I don’t even remember officially meeting Karina, but it was a very long time ago. I am friends with her cousin and more than likely, that is probably how we met, but I just can’t seem to remember. About a month ago, Karina’s cousin (Tricia) asked if I’d be up to Michigan over Christmas, visiting my family. Her cousin was getting married and looking for a photographer. As it would turn out, we were planning on coming up and I would actually be available for her wedding.

Over several phone calls Karina and I sort of re-connected and went over the wedding details. I have to say, hearing her and John’s engagement story, it was quite certain that these two are absolutely meant for each other and they are smitten.

John is in medical school in Texas and Karina is a nurse in Indiana. They met through another of Karina’s cousins and hit it off. This past fall John flew into town to surprise Karina and ask her to marry him. He created quite the elaborate plan, enlisting the help of some special friends.

Saint Patrick’s park in South Bend is one of John and Karina’s favorite places to visit, so it was a perfect place to get engaged. John arrived early and tied roses to trees that led down a path in the woods to an overlook on the St. Joe River. Somehow Karina was talked into getting dressed up and arrived at the park. Once she saw the roses, she figured out pretty quickly what was going on!

Because John just flew in for the weekend, they weren’t able to get engagement photos taken, other than the ones from that day. We scheduled their engagement session on the Thursday afternoon prior to their wedding, about three hours before the rehearsal dinner. Of course, when talking with Karina, one of the places she mentioned she’d like the pictures taken was St. Pat’s Park. I had never been to the park before, but I thought it was a great idea.

I couldn’t have imagined a better winter engagement session than this one. There was enough snow on the ground to cover the grass, but not quite so much that we had to break out the snow shoes and skis. The sun was actually shinning a little bit and the wind was tolerable. We were a bit chilly when first starting out, but as we walked around and got moving a bit, things weren’t quite so bad.

I really tried to stretch myself during this photoshoot. I tried to shoot a little differently than I normally do. I’m comfortable getting in close with a couple and having these tidy nice close shots. For this shoot, I backed way off and tried to capture more of the big picture. I have to say, I’m really excited with how it turned out. My go-to lens is the 24-70 f/2.8, but for this session, the majority of time I used the 70-200 f/2.8 and just stood back. I liked the flexibility that long zoom gave me to get in tight if I wanted, but I liked that I could get the ‘big picture’ in as well.

I had a fabulous afternoon with John and Karina and us girls decided we would definitely be doing anniversary pictures! Poor John. One thing I loved about Karina is she loves pictures and she knew what she wanted. I tried to incorporate many of the poses she found that she liked and put my own little twist on it.

Thank you for trusting me with this special time between the two of you! I hope you had as much fun as I did!

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