We all are drawn to different elements of our partner. Their lips, their nose, the way they say a word, that special smile, the way they laugh, or just that cute little face they make when they see you. I love that there is something unique that makes each person happy in a relationship. For Brandon and Rhiannon, this campground just north of Jenner was a tipping point for their relationship. It is the place where they shared their reasons they felt connected to each other, and how their love worked for them. It was the fire and the starlight that allowed a deeper connection to start anew with each other, and that has lead them to today. This day was one filled with adventure and rain. We went on a hike along their favorite trail just outside of Jenner, CA in the redwoods and ended in a very important place…Narnia. You have to park on the edge of a cliff, duck under a tree, walk out along a ridge, duck under a forest-like bush and then come out onto this amazing sandy bluff filled with crashing waves. I felt like I was in The Lion, the Witch and The Wardrobe going under the bush/tree and out onto the final bluff. It was an amazing end to a rainy start of our day. It is crazy how the weather somehow just worked out perfectly in the end. More important it was that adventure that drives their relationship and this engagement session. Thanks so much for sharing yourselves and Narnia! Lisa can not wait to see you again this fall! Thank you for sharing the ocean cliffs of Jenner with us!
Lisa and I will never say no to having an engagement session in the neighborhood of our couples. We think home is such a special place. So many of us choose where we live not just for the home itself, but for the neighborhood we will be spending so much of our time. The area Evan and Elise chose to call home was Russian Hill, just a block and a half from the top of Lombard. The crazy thing is, Elise was able to get her handsome Texan to move out to California to make a new home together and Evan has quickly grown into his new Californian home. Everything is perfect except the lack of truly amazing BBQ. That may be debatable, but I will be honest I have not had true Texas BBQ and I know it is in a class of its own. In all of this I will say that Evan did an amazing job on the proposal.
Evan had setup a little trip away for the weekend in Capitola with friends for a weekend. To beat the traffic they headed down the peninsula early and suddenly they were receiving emails and texts from friends who would either be late or wouldn’t make it until Saturday. Evan still had the wool pulled over Elise’s eyes as she felt it was going to now just be a romantic evening alone. Once they were almost in Capitola, Evan started talking about how badly he had to pee. They parked the car and he quickly bolted into the house. A moment later Elise headed into the house – toting all of their bags and briefcases – she quickly found out Evan had skipped the bathroom and was standing in the backyard. The yard was completely decorated – ribbons and photos hanging from the roof, flowers and a giant “E&E” made out of marquee lights. Elise tentatively ventured outside to Evan, where he got down on one knee, said some of the sweetest things, and asked Elise to marry him. After a few happy tears and a very enthusiastic “yes!” Elise called her family and closest girlfriends. (this is where everyone had to be all chuckling when they received their phone calls. Evan had her change for a romantic dinner he’d planned at a restaurant across the street. At the restaurant, the host showed them to their table. As they stepped outside, Elise and Evan were greeted with a huge “surprise!” and we were immediately surrounded by Elise’s family, Evan’s family (in from Texas), and many of their friends from SF.
All I can say is that Evan did amazingly well to create a memorable experience for Elise. Thank you two so much for sharing your home, and neighborhood with us. We had so much fun getting to know why San Francisco is so special to you. See you both soon!
Home is where the heart is! In this case Trevor and Marina have an adorable house in San Francisco on a very, very steep hill. They invited us not only into their home but wanted to show us their escapes in the city and their adorable corgi! Thank you so much Marina and Trevor for sharing your city with us. We can not wait to continue telling your love story!
Samira and David’s trip towards marriage started one day in their new neighborhood. They had moved to San Rafael and were already making a life together in the bay area when David decided it was time to ask an important question. I have said it before but all that is needed to start a family is two people in love that want to spend their lives together. Marriage is that perfect start. They actually had hiked up one of the hills at Muir Beach which is where David decided to ask that particular question to Samira, “Will you marry me?” For their engagement session we all knew that the beach was the perfect place. We actually started at Muir Woods for a quick walk in the forest, we went for a small hike at Muir Beach next and ended on their favorite overlook on Mt Tam, at their favorite spot, with what was David’s favorite tree. You even had views of the city from the spot he to which he loved to take Samira. It was fun seeing the way they light each other up from smiles and laughs, to the little nuances that surprise each other. This first picture says so much about these two. From the first moment it was an afternoon full of love and laughter. Thank you so much for trusting me to capture your love today. I can not wait to see you both soon. Thank you again for showing my why Muir Beach and Mt Tam are so special!
What is it that makes your life complete? Lisa and I were just driving to a wedding yesterday and she looked over to me as I drove us there, took my hand and let me know why she loved me so much. She told me that the greatest thing we do together is dream. It is also not that we just dream together but so many of our dreams become a reality. They do so because we somehow find time to focus on the reality that those dreams can become. We work in this crazy harmony to create what makes us happy! That feeling and connection is something I love when I get to see it in other couples. Skye and Brent have this sweet and fun loving connection together. If you are not having fun with them I do not know what is wrong with you. Brent is this strong but kind guy who keeps Skye laughing and smiling at each new corner we turn. For their engagement session we ended out at Pinecrest Lake. It is a place where he would spend summers hiking, swimming, and boating the days away. He then started to bring Skye up as well to hike, and have fun in a place that was special to him. Skye and Brent I can not believe we are now less than a year away to your amazing wedding…Lisa and I can not wait to see you soon! Thank you so much for believing in us and sharing your love.
Love will take us on whatever crazy journey we will allow it to take us. It is not about willing love, or being a victim of it, but it is about allowing yourself to be open to the change ahead. Anmol and Priya are absolutely adorable as you will see! We think going to a couple’s home is such an intimate place to start, especially in SF. It is a city where you tend to spend a lot of time in the city instead of living in your home. Anmol and Priya do exactly that. We walked their neighborhood and since City Hall is just a block away we decided it would be the perfect place to start their engagement session. They do not plan on always living in SF but they have spent their entire relationship together in this city. After City hall we headed back to the apartment so we could get ready to head down to the same pier they chatted a long night away when they first starting dating. It was the perfect end of the evening as the sun set into a beautiful blue dusk waking the city lights. As we all walked away from the pier together Anmol quietly took off his jacket, to quickly warm Priya’s shoulders that were chilled in the brisk air. Their sweet, gentle, and honest love shined through each moment we captured and only keeps the excitement going forward for their wedding next year. Thank you so much for believing in what we do. See you both soon!
Are there a million ways to make a person smile? It is not a question I ask myself on a regular basis, but it is instead something Lisa and I experience all the time as we meet new couples. We are forced to see love, not for it’s similarities but its differences that enable us to all have an individual experience of what love is, and a shared idea of what love is. We each smile and create smiles for ourselves, loved ones and even strangers in passing, but it is the choice of whether or not you wear that smile each day that really creates a ripple of change. Your smile to a stranger could alter their day from ordinary to extraordinary and you never know it, but in that same instance that returned smile could have done the same thing to you. You future altered because you chose to smile at someone you did not know. There can be so many pieces of life and love that tie us together. Peter and Rachael fell in love at a time when working out was their lives. Rachael today is an amazing dancer, while Peter may be an amazing Business Manager, he is still in the gym early in the morning at a time I do not believe exists. He supports Rachael with her crazy schedules, and makes her laugh and smile sometimes uncontrollably. We saw it over and over again from both Peter and Rachael. His goofiness is what makes Rachael happy. They are also the most comfortable in workout clothes. It makes sense, Rachael lives in them and Peter would not mind it if he could wear them to work. Thank you so much for sharing your evening with Lisa and I in West Shore Lake Tahoe. We could not be more excited to celebrate their wedding day this winter in Tahoe!
Where does that little lump in the throat, or that little skip of a heart beat exist before it happens? Is it hiding somewhere in your chest or is it this crazy thing that we manifest in ourselves, or is it something that appears from the slightest touch? I do not mean only a physical touch, but the force that helps create that skipped beat, is where the emotions live. Many of us do not allow ourselves to seek out these things. Though others tend to be — a walking, standing, running emotional wreck at any moment. I proudly wear my heart on my sleeve and allow myself to be taken by anyone willing and wanting to inflict their force of emotion. I will smile, laugh, and cry with the best of them. I can and do get angry, and have searched far and low for a way to shield not only myself, but my being, from these emotions. But I have found that embracing the influx of force from the world around can be energizing. I can turn anger and pain into love and emotion, though I must choose to consume each emotion and allow my heart to be open in a world that seems, at times, closed off. I wonder, am I the only one that is foolish enough to succumb to our emotion filled world? One evening Lisa and I opened our door to Erin and Matt, this fun couple who just happened to be amazing creatives. There was a force that left not just my heart, but Lisa’s, wanting more. Erin and Matt kept us on the edge of our seats when we met, wanting to know every little detail about how they had come to be the amazing couple and people that they are. It was as if we truly were long lost friends getting together after years apart, spending the night catching up. It is this feeling of familiarity yet the excitement of learning all the new and unabashed nuances of their relationship. Being entrenched with idiocyncracies that only friends know about their close friends, rushed through my mind for hours as we all talked the night away. It is funny how closing a door can then lead to another one opening, as Lisa and I said goodnight and closed the door we just smiled knowing that if we are lucky enough to tell their story it will be like photographing friends in only a way a friend could. To so many of you who have allowed us to take your photographs and become friends because of this intimacy, thank you. Thank you Erin and Matt for being yourselves, fun, sweet, and vulnerable in the ways you are. Your love for each other did give me that lump in my throat, and my heart did skip a beat…Thank you!
Every story has a begin, a middle, and an end. The beautiful part is that even with those basic similarities when you add love to the picture it is never the same story. We may desire to see the endless coincidences of someones love story as a greater resemblance to one another but love, I believe, is this unique feeling we are able to posses. The similarities are just that we can all feel this emotion, as love can best be described as an endless sky filled with light that changes from every blink of an eye. Love is that billion year old light that we are just barely able to see tomorrow, as another million year old light fades. It is perfectly imperfect as it only knows how to change.
Ben and Sarah met as as Resident Advisors at Chico State. Ben may of happened to have already been there for a couple years and was able to show Sarah the ropes of being an amazing RA on campus. Ben quickly introduced Sarah to the perfection that is Wes Anderson, he goofiness, and she even embraced his love of video games at this time of his life. You will tell Ben is the one that brings our a lot of fun in Sarah. The have this adorable quirky banter that leaves you laughing your self. Lisa and I had giggle filled afternoon with these two, it may have been 104 degrees, but we were all smiles! I bet you could not tell that all four of us may have been sweating a little. I hope you enjoy their special love as they shared the special places that made Chico their first home together! We can not wait to see you both this fall!