Lauren didn’t really have love on her mind when she left with her mom to go and visit her brother, who is a U.S. Marine (Oorah!) stationed in Pensacola, Florida. But when her brother invited Lauren to go out on the town one night and she stepped into the living room to meet her brother’s friend Justin…well, here…I’ll let her tell you:
“All I remember was thinking how strikingly handsome he was, and that he had an amazing smile. I could tell by our conversation during the night that he was slightly interested in me, but I tried to keep it as casual as possible. After all, he was my brother’s good friend, and he had previously told me that Justin was soon to be stationed in Okinawa, Japan and was not looking into dating or anything serious. However, the next day my brother called me and asks if I would like to go on a double date with him, his wife, and Justin. I was a little caught off-guard at first (my brother never approved of any of his friends dating me!), but I agreed and thought to myself ‘What do I have to lose?’ We went on an official date that night, and I don’t think there has been a day since that we have not spoke; whether it be one the phone, through video chat, or text message. I have never met a more genuine, caring, down to earth, respectful and amazing guy in my entire life!”
And now it wouldn’t be fair if you didn’t get to hear Justin’s side of the story would it?
“I will never forget the first time I saw my future wife. Her long hair, deliberately picked clothes, confident demeanor and natural beauty defiantly caught my attention from that first instant we met eyes. Now I don’t necessarily believe in “love at first sight” but I do believe in an immediate attraction and those butterflies doing roller coaster loops in your stomach when the moment warrants. This was definitely one of those moments! For the rest of the evening I was subtly focused on her, no question about it. I followed the evening up with inquiry to her brother the following day at work, assuring there was no opposition by him, to ask for an actual “date.” He complied, pushing all my thoughts and anticipation to her. From there, the rest is history. I am now engaged to marry by best friend, my better half and the ONE person I can’t wait to embark all future endeavors and journeys through life with!”
Their relationship has its fair share of long distance communications, since Justin is a Captain in the U.S. Marine Corp and is still serving his time in Okanawa.
“We have relied almost solely on video chatting and phone calls to keep in touch, as we only get to see each other every few months. Even though it has not been an easy journey for us, we always are looking forward to the next time we will see each other and it has made our relationship that much stronger.”
Lauren is finishing her last semester of nursing school and will graduate from San Jose State this December. Justin will be in California for Lauren’s graduation and then she plans to fly back to Japan with him for an extended stay. Justin and Lauren set their wedding date for June 1, 2013 when Justin finishes his assignment in Okinawa. I was able to catch him when he was on quick leave in California. Here are some of my favorite images from our session.
Justin and Lauren wanted a blend of studio portraits with some outdoor scenes around the Delta