable and realized this was the person God had created for them.
In Logan’s words:
“Our love wouldn’t be possible without God’s hand. I met Natalie because my cancer had relapsed and I needed a more invasive treatment. This involved a stem cell therapy transplant. I was in the hospital for a little over three weeks and toward the end of my stay I met Natalie, my nurse. One day she was telling me about an injury she had from running. As a strength and conditioning coach, I offered to train her in order to help prepare her for a half marathon. When I got out of the hospital, we would train together, go to church, and just hang out. We slowly become best friends and the rest is history. A little over a year later, I proposed. It sounds so cliche but when you know, you know.
Natalie sniffed out my original plan, which was to propose to her in Sedona. When scheming a plan with her mother, one of her mother’s suggestions was to propose at the farewell party for her childhood home (her parents were selling their house). At that time, it was only three weeks away. I bought the ring and gave it to her dad to keep. The plan was for her dad to bring the crowd of 50 family members and close friends outside to give a brief toast. I took over the toast and made my move. Filled with emotions I grabbed the wrong hand and was politely reminded by her dad that I was holding the wrong hand. This gave me the composure to give her my speech. Filled with emotions, I put the ring on without asking. Her mom said ‘Well, aren’t you going to ask her first?’ It was perfect. Swiftly, I pulled the ring off and asked her. She said yes! And that became the best moment of my life.”
Logan is now currently in remission. He is amazed at the Lord’s providence for bringing him Natalie in the midst of an incredibly challenging time. It was such an honor to get to know them and capture this part of their love story. I can’t wait to see what the future holds for them!
If you’re visiting Sedona or other parts of Arizona, I would love to chat with you about capturing your memories! Don’t forget I also travel to other parts of the US, and would love to go on an adventure anywhere you choose! Feel free to reach out here.