August 7, 2017
It was September 2014 when I walked into a school unsure what to expect from an interview at a charter school in Canton City. I answered various questions about my teaching philosophy from several people that would eventually become colleagues. Little did I know that afternoon, one of the people who interviewed me would become someone so special to me. Someone that I would form a bonded relationship with. Someone who I could lean on during the hard days of teaching. That person was Annie.
It wouldn’t take long to form a friendship with Annie and another teacher, Sara. We spent the mornings together and had plenty of lunch dates when we needed to get out of the building to just breathe and clear our heads. What one of us felt, we all felt. I commonly said that I wouldn’t have made it through the two years at the charter school without Annie and Sara. And that’s the honest to god truth. Annie is a person with a powerful intuition to someone’s feelings. Often, this girl could explain how I felt when I couldn’t find the words. And the way she could make a room laugh with her antics would lighten the mood any day! Many days I would leave work thankful for the friendships Annie and Sara gave me.
I remember the day Annie mentioned Cody for the first time. It was late May and we were sitting at lunch decompressing from the morning session, engrossed in our own thoughts, mentally trying to recharge. She seemed a little unsure how the evening would go, but we all encouraged her to go have a good time. It wouldn’t take long for Annie to fall in love with Cody’s movie knowledge, sense of humor, and most importantly, how he loved Annie’s own quirky personality.
By the beginning of the new school year that fall, it was clear that Annie loved Cody. I could tell these two were going to go the distance. She may not have known it then, but I did. After all, I photograph love stories every weekend. I can sense when people are right for each other, and I knew that these two were a bowl full of peas and carrots.
Annie, Sara, and I still have a very strong friendship even though we no longer work together. We were all together when Annie walked into a jewelry store to have her finger sized. These girls were some of the first to find out that I was pregnant. And our group text message blew up the night Cody proposed to Annie in a helicopter overlooking the city of Cleveland.
It’s such an honor that Annie is allowing me to photograph her wedding day. I’m not going to lie, I don’t get nervous for sessions at this point in my photography journey, but I was nervous for Annie and Cody’s engagement photos. Annie was so excited to be an LJ Bride, the last thing I wanted to do was not meet her expectations of the experience. Even now, I’m nervous to know what she’s going to think of these photos. So Annie, my sweet lovable Annie, I hope you love these photos even more than I love our friendship! And that’s a lot of love!!!