Right before my WOD yesterday, a Facebook notification popped up on my phone screen that said Pat Robinson Photography has tagged you in a picture.

So I immediately panicked.

Our engagement shoot wasn’t exactly the idyllic, super fun, so-in-love day that I had imagined. I was crabby. And stressed. The whole time. We were sweating, my hair was frizzing, and I felt altogether very un-beautiful. And we were paying a lot of money to have every moment of it documented.

One of the challenges when working with a non-local photographer is scheduling. Pat is (very understandably) pretty busy with bookings, and being over two hours away, we aren’t able to reschedule at the last minute, either. Months ago we scheduled our shoot for June 5th, bought the requisite Amtrak tickets, booked a make-up artist (which was nigh impossible, as every single salon in Delaware is closed on Sunday), and made plans to head about 45 minutes away to Susquehana State Park to shoot in the two hours before sunset.

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Susquehana State Park: The Location That Wasn’t

Well, Mother Nature had other plans. Rather that a dreamy early-summer evening, the entire Mid-Atlantic was due to be pummeled by severe thunderstorms. Not weather we can shoot in. But rescheduling was also not an option, as literally every single weekend of our summer is booked until Labor Day. We talked with Pat, and agreed that dependent on the day-of forecast, we’d have to stick locally where we could find some sheltered areas, instead of heading to the park.

What we didn’t expect was to wake up Sunday morning to a text from Pat asking what the soonest time we could be ready by is. The forecast had worsened overnight – it was now looking quite dangerous – and the timeline for the storm had moved from hitting us around 6:00 to starting around 2:00. Panic.

My make-up appointment was scheduled for 3:30. Call the make-up artist to see if she can bump-up the timing to…now. Leave a voicemail. Should I just do my own make-up? I didn’t bring any make-up with me. I don’t wear make-up daily. And since I scheduled someone to do my make-up, I literally didn’t pack any of mine with me to Delaware.

Paint my nails. Call make-up artist again. And again. Third time she answers – bad news. She is on her way to Baltimore to visit her father in the hospital. She planned to be back by 3:30 for the appointment, but can’t do earlier. I cancel the appointment, and she very kindly gives me the names of two other artists to try getting in touch with. One is unavailable, and the other I can’t reach.

Shit.

Ulta. There is an Ulta at the mall. They have a salon. Call Ulta, the earliest they can do is 12:15. It’ll have to do. We hurriedly get dressed, grab a change of clothes, and head out to Ulta. I haven’t showered, and the only thing I did to my hair since I got out of bed was spray some dry shampoo at the roots.

We arrive at Ulta early in the hopes that perhaps the make-up artist will be ready sooner than 12:15. She’s not. In fact, she’s late in calling me back – which is a mystery since she had no appointments before me. The experience was awful. The eyeshadow she put on me looked bright white; I asked her three times for something darker before it was bearable. She tried twice to apply eyeliner before I asked for the pencil to do it myself. She didn’t cleanup the excess eye shadow that was all over my face before she started applying foundation – which she asked me to pick out the foundation color (I know nothing about color-matching foundation, as I never wear any), and the same for my blush color and lip color. In other words, I could have just walked around Ulta and applied my own make-up for free using all the testers. And all of this took over an hour. By 1:20, I told her I needed to leave – deadline, and I was feeling like Cinderella, minus one fair godmother.

We made it to Pat’s by 1:30. No rain yet, but it’s coming – humidity is at about 1000%. My hair immediately frizzes and triples in volume. For someone who has a lot of hair to start, it’s not a good look. We’re sweating and constantly worried that the skies might open above us.

Pat is chill and takes it all in stride. We know he’s good at what he does, and will make it work. But I’m also aware that he’s not a stylist, and so despite his magic with a camera, I’m just feeling really pessimistic about how these pictures will turn out, because I look like crap. And I’m sure my body language is conveying all the stress I’m feeling.

The rain holds off, and we get all the pictures done – I suppose that’s a win, but it sure doesn’t feel like it.

So when I get that Facebook notification, my starts racing. I swipe right, prepared for the worst. To find…this.

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It’s so serene and peaceful that all my anxiety melts away. The photo is just gorgeous, and feels like something completely apart from how I remember the day. Is it perfect? No. Or rather, I’m not perfect – I’m slouching, I feel like my body language is a bit stiff, and I wish I had pulled my hair back over my left shoulder.

And yet – I don’t care. I love it. Because despite all my flaws, it reminds me how much I love Tait and how excited I am to marry him. The picture is the embodiment of our relationship – neither of us is perfect, but our relationship is beautiful nonetheless.

Now I can’t wait to see the rest!

 

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