Joe & Danielle are salt of the earth people and are celebrating nine years into their love story. They were engaged just before Joe left for Coast Guard boot camp. The Coast Guard took them on adventures around the nation and five years later they returned back to Ohio where love bloomed and where they hoped to raise a family.
When Danielle & I first spoke, after talking about Enneagrams and creative interests, and the sarcastic humor she & Joe share, she opened up more about their story and struggle with infertility and the loss of a miscarriage. They were definitely on a hard journey, and I was so honored to be trusted with such a delicate part of their story.
While I was scouting the location where I hoped to photograph them, I realized the trail symbolically told their story. The pines feel other worldly, almost magical and easily lend to a story of romance. Further along the trail spindly pines become more prominent, the space becomes more open and exposed. Then further still, the trail turns into this lush blooming path, full of life and vitality. Then the idea came - maybe this session could be cathartic for them. A way to creatively honor their life experience - a way to remember their love, grieve what was the lost and begin to move forward. To my surprise, Danielle & Joe agreed.
Through hindsight, Danielle described the stages of their internal process as a couple beautifully:
“We went through multiple stages on this journey. There was anticipation and excitement at the beginning of our journey towards parenthood. Then the feeling of distance as we experienced loss and eventually we came together, walking through grief side-by-side. Together, we found our way out of the darkness & deep despair, and came to find hope for our future. We are finding joy and contentment in who we are as a family right now, just the two of us and Merced, their beloved feline.”
That kind of perspective and willingness to work through personal pain is underrated hero stuff in my book. To be trusted in that emotional space is a privilege. They are incredible humans, and with hope I say, the story is still unfolding.
We originally photographed this story in June 2021 and in Dec 2022, Danielle gave birth to the sweetest baby boy. OVERJOYED. (all the fist pumps for this!!!)
What story do you want to tell?
I'm here to celebrate and also to walk through something delicate with gentleness. If you have a story you want to get creative with, I'm totally here for it and I can't wait to talk with you about it.