Brazos River

James & Elizabeth | Brazos Park East Engagement Session | Waco, Texas

Couple during an engagement shoot posing by pond at Brazos Park East, Waco, Texas, Jason & Melaina Photography - www.jasonandmelaina.com

Elizabeth met James when she moved from Florida to Texas for work way back in 2013. They only worked together for one year before Elizabeth moved to a different city, but the two kept in touch, occasionally going out dancing with friends on the weekends. But these two Sweethearts began realizing there was more than just friendship growing between them, and began spending every weekend together, making their relationship work long distance. Eventually Elizabeth moved back to Waco and the two spent all their time together, taking their pups for walks in Cameron Park or going out dancing to live country music.

One of James & Elizabeth’s favorite things to do is to go fishing, spending time together sitting by the Brazos River that borders James’ parents’ property. So it was no surprise James suggested they go fishing together on New Year’s Eve. What was a surprise was when Elizabeth reeled in a fishing line and saw a paper on the hook that read, “Will you marry me?” And so James got down on one knee and proposed to Elizabeth, and of course she said “Yes!”

Fast forward a couple months, and we are having chips and queso with James & Elizabeth at Chuy’s restaurant. We chat about their love story and get all the details of this romantic proposal, and talk about their wedding planning journey. It was such a fun time hanging out with them, and we couldn’t wait to see them again for their engagement session. When fall rolled around we began talking with them about their engagement portraits, and figured the perfect location would be somewhere near the Brazos River. After all, with a proposal like that, how could we not incorporate the Brazos in telling these Sweethearts’ love story?!?

So on a beautiful fall evening we met James & Elizabeth at Brazos Park East here in Waco, Texas. We caught up with them on how wedding planning was going and walked them through our quick posing 101 guide to help them feel natural in front of the camera. And then we were able to step back and watch these Sweethearts interact with one another. Anytime we asked them to look at each other, Elizabeth’s face was beaming and James’ face would soften into a smile. Every time they looked into one another’s eyes you could feel the love they had for one another, the day-to-day real life love they shared. It was so romantic and real. And it made for some beautiful engagement photos!

We have 5 more months to go before these two say “I do” out at Peacock River Ranch in Gatesville, and we can’t wait to be with them again! Because if their wedding is anything like their engagement session, it is going to be a special and romantic day full of celebrating the real and deep love James & Elizabeth have for each other.

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A couple stands close and smiles at one another by the Brazos River in their Waco, Texas engagement session, Jason & Melaina Photography, www.jasonandmelaina.com
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A bride looks up and smiles at her fiance during engagement photo session in Waco, Texas, Jason & Melaina Photography - www.jasonandmelaina.com
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Square diamond engagement ring with diamond rope band, engagement session in Waco, Texas, Jason & Melaina Photography- www.jasonandmelaina.com
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A couple holds one another with Texas sunset behind their faces during their engagement photo session in Waco, Texas, Jason & Melaina Photography - www.jasonandmelaina.com
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Dear James & Elizabeth,

We loved getting to see you again halfway through this year. It seemed so long ago when we were hanging out at Chuy’s, but your wedding day is going to be here before you know it! We pray all your wedding day details fall perfectly into place as you go through these last few months of planning. And more importantly, you realize the amazing journey you two are on towards a meaningful marriage!

Love, J&M

Charles & Alex | Brazos Bluffs Ranch Engagement Portrait Session | Waco, Texas

A couple smiles at one another during their engagement portraits at Brazos Bluffs Ranch in Waco, Texas - Jason & Melaina Photography, www.jasonandmelaina.com

Stories of how couples meet never get old to us. Every time we meet with our future J&M Sweethearts over a coffee or ice cream double-date, we ask them to tell us their story because we love hearing them! (And sharing them with y'all!)

We’ve known Alex for a few years as the violinist for our church’s worship team. But when we were eating Steel City Pops with her and Charles and she shared they had met at Jiu Jitsu class, we were a little surprised. We didn’t even realize Alex was into Jiu Jitsu! Alex wanted to try something new so she enrolled in the class, and the instructor often paired her up with a fellow classmate, Charles. Week after week, Charles & Alex partnered up to learn new techniques in class, and it wasn’t long before these two realized something more than jiu jitsu was happening here.

Alex’s desire to try something new, like jiu jitsu class, finds it’s match in Charles. When we asked them how they’d spend an unexpected free day together, their response was to try something new! A new restaurant, a new store, a new recipe in the kitchen, it didn’t matter. They were up for giving something new a try.

Which is why it didn’t surprise us at all when Charles called us one evening to ask if we’d be willing to switch our scheduled engagement portraits session with them because he had planned a fun date for Alex’s birthday. Alex had wanted to try out horseback riding, so Charles planned a date at Brazos Bluffs Ranch for them to ride horses along the Brazos River. (Brownie points for that future hubby right there!)

So on a Saturday morning we drove out to Brazos Bluffs Ranch, a part of Homestead Heritage here in Waco, Texas, to photograph Charles & Alex on their adventure of trying something new. We explored the area a little bit and scouted out some locations, and then settled ourselves in our spot at the end of the trail to photograph Charles & Alex returning from their hour-long ride. Soon enough we heard the sound of horse hooves on the trail, and Alex & Charles appeared, smiling and enjoying themselves.

And the smiling didn’t stop. Throughout the entire session, these two couldn’t stop smiling at one another. We’d offer some coaching to place them in a natural pose for a portrait, and they’d quickly only have eyes for one another. Alex was often looking up at Charles smiling, or Charles would look over at Alex and smile at her.  We love when our Sweethearts openly show their love for one another in their sessions, and we do everything we can to make this a natural process for them. So it was so sweet to see how these two expressed their love by looking deeply into one another’s eyes and smiling so happily. And we think it made for some pretty romantic engagement portraits too.

A couple rides horses together during their engagement portraits at Brazos Bluffs Ranch in Waco, Texas - Jason & Melaina Photography, www.jasonandmelaina.com
A couple rides horses together during their engagement portraits at Brazos Bluffs Ranch in Waco, Texas - Jason & Melaina Photography, www.jasonandmelaina.com
A couple walks hand-in-hand during their engagement portraits at Brazos Bluffs Ranch in Waco, Texas - Jason & Melaina Photography, www.jasonandmelaina.com
Charles & Alex pet a pony during their engagement portraits at Brazos Bluffs Ranch in Waco, Texas - Jason & Melaina Photography, www.jasonandmelaina.com
A couple embraces under a sunlit tree during their engagement portraits at Brazos Bluffs Ranch in Waco, Texas - Jason & Melaina Photography, www.jasonandmelaina.com
A couple embraces near a wooden fence during their engagement portraits at Brazos Bluffs Ranch in Waco, Texas - Jason & Melaina Photography, www.jasonandmelaina.com
Charles & Alex pose on the deck overlooking the Brazos River during their engagement portraits at Brazos Bluffs Ranch in Waco, Texas - Jason & Melaina Photography, www.jasonandmelaina.com

Dear Charles & Alex,

It was so fun joining y'all for your horseback riding adventure! (And thanks for letting us know this option exists in Waco!) Your love for one another comes across effortlessly, and we pray you guys have decades ahead of you filled with smiles. 3 1/2 weeks until your wedding day!!

Love, J&M

Charles & Alex pose on the deck overlooking the Brazos River during their engagement portraits at Brazos Bluffs Ranch in Waco, Texas - Jason & Melaina Photography, www.jasonandmelaina.com

See more of our engagement photography below!

Jason & Anne | Brazos River & Baylor Engagements | Waco Wedding Photographer

engagement portraits by Brazos River | Waco, Texas | Jason & Melaina Photography

Have you ever been around a couple whose love was so lived-in and easy it was obvious to everyone? Like they seemed so connected to one another and sure of themselves in their relationship that it felt like you were in the presence of a deep-rooted love? That's what it feels like for us every time we're with Jason & Anne. 

We met these two recently over coffee at Starbucks, where we excitedly welcomed them into the 2017 class of J&M Sweethearts. We chatted about their dreams for their wedding and we learned their story. And it's the type of everyday love story that makes you realize love is real and possible. Jason & Anne were a part of the same small group through their local church, and from there their friendship began to blossom into something more. One day when Anne was going to help her friend move, Jason volunteered to help. When they finished early, the three set off for a hike in Cameron Park. A couple weeks later when Jason invited Anne to go hiking again, she left her friend behind. And so began a Waco love story of hikes in Cameron Park, ice cream dates to Heritage Creamery, and spending time talking and swinging on the green and gold swing in front of the SUB on Baylor's campus. Early in their relationship, Jason took Anne on a walk along the Brazos River and stopped at a small pavilion where they could talk. It was in this pavilion they had one of their first DTRs (define the relationship talks) and agreed they were exclusively dating. 

Fast forward to October of this year, where Jason brought Anne once again on a walk by the Brazos River, stopping in "their pavilion." Only in this DTR, Jason got down on one knee and asked Anne to be his sweetheart forever.

engagement portraits by Brazos River | Waco, Texas | Jason & Melaina Photography
engagement portraits by Brazos River | Waco, Texas | Jason & Melaina Photography
engagement portraits by Brazos River | Waco, Texas | Jason & Melaina Photography
engagement portraits by Brazos River | Waco, Texas | Jason & Melaina Photography
engagement portraits by Brazos River | Waco, Texas | Jason & Melaina Photography
engagement portraits by Brazos River | Waco, Texas | Jason & Melaina Photography
engagement portraits by Brazos River | Waco, Texas | Jason & Melaina Photography
engagement portraits by Brazos River | Waco, Texas | Jason & Melaina Photography
engagement portraits by Brazos River | Waco, Texas | Jason & Melaina Photography
engagement portraits by Brazos River | Waco, Texas | Jason & Melaina Photography
engagement portraits by Brazos River | Waco, Texas | Jason & Melaina Photography
engagement portraits by Brazos River | Waco, Texas | Jason & Melaina Photography
engagement portraits on green and gold swings at Baylor | Waco, Texas | Jason & Melaina Photography
engagement portraits on green and gold swings at Baylor | Waco, Texas | Jason & Melaina Photography
engagement portraits on green and gold swings at Baylor | Waco, Texas | Jason & Melaina Photography

Congratulations, Jason & Anne. We had so much fun photographing your engagement portraits, and we can't wait to photograph your wedding!