elizabeth gelineau



Mobile bay area wedding photographer

Mackenzie + Christopher | Engaged


April 1, 2019

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A Mobile Botanical Gardens Engagement

I am often asked how I became a photographer. When I was asked this question once again last week, I realized I haven’t shared that story in a while. It all started at Spring Hill College back in 2005. I wanted to “lighten” my senior spring semester, so I decided to take an elective over the summer between my junior and senior years. Photography seemed like an easy class. Oh how foolish that mentality was!

Unlike some of my fellow classmates, I wouldn’t have to buy a camera. My dad had an old Canon AE-1 that I could borrow. I walked into that first class never imagining that I’d be sitting here nearly 14 years later writing blog posts like this one. I never dreamed I’d continue shooting beyond that one class. But that first class planted a seed. I was instantly hooked on photography. Even though I knew I wanted to learn more beyond the basics, entering the world of professional photography couldn’t have been further from my mind.

I cannot think of my photography journey without thinking of my time in the darkroom at Spring Hill. I am so thankful I signed up for that class, even though it was WAY more challenging than I initially estimated. Every time I get to work with a fellow Spring Hill alum, I do a little happy dance. There’s something special about sharing a love for a place where you spent four years of your life.

Mackenzie’s grandmother, mother and older sister all went to Spring Hill. She told me when we first met that she knew the only thing she had to have for her wedding was St. Joseph’s Chapel. This beautiful, historic church sits at the heart of campus and is dear to all Spring Hill alums. Christopher even proposed there!

The Proposal

When I first met with Mackenzie and Christopher, she told me that Christopher completely surprised her with his proposal. I loved hearing both of them tell the story! It was graduation weekend for Mackenzie. Christopher had the whole plan worked out in his mind. With her family in on the surprise, he would guide her down to St. Joseph’s after the baccalaureate ceremony was over. Unfortunately, right as he was trying to get Mackenzie to head that direction, two of their friends got engaged!

Mackenzie was so excited for their friends that she nearly forgot they were going down to the chapel to “take pictures” as Christopher told her. With the help of Mackenzie’s family and her best friend, they finally made their way down to St. Joseph’s. Mackenzie said she didn’t even realize what was happening until Christopher started saying sweet things. Her jaw nearly dropped to the ground when he got down on one knee. I just love a good proposal story, don’t you?!

The Session

I knew from that first meeting that I was going to adore working with these two and I was right. When we scheduled their engagement session for March, I knew it was going to be in the midst of one of my busiest wedding months. I prayed we would be blessed with beautiful weather the day of their session because rescheduling would have been tricky. Mackenzie had selected the Mobile Botanical Gardens for her engagement session location. These two love the outdoors, so it was the perfect choice!

A week before their session, I noticed one of the Chinese Fringe Trees was starting to reach peak bloom. I said another prayer that we’d not only have good weather, but that the tree would still be covered in blooms. To my surprise, we lucked out on both counts and I’m still freaking out over how perfect it all was! Enjoy my faves from this sweet spring engagement session!

engagement ring on pink azalea blooms couple walking through the mobile botanical gardens couple walking through the mobile botanical gardens with blue hydrangeas in bloom

Maxi dresses are so perfect for spring engagement sessions. I loved that Mackenzie’s was such a pretty blue color. It perfectly complimented the lush background of the gardens!

man and woman walking through the azalea garden at the mobile botanical gardens mobile botanical gardens herb garden couple standing in the mobile botanical gardens herb garden

I’m OBSESSED with this giant Chinese Fringe Tree! It was breathtakingly beautiful in full-bloom!

Mackenzie told me at the beginning of the session that she loves oak trees. I knew she would love this spot in the Longleaf Pine Forest. When we walked up to this spot, she was giddy with excitement as soon as she saw this massive tree. I just love when my clients get as excited about their session location as I do!

man and woman standing under giant oak tree in the longleaf pine forest man and woman standing under giant oak tree in the longleaf pine forest

Y’all Mackenzie and Christopher had their friend bring their fur-babies for the end of their session and, oh my, they were the sweetest!!! I don’t want to give their potential Save the Date photo away, so I’m only sharing a few of their pups. I couldn’t leave them out of this post because they’re just so darn cute!

Makeup by Olivia Fryfogle

Hair by Nouveau Day Spa

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I'm Elizabeth and I'm so happy you're here. This blog a journal of the latest here at Elizabeth Gelineau Photography. Stay a while and say hello!

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