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Stunning Photo of Wife Carrying Her Husband: What Love Is All About

People who decide to not only survive but learn to heal and move forward with their lives are true heroes to me. I admire them even more when despite fighting for our country and sacrificing so much, they are able to believe in love and build a new life.  So when I saw this beautiful picture of Kelly and Jesse Cottle, I felt I had to learn more about this special couple that just celebrated their first anniversary and that embody true love.  I also wanted to learn more about the photographer who caught such a stunning moment that shows what marriage is all about.

Idaho-based photographer Sarah Ledford, who took the picture, was totally surprised when her Facebook post went viral. “I never anticipated this reaction. I honestly thought the photo would get like 500 likes and that would be the end of it,” said Sarah, who has four children, including a 6-week-old baby girl. When I last checked, she had over 11,000 likes, over 2,000 shares, and 665 comments. A true feat in the world of social media, especially when you consider it wasn’t celebrity-driven.

The story behind the photo

The picture was totally spontaneous. “It was a typical family session and I’m known for putting my clients in the water for photos. We did all the “land” shots and then I suggested we get in the water. Jesse didn’t hesitate and took his legs off and jumped on the back of his brother-in-law. We did the large group family shots and then Jesse got on Kelly’s back so she could carry him out of the water. That’s when I stopped them and did a couple shots of him on her back.” The rest is history.

In case you haven’t heard, Jesse, a former Marine that lost both legs after stepping on an explosive device in Afghanistan, met his wife Kelly during a swim meet in San Diego while learning to use his prosthetic legs. They married last year and live in San Diego now.

In many ways, their story is that of countless others who manage to find true love and decide to build a life together, no matter what obstacles you face. Long-lasting love is all about supporting one another and overcoming challenges together. Seeing Kelly carry Jesse is just a symbol of how marriage and love are about lifting each other up and finding joy in facing life as a team. “I think America just fell in love with what the image portrays,” explained Sarah Ledford.

Here are a few more pictures from the Forrester and Cottle family photo session that Sarah kindly allowed us to showcase here.

  • The photo that went viral 1 of 4
    Jesse and Kelly Cottle

    Sarah Ledford's picture of Kelly and Jesse Cottle already has over 11,000 likes, over 2,000 shares and 665 comments on Facebook.

    Photo: Sarah Ledford / ShutterHappy Photography

  • The Forrester and Cottle families 2 of 4
    Forrester and Cottle families

    "Jesse didn't hesitate and took his legs off and jumped on the back of his brother-in-law. We did the large group family shots and then Jesse got on Kelly's back so she could carry him out of the water. That's when I stopped them and did a couple shots of him on her back."

    Photo: Sarah Ledford / ShutterHappy Photography

  • Another beautiful shot of Kelly and Jesse Cottle 3 of 4
    Jesse and Kelly Cottle

    Jesse and Kelly Cottle just celebrated their first wedding anniversary on August 15th.

    Photo: Sarah Ledford / ShutterHappy Photography

  • The now famous photographer 4 of 4
    Sarah ledford logo

    Sarah Ledford is a mom of three boys and a baby girl that is just 6 weeks old. She is a maternity, birth, newborn and family photographer based in the Boise, Idaho area. 

All photos: Sarah LedfordShutterHappy Photography™.

Read more of Jeannette´s writing here or check out her blog in Spanish.

And reach out to her on Twitter and Facebook. She loves it!

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