Friday, December 13, 2013

Derick + Emily : engaged // nacogdoches, tx engagment portrait and lifestyle photographer

You've got the right to remain right here with me
I'm on your tail in a hot pursuit
Love is a high-speed chase racing down the street
I'm coming after you.
|| coming after you - owl city ||

These two are the epitome of delight, joy, fun, laughter, care-free, love, and youthfulness. Their love for one another is so comfortable, enjoyable, sweet, natural. I had the immense pleasure of making their engagement portraits in Nacogdoches, Texas where they met (and fell in love) at SFA college. Several months ago, I sat across from her in an IHOP booth, entirely enraptured by their story as Emily told it animatedly to me. It was so encouraging as she spoke of how the Lord drew Derick unto Himself through the witness of his best friend Isaac in college back in Kansas City, Missouri (where he is from.) When Isaac decided to transfer to SFA in Texas, Derick knew he had to go with him...he had a new love for the Lord and he wanted to stick with the guy that had done so much sharing about that same love! It just so happens Emily was going to SFA. (Perf.) But she had a boyfriend. (Whoops. Maybe not so perf.) And so began the first semester that her and Derick were in school together. He was a little older than her and she briefly noticed him in a class one day. Attractive, godly, charming guy...yeah, of course she noticed him. It didn't take long for him to notice her. However, she already had a boyfriend so no magic sparks or love at first sight really set the stage here. 
It was honestly a pretty funny train-wreck as he became more interested, her boyfriend and she broke up (Yes!) and then she had another boyfriend (No!). Things just weren't fitting together like you would think they should. I mean really, poor Derick!! ;)
But the Lord worked in both of their lives. And finally, in His perfect time, everything fell into place. Emily was single (finally! ;) ) and Derick was there to sweep her off her feet. Or something like that. ;) It's pretty awesome how He does things so differently than we think they should be done simply to teach us the perfection of His purposes. 

After almost two years of dating, they started talking about getting engaged. And of course, with talk of that came discussions about Emily's "dream ring." She had a pretty specific idea in her head of what the absolute perfect one would be. Specific as in virtually biggie. ;) Art deco with cluster diamonds. Both rare in and of themselves and obviously that much more so to find together in one ring. But, lo and behold, one day Derick and she went to look, for fun, at an antique shop. They asked about "the dream ring" with no success. It wasn't the first time they had gone up to a counter and explained what she wanted only to have the person smile and apologize because they didn't have anything that matched their description. But then the owner came walking up to the front, having overheard what they ask for. "Wait just a minute," they said, "I think I might have just what you're looking for." The owner went to a back room full of things that had been pulled off the shelves that never sold. And, oh what joy, that ring way back in that room among things that no one seemed to want before was THE ring. It literally could not be more EXACTLY what Emily desired. 

Emily wanted him to buy the ring right on the spot!! ;) But of course, to be special, he left it there and came back when Emily wasn't with him. :) So now that the perfect ring was checked off the list, all that was left was pulling off the perfect proposal. ;)

Emily told me,
"I anticipated a proposal for WEEKS before it happened (so I was always on my toes) but when August 24th rolled around my roommate (who knew the whole plan) and parents had convinced me there were too many things going on that weekend to make it happen. I believed them, why wouldn't I?? Heather, the sweet lady who disciples me, had asked me to go shopping with her that Saturday and I didn't have any proposals to be at, so I went. She told me she needed to pick up a check at a church on our way and when we pulled up, I recognized the neighborhood as one Derick and I would go on walks around and the place where he first told me he loved me. So, I said, "Hey, Derick and I take walks around this neighborhood when we go on dates!" To which she sweetly replied, "Oh really? That's so interesting! Hey look, there he is!" And there he was. Then he asked me to be his wife on one knee! And I said, "Yeah I want to!" :)

I asked Derick to describe Emily for me and tell me what he loved about her and he said,
"She is free-spirited and fun, artistic, out-going, sweet, caring, and sensitive to others. But I love that she also has a fiery and spunky nature. I love her sweet smile, loving eyes, and gentle touch. I love how she tells stories with lots of exaggerated hand-motions.

I love her heart for Jesus, and how much that pours out to other girls that she sacrifices so much of her time to meet with weekly. I love her passion, whether it be for painting, Scripture, or poorly acted TV shows. 

I love that she wears sundresses year round, rocks high-waisted shorts like they never were out of fashion, and has the most amazing hair to have never seen a comb. 

Mostly I love everything about her. She's pretty awesome."

In other news,  I get a lot of questions about "How do you go about leading a shoot?" Location choices, posing, etc. kinds of questions. Let me take a moment to walk you through this pose. I asked them to hold each other tight and "Nice! Perfect! Now, look up at each other!" I think it's safe to qualify that bit of instruction as a failure. Hey, ya win some and ya lose some. Just keepin' it real. ;)

I also asked Emily to tell me what Derick is like and what she loves about him. Her response was,
"Derick is gentle, kind, smart, hard working, creative and fun. He's laid back and doesn't stress out very easily, but it cracks me up how organized and structured he is. He's intentional with his words and in his relationships. He loves others well and is quick to have grace for people. He loves the Lord, desires knowledge, and is passionate about the gospel.

I love that he tries to make up his own jokes and his whole face crinkles up when he laughs. I love that his eyelashes are so long that they get tangled. 

 I love that he likes to learn new things and teach me about them (even though I don't retain information.) I love that he is quick to serve me without being asked and is so willing to watch chick-flicks. 

 I love that he speaks truth into my life and is such an encouragement. He is always my biggest and most enthusiastic fan. I love that I'm his!"

When I asked what were some of their favorite things to do together they said,
We love to take walks together and talk about all kinds of topics. We like to find shows to get addicted to on Netflix and then devote whole lazy-days to watching them non-stop.

We love to ask each other questions, even if we already know the answer. We like to go on dates and make an occasion out of something even if we just wind up going to Taco Bueno and paying with change. 

(yes. they are mimicking the brooms photobombing in the background. )

So, as you can see, they are an absolute BLAST to be around! I could've gone home and iced my face when we were finished because it was sore from laughing and smiling as much as I did!! And "pinch me I've got to be dreaming" I get to shoot their wedding this upcoming April!! I am SO beyond thrilled! They're both artists (he writes and she paints, draws, is graphic designer, you name it!) so I can only imagine how my own little artist heart shall flutter to capture the day they become husband and wife. Not to mention they're getting married 15 days before me!! YEAH BABY!!
Anyways, I just love 'em, and honored to be their photographer, I'm suuuper excited for them and GOSH THEY JUST BELONG TOGETHER CAN'T YOU SEE?! ;) Lots and lots of happy.

~Through Christ's Love  

P.S. These two masterpieces are worth mentioning. The first is "doodles" by Emily on their wedding contract!! And the second is something she did just for fun!! HOW PRESH IS THAT?! Can you guess who it is? ;) I'm telling you...she rocks. Make sure to check out her Facebook page of her artwork >>> here


  1. These photos are ah-mazing Allix!

  2. BABE... these are awesome!

    my favorite line...

    "they're getting married 15 days before me"

    WHAT THE HECK. Sosososososo exciting. So excited for them and Y-O-U!! :) :) it's kind of surreal, no?


    beautiful images --->> you captured them so well.

  3. One of my all time favorite chunks of your work, Allix! Such a gorgeous couple-- Emily is as talented as she is beautiful! :)

  4. Allix, these are so so so so amazing! Definitely some of your best. You just really blow me away with your talent.
    I love love love how you combine your pictures with stories, it makes the experience of looking through them so much more meaningful and fun.

    Basically, I LOVE your work.

    Much love!


  5. I have to agree, I think some of these are your best work! I've pinned a few for inspiration. Love. :)

  6. They are adorable and the pictures are just beautiful!


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