Growing up in my little hometown of Nokesville, Virginia was so much more of a blessing than I ever knew or realized. Situated just on the edge of Northern Virginia, quite literally straddling the line of Washington D.C. Suburbia and Rural Virginia Farmland, I knew the best of both worlds. But Nokesville is more than just a sweet mix of suburban convenience and idyllic countryside; it is a community. One where the elementary school principal knows the name of every single child in his school. In Nokesville, there aren’t really any strangers. Everybody just kind of knows everybody.
And so, from a young age, Amanda and Robby knew each other. Though, to be fair, what Amanda knew of Robby was that he was kind of a weirdo. Thankfully, we often grow out of the first impressions that we make as children, and Robby and Amanda were reintroduced to each other as teenagers in their high school orchestra. A few sassy jokes later and A+R found themselves as orchestra stand partners—the perfect place to grow a friendship and collect plenty of inside jokes. But as Amanda graduated from high school and went off to college at Virginia Tech, they remained just friends.
And when Robby transferred to Tech during Amanda’s junior year and they began to hang around in the same group of friends once more, they were still… just friends. It wasn’t until the spring semester of Amanda’s senior year in college that finally, FINALLY, these two kind hearts, who had already spent so many of their days making each other laugh, decided to try this thing out for real and make it official.
It is such a sweet deal for me to get to photograph the love of two people who I feel like I’ve known for ages—Amanda the cool older girl who grew up down the street from me and Robby the hyper kid who I sat next to in my kindergarten class. Their story makes me hopeful and their contagious love for each other makes the whole world more than a little bit brighter.