Welcome to the HMP blog, a journal to feature our couples and their love stories, our lives, travels, and ATX adventures! Stay a while and say hello!
Every couple has a love story, and one of our favorite parts of being wedding photographers is hearing new stories every day! Now we think it’s time for us to share ours. This is for you to get to know us – all about us – so that you can understand major milestones in our lives, and the impactful moments that have shaped us as people and as a team!
This is how it’s going to work: we will mutually agree on prompts, moments, or experiences to write about, and then we do it 100% separately. These are our totally unmitigated, non-agreed-upon perspectives on the various situations that have peppered our lives. We hope you enjoy!
Long distance. Ugh. While I can argue a lot of positive things about the experiences that we had at different colleges, but I mostly just remember it as being hard. After being inseparable for a year and a half (and two summers), moving Holly into her dorm (called Bartlett’s, I want to say?) on Texas State campus was tough. I cried, there, a lot. Then I went home and cried a lot more. I felt broken and alone. So I had to go back to the high school that had effectively become our collective stomping grounds, by myself, and re-learn the experience of being a student. No excited anticipation to see Holly waiting for me outside of class. No going over to her parents house for brunch on a Sunday morning. This was a tough year that put a lot of strain on our relationship and tested our communication skills simply because our experiences were so different.
Holly had gone through the Recruitment process and had become an “baby hootie” for Chi Omega sorority, and was having a relatively standard college experience! I was jealous, and could only ever visit for a Saturday (my parents wouldn’t let me stay over), but I mostly just missed her. It was weird suddenly being 50 miles from your best friend, not being able to share in their experiences and not feeling like you necessarily understood what they were going through.
I did get to attend a couple sorority events with her – her first Semi and Formal, which I was thrilled to find were just like better proms. Who knew that college freshmen basically listened to the same music as high school seniors. But we still had a level of social understanding disconnect until I graduated from high school, and started at Texas A&M the following fall. While this move made us a little further away physically (about 100 miles), it was a big relief to feel like we were having analogous experiences. I felt like I finally understood what Holly was going through, but that year I was still in high school had taken a toll and I started my college experience with somewhat of a rocky start. Classes were hard, so I snuck (not telling my parents) down to San Marcos to spend a quick weekend with Holly before my rush process started, and crashed my car. This was just about the worst thing that could have happened. I had to tell my parents, they weren’t happy, and it led to me not having a car for the first semester of Freshman year – which obviously made it very difficult to see Holly, who was 100 miles away. That was tough.
We survived through those two years of each living in dorms (and occasionally sleeping on each other’s floors), and made it through to what ended up being a great college experience. We were both involved in our respective greek life, got to go to tons of themed parties (lots of couples costumes), events, quick trips to Galveston, and a lot of personal development. By the end of it, we were seeing each other every weekend, and Holly had graduated early and started working from home, so she could spend extended weekends up in College Station. Long weekends together gave us a taste of living together and allowed us to reset and start spending some genuine time together. By the time I (also) graduated early, we were spending nearly every weekend together, and I was so freaking ready to get to Austin so that we could move in together.
When I first started out at Texas State, I was worried I would regret not going to Art School. That worry went out the window pretty quickly (especially now that I’m paying off student loans that aren’t private school crazy!) and I learned so much about myself and was able to really cultivate my creativity. I wanted to be an artist and AJ was so incredibly supportive. I love everything about the University and San Marcos. I just really wish that AJ had been there alongside me.
I would say it took us a full two years to really get used to long distance and figure out how to make it work. And by make it work, I mean trying to see each other every single weekend. It was so hard trying to make a life separate from him that I couldn’t stay present. My freshman and sophomore year I spent every waking moment daydreaming about the next time I’d see AJ.
I think it’s lucky we were both involved in greek life, one for the distraction it gave us and two for the formals and date parties that were something to look forward to! Chi Omega was fun while it lasted, but senior year I dropped in order to graduate early and focus on my thesis. AJ’s was extremely involved in his fraternity and was on council for every year but senior year! It was amazing watching him in a leadership role and work so hard. He was able to get them not one but two new houses (when he started I think they were in an actual trailer…)!
We were both able to graduate early which saved us both a great deal of stress. When I found out I could graduate early I was so relieved, and then finding out AJ could also graduate early just a year later was an even bigger relief! Not to say that one more semester would have broken us or anything, but we may have gone a bit crazy.
I can look back on it fondly now that we’re here and it’s all behind us. I used to tell myself I just needed to get through those four years and it would be smooth sailing. Even back then, I knew the universe was putting us through all of that heartache and uncertainty because we were meant to have this deep rooted love that will give us happiness and assurance through all of life’s obstacles. So far, the universe has delivered.
We are an Austin, Texas-based wedding photography duo committed to celebrating your Big Day by capturing every joyous, unscripted moment.