Gina Meola Photography

Katie + Derek :: Phoenix Engagement Photography

They were young. She was his best friend’s little sister. In reality, he was basically part of the family. When it was time for college, Derek ventured from the warm Arizona sun to Columbia University in New York, taking with him memories of that beautiful girl he couldn’t release from his mind. Patiently waiting until Katie herself was in college, Derek knew he needed to share his feelings lest he, literally, explode. Katie was settling into new waters at George Washington University when Derek ‘swung by’ for a casual visit. A few awkward exchanges, and the idea of being together just didn’t seem to fit - That is, until the idea of being apart was unimaginable. They were such close friends before any feelings grew, that as the relationship naturally unfolded, it felt so solid and genuine. And after a delightful picnic and stroll through MLK Memorial, Derek surprised Katie with the proposal she’d longed to hear.

Katie and Derek celebrate firsts and milestones, love coffee and travel, and could read until their eyes fell out. Their personalities are dynamic and intoxicating, as anyone who comes in contact with them will tell you. They laugh and cuddle, dream and uplift. Outwardly, inwardly… these two are amazing.

Katie + Derek :: Marcus and I were so blown away by you two and can’t thank God enough for bringing you into our lives!! It felt like we’d known you forever after meeting you for ten minutes. We can’t wait to walk with you through this journey and be part of a marriage so incredibly powerful and exciting. WE LOVE YOU!!!




We started our time at the fabulous Burton Barr Phoenix library.

Can you even handle Katie?! I know. Obsessed.




These two are self proclaimed nerds, but their drop-dead look and social awareness disqualify them from any such title. We’ll go with geniuses.





Our wonderful friends at Giant Coffee let us come by for caffeine.




When I heard sequins would be involved, my heart skipped a beat.



Moments like this, where you can feel love by looking at it, give me goosebumps.




Derek’s parents have a gorgeous home near Camelback with sprawling views! TOO beautiful!




Sir! You make your grandfather’s vest look GOOOOD!







Just some rocks in the backyard. No big deal.


How are they so gorgeous?!


THANK YOU to the incredible talent who helped make this session so pretty and fun!!

Fashion Styling :: AVE Styles
Makeup :: SN Makeup
Hair :: Dry Bar

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  1. Alexandra Evjen

    LOVE LOVE LOVE! They are so gorgeous and happy! Great job!

  2. Stephanie Neiheisel

    These photo’s turned out so fun and beautiful! I love them :)

  3. Casia

    FABULOUS JOB GUYS!!!! Love the library location (that light!!!) and of course the super hip clothing selections. What a fun couple.

  4. Rachel Leigh Greene

    Love these! :D

  5. Katie & Derek Styled « Blog « Phoenix Fashion Stylist | AVE Styles

    [...] year. New love. Katie and Derek are two incredibly cute people with a really sweet love story (read more about it here). I had the opportunity to style them for their engagement shoot with Gina Meola Photography. [...]

  6. Emily Timm

    You two are adorable. Love this photography; awesome light in all of them. And all the looks are adorable! Makes me miss Phoenix. ;)

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