There’s a portion of roughly a year’s worth of time where a couple’s journey is wildly documented: the proposal, the engagement, the wedding of course! All of these come together in a highly photographed span to honor and cherish this exciting season for many years to come. Still, part of the reason we so love anniversary sessions is because they honor the quiet seasons of marriage, where two people are simply doing life together — and our next session proves you can bestow that same lovely praise for life, pre-wedding bells!
Sometimes you have to celebrate the heart(s) of it all — not a milestone, or grand event — just two people with one great love!
A word from photographer Eve Yarbrough:
“Hannah and Corey met as college students in the fall of 2016. Corey remembers initially noticing Hannah during their shared business class, when he found out that she already owned and operated her own successful full-time business as a fine art wedding photographer based in Atlanta, GA. Although they lost touch after that first semester of business class, Hannah expresses that the way in which they re-entered each other’s lives could not have been more perfect timing, but was definitely unconventional. They reunited through Yik Yak (of all things!), an anonymous messaging app used on college campuses, and began a friendship that eventually led into one of the most natural, beautiful, and genuine relationships I’ve ever had the pleasure of documenting. I’d been following along with Hannah’s work on social media for quite some time when she asked me to photograph her and Corey. I was so incredibly excited to get to document such a sweet time in their lives, especially knowing first-hand that being a photographer means you rarely get the chance to be on the other side of the camera. Hannah chose Berry College in Rome, GA as her location, not only because the backdrop of the college campus made for some beautiful shots, but because the photographer in her wanted a chance to scout the location for future couples of hers.
One of the most fun and exciting parts about this shoot, aside from the fact that Hannah and Corey are obviously the cutest and so visibly in love with each other, is the fact that I got to photograph a fellow wedding photographer who’s work I sincerely admire. Hannah was one of the very first film photographers from my area who I started following on social media, and it’s so cool that since having met her, we’ve turned into really good friends!”
Love notes from the lovebirds, Hannah & Corey:
How did you two meet? What were your first impressions of one another?
Hannah: “I lingered in the kitchen, feeling the need to introduce myself, one of the things that business school had been pounding into my head. I’m a people-loving introvert, trying to break out of my comfort zone. ‘Hi, I’m Hannah,’ I say, reaching out my hand, nervously, awkwardly. ‘Corey,’ he replied cautiously, with a nonchalant glance. ‘Nice to meet you. You go to KSU?’ He seemed a little distracted, perhaps in a rush. He thought this girl was pretty, outgoing. ‘Oh yeah, I’m a Junior. Sort of. It’s weird with credits. I’m a marketing major. I feel like maybe I’ve seen you before. I think we have a class together? Info Systems?’ He looked familiar, his stance, his glasses. His hat. I couldn’t pinpoint, though. ‘Hm. Maybe. I’m a 5th year senior. I’m management. I changed my degree a few times. Oh? I’m taking that with Rhea!’ he said enthusiastically. ‘Tuesdays and Thursdays at 11? I feel like I see you always coming in late or sitting in the back,’ I tease, hoping I don’t offend. ‘Oh yeah. I go to work in the mornings, come for class, and have to go back straight after. Speaking of that, have you finished that project that’s due tomorrow? We’ve barely started,’ he laughs. ‘Y’all haven’t started?! Oh man, I don’t wanna keep you.’ I exclaim, in shock. I finished that a few days ago. What group puts it off to the last minute, I wonder. ‘Oh it’s fine. We’ll just pull an all-nighter. Hah. But thanks. I’ve gotta get going to finish it. Nice to meet you,’ he edges towards the door with his backpack slugged over his shoulder. ‘Nice to meet you too, Corey. Good luck!’ I say. ‘I don’t believe in luck!’ he shoots back. ‘I’ll see you ‘round!’ he says. The door slams and all is quiet. I stand in the kitchen. It’s a peaceful night. ‘Nice guy,’ I think, then quickly brushing aside the thought. And so, this is how it all began. Little did I know we would lose touch, yet somehow, in the most wild and precious way, we would find each other again.”
Describe a hurdle you had to overcome in your relationship.
Corey: “She rejected me. After our second date, she called me and told me that she didn’t see a future between us.”
Hannah: “I struggled a lot with being able to be vulnerable due to my last relationship. It was my tendency to shut down and not want to voice how I was feeling. He is always incredibly patient with me when I did not have the words to say.”
Tell us a funny story relating to your relationship!
Corey: “Funny story, I showed up at her house and took her to Chattanooga to get her out of going on a date with another guy. By this point, she had already rejected me, but for some reason she decided to take a chance and trust me with her life. She also said that she had never had a oatmeal cream pie so I made her eat one and she taught me how to dance in the streets of Chattanooga.”
What is your favorite thing about each other?
Corey: “She is very kind and generous and loves me well. She is patient and always looking out for my best interest.”
Hannah: “He is deliberate and careful and kind and tender. Gracious. Godly. Patient. Gentle. There’s so many other adjectives. Crazy to think how he came back into my life in the time I needed most. Days together are what I adore and treasure. They only grow more precious. It’s humbling to know that I am loved well. I’m forever undeserving of this man.”
What is the best thing you’ve learned from one another?
Corey: “Waiting is well worth it.”
Hannah: “To have faith that everything will turn out okay, and that I need not worry or fret. That it is ok to cry, and to have a sad day, but to not let it consume me. As an owner of a small business in the wedding industry and balancing school full-time, there are hard days where your heart is discouraged. I am very thankful that he is steady and calm when I am not.”
If you had one piece of advice for other couples, what would it be?
Corey: “Do not be afraid to take chance. It is important to be persistent even when the outlook looks grim. Take a chance on anything you think is important. Obstacles are part of the process and do not mean they are the end of the road. Many times these obstacles are just lessons of self-development and/or growing closer to your partner.”
What is the most honest thing you can say about love?
Hannah: “Love is deliberate and careful. It’s moving to the other side of the sidewalk and opening the door every time. It’s holding that person when they are feeling defeated and offering to pray. Love is messy and learning to humble yourself each day and saying ‘I chose this person’ forever.”
photographer: Eve Yarbrough / venue: Berry College / dress boutique: Lulus / hair stylist: Erin Ryser/ film lab: The Find Lab