Captured & submitted by Amber Lynn Photography
I met these lovely people back in 2017 at Western Illinois University in Macomb, Illinois. Vanessa and I were neighbors in our dorm and we ended up becoming friends instantly. Her family was originally from Iowa, but they moved to California years ago, then they moved back to Iowa around the time we started college that very year. I learned so much about Vanessa based on our conversations, the way we talked, and truly how much time we had spent together. I was very “Illinois” and she was very “California” and you would think that combination would be awkward and weird, but for us it made our friendship even better.
After awhile she introduced me to her boyfriend who also was living on campus. He moved to Iowa/Illinois to be with her in their college journeys together. When I heard more and more about Jeff, I couldn’t help but be excited to meet him, and instantly we become friends. We shared a love for basketball, our families, and our friends. It was always nice to have Jeff around because you always felt safe and he was always the protector of the group. I find it funny when I look back because I literally can’t think of a time where we were all like, “Hey, let’s be friends.” It was instantaneous and we never questioned it.
The one thing I knew was that after many many years of them dating right out of high school and me getting to know them, was that they loved one another unconditionally. I knew that him and Vanessa were meant to be together. They complemented one another in the most perfect ways and when they told me they were engaged after a trip to Hawaii, I was in tears!
A few months went by after their return from Hawaii and I wasn’t sure if they would ask me to be in the wedding, or be their photographer. As a photographer, you get a smidge nervous when you obviously want to be able to do both. The awesome thing about these guys though is they pretty much let me do both. I was asked to be a part of their wedding party and I was asked to photograph their engagement pictures for their save the dates.
It was such an honor taking these photos, because I have had the honor of watching these two grow together. I have seen them together, apart, working on masters degrees, getting new jobs, moving multiple times, and so much more. So much joy comes to my soul when I think about these two and how much they have overcome in just a couple of years.
I will never forget these moments and now they have these photos to cherish for years and years to come. I am so thankful for Vanessa and Jeff, and I hope they love these photos just as much as me.
Photographer: Amber Lynn Photography//