Merrilyn & Andrew // Engagement Session // Bond Session // Brookeville, MD

Way back in the day I photographed Merrilyn and her cinnamon prince, Brando, for a mentorship session. I chose Merrilyn because her positive infectious spirit and enthusiasm for her horse was something I wanted to capture. The images we captured that day not only brought the both of us to tears, but opened my eyes to the types of moments I wanted to capture in each session. I'll forever be grateful their special relationship was one of the first ones in front of the BPP lens.

So when Merrilyn contacted me to take her engagement photos (including Brando of course!), I was over the moon. The evening we spent on the farm she grew up on was a truly special few hours. Not only did I get to share in this special moment for Merrilyn and Andrew, but I got to hear the many stories of the farm where Merrilyn's grandparents lived and where she learned to ride. A beautiful, crooked tree in particular had served as her mounting block and made a beautiful backdrop for their session.

There was a bittersweet tinge - like coming full circle - bringing her heart horse to the farm she first sat a horse. And I was so honored to capture this time and place for them. I can never express how humbled I felt leaving that evening. Thank you Merrilyn and Andy for bringing me along your journey, trusting me to bring this joy into your home, and I wish you the happiest of trails to come!

This is not my first BPP shoot! Bethany captured my bond with my horse so wonderfully a few years that I decided to request a rather out of the box bond session: an engagement shoot with my two-legged partner in advance of our wedding. On top of that, the site for the shoot was impossibly poignant and meaningful: my since-passed grandparents' farm where I learned to ride, which was on the market and (post-shoot) sold. Bethany brought the same attention to detail and thoughtful and emotional coaching to our solely "people" session that she does with animals - quite an accomplishment and a testament to Bethany's innate understanding of how to work with and highlight - without diminishing - many types of personalities (human or animal!). The images Bethany captured of both of my favorite men - my fiance and my gelding - are some of my most cherished pictures and will be prominently featured at our wedding. I just love our photos and know I will look back on them with joy for years to come. - Merrilyn

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