And the winner is...

Whew! This was a tough one!

This was so tough - I wanted a completely unbiased opinion when it came to making this decision. I had read through all of the entries, each one almost bringing a tear to my eye, and I knew there was no way I was going to be able to do this by myself. So I deleted all the names from the entries, and passed them on to my best friend, both of my sisters, and Justin. I asked them for a top 5, in order, and any feedback they'd like to give me. And even THEN, I knew this was still going to be difficult. I don't know, I guess I'm a sucker for love and the history behind it.

There were a couple of entries that were in each of our top 5's, but one entry clearly stood out as the front runner. And that winning entry is...... Shannon Koonce!

This was Shannon's entry: "Hey! I figured Id give this a shot! When thinking of where I’d love to have a shoot, tons of ideas ran through my head. In a very eclectic spot downtown or even on the beach would be amazing but to identify “us” a couple….the most ideal location would be with my husband’s truck on some back road. It isn’t anything special or super big, but it is what kept us going for years. We lived miles and miles away from each other for such a long time and travelled every few days to see each other. Even if it was for 24 hours, he would drive to me or I would drive to him. We worked different schedules and between his old ‘farm truck’ and my old mustang, we tore up 45 on bald tires and love. Almost 7 years later, we still have the truck and when we need to get away, we take it out for our a little country driving."

Would you like to read the other top contenders?

1st Runner up - Amelia Whitlow : After thinking of a good place and reason for where i would love to have pictures done, i have decided to enter for my parents. I cant ask for anything for me because god has blessed us so much with our little girl. But my parents, they deserve this so much more. They have never taken pictures together as husband and wife since their wedding years ago. And sad to say most of those memorable photos were damaged and gone in the hurricane when i was a little girl. So, i am asking for them to have their portraits done as husband and wife all over again. A place i could think of would be the garden in league city, my mom loves flowers and growing them and my dad has a side job doing landscaping. The love they have is so beautiful and just growing up watching their love is unbelieveable and so inspiring. There love is like a rose it grows and gets more memorable and beautiful in time. They do so much for everyone i believe they deserve this more than anyone.

2nd Runner up - Anna Skalka : "I would love to win a session for my family. And the perfect place for this session would be at the Katy Heritage Park . This park would be perfect for my family because Katy has been our home for nearly 20 years. My brothers and I (and husband) have grown up here, went to school here, were married here, and are now raising our own family here. We have watched this iconic location transform into what it is today. We watched the homes be moved there, museum set up there, wall mural be painted, etc. This location is also special to us because my youngest brother selected this park to be his Eagle Project and he helped restore one of the buildings! This park shows Katy's great history and we are so proud to be apart of it! And we would be so excited to have you photograph us here."

And this story deserves an honorable mention: "I just saw your photo session giveaway and wanted to get my name entered. I live in Alvin and work in the medical center. I have 2 children, one of which is turning 1 in April. A special place for photos to me is Oakwind Bed & Breakfast in Alvin. That is where my husband and I got married under the oak tree. We wanted to do my bridal photos there, but weather didn't allow for it. Now that we are a family of 4, I would love to get some family shots near the old red barn that they have on the property. And getting some shots of my soon to be 1 year old would be great as well to put on the birthday party invitations or inside thank you notes. What better way to remember how our lives started and what they have become now than to go back to the place where we became husband and wife?"

See how hard this was?! And that's only four! Shannon - I'll email you this evening to discuss details about your complimentary portrait session. Everyone else will also receive an email from me later tonight, but I won't tell you what's going to be in it ;)

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