James & Natalie Sky Meadows Virginia State Park Engagement Photographer
A couple months ago, Kim from Kim Newton Weddings kindly introduced me to James and Natalie. Well, it was over the phone but we still hit it off. :) Natalie and I connected so well because she is her own #bosslady. Not just that, but she is a wedding and portrait photographer based in California. I am EXTREMELY honored to document these precious memories of her engagement as well as her upcoming spring wedding at the gorgeous Oatlands Plantation. It must be hard planning a wedding from across the country, but they are proving that it can be done. So when it was time for their engagement session last Friday, it was my first official time meeting James and Natalie in person. I have to say that I don’t remember the last time I laughed that hard during a session! They shine their personalities through anything I put them through. What I love to do is photograph a couple as they are together whether they are more soft spoken or comical or joyful or a mixture of all of the above. James and Natalie have so much character together and I was thrilled to capture that during our time! Not to mention, what an unique proposal story!!! You’ll just have to read below because they made it on BuzzFeed! You know it must be good. ;)
James & Natalie’s Love Story
from Natalie’s perspective
How We Met
While working at OKCupid, James wrote an artificial intelligence program that scanned peoples’ dating profiles and attempted to match them up. A friendly OKCupid robot would message you and say something along the lines of, “I’ve found someone great for you! You’re a 85% match, and you have this in common!” What you have to understand for our story is that the program had a really tough time understanding sarcasm and negation. This is a really hard problem to solve, even for native speakers of English, so getting a computer to understand is even harder! The company also had a rule: if you’re single and working at OKCupid, you have to actually test out the website when given the opportunity. So he said, what the heck! This girl is over a 90% match with me, and she loves anime, she loves video games, and she loves sushi! Sounds perfect! To his credit, the algorithm got 2 out of 3, I love anime, I love video games, and…well, I can’t stand any kind of seafood. It was a rocky start, but I agreed to meet him for drinks anyway, and here we are today, making kissy faces at each other.
In case it wasn’t clear, James and I are pretty nerdy. A cornerstone of our relationship is playing video games, and James’ favorite video game is the original Legend of Zelda. Back in June, we set aside a Saturday and re-played through the whole game. There are lots of dramatic details, but when we beat Ganon at the end of the game, I noticed something looked a little off. I turned to James and said, “I don’t think that Princess Zelda looks like that normally!” and immediately started googling on my phone to find a photo of her sprite, while James desperately gestured at the television screen trying to get me to watch that instead of my phone. When I looked back up, the words, “NATALIE, WILL YOU MARRY ME?” were printing across the screen! He reprogrammed the entire end sequence of the game to propose to me!
This is the short version, but if you want to see more in detail what James put together, check out their Legend of Zelda engagement proposal HERE!
Thank you James and Natalie for making time for these photos together! It was a time I will never forget. :) Cannot wait for your wedding next spring!!!
Oh yeah, that moment I asked for them to run at each other for a big hug … well, you see the results. ;) LOLOL! I am still laughing at this moment!