Ariana & Chris | An Autumn Engagement Session in Southern NM

Chris and Ariana have been together for 8 years, since Ariana’s sophomore year in high school when they met in Culinary Arts class. Chris says he was drawn to Ariana the moment she walked into class that first day, and he knew he wanted to get to know her better. Through the course of the semester, Chris playfully compared his cooking skills to Ariana’s and challenged her to competitions–which she says she always won. Maybe Chris would say that too, but in the end I’m sure he feels he came out the winner– because what started as playful banter and friendly competition in class soon turned into friendship and then love. “Chris and I are without a doubt the best of friends and have been for years now. I believe it is one of the reasons our relationship is so amazing. We know each other like the backs of our hands.”

Every relationship has it’s ups and downs, and for a period of about two years, Ariana and Chris spent some time apart. But their friendship was so deep that even when they weren’t ‘together’, they still stayed in touch. Ariana says that when anything happened in her life, Chris was always the person she wanted to share it with; he was always the first person who came to mind, and telling her parents or other friends never ‘hit the spot’. Even while apart, no one else compared for either of them…so it was only a matter of time before life brought them back together. “Through all of the trials and tribulations, we have survived and are always drawn back together [because of] our amazing friendship.”

Ariana is, in her own words, obsessed with fall! Their September 2019 wedding will likely still be warm, so it was really important to her that their engagement pictures would show off all the beauty that New Mexico has to offer in the Autumn. Our fall season is so short here in southern New Mexico that sometimes it’s hard to judge exactly when the leaves will turn…but we completely lucked out! The leaves changed early this year and when we drove out together to Katfish Kove, we were greeted with golden leaves at every turn!

Chris and Ariana’s deep friendship and sweet personalities makes it so easy to get to know and care about them! I had such a great time with them at their engagement session, and they were so natural with each other and in front of the camera. On the way back from our location, they filled me in on their wedding plans, which always helps me see how I might be able to help couples through the process. Hearing all the plans and details is always one of my favorite things about spending time with my couples in person! We talked about what the next step will be (planning the timeline) and talked about taking a future scouting trip to their venue. I made vendor recommendations and gave my perspective on the benefits of a First Look and Sunset Portraits (there are so many reasons!). We chatted non-stop the whole way back to the Silver City Highway, and if we hadn’t felt we were friends through the emails and phone calls over the last month or so, we sure felt it now. (But just kidding–we totally felt like friends through the emails and calls!).

Ariana and Chris, I can’t wait for your wedding next year! Thanks so much for inviting me to be part of your story. I hope you LOVE your engagement pictures and that every time you see them, they make you smile and fill your heart with joy for what’s to come!


Erin 🙂



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photography by erin richins
 kind people are my kinda people