November 8, 2023
When I first chatted with Collin and Payton, they told me that their vision for their engagement session included their favorite spots around their city—Saint Louis. If you know me at all, you know that anytime I am asked to travel, the answer is almost always “HECK YES!” I had never been to Saint Louis, but I have heard such wonderful things, and the opportunity to photograph such a beautiful couple in a new place just had my heart skipping a beat.
We met up outside the St. Louis Art Museum at Art Hill. If I had known what a HUGE and absolutely GORGEOUS park this was, I would have known we’d need more than just an hour together. So from the moment Payton and Collin arrived, I was talking a mile a minute and shooting as fast as my finger would allow. 6o minutes to capture the beauty that is Forest Park is simply a huge undertaking, but one that I was SO up for.
I wouldn’t consider myself a marathon runner, or any sort of runner really (lol!) but man you should have seen us speed walking around the hill. Every angle of this amazing place provided such a different perspective, that I just couldn’t stop until I got them all. So, we walked the loop! And these two were such troopers—especially Payton in her high heels!
After we finished up at Art Hill, we jetted over to the Jewel Box, a place that is so special to this couple. Collin proposed to Payton here in the Springtime when everything was just starting to come back to life and the gardens were in full bloom. Though they looked much different in November, it was such a distinct and unique place, with such a special meaning for the two of them.
The last stop we made was at the gazebo area right outside the Muny Theater. This one made me laugh. Originally, Collin had planned to propose here right on the water. As him and Payton pull up in their vehicle, there are huge letters out on the lawn that say “Will You Marry Me?” and another man is down on one knee proposing. So naturally, Payton is like, “Aww look how sweet!” and is going on and on about it while Collin is formulating plan B in his head. I can only imagine how his heart was racing with a ring in his pocket as he is driving to the next spot. But, if you ask me, it worked out just perfectly because the Jewel Box really is the coolest place and of course because Payton said yes to forever with him!
These two have been together for TWELVE years, and they are one of those couples that are just a breath of fresh air. They are so sweet together, and just so much fun to be around. To be together for so long and still be able to be so silly together is just a wonderful thing, and from my own experience, being able to laugh with your spouse is such a important part of a long and healthy marriage. To say they are totally ready to make this thing “officially official” would be an understatement.
Collin and Payton, I can’t thank you enough for showing me around your neck of the woods, and for trusting me to capture such a memorable part of your lives. I am so excited to celebrate with you in the Quad Cities next year!