Sunday, August 30, 2020

Love is our Home: Frans and Cindy's Destination Pre-Wedding Session { Netherlands }

Cindy remembers their first meeting. "I got starstruck kay Frans kasi po super gwapo niya sa personal." (I got startstuck by Frans because he's very handsome in person.) They had found each other online more than six years ago, and their first meeting in person after long exchanges online had Cindy smitten. But her admiration of Frans is fueled by his infectious optimism. It's a character trait that connects well to her own resilience as a Visayan. For Frans, he loves how Cindy is beautiful when she smiles and looks at him. "I love her personality that attracts me to her every day."

They were the first couple I photographed in my Netherlands trip in early February pre-lockdown. It was still winter, but the streets were alive with people and local life. 

I came without an assistant but never felt any loneliness with the care Frans and Cindy gave me as their photographer. Frans and Cindy were very accommodating and thoughtful. We spent the one day shoot laughing at each other's jokes or laughing in sheer enjoyment of small, precious moments. 

The couple chose five locations for their pre-nup shoot namely Zaanse Schans, Amsterdam, Zaandam, Hoek van Holland, and Den Haag Airbnb. 

Although Cindy described the experience or our pre-nup session as nerve-wracking, they were naturals in front of the camera. 

In our first location in Zaans Schaans, , the couple slipped on their formal wear- a light blue suit for Frans and a white dress with red polka dots. But as soon as the first set was over, they slipped on more weather-appropriate attires for the next locations - jackets in Zaandam, long coats in Amsterdam, and homey sweaters and pants in the Den Haag Airb, for a laidback set that capped the day. 

In Amsterdam, we walked by streets where the overwhelming smell of cannabis permeated. I kept my cool and focused on capturing the friendly couple at their candid moments. Even their poses seemed at ease. In the square, Frans and Cindy giggled as they played with the pigeons. 

In Hoek van Halland, the couple played on the beach. The wintry air gave us a chill, but there were warm smiles around. The experience is much like Frans' definition of love: "Love is a feeling that makes your heart feel good when you are with the person you love", and in how it endures, "Not getting sick of each other and not giving up, even when we go through rough times ." 

Much like Frans, Cindy's optimisim and level-headedness shines through: "Love is for me accepting each other imperfections, especially me and Frans came from different cultures and there are a lot of adjustments to do. But true love really does love without trying to change the other person, whatever it takes, wherever it goes, it's you and him together." She also likens love to God's unconditional love. "Without Him we cannot conquer the distance we had, and [we] won't be with each other right now."

So come winter, or spring, whatever season and weather, Frans and Cindy will remain as strong. It's wonderful to see a true successful relationship that is centered on love, God, and each other. They've literally and figuratively come a long way in their relationship, from online friends, to lovers, and to a happy couple who have found a home for their love and their new beginnings in the Netherlands. We wish them a long, happy marriage!



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