I can’t believe I’m sharing this. But what’s the point of life if we can’t be open and brave and try new things, right?

Here goes:

Today I’m feeling all the warm fuzzies as my guy Tim + I mark our first year together. Prior to meeting him, I had taken a season after getting divorced to learn who I was and what I wanted and needed in a partner at this phase of life. I didn’t need someone to build a life with— I have a bright, beautiful and full life— but I knew I didn’t want to spend my days experiencing it alone forever and I dreamed of showing my children what a happy and healthy love-filled home could look like. I wanted someone to share my life with. Companionship.

After 36 first (and some repeat) dates in a few months span, I was very much in tune with what, exactly, I was looking for. I met some incredible men— fun, engaging, brilliant, adventurous— and the more I dated, the easier it became to identify if we were a good match. The right match. Practice makes perfect, right? I kept on because, come on, I’m a mushy wedding photographer! I believe in love! I see it between y’all all the dang time and I knew I was able and deserving if I made it a priority and worked hard to find it. Thank you for inspiring me!!

And so, a year ago tonight, this incredible fella walked into my life with a dozen red roses to show his heart’s intention and readiness without words, he later said when I asked (dispelling my interpretation as a spoof of how much I love The Bachelor. Oops!). He’s continued showing his affection with beautiful acts of heart, transparency and vulnerability ever since, kindly and gently. He is my person, my partner.

(Insert excited declarations of love shouted from rooftops here!)

As part of his birthday last spring, I arranged for a surprise photo shoot with the incomparable Jennifer Mejia, the talent behind Darling Photography: a couples boudoir session.

CRAZY, right?

I mean, I know this is a popular practice for ladies to do for their gents to surprise them with a book before their wedding or an anniversary. I always adopted the “go, you!” attitude when I’d hear of friends signing up to pose in lingerie and lay on beds or lounge in bathtubs in high heels, but it wasn’t my thing. Too many of my own body issues and not my genre of photography.

And then I met and fell in love with Tim. And the adoration and respect and passion between us needed to be captured. Thoughtfully. Artistically. Beautifully. No high heels or racy poses. It couldn’t wait. I want to remember this time in my life for always (before anything else starts sagging more. lol). I’ve had two children and so the idea of being half-naked in front of a photographer (who, in this case also happens to be an industry friend, fortunately) wasn’t really uncomfortable anymore.

So with the help of champagne and a shared excitement for trying something new, we gradually took off some layers so that Jenn could capture our love, pure and raw. It was exhilarating and empowering and tasteful and beautiful. Jenn is incredible at what she does and we loved the experience and of course are both thrilled with the final set of images (that, yes, I did put into a book and surprised him with ;)).

I’m sharing a few of the more modest ones with you here in an act of proud and INSANE BRAVERY because you, too, might need the reminder that you and your love are perfect and beautiful just as you are. Or at least that’s what I’m gathering from HOW MANY of you have messaged me for more information after the teaser I posted on my personal Instagram today. Live big! Love bravely!

Happy year one, TC. <3


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