PHOTOS: People in love, 2016

In honor of Valentine’s Day, our photographer, Heaton Johnson, did coupley portraits of the first readers to respond to a call we did earlier in the week. He met with each couple in a spot of their choosing, took some photos that they could keep, and gave one to us to publish. All in like three days. Stop it, stupid heart, stop swelling all over the place!


Bethany and Nathan Anderson

“My husband and I have been together for about seven years, five of which we have been married. We have been through a lot together. Our best and worst moments of our lives tend to be celebrated or acknowledged at Joe’s. When we were dating, we would go to Joe’s at least once a week. The day after we were married, we ate brunch at Joe’s. When I passed the bar exam, we went to Joe’s to celebrate. When my father came to Richmond to tell us that he had cancer, he took us to Joe’s to have dinner. If we are fortunate enough, we will grow old together and will never have another dinner anywhere to discuss cancer. Regardless of what happens, our relationship timeline will continue to be marked with a variety of brunches and dinners at Joe’s.” — Bethany

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justin and rebekah

Justin and Rebekah Brown

“Rebekah and I met first at a mutual acquaintance’s house while in school at Clemson. It wasn’t until we had a geology class together that we started to hang out and our relationship began.” ­– Justin

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Cassidy Rasnick and Samuel Schwartz

“The Franklin Inn was our corner bar before we got married. After our wedding, we got locked out of our apartment and waited at the Franklin Inn (in my wedding dress and his suit on a Saturday afternoon) for my brother to drop off our keys. It was one of the most fun memories of our wedding, but it was just the two of us, so we never had any photos.” — Cassidy

When I heard their story I couldn’t help myself. To have the opportunity to photograph a couple in their wedding outfits at a local bar was everything I could ask for in one shoot. — ­Heaton

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Jeanne Spence and Jonathan Smith

“After fighting off the Zartan destroyers, we were the only two left of our platoon. At first we simply stared at the destruction, in awe of the carnage surrounding us. Eventually we began to come to our senses and made our way slowly past the burning wreckage of their ships hoping something, anything, remained of the city. We didn’t know each other’s names but as we wandered the debris we both reached out and took the others hand…then we totally made out.” — ­Jonathan

“Apparently my boyfriend remembers the night we met differently.” — Jeanne

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Katelyn and Pete Heindel

“We met at JMU and started dating our senior year. Afterwards, he went to Rutgers Law School in Jersey, and I was working in DC­­. We did the long distance thing for three years and when he needed to decide where to take the bar exam we thought, “We are young! We can go anywhere! And we can finally go together!” So we moved to NYC and loved life there for two years. When we finally got engaged, we realized we needed to go somewhere we could manage to live, pay the bills, AND enjoy life. We came back to Richmond where my family is, got married in Virginia Beach, and have been loving life in RVA for the last three years. We are expecting twins in March and could not be more excited for this next chapter.” — ­Katelyn

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rebecca and christopher

Rebecca Carter and Christopher Muffo

“We met at a mutual friend’s birthday party/cookout three years ago. Ever since, I’ve been wooing her.”– ­Chris

“Chris and I were just friends who went running together for years until we figured out that we like­-liked each other. We enjoy comfort food, camping, nerdery, anything you would find in a fourth grade science classroom, and the cinematic masterpiece that is Point Break.” –­ Rebecca

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sarah and eric

Sarah and Eric Gobble

“It’s a very corny story, but we met when we were 16 in our church youth group. Eric claims he joined my church to just to meet girls. I think it’s true because he never came back after we started dating. We then went off to different colleges and got married a few years after we graduated. We have two crazy sons now and have been married 24 years this coming Monday.” — ­Sarah

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Heaton Johnson V

Heaton Johnson V believes in the sanctity of GOYA Adobo seasoning and will forever leave his top three buttons undone (or at least the top two). Photography is his passion, but his dog is his love.

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