Andrea & James, Harper's Ferry Engagement Session


Andrea and I are cousins. Well her dad and my dad are cousins... which makes us... second cousins? Is that right? I don't know for sure, but the important thing is that we went to the same family picnics. Amiright? Potato salad brings us all together.    

Ever since she was a kid, Andrea has always been super sweet, quick to laugh with a genuine smile, and wicked smart. I have fond memories of watching Andrea grow into a lovely young lady along side her three siblings.

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After her undergraduate degree at WVU, Andrea spent a year in Bolivia volunteering in an orphanage before returning to the states to earn her doctorate of veterinarian medicine at Mississippi Sate University. (See, saintly sweet + smart as hell.) 

Now here's the crazy part.

harper's ferry engagement pictures

Her future husband was never far away, but the two had never met. James grew up about twelve miles away from Andrea's house, just over a few rolling hills. They played in the same soccer league as kids, both frequented the same pool at Jackson's Mill, and went to the same sporting events. As Andrea volunteered in Bolivia, James worked in China. When Andrea went to the southern U.S. for school, so was James, becoming an optometrist in Texas. The two didn't meet until each landed in San Antonio (where Andrea was taking appointments from Longhorns to kittens, in both English and Spanish). And, as it always seems, if there's one thing a West Virginian is likely to find outside our borders, it's another West Virginian. 

harper's ferry engagement pictures

A mutual friend of Andrea and James realized both his friends were in San Antonio and suggested they meet up.  The pair met and the rest is history.

Nowadays Andrea is a veterinarian at an animal hospital near Cheat Lake, WV, and James is an optometrist in Cranberry Township, near Pittsburg, PA.  The two will wed between the West Fork River and Garton Pond, beneath a hill where deer and squirrels will likely overlook the ceremony. A band will play on the porch of a nearby cabin so family and friends can dance and celebrate the pair finally meeting, falling in love, and becoming one family. I, for one, cannot wait.

It was so wonderful to meet James for this session. To meet the handsome sweetheart who captured my cousin's heart. When I stepped back and asked James to tell Andrea when he decided he wanted to marry her, I couldn't hear his words, but he had Andrea in stitches, then soft smiles, and then wrapped up in the warmest embrace. It's clear James is thoughtful, smart, and the perfect match for Andrea. 

Claire Watson Photography
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