06/23/1986 at 01:00 AM EDT
It's not every day that a photographer on a PEOPLE assignment falls in love with a story subject. But something clicked last year when David Strick photographed speech pathologist Jan Snaveley at the Chino, Calif. youth facility where she counseled teenage inmates suffering from learning and hearing disabilities (PEOPLE, Dec. 2, 1985). After the photo session Strick tagged along while Jan entertained pals with a dinner party at her Santa Ana apartment. He found himself lingering on hours after other guests had departed. (Strick recalls that Snaveley was fetchingly dressed "in an off-the-shoulder thing.")
David wasn't the only one who felt a tingle. A week later Jan invited him to visit her in Morro Bay, about 150 miles from L.A. Sunset-gazing with a bottle of wine on the beach proved intoxicating. "When we watched the sunset," says Jan, "that was definitely it."
During their 15-month courtship, Strick and Snaveley have had ample time to adjust to each other's hectic work lives. Jan, 31, who recently started a private practice as a speech pathologist in Los Angeles, also works with teenage mothers and their babies at a nearby school. Comments David: "Jan tends to take on more than she can handle. I describe her as a cross between Gracie Allen and Godzilla." (Jan shoots back: "I would call David a comic intellectual with a good eye.") But Strick, 35, is no slowpoke. Since 1983, when he photographed Ron DeWolf, the son of Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard, he has shot 110 stories for us, including his intimate photos of Sister Antonia Brenner giving spiritual counsel to the inmates of a Tijuana penitentiary (p.90). Says Strick: "I probably do more interesting stories for PEOPLE in a year than I do for all the other magazines I work for."
The one event he couldn't cover was his own wedding, held in Santa Barbara on May 31. The bride, alluring in a silk dress she had designed, was married by her father, Protestant minister Rev. J. Hood Snaveley. After their vows the couple clinched for picture album shots, ate wedding cake and whirled around the room to Billy Ocean's Suddenly.
And they're not the only ones starry-eyed about their romance. Next fall CBS plans to produce a movie, based on PEOPLE'S report, about Jan's life and her work with adolescents. Congratulations, Jan and David. It all sounds perfectly focused—and pretty wonderful—to us.