February 11, 2020
I met Heather and Eric at a lavender farm event in 2018, and we’ve seen each other many times since then for shoots and get-togethers. 2019 was the year of Heather and Eric’s engagement, so obviously, there was a lot to celebrate. I did some of my favorite sessions with them last year – sunrise in the cherry blossoms, an evening amongst the flowers at Wollam Gardens, and this one, a 4th of July-inspired shoot at the World War I Memorial in Washington, DC.
I love everything about this shoot. The simplicity of the WWI Memorial with its white marble, straight columns and uninterrupted light. I love Eric’s crisp white Navy uniform contrasted with Heather’s star-patterned dress and red accents. Eric was well-revered during our time at the memorial, quite a few people went out of their way to thank him for his service.
I wanted to make this post personal. I asked Heather to tell us about Eric’s background with the Navy and why documenting the two of them in his uniform was so important to them. This is what she said –
“In 7th grade, Eric watched his first Army Navy football game. He was fascinated by the pageantry & sense of patriotism displayed by both teams and those in attendance. A few weeks later, he was assigned a research paper on a college he wished to attend after high school. Still impressed by the football game he witnessed, he decided to report on the United States Naval Academy.
I’m sure the 7th grade teachers did not expect their students to attend the school they reported on. After all, college was still 5 years off. But for Eric, it became the goal he sought to achieve. With less than a 10% acceptance rate, attending USNA is no easy feat. It’s a big deal.
Eric worked incredibly hard, applied himself in both academics and athletics (a requirement for acceptance to USNA) and was accepted as part of the Class of 2007.
Following his time at USNA, Eric attended flight school in Pensacola, FL and spent 12 years on active duty as a Naval Flight Officer (NFO) aboard the P-3 Orion, an anti-submarine & maritime surveillance aircraft. He has flown in over 100 oversea missions. Eric is happiest when he’s flying. In April 2019, he transitioned to reserve status and is going on a detachment to Japan in July.
Eric & I met shortly after he took an assignment at the Navy Yard in DC. This was the first time since he graduated that he was within driving distance of his alma mater. Some of my fondest memories in the early stages of our relationship involve Saturdays cheering on the Midshipmen. There is something special about USNA & I fell in love with the school too.
The Navy is a huge part of Eric’s life — and as a result, it has become a huge part of mine. I’m proud of all he has accomplished during his career and all he has sacrificed to protect our freedom. When we got engaged, we knew the perfect place for our nuptials would be the Naval Academy Chapel. It’s fitting — and beautiful.
While we are having a military wedding, and therefore will have plenty of photos of the two of us in his mess dress uniform, it was important to me that we do an engagement session in his chokers — the all white uniform made famous by Tom Cruise in Top Gun.
I wanted to ensure we had these memories and images to pass down to our children and grandchildren, so they can understand the pride that Eric has in wearing the uniform of the United States Navy and the pride I have in him for his desire to serve our country.”
Love you guys! Cannot wait for your wedding next month! <3
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