Jennifer and JP’s story came to me last year when I conducted my first in(SCP)ire me contest for couples who have really unique love stories who would like to be considered for wedding photography from me. While Jen and JP did not win, they were the only couple who lived in Chicago. Naturally, when it snowed in Chicago a couple of weeks ago (and it hasn’t snowed since then), I jumped on the chance to grab some super fun, COLD, photos in a snowstorm with them!
Jennifer and JP met in Costa Rica when they were exchange students in 2006. Their international long distance love story spanned from Switzerland to Arizona. From Jennifer: “In order to keep close, we continually stayed in contact via text message and Skype, and we always made plans for when we would next see each other in person, which was typically every 2-3 months. Additionally, in 2008, I spent a semester studying German at the Universität Konstanz in a German city above the northern border of Switzerland. With this six month stay, during which we spent every weekend together in Switzerland (or traveling), we had the opportunity to become even closer and had a great time exploring Europe together. When I returned to the US to finish my bachelor’s studies in Arizona, I applied for several post-graduate internships in Switzerland. In due course, I found a traineeship position at a pharmaceutical company in Basel”. So, recap: Girl from Arizona and boy from Switzerland meet in Costa Rica. Begin long distance relationship, see each other every 2-3 months. Girl gets chance to study and work in Switzerland.
Eventually, Jennifer decided to continue doctoral studies at Northwestern University right here in Chicago. JP proposed to her during holiday season, 2010, and is now living and working (!) in Chicago with Jennifer. I really admire this couple’s ability to balance their career aspirations with their desire to be with each other, even if it means making really big changes.
When it snows.. well, everything is white. So I love how Jennifer’s jacket pops!
One of Jennifer’s favorite quotes, from Francois de la Rouchefoucauld: “Absence diminishes small loves and increases great ones, as the wind blows out the candle and blows up the bonfire.”
They are super adorable together
Snuggle tight when it gets cold!
JP looked forward this part the most: an all out snowfight!
They will be married later this year in Switzerland, and I cannot be happier for these two. Though I won’t be available for their wedding, I am incredibly blessed to be able to keep in touch with them and call them as friends.
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Shang Chen Photography has rebranded to Saavedra Photography
she takes photographs of celebrations of love and life
Based in NYC | Open for select photography commissions on Sundays only