White Oak Brewery Engagement Shoot | Bloomington-Normal Illinois Engagement Photography


14 October 2018

I’m Steph.
Enneagram 2 & 4, INFP all the way... I live for a good love story, have 3 kids and one poodle, and swear I liked blush pink before it became a thing.
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I met Sage and Joe at the Monarch Financial event that I photographed earlier in the year and even though they had only been dating for 5 months at the time, they had that special connection that movies are written about. It was evident in their every interaction and stolen glance.


I often feel like the word ‘love’ gets thrown around rather easily online these days, especially in the wedding industry, and it somewhat loses its meaning. Phrases like “I just love love” and “Love is love is love” are tossed around as glibly as the latest Kylie Jenner YouTube tutorials. While their original intent may have been sincere, being used so frequently it starts to dilute the overall message and produces a watered-down meaning of the term. What does it even mean to really love someone? Is it something that just comes and goes easily, like a strong breeze? Fleeting and quixotic? Or is there more to it?


If we’re referencing DC Talk and love really is a verb, then it’s found in actions and not feelings. Becoming infatuated with and attracted to someone is so easy, but so is “falling out of love.” And if it’s really that capricious then how can anyone ever trust “love”?  If feelings aren’t a good indication of true love, then it really is our actions that will make or break a relationship and marriage. Looking for ways to show the other person that your feelings are more than just fleeting and that you care about them even when things get tough. Now that’s something that you can rely on and pour your life into.


One of the reasons I personally am fascinated with couples and photographing love stories is because each story is a case study into understanding the complexities of love and romantic relationships. Finding love is something we all want out of life. Finding that TRUE love that lasts, that you can safely pour yourself into – that’s a noble pursuit.


Watching Sage and Joe interact gave me a glimpse into that kind of love. It’s been so fun getting to know them and even though we put this Bloomington-Normal Engagement Session styled shoot on together with White Oak Brewing and Ivory Aisle, their relationship was truly at the heart of this shoot and I’m excited to continue watching their love story unfold.


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