Song: “Less Likely” by Trent Reznor + Atticus Ross for “The Vietnam War” soundtrack.

Sometimes creating something beautiful takes a lot of time, energy, and even pain and heartbreak. Other times art just pours out, a song writes itself, a painting comes to life with just the stroke of a brush, or a poem that places itself on a page. Photographing Hannah and Paul felt so natural; it was like we had practiced the whole shoot prior to having it, like we had hung out a thousand times before. Maybe that just comes with meeting some good people, but whatever it may be we are glad to have made some new friends in the process.

Hannah and Paul are a different bunch, in only the best of ways. There is a subtle eruditeness to Hannah and Paul, understandable given that they met while volunteering at a literary festival, but that’s not exactly what makes them stand out in our minds. It’s hard for us to put into words because it’s not quite a palpable thing, but when we met them we could feel this clearly: they’re free to be who they are with one another. There’s no constraint, no structure, no stereotypes they feel the pressure to fill – just love. Just that eye that allows them both to peer unshackled into each other’s soul. Clear, transparent understanding and acceptance. That, our friends, is rare. Maybe that’s why we have a hard time putting it into text, but we felt like kindred souls with Hannah and Paul on that front especially.

We shot Hannah and Paul’s engagement on a crisp and windy day at the Indiana Dunes National Park. Ironically, we realized the day we chose to have this session also marked the first day of daylight savings, making it the earliest sunset since the previous January. But instead of meeting that dreariness with negativity as we might have, Hannah embraced the darkness with open arms, citing the beginning of hibernation as symbolic of love and tenderness, and honestly she couldn’t have been more right. There is a warmth and gentleness in the decaying of the seasons. It’s a time not so much of death but of rebirth, of gestation, of hunkering down and building something new. What better way to celebrate that period than with the dawn of a new life?

Anywho, take a peek into Hannah and Paul’s engagement shoot. We cannot WAIT for their Chicago wedding come April 2020, but we’ll be repeatedly pouring over this shoot again and again until then.

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