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  • Writer's pictureDiamond Israel

Cliff Side Wedding Dream |Taylor + Justin|

When Taylor and Justin contacted me to shoot their wedding portraits, I was honestly honored. Taylor has been an amazing friend to me, and Justin is one of the sweetest guys I have ever met. The love I have watched blossom between these two over the last few years as been indescribable. They have the kind of love you see in the movies, and no, I am not over exaggerating. Taylor and Justin are two people I admire so much more than they'll ever understand and I love their love so much. When I was asked to take their photos I said YES with no hesitation!

The day we set to take photos was so beautiful. Missouri sunsets are so unbelievably underrated! They are two adventurous souls, and the way they were down for anything set my creative soul on fire. Working with these two love birds was like something every photographer dreams of, honestly, I have the coolest friends/clients and I could not be more grateful for that! I'm still to this day so in love with these photos and their story, I know you guys will be too. Check it out below!

Their Story

"It all started at Missouri Valley College in Marshall, MO.

The crazy part is that I didn’t even want to go to MOVAL (Missouri Valley College). I just had a feeling that I needed to go. The other colleges I toured were WAY better with better campuses, but I had this FEELING I just couldn't ignore. To be honest, I think it was God. He was pushing me to the plan he had for me. It’s even crazier because the whole 2 hours and 30 minutes ride home from visiting the college my mom argued with me, probably after 15 minutes of driving I decided to go to MOVAL.

My mom was not very happy about it.

The story gets even crazier. So Justin (my now husband) is from Erie, Pennsylvania. He originally wanted to go to college for wrestling. The MOVAL wrestling coach actually had someone record a match Justin was in, Justin beat the guy they were watching so they ended up contacting Justin. At the end of Justin’s high school wrestling career he had WAY too many concussions and was experiencing bad symptoms from the multiple concussions. Justin actually called the wrestling coach who happened to be at lunch with the cross country coach at the time. He told the wrestling coach that he was going to pursue a cross country career at a IUP (Indiana University of Pennsylvania). So the wrestling coach told the cross country coach the times Justin ran for track/cross country, then the cross country coach called Justin. That's when he made the decision to go to MOVAL.

Justin and I were both on the cross country team now. Before the first day of school the whole college always has a big party in the park. Even the cops in the town know and they just let it happen!

I went with a group of girls I met and Justin was with some of the cross country guys I met there. The group I was with wanted to leave early and I told them I was going to stay. (Even though I realized I didn’t really know anyone)

I found Justin and some of the other guys I kind of recognized from the team. This was the first time Justin and I had ever spoken to each other.

To this day I can’t remember what was said, but I just remember Justin was being kind of rude. I told him if he doesn’t stop I was going to hit him. Well, he didn’t believe me and started to say something and I cut him off by slapping him in the face. 😅

To this day he always says,”I was drinking and I STILL felt that slap!”

Fast forward a few weeks, Justin would constantly stay in his room. He didn’t like to go out as much with the team. So one day when we were at the cafe and he finally decided to show up. I straight up called him out in front of everyone, and told him he needs to get out of his dorm room and actually have fun with people on his team! I definitely caught him off guard, but from then on I would constantly give him crap and I would drag him out to go do stuff. We even started playing Call of Duty in his dorm room.

Then if we fast forward even more, we ended up becoming best friends. The both of us would talk about the relationships we were in and even give each other advice. He ended up ending it with the person he was with then later on I became single as well. From then on we became wingmen for each other. When our friends would invite us to stuff they started to just text me or him to invite both of us. It got to a point where our friends were like, “You guys should date.” Or they would say, “Aw, you guys would be a cute couple.” I kind of feel bad because I did say, “Oh ,ew no way.” and one point... I honestly had no idea I liked him at the time.

So we continued to just be friends. Until one day, everything changed...

I was helping out at a musical and I was back stage texting Justin. I was super upset because there was this guy I was on and off with there. We broke up again like a week earlier and I just didn’t know what to do.

I texted Justin, “I am so sick of this. Why do I attract bad guys. I just want a good guy. Someone who actually wants me for ME.”

So, Justin texts back, “Well, I’m a good guy.”

And he basically poured his heart out about how much he liked me. Well, I was back stage at this musical so I opened the message, but I had to go do something in that moment so I had actually read the message and put my phone down and walked away. I honestly couldn’t stop smiling. I just kept thinking, do I like my best friend? No way. But I just literally could NOT stop smiling.

This is where I felt kind of awful, I accidentally left him on read. Justin was so considerate and had started to back track saying, ”Hey if I made you uncomfortable I’m sorry. I do not want to ruin our friendship..”

As he was still typing and apologizing I message back, “I like you too.”

A day later we started dating. We both told our parents, and our parents weren’t surprised. I guess Justin and I unknowingly talked about each other to our parents.

Things got a little crazy with college, so I ended up leaving MOVAL to go to East Central College (ECC). Justin made the decision to move to Missouri. Which to me was amazing because I NEVER pushed him too. I was never going to make him choose.

Still, he decided to move here.

I think the best part about our relationship is the trust. We trusted each other so much as friends and in a relationship and now marriage has built off that foundation. Even when we were single he would pretend to be my boyfriend when there were sketchy guys around at parties. We also would play 2k in his dorm and I would spend the night in the top bunk. We were completely platonic friends for quite a while.

I’m honestly so happy that we took that time. We got to know each other and there wasn’t any of the pressure that comes with dating, and when we did start dating we knew so much about each other and respected each other so much.

I have a tattoo on my arm that says, “I love you more than that,” in Justin’s handwriting. He actually didn’t know I was getting that tattoo, but I got that tattoo because every time I said I love you, he respond with I love you more than that.

I have to say I am so extremely happy with how things turned out. I have never been happier and I am so happy to be with someone who loves me for all that is me and more.

We started dating 11-11-2017; we got engaged on 12-22-2018; and finally got married on 08-01-2020. I got to marry my absolute best friend, and I couldn't have wished for anything better. 🤍 "

Kind Words From the Client

"Diamond really captured me and Justin’s love for each other. If you look closely, so many of the photos I’m staring at him or he’s staring at me and we are happy as can be. She made it so incredibly fun. I am so bad when there is a camera on me and Diamond made me look like I should be on the red carpet. I feel so beautiful when I look at those photos. She was so good at positioning us and had a plethora of ideas. I was so happy with how they turned out! The turn around time from taking the photos to us getting them back was so incredibly quick. She is so amazing at what she does. I couldn’t even think of a negative even if I wanted to. I have nothing but a glowing recommendation for a photographer who is professional but still makes it fun and easy. If you ever need anyone for photos Diamond is your girl. Even her personality is absolutely amazing and the vibe she gives off is so optimistic! What a great experience. Next time I need any photos or anyone I know does, I know exactly who I am referring."

-Taylor Kita

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