Our greatest loves are the couples we feature whose affections simply leap off the pages—where no amount of photographic presence pulls their eyes from one another. That’s the trick of love: it mutes the world itself and leaves room for nothing but you and them and your interwoven souls.
From photographer and White Wren Collaborative member, Kenzie Packrall:
“When I first met Kristen and Alex I could tell within the first few minutes how smitten they were for each other. So, when they expressed the desire to take pictures in the downtown Tampa area, I knew that we had to choose a place by the water. The romantic and serene setting would be the perfect place to let their love really be the focal point of the session.
Whenever I look at these images of Kristen and Alex I think of the quote ‘We were together. I forget the rest.’ by Walt Whitman. One of my favorite parts of the session was how easily they were able to embrace the moments. I would give a simple direction and it was as if the rest of the world faded away and it was just the two of them celebrating their love. It was truly one of the sweetest things I have captured!”
Love notes from the couple, Kristen & Alex:
How did you two meet? What were your first impressions of one another?
“We first met while touring our college back in 2012. We had a mutual friend group that kept us connected until we all started school in the Fall. Honestly, we didn’t think of each other as anything more than friends.”
Alex: “I immediately thought Kristen was someone that I would be friends with for a long time.”
Kristen: “I honestly thought that Alex was too cool to be friends with me, since all the others girls I knew liked him, but was surprised to find we had a lot more in common than I thought.”
Describe a hurdle you had to overcome in your relationship.
Kristen: “Well, we were friends for five years before Alex told me that he liked me. So, we always joke that our greatest hurdle was getting out of the friend zone. I think we both were always just afraid of risking our friendship that we never wanted to try. I definitely didn’t make it easy on Alex, but his persistence and confidence showed me that this was something he believed was worth fighting for. I guess he wasn’t wrong.”
What is the best thing you’ve learned from one another?
Alex: “Kristen has taught me how to really care for and love other people better. She will go out of her way to make sure those she cares about feel valued and noticed. Its something I’ve admired about her since we first became friends.”
Kristen: “Alex is so steady. He has taught me how to remain calm and look at things from a new perspective. I’ve learned not to let the little things bother me so much and that worrying doesn’t help anything. He’s also taught me that if I put my keys in the same place every day, I won’t lose them.”
What part of your wedding day is most important to you?
“We are both really looking forward to exchanging our vows. Since the ceremony is when we get to stand in front of our family and friends and share our love for one another, we really wanted to be able to express that through original vows. We have been writing notes to each other since we first started going out on dates and because of this tradition, we decided to we wanted to write our own vows to one another. In a way, we hope this will provide a tangible expression of our love for our friends and family to experience.”
What is your favorite thing about each other?
Alex: “My favorite thing about Kristen is her eyes. She has these beautiful blue eyes, and right at the center is this thin gold ring. They captivate you the moment that you first see them.”
Kristen: “My favorite thing about Alex is his laugh. Its just contagious and so carefree! And when he laughs he has the ability to just put everyone at ease and makes you laugh along with him.”
If you had one piece of advice for other couples, what would it be?
“Don’t let the stress of wedding planning take away your joy in the process of preparing for marriage. In the midst of all the decisions, details, and differing opinions it can be easy to lose sight of the end goal. So don’t let the small things take away from the fact that you are getting to marry and commit your life to the person you have waited for. Your wedding, while its a special day, is just one day in comparison to the lifetime you will have together as a married couple.”
What is the most honest thing you can say about love?
“Its easy to think of being in love as finding someone that makes you happy. But, if thats the extent of love, its very conditional and the other person will always fall short. True love calls us to look past ourselves and our own happiness in order to care for the other. It’s committing to each other in the everyday things and the big things. True love requires action in spite of how one person is feeling that day.”
photographer: Kenzie Packrall Photography / venue: Downtown Tampa, Florida / film lab: Photovision Prints