Our Anniversary Session: Norfolk Botanical Garden

I squealed when I saw the email in my inbox. Ryan and I were sitting on the couch watching TV when I announced, "Chelsea sent us our photos already!" A few moments passed and Ryan asked, "Do you want to go upstairs and look at them?" Guiltily, I turned my cell phone to face him. I was already scrolling through them. He lunged to tickle me and then pulled me off the couch so we could go see them together.

And they were perfect. The elegance of Renaissance Court, the dreaminess of my flowy dress, the sweetness between us. Chelsea captured it all perfectly.

A couple people have asked me if our anniversary photos were intended for 'baby announcement' photos. And the honest answer is no. As you'll see, my sweet belly is poking out in a couple of shots, but for the most part we tried to minimize it. We'll take maternity photos in a few months, but we wanted this session to be a celebration of us. Of who we were 5 years ago, who we are now, and who we will be this winter when a baby changes our worlds forever.

Chelsea LaVere took our anniversary photos three years ago and we knew right away that we wanted her to take these 5 year photos for us too. She knows us well, makes us laugh easily, and can recognize our fake smiles. And boy, do Ryan and I have good fake smiles! I've actually started to make myself laugh every time I smile for a photo now to get a more natural smile. And as great as Chelsea was at making us laugh, the best way to get a natural smile for our individual shots was for the other one of us to stand next to Chelsea. (Yes, like moms and dads do for pictures of their toddlers!) The way I smile when I look at Ryan and the way he smiles when he looks at me... those smiles are our best.