Shawn & Kenzie {Ault Park Cincinnati couples shoot}

Picture this: it’s 2011. 15-year-old Lauren has just gotten off the months-long waitlist for a new website called “Pinterest.” She’s finally able to start browsing the thousands of quotes, workout inspiration blogs, and creative photos, saving her favorites to a catch-all board called “Things I like :).” She pins pictures of pretty girls in long flowy dressed twirling around. She pins pictures of couples in cute poses, laughing as if there’s not a camera pointed at them. She pins photos of Elvis and Leonardo DiCaprio because… well, duh. She pins pictures of sunglasses, wedding decor, Bible verses, cats in costumes, babies in costumes, dogs in costumes… you get the point. She stares at artsy pictures of wedding rings and wonders to herself about things like how to make the background blurry while the ring is in focus (because that is VERY artsy), how the people in pictures have no shadows on their faces, and how to make the photos look bright and happy. She takes her little silver Canon point-and-shoot camera outside and tries for an entire summer to recreate some of these cool pictures from this Pinterest website. (She doesn’t do a great job and better pictures probably could’ve been taken with a flip phone, but hey, she tried.)

Fast forward to 2018. Current-day Lauren whips out her bag full of camera equipment at the most beautiful park. She starts photographing a gorgeous couple, talking and laughing through the whole thing, not fretting over background blurriness or where shadows are falling, because these things are second nature to her now. She feels at home behind her camera. As the sun begins to set, the golden hour light is energizing her creativity, and she realizes something: she’s taking the kind of pictures she used to pin on Pinterest. The ones she “ooh”d and “ahh”d at on a screen. And even better? These aren't backyard recreations of someone else’s idea. These are hers. And in that moment, all her doubts wash away. In that moment she is proud of herself.

Fast forward a couple of weeks to the time of writing this blog (and to the first-person point of view) : I think it’s okay - important, even - to be proud of yourself sometimes. This is one of those times for me. Though I know there’s always room for improvement, I’ve come a really long way since those point-and-shoot days, and I LOVE the images I take now. This shoot is a good example of that, and it's just really exciting to see all the hard work of the past years coming together.

Kenzie & Shawn, thank you for being my models, for being so much fun to work with, and for making me smile through the whole session! I appreciate you two so much and truly think your relationship is something to be cherished. Much love for you two ❤️  

*Do small things with great love*