Taking it back a couple of weeks before all of this rain, I made my way down to Santa Cruz. James and Dallhana are two of the sweetest people individually and together they are literally the ultimate couple.
.They're tying the knot this June in Fresno, which is where they actually met while attending the same college. James is originally from the Yuba City area. So he and Dallhana have made many a weekend trips up north and so Santa Cruz is a special place to them.
This is the place where James first made the move to make Dallhana his girlfriend and it's also the place where he popped the official question of "will you marry me?" So it made total sense that when I asked these two where they wanted to do their engagement session, they didn't hesitate to announce it would be a beach in Santa Cruz.
I ended up picking the Natural Bridges State Beach because I thought it was beautiful and would make the perfect place for sunset photos. It was an extremely busy Sunday and the beach was swarming with people, including at least 15 other photographers and other engaged couples. We made it work though and you would never know any different from the photos.
I have too many favorites from the day but here are a few more. Can't wait until these two say their vows later this year. I have no idea where they'll be honeymooning but I bet it'll be somewhere with a sandy beach.
So I would like to think that 2018 started off with a bang. One of my favorite couples officially got engaged ya'll and I'm exploding with excitement.
You may recognize these adorable faces. I've done shoots with them before. Plus Kaylee is a model so you're bound to have seen that gorgeous face somewhere on the web. She's worked with photographers all over the Central Valley and throughout Southern California doing photoshoots, commercials, music videos....you name it. Honestly may just recognize her from a local pizza place (girl is crazy about pizza). Jay isn't a model though ( no really I swear) .... just one very good-looking, very loving and supportive boyfriend. Together they are literally perfect for each other.
Back to the good stuff though... so we had a couples shoot planned just for fun at Mount Pinos and the week of the shoot I found out Jay had decided to turn it into a real-life proposal! He had already bought the ring and figured it was the perfect time knowing photographers were locked and loaded with cameras.
I've never done a proposal before and this was the sweetest thing I've ever witnessed. It was a gorgeous January day during sunset and Kaylee was being her normal weird self and had no idea it was coming. Obviously she said YES- cue popping the champagne bottle now!
I can't tell you how happy I am for them. Also how excited I am for this wedding. Can we just say all you can eat pizza? Kaylee is the world's biggest pizza addict and so I expect this to be one tasty reception. The countdown begins- ya'll need to set a date now!
So clearly my personal goal of "blog more" is still a work in progress. I have been busy though so I'm cutting myself just the tiniest bit of slack. One of my most recent shoots was a styled wedding shoot that took place at Merryman Station. I was asked by some other vendors to participate as the photographer for the event. I got very lucky because I got to create the concept as well. (Let me just warn I'm NOT a event planner, so huge props to those professionals who are. It's a tough job.)
I have admired Merryman Station for quite sometime but I haven't got the pleasure of shooting a wedding there quite yet. (Hello April 2018) The inside of this venue is gorgeous and unique with reclaimed brick, wood and steelwork. I definitely wanted something to enhance this. I decided on focusing on a neutral color palette and candlelight.
The altar was draped in simple white fabric and hung small glass terrariums that housed tea lights. The aisle was lined with glass lanterns filled with more candles and some florals and greenery for good measure.
More candles surrounding the cake which sat on a beautiful vintage wood table in front twinkle-lit trees. We did a gorgeous yet simple tablescape. A eucalyptus garland ran down the center of the entire table and then we used a mixed of vintage candlesticks and candelabras. Then still continuing with our minimalist theme we used white china and then simply placed more eucalyptus on the plates. We finished the table off with an acrylic menu and matching acrylic table number.
My favorite part of the day may of been taking the groom outside for sunset. We took the most gorgeous photos in front of the venue and then after sunset headed the orange groves for just a few more shots with more candles and a vintage couch.
Then again, stringing these lights and lighting all of these candles for our last photos of the night was also a highlight for me. Anyone else getting Sixteen Candles vibes here?
A huge thank you to each and every vendor who helped make this shoot possible. Here are just a few more of my favorites.
Venue: Merryman Station
Vintage décor: Sweet Life Vintage Rentals (china, couch, candles, lights, cake stand)
Florals: Sweet Memories
Bride: Ashly McClure
MUA: Beauty by B and V
Invitation: Veraly & Company
Jewelry: Metal and Pebble
Acrylic Designs: Studio Pink
Drapery: Touch of elegance
Ring box: Serious Aloe
Cake: Frosted by Pibney
Whenever other creatives get together the amount of magic that happens multiples exponentially. Through some online networking a few months ago I met another photographer from England. Anna Beth was putting together these amazing shoots all throughout the United States. I was fortunate that we got to talking and that she asked me to come along with her for her Yosemite shoot. She is truly not only talented but one of the nicest people I have ever met! Check her out @AnnaBeth.photos
It was a gorgeous day in the park with a high of 57 degrees. Claire, our model (also another photographer from San Diego) was the perfect fit for the Shikoba gown. Shikoba is a British wedding dress designer and this was straight from their new collection. The entire company is for free-spirited women who have that boho flare. This one in particular with the off-the-shoulder fringe and low criss-cross back and high front slit was pure perfection. It had the most beautiful movement.
Claire's hair and make up was provided by none other than Melanie Lopez, a native Oakhurst resident and very talented hair and make up artist. Melanie is probably responsible for most of those stunning Yosemite brides you see.
I was beyond obsessed with this bouquet. The Enchanted Florist and Whatnots (also from Oakhurst) completely nailed this one. It was so vibrant and had such an assortment from wild to delicate and even included antlers.
This was my first time back to the park since Marissa & Kyle's elopement 3 months ago. I am literally counting the days until I have my next shoot there! Anyone up for a Yosemite engagement session?
I love to shoot couples and I love to travel to new places. Basically anytime I can combine those two things it's magic. So when I had the opportunity to travel to down to San Diego for Ashleigh and Brian's session I had to do it. Even if it meant leaving my house at 1:30 in the morning to make it happen. It's never too early by the way if an adventure is involved!
We decided on a location at Lake Cuyamaca just outside of Julian, California.
This was such a fun session and Ashleigh was such a trooper because even though you might not be able to tell it was below 50 degrees and the wind was blowing like crazy, so it was actually really cold. I was freezing in my boots and a sweater but Ashleigh never complained once! It's honestly hard to choose only a few to share because every photo is a favorite. I'm already counting down the days to my next adventure shoot.