Samantha and Gabe

Vantage, Washington



Photographer | M Laine Photography | @mlainephotography

Location | Vantage Outlook

From the Photographer

I’ve known Samantha since we were both in diapers and we’ve been best friends ever since. Throughout high school and college she was so patient in waiting for the right guy. When I got the call saying she was seeing someone, I knew it had to be serious. When I found out who it was — Gabe — I squealed with delight! Delighted that my best friend had found a great guy, but also because I had already met him!


Turns out, the three of us are all from Quincy, Washington; and the last time I saw Gabe was when I was about five years old — right before they moved away. I’m sure he doesn’t remember me much since he was even younger at the time, but I know he comes from a great family. Nothing puts your heart at ease like knowing your best friend has chosen a great partner. Fast-forward to the day of the photo shoot. Gabe and I re-meet as adults, and he’s just as nice now as he was when we were younger. He and Samantha laughed easily, and their sense of adventure was contagious.


They actually suggested our shooting location after finding it while searching for places to cliff jump along the Columbia River. While the spot isn’t suitable for cliff jumping, it makes for a perfect photo backdrop! Unlike the nearby, but busier, overlook of the Vantage Bridge, we had the place to ourselves, and the smoke from nearby wildfires created the most amazing light.


Let’s start at the beginning. How did you two first meet?

We grew up in the same church in the same small town, and that is where we like to say that we met! In reality his family relocated while we were still young and, in spite of several mutual friends, we never ran in to each other in high school. As adults we re-met through the wonders of the internet. We started talking really regularly just as I was heading in to a two week trip to Europe, kept talking through the time differences, and went on our first date soon after I got back into the country. It fit what our relationship turned out to be so perfectly. On that one first date we went kayaking, he started teaching me how to golf, we got some amazing Mexican food, and then rushed out of the restaurant into the country just in time to watch an amazing sunset. Our first several dates were 6, or 8, or 10 hour extravaganzas.

What makes your relationship special? Tell us some things that you both value in your time together. What makes your relationship unique?

We share the same faith, and both really see and experience God through the outdoors. We love going new places, exploring, and being active outside. It gives us a sense of awe and renewal. He has led me up so many game trails since we started dating! And I’ve gotten him out on snowshoes and kayaks. We laugh, we talk about everything, and we adventure together. Then we come back and cook together!


How did you know your partner was the one? When did you first know this in your relationship?

Nothing had ever felt so natural. I had always been awkward, uncomfortable, and unsure around men. With Gabe I knew that I was starting to fall for him on our first date. He so quickly became my best friend, the person that I wanted to go to with every little thing. I appreciated how attentive and intentional he was with me. It helped me to feel safe, and secure. Things moved fast for us, and within two weeks I knew that I wanted to marry him. We fit, we belong.


Give us all the details about the proposal. How and where did it happen? Was it a surprise? What was the planning process?

We had been talking a lot about marriage (I had already accepted a new job and sold my house in the process of relocating to be with Gabe), but I really wasn’t sure when he was going to propose. Gabe had his first day off of work in a very long time, and we decided to go explore. We hopped in the car and picked a direction, which led us up to the Entiat River. After deciding to turn down a random forest service road we got out and started hiking around. After exploring for a while, Gabe spotted a rock formation on the top of a hill, and we began a quest to reach those rocks. After scrambling up a hillside where he sometimes had to reach back and pull me up, we made it to the top! The view was amazing! Since I love taking pictures Gabe encouraged me to get the camera our. So, I sat down and started. In the meantime he started digging through his backpack, pulled out a ring box, and popped the question! I gave an enthusiastic and teary yes! We very carefully made our way back down and spent the rest of the day exploring the Entiat River together.


We’re all about the bling… Tell us all about that ring!

I’m not sure what to say, other than it’s great! My fiance and my mother in law to be designed and ordered it.


Are you excited to start planning your wedding day? Do you have any ideas in mind yet?

I’m so excited! And we’re actually really close! We couldn’t wait to start life together, so I’m in a wedding planning flurry! We’re getting married in November, in that same church that we went to as children. It also happens to be the church that both sets of our parents got married in, and my grandparents got married in the original building. (It has since been renovated).