(WTVM) – Marriage: it takes time, patience, hard work and passion. One Texas photographer captured the everlasting love of her grandparents going 65 years strong during an anniversary photoshoot.
"This is simply a reminder to the world from the lens of a granddaughter who adores her grandparents and the love they share," said Shalyn Nelson, the photographer, and granddaughter. "I want to put hope and the true meaning of marriage back into the beating hearts around the globe."
Nelson has launched a project to compile a book of old love stories where she will travel to the couples, sit down and listen to their stories, interview them and photograph them together. What better way to start off this project than to photograph one of the couples she adores most – her grandparents?
Her grandparents, Joe Ray, 86, and Billie Wanda Johnson, 83, have been married for 65 years and Nelson captured the heartwarming photos of her Pawpaw and Mamaw two years ago for their 63rd anniversary. They were taken in November 2014 - as they celebrated their 63rd wedding anniversary - on their ranch at Hidden Lake in Jewett, TX. The ranch is their favorite and most cherished place to be.
"I remember when I called my Mamaw to tell her the idea. I was really excited and she was kind of confused at first. I had to convince her a bit and explain to her that it would be fun," Nelson said. "After all was said and done, she looked at me and said, "Well, that sure was special." And gave me a big hug."
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The Nelson's Project is intended to show lovers around the world that true love exists. Nelson says marriage should be forever, and it's more than color schemes, gorgeous gowns, and perfect shoes, but it's about growing old, hand in hand, wrinkle after wrinkle. It's taking two heartbeats and working together to make one.
Do you know of someone who has a love story that is worth knowing about? Nelson would love to share and inspire others with an impactful love story. You can email hello@lovethenelsons to share a love story for the Nelson's Project.
"The sky is the limit here! If I can impact one…just ONE marriage, ONE woman or man who are seeking their forever…my mission in life will be fulfilled," Nelson says.