I’ve shot engagement pictures many times at Fillmore Glen in Moravia, NY, but never when it was so snowy! This was the first time I had met Erin and JP in person! You see, Erin was living in Beijing, China up until a few weeks ago while JP lived in Delaware. And it was Erin’s mom Julie who lives in Corning, NY that initially contacted me back in July to see if I was available to be their their wedding photographer next weekend! Since December is typically considered a slower wedding season, I was happy that I was available!
So when Julie called me and started telling me about Erin and JP, I was immediately intrigued when I heard that Erin was living in China working for the US Embassy. So during their engagement session, these two probably felt a little grilled because I just kept asking them question after question about how they met, what their relationship has looked like over the years and what they plan to do in the future!
As we started shooting they shared that over a decade ago they had both attended the same college with JP majoring in Botany and Erin majoring in Economics. You may be as surprised as I was to find out that they actually met at a ballroom dance class! As I was listening I was thinking, “Ok, you need to tell me all the things! You guys have some super unique interests!”
Erin shared that when she started her ballroom dancing class she had been paired with a different guy as her partner. It only took her a few classes to know she didn’t want to dance with him anymore. She started dancing with JP and they became friends, though they didn’t think of each other as romantic interests. But as time passed, they became better friends, chatting until 1am without meaning to until one evening Erin kissed JP almost on “accident”. I loved that!
Two years ago, Erin took an assignment with the US Embassy in Beijing and her and JP continued their relationship long distance. JP was able to visit her in China twice, if I remember correctly.
Erin told me that one thing that is really popular to do in China is to hire a professional photographer every five years or so and get a photo session done with your family. Props are a must for the Chinese during these photo sessions so Erin thought it’d be fun to bring along some cozy looking coffee mugs! I totally loved them! They really tied together the whole cozy, rustic aesthetic of their snowy engagement pictures at Fillmore Glen!
I had asked Erin what made her want to work for the Embassy in foreign countries and she shared that she didn’t want to be stuck in a cubicle for the rest of her career. But more importantly, she wants to feel like she’s making a difference.
I love this replica of Millard Fillmore’s log cabin at the park! Nestled between the pine trees with its snow capped roof, it made the perfect backdrop for Erin and JP’s snowy engagement pictures at Fillmore Glen!
What I think is just as amazing as Erin’s sense of adventure is JP’s commitment to her and her career.
JP shared that he may be able to find work in country if that particular country allows it or he may be able to work for the Embassy itself. It just depends on the situation from assignment to assignment. Erin’s assignments will vary from 1-4 years so they will be moving that often. With that in mind, I think that is some serious commitment on JP’s part!
I even asked if they would be willing to do a few ballroom dance moves for me and they happily obliged.
Erin and JP will be getting married next weekend, December 21, 2019 at Belhurst Castle! For fun behind the scenes wedding day fun, be sure to follow me on Instagram or come on over to our Team Hawkins page and meet Andrew and I virtually before meeting us in person on the wedding day!
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