This is US. . .
& THIS is the moment where it all began . . .
Yes, it is a little blurry, but this is the moment that changed my life. That's him holding my hand as he helped me up after I embarrassingly tripped and fell flat on my face while trying to chase after my client (seen kissing her Husband). Now, lets back this story up from the beginning...
You see, at this time I was working as a photographer, running my business full time. Many days were filled with a mix multiple photo shoots & Military homecomings. At this point in my life, I was content. I had my fair share of bad relationships, I was focused on myself, my business and my future. Did I want a relationship? Sure. But I was also perfectly content waiting.
My nights were spent meeting clients, and capturing moments as they reunited with their Husbands after spending months apart. My job couldn't be any better! But one night, while doing my same usual routine, everything changed.
I showed up to meet my client as scheduled, I introduced myself to her family & then began the long wait for the guys to arrive. I did my usual, took pictures of families, banners etc... anything to kill the time really.
Soon, a guy, in jeans, boots and a Carhartt jacket showed up. My client quickly introduced him to me as one of her husband's best friends. I politely said "hello" then went about doing my job.
While waiting for the Marine's to arrive, I had noticed that the guy which my client had introduced me to was standing all alone and looked quite shy. I hate seeing anyone feel uncomfortable in a crowd (I can relate). I made my way over to him and decided to strike up a conversation to pass the time. At first, he didn't have much to say, I basically had to pry it out of him. But soon, we were talking about everything from interests to family & more. Then, after what felt like a short 2 hour wait, the Marine's had finally arrived!
The families quickly all rushed to their designated waiting areas, while I followed closely behind my client. As in EVERY homecoming I have ever photographed, the wife always wants the "running & jumping" shot. I tell each one of my clients that is fine, but by all means DO NOT RUN THROUGH A CROWD OF PEOPLE! I explain that I will be able to follow behind and as soon as you are within a few feet THEN you can run, but there is no way possible that I will be able to run through a crowd following you and dodging in and out of other families to get that PERFECT shot. Well... what does my client do? She RUNS... and who can blame her with 7 months of excitement built up? ;) Well, this ended up making up a very interesting story for myself. As I was running and trying to follow, their happened to be a marine with a very large pack which I did not see through my camera, on top of that there was a very stubborn curb that I would soon make contact with. As I fell to the ground all I was thinking was "SAVE THE CAMERA!" My body took the fell while my arm remained in the air saving me thousands of dollars. Something you should know about me, I don't do humiliation well, which means as I hit the ground my immediate reaction was to start laughing at myself. There is nothing like falling down in a huge crowd of people for everyone to see right?!
What happened next was straight out of a storybook. Derrick (my now Husband) was right there, he had rushed over and with much concern helped me to my feet. As I finished photographing the session, Derrick came up to me and asked if he could walk me to my car. Although I thought he was sweet, I could't help but think in my head "oh, you are just another guy with the same old bag of tricks". I was by no means interested in wasting my time, but somehow, I decided to take a chance. I let him walk me to my car. Before saying goodbye he ever so shy-ly asked if he could take me on a date the next day. Again, I hesitated. I was at that point in my life where I had the "I don't need a man" attitude. But something told me this was different. This was worth at least a try. So I agreed. We exchanged numbers and parted ways.
The next day, he picked me up for our date, as promised.
From that moment forward, my life forever changed.