“A hot breakfast and a bucket of popcorn are all you need to get by in this life.”

-Raquel + David

 

The job of a wedding photographer is literally capturing love all the time. The joy I feel when I get to capture a love story (e-session) is far beyond words. First of all, I get to know the story of the couple I have in front of my camera, which is always so wondrous, and I get to make new friends.  This time I got to know the story of these two wonderful people, and I will be forever thankful for opening their heart to me. I’m in love with every single part of this story, so please scroll down and find out how they met, and how she couldn’t hide the fact that she was truly in love with this man.

 

 

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How did you meet?
Raquel was standing in the hallway of an East Village apartment building. As I walked up the steps of its stoop and saw her through the glass door, I said aloud, “Who is that?”
Do you have a fynny, romantic, or touching story about your relationship?
Raquel started breaking up with me in early August of 2013 while I was hosting a party filled with my friends in the backyard of my Brooklyn brownstone. As the party got rolling, and I greeted people with with casual side hugs, I noticed Raquel looked a bit troubled. I asked her what was wrong and she asked me to talk upstairs. “I can’t do this anymore,” she said. I was shocked and speechless. My heart sank. We had only been on a few secretive dates around Manhattan and Brooklyn since our budding romance began about a month earlier, after we kissed in the dusk of a June night, down the street from one of our favorite bars in Brooklyn. We had intentionally kept our dating under wraps. I met her through her brother, who is a close friend. Raquel and I became friends ourselves before we ever kissed. Dating a friend is a dangerous proposition, and dating the sibling of a friend is doubly so. We wanted to be cautious, and I guess this was the reason why: Despite discovering a previously unimaginable familiarity and friendship with her, it appeared that relationships just sometimes don’t work out. People get hurt. “You don’t want to date me anymore?” I asked. Now, it was Raquel that seemed shock. She quickly recognized the error. “No, I meant to say I can’t pretend we’re not dating anymore! I only want to be with you!” I wanted the same thing, I told her. And I told her I hope she can be a little clearer in the future. But that is one reason I love Raquel: She knows what she wants, even if she sometimes acts before her brain has fully caught up. For example, I’ve come to the conclusion that it was an odd kind of pure jealousy that drove Raquel to tell me she wanted to be in a relationship with me. She seemingly was viciously jealous of the side hugs I was freely handing out to my friends at the party. I had always thought of a side hug as a casual way to say “Hey buddy!” My perception changed after reflecting on the circumstances of a night in early July, a few weeks before the BBQ. Still uncertain if she liked me, I texted to ask if she was coming to a party. An eternity later, my phone vibrated: “Here!” And suddenly, Raquel was standing next to the chair I was sitting in. Before I could stand up and wrap my arms around her like I had been imagining I’d do for days—it was the first time we’d seen each other since we kissed—she stretched her right arm from my left shoulder to my right, keeping the far side of her body away from me. It was a side hug, and I was certain any chance I had with her was doomed. Or so I thought. A side hug, like a hastily spoken sentence, can have more meaning that it seems.
Where and how did he propose?
The actual proposal happened on an afternoon in June of 2017 in Sonoma Valley, CA, after a picnic on the edge of a pond. David told Raquel he had to go to Napa for a work event and invited her to join him. While the work event was indeed happening, David didn’t actually have to work—and instead surprised her with a mini vacation at a small hotel outside of Sonoma, which they stayed at once before and talked about one day returning to. Really, though, the proposal might as well have happened as early as mid-August of 2013, when David and Raquel took their first trip together, shortly after a mutual friend made a foreboding comment: “Your first trip together will define your success as a couple.” The trip was fun.
Favorite Song
We don’t really have one. David’s from Portland. I’m from Texas. If someone comes up with one that matches that, let us know.
Do you have a favorite quote?
A hot breakfast and a bucket of popcorn are all you need to get by in this life.
How do you like to break the rules?
Raquel likes to drive fast and tailgate, and David likes to tell her not to, which is completely against her rules. Also, David fell in love with his friend’s sister, and Raquel fell in love with her brother’s friend.
The head or the heart
Raquel: Love is a combination of both. David: What? That answer sounds like something from an off-brand Hallmark card. Raquel: No, it sounds like a Portland band you would love.
For Him: What do you love most about her? How does she make you feel? What is the wildest thing she ever did?
I love that Raquel cares. Whether you’re a stranger, a strange creature, or a friend she has known for years, Raquel knows how to make people feel loved. But there’s an important caveat: She’ll care about you only if you also put love back into the world. Raquel loves without hesitation—as long as you can accept and reciprocate love, too. That isn’t to say she is uncaring to those people who lack the maturity or wisdom to love and be loved; she is still kind and generous. But what I love about her is the uninhibited love she gives to the people she knows will feel, accept, and benefit from her devotion. On a selfish note, that of course includes me. But it also includes most, if not all, animals in the world—and a few other humans too. (I cannot count the number of times I’ve heard her say that animals are innocent—she may be the Christ-like redeemer for the world’s wildlife.) I worry that it sounds trite to say I love Raquel because she cares, since caring is an easy thing to do, once you’ve figured out how to do it. To me, the love that Raquel gives is like leaping into a deep mountain river on a summer day. The water, even if it is initially chilly and roars with a chaotic churn, is calming and rejuvenating—a natural protector from the arid world.What is the wildest thing Raquel has ever done? She started a business and runs it as a solo entrepreneur. That’s about as wild (read: crazy, uninhibited, bold, resolute, etc.) of a thing you can do, and anyone who has started their own business knows that. That’s another reason I love her, one that may be more prevalent: She is always seeking to improve herself. And she is able to do it, too.
For Her: What do you love most about him? How does he make you feel? What is the wildest thing he ever did?
I think the wildest thing he ever did is move to NYC without a job. One of the coolest things about David is that he never talks the talk. He just walks the walk. So like I thief in the night (or as I like to reimagine it), off he went. David’s been through so much crazy stuff in his life, so when he talks about making that move, he’s pretty nonchalant about it. But when I put myself in his shoes, I have the reaction that I’d imagine most people would…dude’s cray. As he puts it, he ate a lot of Spaghetti O’s when he first arrived and had a back up plan: If he didn’t land a job, he was going back to Oregon. But of course, he didn’t go back. He persevered past the bottom of those Spaghetti O’s cans and succeeded in the insane world of journalism.”  Instead of my current answer. Sorry for the font change. Word is doing weird things.
What are your favorite things to do together?
Our favorite things to do together are going out to happy hour on Friday nights. We talk about everything that happened over the course of the week and decompress with the Austin staples: margaritas and queso. We also love to hike in the Greenbelt, wander around Costco, catch movies at Alamo, try new restaurants, travel to new places, spend time with our friends, and have dinner out on our patio.
How do you, as a couple, want to be remembered?
As both a couple and individuals. Also, kind and welcoming.

 

 

Love,

Jessica

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