♥ Donta & Tiffani ♥ | A Storybook Engagement Session and a Call to Give Back | Atlanta + Dallas Lifestyle, Fashion, & Business Photographer / by KSimon Photography

Happy Thursday, everyone!

With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, I’m so excited to share today’s blog post with you!  It’s such a treat - a storybook engagement session with Donta and Tiffani!  You will also learn how you can give back to those in urgent need!

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Donta and Tiffani have been longtime friends (since Donta was 12 years old - aww!) and met at church.  I had the pleasure of meeting and becoming friends with Donta about three years ago during our studies at Southern Methodist University (SMU).  After announcing his engagement last year to his sweetheart Tiffani, he contacted me to work my photographic magic for a custom engagement session.  Of course, I was thrilled!!!

The photo session was so much fun!  There is no question of the love that Donta and Tiffani have for each other.  Their love is evident in every photo I captured of them as you will see a little later.  These two are the most adorable couple ever!  Their session is definitely one that makes serving others as a photographer such a joy for me.

Now, let me take a moment to share with you more about our lovebirds and their amazing story… 

♥ THE BRIDE-TO-BE ♥

When I met Tiffani for the first time, I immediately noticed her warm personality, bright smile, great sense of humor (she is hilarious!), and her pretty hair.  In fact, every time I see Tiffani, her hair is beautiful with a new, versatile look!  Well, it turns out that she has been styling hair since she was 16 (wow!) and is very talented.  And this is in addition to her day job!

She currently has clientele in Dallas, TX and is in the process of expanding her services to the Denver, CO area.  If you are interested in seeing her gorgeous hairstyles or booking an appointment, please contact her at hairanddesignz@gmail.com (don’t forget the “z”!). She specializes in braids, twists, and hair extensions.

Tiffani is also active in her church and strives to make a difference in the lives of young girls.  She builds relationships with them, helps groom them to become future leaders, and encourages them to pursue all positive and productive opportunities available to them.  In addition, she loves giving back to the homeless - whether it’s giving money at a stoplight, providing warm cooked meals, or just taking the time to learn from them.  When Tiffani carves free time out of her busy schedule, she enjoys shopping and music.

♥ THE GROOM-TO-BE ♥

Donta is such a charismatic, intelligent, and well-spoken person.  I still remember our many conversations years ago about world conflict and the impacts of religion and socioeconomic status.  In May 2013, he earned a Master’s in Liberal Arts with a focus on Humanities from SMU.  And he is a pastor!

Donta is also the CEO of the Dallas Improvement Association (DIA), a Christian based community organization in which he founded in 2011.  He started the organization to provide hope and resources to children and break barriers that limit young citizens in Dallas from reaching their full potential.

In November 2011, Donta started DIA as a one-year project called “Project Homeless - Lease the Streets”. While attending graduate school as a full-time student, he actually became homeless for an entire year as part of the project!  He stayed at the Bridge Homeless Shelter and on the streets to research the increase of homelessness in Dallas and the effects of homelessness on students.  Due to his profound commitment and graduate research, he received the 2013 Dean’s Award from SMU for outstanding student in community involvement.

Donta was asked to serve as the keynote speaker to the U.S. Corp of Engineers in January 2012.  He spoke about the progress of Dallas, problems of unemployment, and the lack of education. Donta is the youngest speaker to be asked to perform such an honor and receive the Martin Luther King Observance award presented by the U.S. Corp of Engineers!

That day, the U.S. Corp of Engineers partnered with DIA and donated 1,000 computers to the Dallas Independent School District (ISD) and Non-Profit Organizations (NPOs) for the purpose of promoting education.  DIA is also in partnership with an organization called Education Exchange and works closely via this partnership with the St. Anthony School in South Dallas to help foster educational enrichment at the critical, impressionable ages of students in kindergarten through 8th grade.

Donta and Tiffani are definitely going places and a couple to watch and learn from!

♥ THE PROPOSAL ♥

So how did Donta propose to Tiffani, you ask!? ;-)  It all started with Donta asking for the blessing of Tiffani’s parents. He also informed them that he and Tiffani would be moving out of the state right after the wedding. Wow!  This was quite some news to deliver to the parents of the bride-to-be!  It was definitely admirable of Donta to be so considerate of Tiffani’s family prior to asking for her hand in marriage.

Next, Donta took Tiffani out for dinner to a nice restaurant.  Suddenly during the dinner, Donta asked for the attention of everyone in the room.  He then proceeded to get down on one knee and asked Tiffani to marry him.  She said YES!  Donta and Tiffani were congratulated with cheers and claps in the room.  To the couple’s surprise, someone (who chose to remain anonymous) in the restaurant paid for their dinner!  The adorable couple were married about a month later.

♥ A CALL TO GIVE BACK ♥

DIA would like to team up with you to achieve its mission to provide hope and resources to children in the southern sector of Dallas.  An alarming rate of 39% of these families are asset poor.  This translates to 39% of Dallas citizens that would have enough money, food, etc. to last only 90 days if their income ceased today. In addition, a staggering 65% of families with a household of three make $18,000 a year.

To help address the urgency of assisting families in need, DIA is hosting a Drop Kick Drop Out” event in early August 2014.  The event will provide relief to families via various resources such as school uniforms, school supplies, and haircuts for males.  In addition, university, college and trade school representatives will speak with attendees about continuing their education.  While addressing the immediate need of families, DIA is also currently working on long term planning in collaboration with parents, churches, community leaders, educators, people of civic virtue and good will to help such families rise out of poverty.

INTERESTED IN SUPPORTING DIA AND BECOMING INVOLVED IN COMMUNITY GIVE BACK?  Here’s how:

  1. Show your support and receive the latest updates by liking DIA on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/dallasimprovementassociation!
  2. Send email to dallasimprovementassociation@gmail.com today to make a donation such as school supplies and/or participate in upcoming community events such as Drop Kick Drop Out in early August 2014!

♥ THE ENGAGEMENT PHOTOS ♥

Donta and Tiffani, thank you for allowing me to capture such a special time in your lives.  You are very near and dear to my heart.  Congratulations, and I wish you both a blessed and prosperous future together!

Below are my favorite picks from Donta and Tiffani’s engagement session:

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Like what you see in today’s blog post? EMAIL ME today to book your customized session with KSimon Photography!  There’s no better time than the present to have moments with your loved ones captured and cherished for a lifetime.

XOXO,

♥ Kimberly Simon ♥

📷 Atlanta + Dallas Lifestyle, Fashion, & Business Portrait Studio and Outdoor Photographer