March 29, 2018

Michael & Lauren | Skyline Drive, Virginia Engagement Photographer

I’m Stephanie, a wedding + lifestyle photographer based in Colorado Springs, Colorado and Warrenton, Virginia. Whether I’m by the mountains of Colorado or Virginia, my soul feels at home, surrounded by rural living and the raw beauty of nature. I genuinely love what I do, and feel so passionate to share the enthusiasm and joy of these celebrations with you!

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Michael & Lauren | Skyline Drive, Virginia Engagement Photographer

Earlier in the day, before meeting with Michael and Lauren at Skyline Drive, I had a sunrise session in D.C. And although it was quite the adventurous day going from one side of the state to the other, I was REALLY looking forward to a good sunset and view!! 🙂 I met with Michael and Lauren at the top of the mountain ready to have a great time! What we didn’t anticipate was how cold it was going to be!!! I emailed them earlier in the week warning the low temps, but when you’re on top of the mountain, the cold has an entirely different meaning.

They currently live in Alabama, which was quite the contrast. I felt SO bad for Lauren when I turned around to see her shivering uncontrollably. At that point of the session, I knew we needed to not push our limits. They were dressed in the cutest outfits that complimented the atmosphere so well, but for how cold it was, it wasn’t worth getting hypothermia. Michael made sure to keep Lauren warm by keeping her in his arms at any given chance. Ah, they are the cutest!!!! We took time to bundle in coats every couple minutes and jump into the car to warm up … It was THAT cold. Fortunately, I had a couple of hand warmers to share. 🙂 To make the experience a little better, while avoiding the wind, we decided to venture to the other side of the mountain and found one of my new favorite spots!!! With their pastel-toned outfits, the mountain view in the backdrop and almost a deserty foreground, without a doubt, we made the best decision to relocate to this new location! I was a little nervous venturing to the east-facing side of the mountain because of lighting, but by the time we arrived, it was so dreamy!!! 🙂 Plus, we were protected from the wind which helped tremendously! I’m glad we were able to make this session work, despite the frozen experience!!!

Michael & Lauren | Skyline Drive, Virginia Engagement Photographer

Michael and Lauren’s Love Story

How Michael and Lauren Met
from Lauren’s perspective

Every year before the Ohio State – Michigan football game, there is a big polar bear plunge (called the mirror lake jump) into a pond on Ohio States campus. I decided if I was going to be in a Ph.D. program for 5 years, I might as well try it out. I had an early flight home the next morning to Maryland for Thanksgiving, but I decided it was worth it. One frigid plunge and a nasty hangover later, I was waiting at my gate in the Columbus airport when I noticed a gorgeous tall blonde woman waiting near the gate. I walked over to her and struck up a conversation about the mirror lake jump, Ohio State and other things when we realized that we were taking the same flight to DCA. I normally fly into BWI, but fate is a funny thing. When they started calling for us to board, I asked her to wait for me when the plane landed so I could talk to her more, which meant try to get her number. When the plane landed, she was standing at the gate waiting for me, but she was on her phone. As we were walking to the baggage claim I realized she wasn’t going to get off her phone and thought she was clowning me. I told her it was great meeting her, and I hoped I would see her sometime in Columbus. As my family picked me up, I told them I met the most beautiful, nice and charming woman on the flight and that I was going to need to see her again because people like her don’t grow on trees. We went to see 007 Skyfall in the movie theater and when we got out, I had a Facebook message from Lauren Kozar explaining that she was incredibly sorry for not getting off the phone in the airport and that she wanted to see me again when we got back to Columbus. Neither one of us have looked back since.

How Michael Proposed to Lauren
from Michael’s perspective

Lauren and I had been dating for about 3.5 years and had been living together for almost 2 when I decided the time was right to propose. We had already discussed getting engaged and married, so it wasn’t a complete surprise, but we had never discussed specifically when we would get engaged. She had just finished a grueling clinical rotation during physical therapy school in Columbia, South Carolina in which she had broken her nose (for the 4th time), had to relocate due to violence in the neighborhood she was staying in, and was working 60-70 hour weeks. I knew that a simple scavenger hunt would go over her head and I would be able to surprise her down on one knee. I hid items in the house and gave clues as to where they would be along with a chronological item on each clue that was an important date in our relationship. The last clue was the date of the scavenger hunt and stated “Friday June 17th, the day you said yes to forever with me”. As Lauren turned around (it hadn’t quite hit her yet what was going on), I was down on one knee, crying heavily, with a beautiful, shiny ring. We celebrated, went to see our parents the next day in Virginia, and picked our wedding venue and date, all within 24 hours of getting engaged. What can I say, we are efficient people.

 

Thank you, Michael and Lauren, for a great time together!!! 🙂 Despite how COLD it was, I had the BEST time with you guys! Cannot wait to celebrate your special day in June!!! CONGRATS!!!

Michael & Lauren | Skyline Drive, Virginia Engagement PhotographerMichael & Lauren | Skyline Drive, Virginia Engagement PhotographerMichael & Lauren | Skyline Drive, Virginia Engagement PhotographerMichael & Lauren | Skyline Drive, Virginia Engagement PhotographerMichael & Lauren | Skyline Drive, Virginia Engagement PhotographerMichael & Lauren | Skyline Drive, Virginia Engagement PhotographerMichael & Lauren | Skyline Drive, Virginia Engagement PhotographerMichael & Lauren | Skyline Drive, Virginia Engagement PhotographerMichael & Lauren | Skyline Drive, Virginia Engagement PhotographerMichael & Lauren | Skyline Drive, Virginia Engagement PhotographerMichael & Lauren | Skyline Drive, Virginia Engagement PhotographerMichael & Lauren | Skyline Drive, Virginia Engagement PhotographerMichael & Lauren | Skyline Drive, Virginia Engagement PhotographerMichael & Lauren | Skyline Drive, Virginia Engagement PhotographerMichael & Lauren | Skyline Drive, Virginia Engagement PhotographerMichael & Lauren | Skyline Drive, Virginia Engagement PhotographerMichael & Lauren | Skyline Drive, Virginia Engagement PhotographerMichael & Lauren | Skyline Drive, Virginia Engagement PhotographerMichael & Lauren | Skyline Drive, Virginia Engagement PhotographerMichael & Lauren | Skyline Drive, Virginia Engagement PhotographerMichael & Lauren | Skyline Drive, Virginia Engagement Photographer

Congratulations!!!

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