We photographed Josh and Abe’s Sequoia National Park engagement session on a perfect summer day. One of our favorite parts of working with couples in love is hearing about their journey. I asked Josh & Abe to each send me the story of how they met & fell in love.
“Josh and I technically met on…MySpace. It was spring in our senior year of high school, though we were attending two different high schools in two different time zones. So how did our path cross? You see, Josh lived in California for a short period of time in middle school where he became friends with a wonderful girl named Taylor Bradley. After Josh moved back to Louisiana, Taylor went on to high school where she met me. It was at Taylor’s house that I first heard about Josh. He had called Taylor, who put him on speaker (unbeknownst to him). After the call, Taylor showed me his MySpace. It was adorable. His profile picture featured a moppish haircut, bracelets, and cut-off jean shorts. So I did what was only rational and sent him a message. We quickly took to each other, calling every day and chatting every evening on AOL Instant Messenger. Distance became a barrier and although we stayed in touch, our relationship couldn’t fully develop. That was until 2012 when I flew out to Louisiana and met Josh for the first time. We were both so nervous, but that quickly washed away. We spent New Years together watching the fireworks over the Mississippi and I fell in love. We managed to date long distance for some, visiting each other when we could. Then two years later we moved in together to start the next chapter of our lives. We are two best friends, spending every day together. Learning, laughing, and navigating life. In June, we will still be best friends, but we’ll also be husbands and I can’t wait for that next adventure.”
“I remember the first message he sent to me.
It was on Myspace.
It was February of 2008, and Facebook hadn’t taken over the world yet. We were both seniors in high school, itching to graduate and start our lives as awkward semi-adults on their way to college and beyond. Our first few messages were full of your typical high school ramblings: classes, music, boys, college plans. I could tell right away that he was more mature and responsible than I was. He had near-perfect grades and always did his homework. I was a bit more messy and forgetful. I spent most of my after school curricular time reading in trees, drawing mythical creature, and dancing in graveyards with my friends. We were both very different, and I loved that.
I knew right away that I wanted to marry him. Maybe I was just being an emotional teenager eager to latch on to the first real crush I had, but I couldn’t stop thinking about our wedding. We would be older, of course, gay marriage would be legal, and we would have this giant celebration with all of our friends and family. He mentioned wanting a Disney song played during his first dance. “So Close,” from Enchanted, which had just come out at the time. I thought it was a cute choice.
There was only one problem though. A big problem that followed us for 6 years after we first met. Space. There was too much space in between us. He lived in California and I lived in Louisiana. Our mutual friend Taylor introduced us through Myspace, and even though I had once lived in California, I knew that I wasn’t leaving Louisiana anytime soon. That one small fact felt so huge and vast, like it was going to consume us. He might as well have been on a different planet. I just wanted to be near him, and do normal boring things like hang out after school, grab food, or argue about what kind of movie to watch.
But we knew that, despite our deepest dedication to each other, long distance wouldn’t work. So the years went by and we stayed online friends. Skype was invented, and that was a game changer. I could actually sort of hang out with him, while he folded laundry or studied for his finals. We texted, emailed, drunk dialed, and sent letters for what felt like a million years. We made mistakes and dated other people. We traveled and grew into our own. And during the winter of 2012, he surprised me by purchasing a plane ticket to New Orleans for New Years. I’ll never forget that morning. He was to fly in at 9 in the morning but I woke up at 5 and couldn’t go back to sleep. So I drove to the airport and waited for over 3 hours until his plane landed. And then there he was. In person. Finally. I didn’t know what to say, as it had been 5 years of saying everything to him through texts and emails and online messages. All I could do was smile. Later we watched the fireworks spark over the Mississippi, and we talked about what we could do to make this, to make us, work.
We decided that I would move to California after I graduated the next year, and we would actually try this dating thing in person, to see if it would work. 3 years later and it’s the best decision I’ve ever made. And now we’re finally living out the dream that our high school selves dreamt up all those years ago.. And while we are still very different people, the life we both want to live is the same: a life spent dancing around the idea that love is the constant variable in this universe. And no matter how far you are, or how long it takes…it’s worth it.”
Here are a few of our favorite images from Josh and Abe’s Sequoia National Park engagement session:
Also, they took a sweet pic with our dog Crew who tagged along as an intern for the shoot.
If you like this post, click here to check out Josh and Abe’s wedding. Also Josh is an artist in Los Angeles, check out his work here.