Spring Haven Farm + American Tobacco Campus Engagement Session

romantic portraits set in forest, farm, and downtown Durham

 
 

I think it is impossible to read sweet, genuine writing and not feel an immediate kinship with the writer, and a love for the human-ness of their experience - don’t you? Every time I hear a love story from people in love, I fall a little in love with each of them, their story, and the ENTIRE CONCEPT of love all over again.

I first met Jess and Jeff for coffee. Jess had reached out with an email days earlier, and included the most beautiful postscript with their love story in her own words. Her writing was beautiful - with the flowing pace of a natural storyteller, and the endearing mix of romance and humor that I’m beginning to enjoy as this couple’s signature style!

She described how they first met at an environmental law retreat; she first saw him as he was dancing in the talent show (to “What a Feeling,” complete with leggings!) and he first saw her when they were put on the same cooking shift the next night. She wrote, “Our first conversation was me accusing him of cutting the garlic inefficiently; he instantly liked me anyway.” Since then they’ve been there for each other through graduations, bar exams, and internships while staying long distance. They drove together from Portland, OR to Washington, DC with a grumpy cat and dog, and didn’t get in a single argument! Towards the end of her email, Jess wrote:

“We've started a life together on the East Coast and have known for a while that we'd be one another's forever.”

Fast forward to their engagement session! There were no defaults for these two - they dreamt up exactly what they wanted - what was true to them - and created it.

They have forests and farms and a deep love of animals in their history, and as we discussed locations, I was completely swept away by their visions of fields, chickens, goats, and possibilities. Jess emailed days later to say that she’d found and chosen Spring Haven Farm, a natural and sustainable family farm in Chapel Hill. From the start, Andrew and his son were so kind and welcoming, and went above and beyond to create the perfect experience for them.

We explored the woodlands behind the farm, walked by the river, and I delighted in capturing the moments as they hand fed the baby goats, chickens, and donkey. The forests, fields, and of course the sweet animals, were all a dream, and it is with sadness that I washed the adorable muddy goat hoof prints off my pants and boots when I returned home!

Spring Haven was just beyond perfect. “Oh cute, so many animals!” quickly turned into a day so bursting with natural beauty and heart-aching adorableness that I worry I’ll never be sad again. Genuinely. Melancholic love songs and the blues have been ruined for me. (As a sidenote - beyond their adorable and charming personalities, goats are really practical pets! They naturally mow your lawn and apparently can be great friends for dogs! Be right back, sending a few articles to my husband…)

Continue to Part Two, for their portraits at the American Tobacco Campus!

 
 
 
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This little sweetheart is named Olive, and to know her is to love her.

 
 
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This little black and white sweetheart was the nibbliest goat of the bunch - attempting to eat basically everything that came within a foot of his face…including, appropriately, Jess’s floral patterned dress.

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Mina von FeilitzschComment