• Celeste Burns

Sierra + Kristen's Newlyweds Session

When I first chatted with Sierra, she explained to me that she and her wife Kristen did not have any professional photos together. They had gotten married privately after deciding that they wanted the moment to be uninterrupted by anyone or anything. They wanted to be together forever, regardless of what anyone thought. Their private wedding was a beautiful evening but they only had selfies from that night so it was important to Sierra to have some lasting images as well. I could tell immediately how much they loved each other by the way Sierra described Kristen. Sierra wanted the photos to highlight Kristen's job as a firefighter. She said it was one of her favorite parts of her wife and she admired her every day for it. They wanted to shoot three looks: One fancier "dress" look, one with Kristen's firefighter uniform, and one in their favorite attire. As we planned more details of the session, I was excited to get creative and document these two amazing women together.

We started out the session in St. Augustine, walking down the historic streets and taking some glamour shots. Both gals wore dresses. (Kristen exclaimed that it wasn't a normal occurrence to catch her wearing a dress and heels.) We giggled as they walked in their heels around the town and enjoyed getting to know each other a little bit.

I gave them some goofy prompts and they warmed up in an instant, fully trusting whatever weird movements I threw at them. We completed a loop through St. Augustine and went back to our cars to head over to Anastasia Island State Park for more photos. It was time for Kristen's uniform! Since Kristen was off-duty, we had to make sure the area was private so that she didn't get mistaken for an on-duty firefighter. We found the perfect trail and as Kristen geared up, I got to know what a day in the life of a firefighter was like. I was so impressed and humbled to hear about how hard she works and dedicated she is for the safety of all people. With every conversation, I could see in Sierra's eyes how proud she was of her wife.

I could've kept shooting with them like this for hours - each shot seemed to come out more beautiful than the next. Sierra and Kristen's chemistry showed up in each frame beautifully. As the sun got lower in the sky, we moved on to the final look. Kristen put on her button down and pants and Sierra but on her boho sundress - both wearing white to match. The sun was warm and glowy and I gave them some space to enjoy each other's company on the small beach near the previous path.

Everything about the moment was pure. It got darker and I brought out the final prop of the evening - sparklers!! It was on Sierra's vision board of dream photos so I brought some along in the car with us and grabbed them right as we were heading out from the state park. In my head I had envisioned magical, explosive images and I was not disappointed.

After the sparklers, we drove back into St. Augustine for a bite to eat (my wife and I love double dates!) and as we got out of the car I snagged a couple more shots of them overlooking the sunset on the water. Just as I was about to put my camera away, they gestured to a building across the street and explained to me that it was the place they originally said "I Do" to each other!! I HAD to take a photo of them with the sign of the venue. We then went into the courtyard and they sat in the hammock for a couple minutes, reflecting on this gorgeous day in their story. It was the perfect ending to one of my favorite sessions ever.

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