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jess + dereck | culpeper, va anniversary session

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Ahhh, I am so excited to share this mini anniversary session with y’all today!!!  Partly because this beautiful lady is super special to me, and partly because I can’t get enough of couples portraits under pretty spring blossoms.  (I mean, can you blame me?)

Jess has been one of my closest friends for something like 15 years!  (Also, every time I say that out loud, I legitimately feel old.)  We became friends in high school, lived together (with our third bestie, Megs!) while we were going to school at Virginia Tech, stood beside each other on our wedding days, and have managed to stay close relationally even though we’ve lived 3+ hours away from each other for almost 10 of those years.  We may only see each other in person a few times a year, but I’m so grateful that every time we’re together, we seem to pick up right where we left off.  Which usually means quoting lines from Anchorman and Wedding Crashers in normal conversation and eating a potentially embarrassing amount of brie cheese in one sitting.  Don’t judge.  😉

Jess and I have tried to get a session on the calendar a few times over the last few years, but were never able to make it happen.  Finally a few weeks ago, it worked out!!!  I traveled up to the Culpeper / Fauquier County areas of Virginia for a few client sessions, and Jess + Dereck were gracious enough to let me stay with them in their home for almost a full week!!  (Side note: you should definitely feel some compassion for Dereck, because he’s a man of few words, but when Jess and I are together we pretty much never stop talking!  Haha!)  I loved getting to spend some quality time with these two and I’m so glad we were able to find time to get them in front of my camera while I was in town!  Jess and I have taken about a million selfies together and she’s always been quick to light up the camera, but I especially loved seeing how Dereck lit up the camera just for her during our time together.  I don’t even know if he realized it, but he couldn’t stop smiling as long as he had her pulled close – and it’s my favorite.  <3  These two have been through their share of tough times over the last few years (by no fault of their own), and while my heart has grieved for them in the midst of those challenges, it’s also been so encouraging to see the way that their relationship has grown stronger because of it.  Their love and their commitment to each other has only grown deeper as they’ve walked through this season together, and I’m so glad we were able to create some beautiful memories for them in the middle of this season.  <3

Enjoy my favorites from Jess + Dereck’s downtown Culpeper anniversary session!  🙂

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Y’all, the blossoms on this tree were SO stinking’ pretty in the background (especially with Jess’s dress!!)

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Y’all know with that gorgeous dress, I wasn’t going to let these two get away without a few twirls …

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Love, love, love this next one on the right!

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GAH this next one is such a fave!!

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I have to end with one of my fave shots of Jess + a twirl!

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Jess, Dereck, THANK YOU so much for letting me live with you for almost a week, and for feeding me and caffeinating me – and for letting me snap a few photos of you.  I hope these images always remind you just how special your marriage is, even more so now than it was on the day you said “I do.”  I love you both!  <3

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