They Win: Jessica + John Engagement Photography

The wind had swept in and the temperature dropped about 10 degrees in only 10 minutes. We were standing out on a dock freezing as we tried to finish up the shoot on White Rock Lake, shivering while trying not to show it. However, even in the midst of the wintery wind, there was a special kind of warmth that was apparent as I photographed these two. A warmth that is only attributed to unconditional love.

“I win! I win! And all the other girls lose!” she said as she wrapped her scarf around his neck and pulled him close, in an unknowingly perfect depiction of her previous statement.  She had won you see, she’d won the love of her life and she couldn’t be happier. Him you ask? Had he won the love of his life? It was obvious by the look in his eyes as he took in the beauty of his stunning bride-to-be that he had no doubt he was the luckiest and richest man alive.  You see, that is why I LOVE engagement shoots. I love them because I get to watch as two people openly and honestly share their love for one another. In a world of pain and brokenness, its moments like these that bring joy and have the power to do big things.

They met in college after mutual friends in their fraternity/sorority brought them together. She vowed to get to know him more after he started break dancing one night and caught her attention with his zest for life. He was drawn to her obvious beauty but even more her intelligence and love for people. After months of feelings building from afar, he finally pulled her aside and asked her on a date (she thought he was going to tell her that her feelings were too obvious and that she needed to not be so ridiculous. Hilarious.). Two years later I had the privilege of standing with them on a dock, frozen by the wind and yet warmed by the reality of two people unashamed in love, having won the best prize.

What’s even more stunning about this beautiful couple is their understanding that the prize of each other comes first and foremost from the greatest prize. The love of our Savior. When I asked them their favorite thing about each other they, though separately, said in unity, “She loves the Lord like few people I know. I can honestly say that she makes me want to be more like Christ in my devotion and my relation to people.” “He really pushes me to be more like Christ. He makes me want to know God more because of the way he lives his life but mostly his devotion to the Lord.” I am always so blessed to photograph couples who understand this foundation for marriage and it shows in their love for one another. A selfless, pure and awe-giving kind of love.

Jessica and John, thank you SO much for letting me be part of this season of life with you! There is a sweetness in being part of it not only because I know what it’s built upon but also because I know where it’s going. No matter where the Lord takes you, Stillwater or overseas, I am so confident that your union together will change hearts all over the world. Can’t wait for May as we will celebrate you both winning your best friend, the love of your life and your partner in this mission of faith!

I hope you enjoy all of these pictures from their engagement session. I am well aware that there are a lot but unlike some other photographers, I’m simply not good at narrowing it down. I love them all! I should probably work on that but until then, here is to long blog posts!

Happy Wednesday!

Seriously Jessica?!?! Your eyes are stunning!

John this is just straight GQ. For real.

I love that I have clients that let me suggest silly things. They trust me even if in the back of their mind they think I might be a few crayons short of a box. Thanks you two for letting me do this one! I love how it turned out!

Perspectives on their prize.

This was by John’s request and I have to say, good choice! Can I hire you as my assistant?!

So I am going to suggest them framing this in their house with a sign above that says, “You support me. I support you. We won’t fall.” Cheesy but I like it.

Fav. Fav. Fav. Can’t decide if it’s Jessica’s perfect smile or that the fact that John is biting her cheek. Either way, I love it.

That is the face of a girl who won.

While Jessica was reapplying lip gloss, I asked John to do a solo shot. Can I take you on all  my engagement shoots and have you give the grooms tips?

Yep. One of my favorite locations of the day. The light was indeed ‘yummy’ and they are gorgeous together!

Gasp. Jessica these take my breath away. You are stunning!!!!

Pure contentment I say.

These next two are some of my favorites. I asked her to give him some sass and boy did she. Girl, keep that face around for special moments in your future 🙂

Thankfully I live in Dallas, TX and so even in late December there were some beautiful fall colors. I am obsessed with the yellow and the way it frames them.

There are no words.

This was Jessica’s idea and I’m so glad she suggested it!

My clients always say they can’t do serious faces and then they pull out something like this?!?! Amazing!


So the cowboy boots reign again in my work! It’s unplanned I promise!

I know I have a lot of ‘favorites’ but this really may be my number one.

Keeping his bride warm.

Like I said, you could tell by the look in his eyes. He had won.

Ok, so awesome story. John entered a national contest to win an engagement ring for Jessica and HE DID!!! What a fun part of their engagement story.

That bling is gorg.

Ok you two, stop being so cute. It’s unfair.

The dock.

Again with those eyes!!!

I told them to make funny faces and this is what ensued. It’s perfect.

This is about the time she announced to the world (her mother and I) that she had defeated the rest of the world of women in winning John’s heart. Precious moment.

I had to close with this photo and give a special thanks to Ruth, Jessica’s mom. She came along to help with the shoot and she was wonderful!!! She carried my bags, pushed around a cart full of blankets/outfit changes and most importantly, supplied us with water. No one’s ever brought me water for a shoot before! She made us laugh, fixed Jessica’s hair when I didn’t notice it and was just a delight! Thanks Ruth for your help! I’m still serious about the assistant position. Just give me a call 😉


7 thoughts on “They Win: Jessica + John Engagement Photography

  1. Ahh! They are such a beautiful couple! And so happy together!! These are amazing photos, Mary 🙂 You did a wonderful job at capturing not only their beauty, but their spirit.
    Also, that dock is one of my favourite spots in Dallas (and perfect for end-of-date chat time!) I love it at night, just looking around at white rock and the Dallas skyline in the distance. Everything seems so peaceful 🙂
    Again, great job! I’m loving seeing all your posts!

  2. Take my breath AWAY!!!!! I cannot get enough of their obvious LOVE for one another, and most importantly, their LOVE of CHRIST!! PRICELESS!!! Praying that God will richly bless the two of them in their union in marriage!! So exciting!

    And, to the photographer, STUNNING! OF course, Jessica and John make any pic look amazing, but these are a delight to look at! I love your sweet comments about them…so true!

    The last pic with Ruth, Jessica’s mom, is too SWEET! I must say, getting the absolute HONOR to teach and hang with Ruth each day says it all! The love of life and LOVE of the LORD in the Pavey family is contageous! I’m not one bit surprised she brought you water and took care of you during the shoot!


  3. these pics absolutely capture the love in both their eyes–and hearts! Amazing!! And the last shot summed up the love they receive as children of the Pavey’s. I am so excited to see the circle of love in the Pavey family grow even bigger as they add on one more!!

  4. These are some of the most gorgeous engagement pictures I have ever seen. What a beautiful family… inside and out! I’m glad Ruth was included in the last pic – behind the scenes’ servant – absolutely!

    Love to the family!

  5. Wow, these are some great shots. I dig the color work going on here. Good work with that. Probably a good thing they called you in to come help out with emergency at John’s sister’s wedding ceremony. You probably got some great shots there too with that room’s ambiance.

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