How They Met: A shy and seemingly failed, first date has, with time, transformed into the loving relationship you see in these photos. A comfort and passion that is truly evident. The couple was introduced by their cousins, who were also dating, back in September of 2010. Their first date was an “unusually quiet” one, reminisces Heather. However, that didn’t keep them from giving it a second chance, then a third and fourth.
The Proposal: On February 18th of this year, Heather and Steven were on a small vacation with a few friends to Gatlinburg, Tennessee. They had broken away from the group to ride the tram to Ober Gatlinburg and planned to take the chair lift to the top of Mt. Harrison, one of their favorite spots. According to Heather, they ALWAYS go up to the mountain, when they are in Gatlinburg, to admire the view. However, the snow was pouring down, so Heather kept insisting that they skip the mountain this trip. Nevertheless, Steve was persistent for some reason. So they rented all the necessary ski gear to enable them to penetrate the weather and ascended toward the seemingly disappearing sky.
Heather recalls that due to the fact that the “usually beautiful view was hidden,” by white snow and haze, she was quickly ready to head back down the mountain. Steven chuckled at her lack of enthusiasm for their blizzard adventure. He then asked how she could have possibly missed the giant box he had been carefully concealing in his pocket all day. He proceeded to drop to one knee, sinking in the snow a bit, and asked her to marry him.
The Engagement: Now that this loving couple prepare to wed, there are countless things to be done, as so many brides and grooms have discovered. One of these happens to be engagement portraits! That is where I come in. These photos were a true delight to capture for several reasons. First of all, Heather has been a dear friend of mine since middle school. Heather, the other gals from high school, and I have made a point to have lunches every couple of months to keep in touch. When she requested that I be her engagement and wedding photographer, I was more than honored!
It only added to my satisfaction that she and Steven chose outstanding locations for the shoot. Our first stop was a picturesque lake. This lake is a secret spot of theirs they discovered while searching for land to build a house. They, along with Steven’s son, Nate, consider themselves to be “lake rats,” so this photo location is their dream spot to build a home someday. The long dirt road out to the lake was astonishing in itself and had to be included as well. The trees created a tunnel of green that seemingly protected the couple from the outside world.
The second location had sentimental value for Steven; he has fond childhood memories of fishing at this lake owned by his best friend’s family. The couple chose to create a new memory on the old steal bridge that crosses a section of the lake.
The final area for shooting was The Barn at Cedar Grove, the location they have chosen for their July wedding. The barn is located on a magnificent and spacious meadow surrounded by acres of forest. Down in the valley you are completely hidden from civilization. An etching in the barn wall dates back to 1911. The Barn at Cedar Grove was fully renovated for events and weddings 100 years later.
The whole afternoon was an amazing time for me as the photographer and I hope for the couple as well. I had my brother, Jamin Cundiff, serve as my assistant to help the long and chaotic day move along smoothly. He was amazing at making sure things were perfect both on camera and off. I don’t know what I would have done without him on such a long shoot moving from one location to another. The couple, however, did not complain or lose their enthusiasm. They were truly in their own little world during most of the shoot, which was perfect for me. I believe they forgot they were being photographed most of the afternoon. Heather has the ability to light up the room, or in this case the the camera lens, with her smile. While Steven, has a nonchalant and very friendly way about him.
Heather Carman in the daughter of Ricky and Carol Carman, from Liberty, KY.
Steven Cape is the son of Richie and Angie Melson, from Columbia, KY.
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