In the fifteen years that I've known Shannon, I've seen a lot of smiles. Polite smiles, belly laughs, breaking-the-rules smiles, I-see-a-dog smiles, got-into-college smiles, beach day smiles, tipsy smiles. Now, I've seen the Tommy smiles. And I know this is for real.
We met in Old City in a brick-paved, tree-lined alley with views towards the Merchants Exchange. It was spring, and the trees were blossoming. A dismal storm was predicted to last all weekend long. In the week leading up to their session, we texted about the weather forecast, and I fretted that my flight from Colorado to Pennsylvania might result in a dark and rainy engagement session. Miraculously it passed through in a single night, leaving behind sunny streets and blooming tulips. Shannon & Tommy were all silly smiles as they eased into being in front of the camera.
As we wandered down the alley towards the historic Merchants Exchange, Tommy lifted his fiancee to carry her (in her heels) across the cobblestones leading to the enormous white 1830's building with Greek revival columns. They told me the story of the proposal at home with their dog. We stopped for drinks at the Plough & the Stars, an Irish Pub - which is fitting for these two with Irish heritage. They visited Ireland just recently, golfing and horseback riding and visiting the Cliffs of Moher. After a glass of white wine and a Miller Lite, we continued on to Race Street Pier. The water is really important to these two. Tommy grew up in Florida and their dog LOVES to jump off the dock and ride in the boat. The three of us ended the night at Lolita's near Broad Street where we ran into an old friend, sipping margaritas and talking about their wedding in Valley Forge this October. We scarfed down some chips and salsa before heading to Broad Street at sunset for an iconic City Hall portrait. Overall, this marathon engagement session included all of the best that historic Philadelphia has to offer. Now the only question is - when can we do it again?!