hey agreed. In a school with over 10,000 students, there wasn't a single cute guy anywhere. Breanne and her roommate walked the University of Michigan campus their freshman year together and quickly agreed the odds of finding a suitable date was near to impossible. A few months into her studies and Breanne gave up entirely until one afternoon in the dining commons when she noticed the cutest boy she'd laid her eyes on in months. Breanne quickly reported her good fortune to her roommate and hope to see him again soon.
When school began the following semester, Breanne walked into an auditorium filled with hundreds of students. A self-proclaimed over-acheiver, she sat in the front of class and casually turned to look at her peers. And there he was. Ten rows back sat Dan surrounded by a group of friends.
Breanne curled her hair, wore makeup, and sat further back in class with each passing week. She finally developed the nerve to sit directly in front of Dan and when she heard him ask a question to a friend, she turned around, flashed a dazzling smile, and responded as if he was talking to her. The following week Breanne and Dan sat next to each other and have remained by each others' sides years later.
I'm incredibly honored and excited to document their wedding in Michigan this summer and throughly enjoyed our time together in Orange County last week for their engagement session...
Shortly after graduating the University of Michigan, Dan took a job in Southern California while Breanne remained on the east coast...she traveled back and forth to visit him and much of their love story is buried in the west coast sand...
After the wedding, Breanne will be joining Dan in Indiana (where he moved for work) and enjoy waking up every day to her best friend...
...and many thanks to the ever fabulous Melina of Reign of Beauty for an amazing job with hair and makeup...LOVE HER!
Dan and Breanne booked me online and their engagement session was a perfect way to get to know them better before the wedding...one thing is for certain: Dan is one of the nicest guys I've met with a great sense of humor...and he's soft on the eyes, too! ;)
Breanne and Dan chose to have their engagement photos taken in San Juan Capistrano because fields, open space, and greenery feel like home, but they also made time for a stop at the beach later...
I absolutely adore how much fun these two have with each other...
I'll end this post with one of my favorite photos from the engagement shoot...Breanne looks happy and content and I couldn't dream of more for such a wonderful person. When she contacted me to shoot her wedding in Michigan, she confessed to reading my blog for a few years and gave me an awesome idea of who she was and how much she loved Dan (she also added a Golden Girls reference for good measure so I liked her even more). Being a part of their day is a huge honor and I'm thrilled to document their love.
t could be chalked up to the luck of the Irish, a four-leaf clover, or Blake's family who threw epic St. Patrick's Day parties. Either way, Becky walked into the party her senior year of high school and expected nothing more than a fun evening with friends, not to meet her future husband. Blake immediately took notice of the leggy brunette made sure introductions were made. Becky politely chatted and later politely evaded his advances after the party when he asked her out.
After a few of Becky's declinations, Blake shifted his focus that summer on training for his upcoming football season at Azusa Pacific University while she prepared for her freshman year at Chapman University. And then--almost out of thin air--Becky decided Blake was someone she wanted to date. And she did. Becky called Blake and invited him to dinner with another couple and from that night forward, they remained best friends and soul mates.
I'm incredibly excited to photograph Becky and Blake's wedding in September and many thanks to Wedding Chicks for sending them my way...I can't wait for what's in store!
Blake and Becky have so much fun together...but every so often, he looks at her with the sincerest gaze of adoration...and I can see why...just look at her!
I arrived to Laguna Beach to scope new areas to shoot the engagement session and I passed by this wall I loved...except it was super dirty and in an alley that smelled, well, ripe. I vetoed the idea of posing the couple there for fear they'd think I was crazy, but later Becky pointed it out as we walked past and said she liked it. Right then? I knew we were a duo made in photo heaven...MOVE OVER BLAKE! ;)
She drives him a teeny bit crazy...and he loves it.
Becky and Blake brought their dog, Bo, along for a portion of the shoot and I think he stole the show...
We ended the engagement session along the coast of Laguna Beach and they couldn't have been happier together watching the sun disappear and remain in each others' arms...
To see more of Becky and Blake's Laguna Beach engagement session, feel free to CLICK HERE for a slideshow with Amy Stroup music provided by The Music Bed.
Shooting Star : Engagement Shoot Tips
here was a point not too long ago when I came to the realization that I'd lost control of what I wanted. Heck, who am I kidding? I wasn't even control to begin with. It got to a point where I almost dreaded shooting an engagement session because I didn't know what to expect. Once, during my first year of business, a client showed up an hour and a half late to an engagement session. Hold on...lemme pause for dramatic effect...AN HOUR AND A HALF!!!
But I soon realized it wasn't my clients' fault...it was mine. How could I expect clients to know just how important arriving on time was if I didn't explain to them in advance? How were they supposed to know the intricacies of shooting with natural light? How could they know what I needed if I didn't tell them in advance?
Through the years, I've grown to lovelovelove engagement sessions and part of why I enjoy them is because I work with the clients in advance to ensure we're on the same page. This installment of Shooting Star, I'll be discussing Engagement Shoot Tips given to clients before their session for an optimal experience. They're as follows, but I go into depth in the video...
1. Send Links to Past Engagement Sessions to Ensure Clients Know What to Expect
2. Explanation of Natural Light and the Importance of Arriving on Time
3. What to Wear on an Engagement Shoot
4. How to Choose and Personalize the Engagement Session Location
5. Explain the Goals for the Engagement Shoot
Orange County Engagement : Shannon+Bill
hey grew up in the same town, they went to high school together, but the two year age difference kept them acquaintances. Until, that is, four years ago. After high school they went their own ways until mutual friends reconnected them and they began spending their weekends with groups of people, slowly making their way closer to each other. They went running together, they went to Lakers' games together, and somewhere along the line Shannon fell for someone she shouldn't have.
Bill made it clear that though they were dating and having a good time, marriage just wasn't for him. Sort of like a shoe that didn't fit. Shannon knew this, but his charm, humor, and joie de vivre made her gravitate into his orbit, where she circled...and waited. With the desire of being a wife one day, Shannon pulled away from Bill a bit later and began dating other guys.
Perhaps it was her absence or knowing she was out with another guy (or, as Shannon describes it, "coming to his senses and pursuing me"), Bill invited her to his birthday party and they've been together ever since. They're getting married later this year at the Virginia Country Club (with many thanks to Melanie Furata for connecting us!) and dedicating the day to the paths that led them to where they are today.
Shannon and Bill say they're each others' best friends and just by the way they interact, it's evidently true...
Shannon's only request was to have their engagement session in a field...and we'll get to Bill's request in a bit...oh, and, Shannon? RAWR.
There's something about the way Bill talks to Shannon that makes her glow. He softly pokes fun at her, but will shortly thereafter laugh in a way that makes them both come undone. It's so much fun to watch...
Shannon and Bill have expanded their family by adding Cash, a lovable dog completely smitten with his owners. The three of them are a unit, so their engagement photos wouldn't have been complete without him...
Now let's move to Bill's request for the engagement session...their beloved truck. Because of their passion for old cars, this 1956 Chevy has become one of their favorite purchases together...
Just as a the sun set against the hills of Orange County, Shannon and Bill worked it like true professionals...
Work it, boo...work it...
I'll end this engagement session with, literally, the last frame from the shoot...I pulled my Dog Whisperer moves on Cash and got him to pose. Okay, not really...he saw a squirrel, but it totally works for me.
he'll never forget the way he looked pushing her and her roommate on a sled over a chilly Boston ice skating rink, his face flushed from just under his ski hat. Elyse met Andrew by way of Natalee, who worked for Andrew. It was their company's ice skating night and Natalee invited Elyse to join her. That evening she met Andrew...in his adorable ski hat. And, yes, adorable is the word Elyse used to describe how he looked the first time she saw him.
After a few dinners out with mutual friends, her graduation party from Boston University, and asking for her phone number while celebrating a friend's birthday, Andrew showed up on Elyse's doorstep with a bouquet of sunflowers. Her favorite. They enjoyed dinner, dessert, and later that evening joined friends for what could've been the best first date, well, ever.
A few months later, Elyse interviewed for jobs in California, but her heart vacillated between coasts as she wondered what would happen to her and Andrew's new relationship. However, before they started dating, he'd been interviewing for a job in California as well...it seemed as if life was pointing them to the West coast. Together. They've since settled in Los Angeles, but will wed in New York City later this year with many thanks to a ski hat and a bouquet of sunflowers.
I'm terribly excited to be photographing Elyse and Andrew's wedding because spending an afternoon with them made me smitten with everything they are. I was lucky enough to shoot their engagement photos in the Larchmont neighborhood where they spend their weekends at farmer's markets, buying great wine, and enjoying their favorite indulgences.
Elyse and Andrew have great taste, so when they recommended one of their favorite pizzarias for a midday snack, I couldn't have been happier. I mean, a little bit of bling and mozzarella are a match made in heaven...
After a quick change, we walked to one of Andrew's favorite wine stores and picked out something nice to go with dinner later that evening...
The weather was spectacular on Monday, so we enjoyed roaming the streets adjacent to Larchmont and the beautiful light it provided...
Many thanks to The Dry Bar on Sunset Boulevard for doing a phenomenal job with Elyse's hair and Jessica at Blushington for a lovely job with makeup...oh, and Elyse? Rawr.