This was not just another engagement session for me. This was my cousin, Dalton, and his fiance, Julia’s engagement session and from the moment I knew he was proposing, I dreamed of photographing their love story. Now I get to share the first batch of images that will lead to their wedding day in August and tell their story – through Dalton’s point of view, Julia’s and my own.
“I wish I could say I knew from the moment I saw Julia everything fell right into place. I wish I could even say that I knew which one she was. I wish I even knew what her name was that day. The truth is, I swung and missed on both (yes, let me have at least one baseball pun).
(For those of you who do not know, Dalton + Julia were separated from their friends hiking in the mountains of the Blue Ridge Parkway some time ago.)
“We stayed on that rock together for almost 9 hours before we were rescued around 5:30am. …that was the day I really knew Julia was somebody special. And learned almost everything about her there was to know. Since then, we have laughed together, cried together, cheered together, pouted together (thanks Cowboys), grew together, and most importantly, loved together. Our relationship has been the greatest adventure of my life. Four years later and I am finally marrying someone who is not only everything I have ever wanted, but so much more that I never knew I needed. I’m marrying an Overton. I’m marrying the greatest point guard Stonebridge School has ever seen. I’m marrying a beautiful, wholesome, honest, caring, angel. I’m marrying my best friend. I’m marrying Jules.”
“Literally, we went up in a mountain and thought we were never coming down. I will say that if you want to really get to know a person, just get unintentionally lost in a mountain with them for 9 hours—you’ll learn everything you need to know. I learned what made Dalt tick; what made him the man he is today. I learned about his values, downfalls and greatest accomplishments. He told me his dreams and goals, and what he imagined his life would be like. We talked about God and family and baseball, we talked about heartbreak, love and despair. We swore that when we got off that mountain we would either stop seeing each other or it would be a story we would tell our children and grandchildren about one day. The silver lining of getting lost that day was learning that we were meant to be there for each other: good or bad, happy or sad, lost or found. And we’ve been inseparable ever since.
I get to marry my best friend, my safe haven, a man beyond my wildest dreams. I get to marry Dalton Lyndell Britt.”
We shot for hours this day, traveling all over the surrounding areas where they attended college. I made prompt cards to test out and use for the first time to get natural, candid reactions from them since they were family and I knew it wouldn’t be awkward. I didn’t even need them. Dalton + Julia are so deep in love that I never had to give them direction. They hugged, danced, kissed, jumped over ditches, even broke out a secret handshake – all without me saying a word. That’s love and it was an honor to capture it all.
They were lost on a mountain when they met.
Dalton proposed the day Hurricane Matthew hit.
Julia stepped on a snake during their session.
Dalton + I broke down in Chatham, VA (2.5 hours away) on our way home from the shoot.
No matter what, though, their love is strong and I can’t wait to watch them get married in August and see what adventure that brings.