She has the absolutely most gorgeous smile, or double smile as I like to call it. When she smiles her upper lip also creates a tiny little smile underneath her nose. Along with that beautiful smile also comes a cute little contagious laugh! -Juan
As fine art wedding and lifestyle photographers, Michele and I love doing engagement sessions. Why's that important? It gives us time to mesh together with our clients so everyone feels comfortable (which also helps wedding photos turn out natural-looking and amazing)
Since Michele and I are married, we've developed this wedding photography philosophy: for an occasion like your Wedding Day, you don’t need “photographers”; you want friends who happen to be amazing at documenting the love you and your love fiancé share. For that reason, we cherish the time we have with our couples during engagement sessions.
We had a beautiful session with two people who are so full of giddy love for one another that we couldn't help but ask them to do an interview with us! Juan & Theresa have awesome chemistry. Not only did they rock their photos (including the one's of the Philo-Sofa made by Chiel Kuijl who's the one braiding the ropes below), but I teared up at their love story (especially the proposal)!
Have a look and their pictures and read their story below!
1. How did you two meet, start dating, and how/when/where did Juan propose?
Juan: In April of 2008, I started working at Men’s Wearhouse where Theresa had been working for over a year. On 9-8-2013, after 5 years of working together and remaining close friends, the timing was just right and Theresa finally told me that she liked me. After several conversations and some questions, we immediately started dating. Since we had already worked together for so long, felt comfortable with each other and were already good friends, we immediately fell in love and became best friends! A couple of months later I told Theresa that I had started to fall in love with her; she felt the same!
Theresa: Juan proposed on December 21st, 2014 in front of the beautifully lit Christmas Tree on 4th Street. It was an “all day affair.” We started off the morning with going to mass. Immediately following, I was told that Juan’s Grandmother was having a party and needed help preparing the meal. Juan has his culinary degree from Sullivan, so he naturally volunteered to help. I was told that later in the evening we would be going out to see a caroling concert downtown.
As we made our way downtown I was told that the other people joining us were running late; he asked if I wanted to go on a horse carriage ride while we wait. Naturally, I said YES! He knew that the horse carriage ride held sentimental value to me from my childhood. We took a ride in the “Princess Carriage” as my mom likes to call it, throughout downtown to look at all of the beautiful Christmas lights! The carriage then stopped at the beginning of 4th Street.
We got out and my eyes lit up as I looked up at the huge Christmas Tree! He looked at me and said, “You want to take a picture in front of the Tree, don’t you?” Of course I did, but I wanted to get someone to take a photo of us so that they could get as much of the tree in there as possible! He told me to open up a tripod that he had brought, for his GoPro while he would go look for someone to take our pictures.
After I opened the tripod and looked up, he walked to the other side of the tree while I waited for him to come back and get me. He then came back and took me to the other side where he was, and set up the GoPro to take some pictures of us. While this was going on, he looked over and saw one of his friends, which wasn't out of the ordinary.
Jeff: Did Juan plan that out?
Jeff: Did it click that Juan was about to propose?
Theresa: (*Laughing) No! His friend then proceeded to “take pictures of us”; really he was videoing us! Juan thought it would be cool to pose in such a way that illustrated a common joke between us; ultimately involving a “high-five”. As we high-fived, he took my hand, reached into his coat pocket, got down on one knee and pulled out a little blue box. He then proceeded to tell me how much he loved me and wanted to spend the rest of his life with me; “Theresa Anne Zoldak, will you marry me?” Naturally I cried tears of happiness and excitement! Of course I said “Yes! Yes!” He then got up, kissing me and hugging me; however I did not want to let go; eventually I had to.
2. What are your favorite things about each other?
Theresa: I love it when I do something completely stupid and Juan just looks at me and can’t help but smile and laugh at me, then does something equally as stupid. I’m still not sure if he does it to make me feel better or because he is just as goofy. His smile and laugh are so contagious that I end up following suit, laughing and smiling right back at him.
Juan is constantly encouraging me to try new things, whether it’s food or an activity. This has honestly been extremely rewarding and beneficial to me. Granted, at first, I am hesitant and don’t really want to try; however, he then reminds me, “Why not?! You might like it.” More often than not I do, in fact, end up enjoying whatever it is! Along with this, he also pushes me and encourages me to be the very best that I can be at everything!
Above all, I love how he treats others, always with the utmost respect while still able to joke and make people laugh. He is very personable with other individuals; even if he has just met them. I think that this is a very valuable attribute and I strive to be just like him in this way! In fact, I have noticed the longer we are together the more I will imitate him in many ways.
Juan: I love how silly and 100% comfortable she is with me. No matter how stupid, mad, sad, or tired I am she always manages to find a way to bring a smile to my face. She has the absolutely most gorgeous smile, or double smile as I like to call it. When she smiles her upper lip also creates a tiny little smile underneath her nose. Along with that beautiful smile also comes a cute little contagious laugh!
I love Theresa’s amazing personality! She is so loving and caring and always puts everyone else's need and feeling before hers. Because of that her personality is magnetic to everyone she meets, which I love about her.
3. What’s your favorite hobby/thing you love to go out and do together?
Juan: I would say that we honestly enjoy doing absolutely everything together, we feed off each other and balance each other out. While a lot of couples enjoy spending the occasional time away from each other and doing separate activities, I feel like we end up missing each other and not enjoying that time to the fullest. However; we do enjoy going out and riding my motorcycle together and tasting new bourbons!
4. What's another interesting fact about you two?
Juan & Theresa: We both happen to be Dallas Cowboys fans.
5. Would you tell our readers how you felt during and after our time together for your engagement session and how do you think that will impact your wedding photos?
Juan & Theresa: This being our very first time having any form of professional photo activities, we were a little nervous and did not really know what to expect. Although after our initial meeting and after several phone and email conversations we felt like we were meeting and dealing with friends instead of “photographers”. We arrived at our destination relatively late due to traffic but Jeff & Michele happily waited for us and were not the least bit bothered!
As soon as we arrived we found Jeff & Michele and they went through a couple of photo poses, stances, and looks. One of the things that I enjoyed the most about having an actual married couple take our photos was their ability to show us how close and comfortable our poses and looks should be to make them look best.
We started off a little slow as they adjusted cameras and picked the best light and angles, but then it quickly took off and before we knew it, it was golden hour and we were having so much fun dancing around in an open field! Jeff & Michele gave us so much positive reinforcement throughout the whole experience and couldn’t stop complimenting how “perfect” “gorgeous” and “in love” we were (but who can blame them! Haha!) They played well off each other and not only did they capture different angles but they also used different cameras! While one of them used a digital camera, the other one was using a film camera.
Jeff & Michele made sure that they were able to take photos at all the locations that we wanted and made sure to capture all the poses that we desired. Even as we walked from location to location they never stopped shooting and even snuck in a couple candid shots as we were acting silly and in love. As they took the photos, every now and then they would show us on the back of their cameras, and we fell absolutely in love with our photos and with the overall experience!
We are blessed to have found a pair of photographers who are passionate and love what they do as well as love each other. We absolutely loved their chemistry. We are more than excited and could have not chosen a better actual team to take our pictures for our big day.
We feel like Jeff & Michele will definitely exceed our expectations for the wedding and will produce some of the highest quality photos that we have seen anywhere that will look amazing many years from now. We are excited to have created such a friendship with them and we definitely want to use them for all of our future photography!
Juan & Theresa will be having their wedding this November at St. Martin of Tours in Louisville, Ky followed by their reception at Mellwood Art Center also in Louisville, Ky. All photos taken at Bernheim Aboretum and Research Forest in Clermont, Kentucky just west of Bardstown, and about 30 minutes south of Louisville.