A sweet Gettysburg engagement session for a couple that shares a passion for music, literature, games, evening strolls. They share the exact same “weirdness level” and a love that is deep, authentic, relaxed and 100% home-grown…
Tia has followed me since the start of my career– her home is a mini Rhinehart Photography museum!
When I first met Tia she was a teen, an avid reader at our local library, where I was the children’s librarian. I captured her family photos, her senior portraits (her sister’s too), and now her engagement photos! What a treat it is to watch this incredible girl become a strong, inspiring, amazing woman right before my eyes!
Tia explained, “I have had the pleasure to watch and be a part of your professional photography journey, too. I’ve got copies of the senior photos you took for me, my sister, and Wolfe Family Photos all around my house. I’ve followed your blog for ages and always dreamed that when I got married, you would be my photographer. ”
She continued, “I love how original and fun your shoots are, and how much time you take to incorporate people’s personalities and styles into the photos. I’m always in awe of how you can step into any room and instinctively drawn to the most creative, beautiful shots. During our shoot, you noticed a reflection in the frame of a portrait my sister made of one of my senior pictures that you took, you caught such a beautiful photo there!”
It was unreal for me to walk through Tia’s home, I joked that it was a Rhinehart Photography museum with all of my different pieces from over the years, haha…
Tia’s sister is an artist and created this piece based on one of the senior portraits I captured of Tia several years ago. I noticed their reflection in it and thought it was an interesting tie in…
100% authentic, relaxed, natural, homey vibe…
Andy stated, “We wanted our engagement photos to feel natural, something a little more relaxed, that reflects our personalities and interests well.”
Tia, “Agreed, some may think doing their engagement session around their house and down the street is a little boring, but those are the things we like to do together and there’s beauty and love in that.”
I’m all about authenticity, and I love how well these two know themselves and each other!
Tia sang “I can’t help falling in love with you”…
Andy, “I didn’t think that Tia was going to sing a song during the photos, but I’m glad she did. She has such a beautiful voice.”
Tia laughs, “We really should have tuned the guitars beforehand.”
Bringing the whole family along to the wedding and engagement…
Tia shared, “When I was young I started a collection of lockets. My grandmother noticed them and took me to her back bedroom where she had an heirloom locket that originally belonged to her grandmother. It has a picture of our namesake Irene (both my grandmother’s and my middle name) inside. She told me that she wanted me to have it someday.”
She added, “When she passed away, it was passed on to me. I wear that locket to all my special occasions and milestones in life. It makes me feel like my grandmother gets to be there for them. I know I’m going to wear it on my wedding day, so I wanted to wear it during the engagement photos as well.”
Gettysburg, Water Street is home…
Tia shared, “We chose Gettysburg because Andy and I have lived together here for four years. Some of my favorite memories of us are in our little house on Water Street. We’ve filled our house with plants, art, games, and musical instruments – all things we love. ”
Andy added, “We love to sit out on our front porch together when it’s nice outside, and take walks through the neighborhood.”
I love capturing couples in their element! If you look closely you can see the water street sign and the neighbors’ roses:
Traditional engagement portraits, too:
While I spend most of the session capturing a couples’ personalities, interests, style, favorite places etc, I do take some time to capture a few more traditional portraits, too.
Here is one of theirs:
Aloe’ve You (get it?): the engagement ring
Andy laughed, “I spent hours at the jewelry store looking at SO many rings to try and find the one that fit Tia’s personality and style the best. I knew she didn’t want anything too flashy, or too plain, I wanted one unique like her. The diamond was my great-grandmother’s.”
(note I used Tia & Andy’s favorite aloe plant for this shot)
Consider your weirdness level matched!
Andy shared, “I think we work so well together because we compliment each other’s styles and personalities so well. ”
Tia laughs, “To be honest, I never thought I’d find someone as weird as me. We match each other’s weirdness level.”
Andy explained, “Gettysburg has paths along the battlefields that are great for taking evening walks together.”
Guitar string bracelet for this music lover
Tia smiles, “The flower bracelet is so cool because it’s made from guitar strings, and was a gift from my parents. I grew up in a house filled with my dad playing guitar, and my parents and siblings singing. I always wanted to grow up and play guitar just like my dad. I love that Andy is musical too, and we get to share that.”
I love their body language here– see the strings?
The wave. Such a fun mural…
What they love most about each other:
Andy noted, “Tia is a kind-hearted, beautiful woman, inside and out. She always thinks of others before herself. I love how driven and goal-oriented she is, too.”
Tia shared, “Andy is one of the most fun loving, like-able people on the planet. You cannot be in a room with him and not smile, laugh, and have a good time. One of the first things I noticed about him was that he never stopped smiling through our whole first date.”
She added, “What I love most about him is how loyal he is to his friends and family, and I’m lucky to be included in that group. He has supported me through hardships, and celebrated me through successes. Even when I don’t feel like I deserve his loyalty, I still have it.”
Getting a little creative with shadow play…
Their first Valentine’s Day as a couple…
Tia explained, “The first Valentine’s Day we spent together I was overly determined to make it grand, and we planned this romantic overnight stay in DC. We booked the cutest little boutique hotel, and made dinner reservations at a fancy restaurant. Andy bought me a beautiful dress I mentioned I liked at the store.”
She continued, “We hadn’t been dating very long, and it was our first trip together, so we were nervous and I desperately wanted everything to be perfect. I picked Andy up and we drove to DC and I had a complete panic attack over finding parking downtown. The GPS wasn’t loading fast enough, it was snowing, I didn’t know where to go and I just freaked out. I definitely thought Andy would think I was a freak for having an anxiety attack over parking, but he was patient and helped me get where we needed to go.”
She went on, “When it was time to go to dinner, we both got all dressed up and Andy realized he forgot his dress shoes back home. He was so upset with himself, and he ended up wearing his dress clothes with moccasins.”
Tia laughed, “We got such a good laugh out of that.”
I love the distortion here and see it as symbolic, when you are first dating and you try to be so perfect, haha! It also happens to be at the Old Waldo’s a super cool Gettysburg hang out.
The moral of the story…
Tia concluded, getting a little sentimental, “Regardless of parking lot panics or moccasin mishaps, we had the absolute best time together in DC. We ate great food, drank more than we probably should have, and learned quickly that things weren’t going to always be perfect in our relationship or just the way we planned them, but even so, we could still have so much fun together and get through it. ”
Sunset on the Gettysburg Battle Field, a few minutes from their home:
I snapped my last photos as the sun set on the horizon. We shot inside Tia & Andy’s home, and as they took their evening stroll.
Nothing fancy or over the top, just them being them and doing their thang. I love this so much guys!
Tia thank you for following me and believing in me from the very beginning. I’m honored to see my work all over your home and to hear you say that you always dreamed that I’d be your wedding photographer. I’m so happy that you and Andy have each found someone who shares your passion for music, literature, games, walks, and shares the exact same “weirdness level.” I can’t wait for your wedding this fall at the Gettysburg Lodges!