There is a humbling moment during your twenties when you realize that, somewhere along the line, your young friendships became old friendships. I use new and old very much the way one describes wine.
It’s not that the new friendships, like a young wine, are any less fruitful or colorful. It’s just that with old friendships, like old wine, there is history and maturity – context is a barrel which infuses the wine with deep understanding, and time, the special ingredient that nurtures the flavor of a thousand memories.
My friendship with Ellie is that of an aged wine.
For her birthday, Ellie’s boyfriend texted me, along with Kathryn (also aged wine), for a surprise. There was not an ounce of doubt that we would miss this special day.
The morning of, Kathryn picked me up from my family’s home in Louisiana, and we made the trek to Baton Rouge.
As we pulled up, we couldn’t help but squeal, so excited to surprise our special friend. We rannnn up to house, bust open the door, and BAM! SURPRISE! (Granted, she saw Kathryn’s hair on the run up the stairs, but still 😊, she was speechless.)
We spent the day eating delicious (vegan) food and catching each other up on all our big changes and plans. The group took on happy hour at a local open market with another wine, Kelley, then made our way over to a sushi dinner.
As for these photos, in preparing a gift for the trip, I had wanted to give Ellie something that she would cherish. Knowing her preference for the minimalist lifestyle, things were never a consideration. A sunset session with her boo thing seemed like a perfect way to commemorate the perfect day. And that was exactly what we did.
Phillip and Ellie were SO much fun to photograph. When I said, “the name of the game is to never stop touching,” Phillip took it very literally, never missing a chance to pull Ellie in close, usually resulting in a chorus of laughs. These two were friends long before they started dating, and that deep respect for each other is something that shows through in their every interaction. In between the laughs and jokes, I would catch them both gazing at each other, their looks soaked in adoration and love.
Here’s what Ellie had to say about Phillip:
“Phillip and I are very different in a lot of ways, but we truly bring out the best in each other. I like to think that while I help keep him grounded, he helps me loosen my iron grip on things in my life. With us, it’s easy and light. He’s my best friend in the entire world, and our love is so strong and so sweet. It never gets old. We’ve been together for more than 3 years now, and I think we grow closer every day.”
Phillip, thank you for being so good to my friend and for inviting us along for this day!
Ellie, you are one of the most remarkable people I have ever met. Your spirit is so beautiful and inspiring. I am so happy you found someone who values, loves, and respects you and that you’re actively chasing your dreams. So honored to be a part of your life!