San Juan Capistrano Engagement : Keren + Pieter

he called him Frenchie, after discovering he was born in France. Unsure if he even liked the nickname, that's what she called him. It was either that or Cute Boy on Crutches, and since that was too long, she opted for the former. Keren first saw Pieter in college at USC. He stood out from a group of fraternity brothers in black suits because he was in jeans, hobbling on crutches. Pieter attended college in Santa Clara, but visited a pinning fraternity ceremony in Los Angeles, where Keren and her sorority sisters watched from a distance. Keren and Pieter spent the entire evening chatting and laughing, deepening a new friendship.

As weeks past, they remained friends of friends--Keren was most notably heard to say to Pieter's friends, Say hi to Frenchie for me!--but after a few months, they became real friends. And then something changed on a trip to Lake Tahoe with a group of college buddies. Frenchie became Pieter, a boy who stole Keren's heart and sealed the transaction with a kiss. They dated long distance for four years--graduating, living in different cities, Keren going to law school--but their love grew over increasing phone bills and being A-List members of Southwest Airlines. While Keren studied for what could be the most stressful test in her life--the Bar Exam--Pieter surprised her one day while she studied in the library. Armed with her mother's favorite recipes, Pieter spent the day in the kitchen preparing a celebratory meal. Because, really, Keren was bound to pass the Bar and he was just ready to celebrate early.

But that's Keren and Pieter. Two amazing people whose lives have intersected perfectly and they're planning to spend the rest of it, side by side. Forever. They're planning a fabulous wedding--with the help of Courtney Toney--this September at Ritz Carlton Laguna Niguel and I'm thrilled to document their journey. I shot their engagement session in San Juan Captistrano and we had a blast...this was literally the first frame out of the camera and it captures them perfectly...

Pieter is one of the nicest guys I've ever met...and Keren has a unique way of bringing out his best qualities...

Bling blingin'...

Keren, you're so fierce you made a jacked up fence look fab! ;)

The sun was particularly fabulous in San Juan Capistrano last week and I'm extra thankful...

I love when couples bring along items that define who they are, so when Keren and Pieter brought along stacks of books, maps, a quilt, and globe, it was as if I was given a sneak peek into their lives and I loved it! Brilliant world travelers...who love being in love...

Pieter, while Keren chatted with me a bit ago, she mentioned your favorite piece of legal jargon is Promissory Estoppel. I will scream this phrase at your wedding if you're willing to look this handsome. All day. Deal?


The week's earlier rain brought about random patches of fields and the sunset gave about a truly beautiful glow. Add a dash of Keren, and it's a recipe for fabulousness...

To see more of Keren and Pieter's San Juan Capistrano Engagement Session, CLICK HERE for a slideshow!
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Newlywed Next Door - ok SUPER small world. Keren was my little sister in my sorority at USC. Too fun! Keren, you look stunning! Congrats again!   08.04.10 - 8:08pm
Photography Leeds - Beautiful photos as always j* I know your probably busy, but i really wish you could update your blog more with recent wedding pics (-:   05.26.10 - 5:25am
Apple - WOWWW jas! i especially love these photos!:) i lovelovelove the playfullness of the first shot! +they have an amazing love story! can't wait for september!  04.05.10 - 8:18am
Pye - I shoot all the time in SJC, yet I have never seen those locations that you found! Care to share? I love seeing your take on SJC, it is so completely different and inspiring, awesome shots. I am totally digging the lighting on that shot of them sitting on the stump under the tree!  04.02.10 - 2:27am
Morgan Taylor - Wow! This is the best and most amazing post i have seen this year! I love the map and globe! Again, WOW!!!  03.31.10 - 10:13pm
Amy Clifton - Holy cow, the shot of them sitting on the tree stump is ah-ma-zing. Canvas, anyone?  03.30.10 - 6:51pm
Serendipity Photography - Awesome shoot!!!!!  03.29.10 - 10:37pm
mike Larson - I especially love the backlit B+W shots. Travel photos rock too! I'm an addict when it comes to travel. :)  03.29.10 - 10:22pm
jenny - there is something about their eyes.... I feel drawn to the post just because of it :)  03.29.10 - 11:34am
jeramy - great job!  03.29.10 - 7:35am
-brittany- - B-E-U-tiful!  03.28.10 - 8:17pm
Lindy - The shot under the tree is perfect. The light is just amazing. Another great job.  03.27.10 - 1:44pm
Santa Barbara Wedding Photographer - Wow! These shots are hot! I'm in love with how you used the light to encircle them! This last shot is AMAZING, but I think my favorite, is of them sitting under that big tree. Just gorgeous!!!  03.27.10 - 1:21am
Pieter - Wow. I spent most of the session wondering how the pics were going to turn out... And the result is absolutely breath taking. At the risk of repeating myself, you are awesome. I can't wait to see what rabbit you will pull out of your hat for our big day. Best decision ever: asking Keren to marry me. Second best decision ever: working with you.  03.27.10 - 12:48am
Brittani - J, I love this. I know, I just left you a comment. But really. I want to convey to you how absolutely rocking you are at this, but (keep in mind you are already my idol, and have been for almost a year now) you blew me away here. Love love love it! I will be looking at these pictures all day. *sigh* =)  03.26.10 - 8:42am
Brittani - Que pareja tan BELLA!! Jasmine, you are a genious, but seriously, with a couple as beautiful together as this one has got to make your job a little bit easier!! I absolutely love this set, and I'm in love with those two. I knew it would be great when you posted those few pictures on your permission to feel beautiful post. But really, I am blown away. And today was already a great day to start with, but seeing the photos you took of these two, I can FEEL the love and the happiness radiating!! And woman, it has put me in a better mood!! It's a great set, congratulations on being amazing at what you do. And my regards to the gorgeous couple, and my best wishes on their happy day.  03.26.10 - 8:38am
christina - so so pretty! the lighting in the 3rd shot from the bottom is amazing!  03.25.10 - 3:25pm
Norbert Gaspar - beautiful pictures!beautiful photographers!beautiful couple!:)I feel Harmony and Happiness in your pictutes:)))   03.25.10 - 2:00pm
cassandra-m - luv the photo under the tree with that insanely beautiful light...AWESOME!  03.25.10 - 1:52pm
Amy Mai Watts - I love the shot with them sitting on the stump!  03.25.10 - 7:20am
Melanie Dodds - I get such a sense of their personalities from these beautiful pictures..what an inspiration J*!!  03.25.10 - 6:32am
Jonathan - Are you kidding me these are completely ridiculous!!!! Beautiful pictures, but the comfort, the love, the swagger just pouring out of these two! You are more than a photographer my friend.  03.24.10 - 8:42pm
J'Lynn - Wow these are all so so beautiful!!  03.24.10 - 7:58pm
Desiree - The shot of them on the stump is AWESOME! SO love that one!  03.24.10 - 5:39pm
michelle sidles - That shot of them on the stump. A....MEN!!  03.24.10 - 3:16pm
joan solitario - Adorable couple + Awesome Photographer = Beautiful Photos!  03.24.10 - 12:16pm
Lisa - Love the one where they are sitting on the stump! The light is amazing!  03.24.10 - 12:12pm
syreena B - that third one from the bottom is to LIVE for. GoWageous as always j*  03.24.10 - 11:12am
Erin Michelle - Gorgeous, I especially love the one under the tree. Boy, that Pieter is a BABE!  03.24.10 - 10:55am
Katie - HOLY MACARONI! That shot under the tree. with the sun. and the love. and the tree. and the pose. and the SUN AND THE LOVE!!! wowza. Great stuff!  03.24.10 - 9:45am
Cyn - He is H.O.T.!  03.24.10 - 9:38am
Colorado Wedding Photographer, JasonG - Beautiful work... my favorite image is of the couple under the tree. Gorgeous light.  03.24.10 - 8:25am
Katie Whitcomb - Gotta love the yummy light. :)  03.24.10 - 7:48am
laetitia - And I am definitly happy to not be called "frenchy"... After viewing the slide show I would say I love the serie with the flower bouquet... ;-)  03.24.10 - 6:46am
laetitia - The one under the tree and the one with the fence are my 2 favorites...!!! good light for certain... very warm and romantic ;-)  03.24.10 - 6:40am
JAKKI - the one with them in the center...with the tree branches hanging over them and the sunlight peeking through the branches.....yuuummy! I love that! you so captured the beauty in the relationship1  03.24.10 - 6:31am
Lori M. - The one of them sitting on the stump in the field is just so breathtaking and simple. Love it! Wish it was me in the photo hahaha.  03.24.10 - 6:26am
kate callahan - it's been said ... but i'll say it again ... the one under the tree is AWESOME!!!!!!  03.24.10 - 6:20am
stephanie - GORGEous! Love the one under the tree. Beautiful.   03.24.10 - 6:10am
Chloe - hi jasmine, your tree stump picture really took my breath away! amazing!!!  03.24.10 - 1:11am
Brian Fletcher - Wow, always. :)  03.23.10 - 11:54pm
Romy Israel - I love this set Jasmine... Can't wait to fall in love again and shoot myself and my girl like this... : ) Fabulous indeed...  03.23.10 - 11:23pm
Juli L. - Love these! Just beautiful...absolutely love the one under the tree!  03.23.10 - 10:57pm
kortnee kate - GORGEOUS LADY! Man, I wish he had a brother I could set up with my sister! :) Those two have to fight over the mirror in the morning! :)  03.23.10 - 10:09pm
feuza - the last 4 shots, oh so lovely especially the BW of the groom to be looking at you, hot  03.23.10 - 8:45pm
Elisabeth Carol - Ahh the one under the tree?! Kills me!! So incredible! I just adore your ability to capture beautiful moments and remain so real and humble. That is the biggest encouragement to me!   03.23.10 - 8:07pm
a little bit of whimsy photography - as per your usual.. that one under the tree is just freaking..........  03.23.10 - 7:51pm
gladys jem - that tree stump photo is my favorite. gash. you're so amazing!  03.23.10 - 7:25pm
Trish - Loving this couple! Great job!  03.23.10 - 6:55pm
melissa oholendt - You are one of the modern day masters of natural light. Seriously. Dear Cali light, please grace Minneapolis with your presence. Pretty please?  03.23.10 - 6:47pm
Kare - The one under the tree kills me - so perfect!  03.23.10 - 6:35pm
Hanh Nguyen - Beautiful session! I LOVE everything about this e-session. AWESOME!  03.23.10 - 6:32pm
CHRIS CORNWELL - Leave it to Ms J* to capture beauty once again! Come to my town and you'll see these 'old/ rugged' nooks and more!  03.23.10 - 6:06pm
Tracy Carolyn - The shot on the tree stump stopped me in my blog-stalking tracks. Absolutely gorgeous work!  03.23.10 - 6:01pm
Andrea Husted - Such a great love story. Reading it made me love them before I even saw the first picture. Absolutely amazing shots and such a gorgeous couple. Perfection!  03.23.10 - 5:55pm
gina - every bit of each photo..fantastic light, cute couple, simply beautiful!  03.23.10 - 5:45pm
Alan & Karen Woo - Wow what a beautiful e-session Jasmine. Adding to our favourites, awesome combination of poses.  03.23.10 - 5:20pm
jane button - these are wonderful, jasmine! great light, great couple, great photographer! can't wait to see the wedding!  03.23.10 - 4:33pm
amanda thiessen - stunning.stunning.stunning  03.23.10 - 4:24pm
Geoff Heith - Wow I'll be 71st comment...haha...crazy, the one under the tree...stunning!   03.23.10 - 4:06pm
thea - All the photos are so crisp and the lighting-well I love the way you use light. My most favorite of the bunch is the first one with the globe. The way you captured her body language-I feel like I am there. Wonderful.  03.23.10 - 3:53pm
chandra - The one of them on the tree stump is my absolute fave. And I love the part about promissory estoppel....takes me back to my nerdy law school days! My fave legal phrase is 'res ipsa loquitor' :)  03.23.10 - 3:47pm
Sally - Love the shot under the tree, so romantic.  03.23.10 - 3:39pm
nattnee - love the feel of this's sweet =)  03.23.10 - 3:39pm
Hannah Lundberg - These are absolutely stunning, Jasmine! I love the ones with the props - I am such a sucker for personalising images like this. Now to find some clients game enough to do it...  03.23.10 - 3:07pm
Alaina Bos - The photos are FAB. LOVE the JUICY light! Did you use fill flash at all?  03.23.10 - 3:04pm
Kelly Marshall - You found some awesome light! My favorite is the one under the tree too!  03.23.10 - 2:34pm
Erica Velasco - I love the shot in the meadow!  03.23.10 - 2:29pm
joyful weddings and events - Sooo... I love these. I love Keren & Pieter, I love the way you captured their love, I LOVE that tree shot, and I love J*!  03.23.10 - 2:29pm
Pol - What a beautiful couple! I have to do a portfolio shoot for class and these absolutely inspired me.  03.23.10 - 1:57pm
Carissa - The picture 3rd from the bottom made me gasp. Out loud. In class. During a critique. (This = embarrassing.) But I should have known better than to look at a new post from you in class. These are ALL SO AMAZING. As always. Love.  03.23.10 - 1:39pm
Jen Madigan Photography - Wow, these images are just stunning (although I don't expect anything less from you!!). I adore the one on the tree stump, amazing!  03.23.10 - 1:32pm
Lydia - Jas, these are GORGEOUS!! Rock the platform today!  03.23.10 - 1:28pm
Leyla - I am absolutely in love with this couple and these amazingly beautiful shots!!! I ADORE 3rd last photo... Sooo gorgeous and magical... I'm totally swooning right now... mmm  03.23.10 - 1:08pm
Karen - I adore the colored shot of the couple under the tree. So perfect. =]  03.23.10 - 12:42pm
Spring Smith - The one under the tree... that light... ahhhhhh its amazing!!! STUNNING my dear- just stunning!  03.23.10 - 12:25pm
Kelly Park - love, love them all, but especially the one of them sitting under the tree with the beautiful light in the background...simply fabulous!  03.23.10 - 12:09pm
Paola - Ohhhh the one where they're on the field, with Keren sitting on his lap, witht he deliciousness of the sun and extra perfect backlight.... oooh!!!!! PURTY!!!  03.23.10 - 11:56am
Brian Mullins - I really love the third from the last photo! Beautiful setting and very nice control over your positioning to capture that shot!  03.23.10 - 11:54am
Stephanie Stewart - Love this session! My faves are the Promissory Estoppel and the one after that! Perfection! Love that light, so beautiful!  03.23.10 - 11:49am
valerie Robinson - Ow! The one on the tree stump is crazy beautiful!!!! LOVE it!  03.23.10 - 11:38am
Sue - These are so dang gorgeous!!! What beauty in these shots...the couple and how you captured them!!!  03.23.10 - 11:25am
Theresa Minnette Photography - My favorite is the one under the tree but they are all AWESOME!  03.23.10 - 11:18am
Leina - Breathtaking!  03.23.10 - 11:17am
Tira J - Oh wow! Talk about fierce! My most favorite is of them sitting on the tree stump with the sun doin' some nice backlighting action!   03.23.10 - 11:15am
Lindsey - OMG Jasmine! You outdo yourself each shoot you do! I LOVE the almost mischievous smile and look in his eyes on the 2nd one! Super cute! and the lighting! Uh! LOVE LOVE LOVE it!  03.23.10 - 11:11am
Krissy - Wow, Wow, Wow! These all rock, but I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE the stump pic! Took my breath away...  03.23.10 - 11:09am
Bianca - Rawr!!!! This was fierce, sister friend!  03.23.10 - 10:46am
J.P. - Beautiful as always, Jasmine!  03.23.10 - 10:44am
Sabrina - oh my word... Jasmine these are incredible. seriously i love them. you make me want to be a better photographer... and a better person. and to laugh more. because you do that a lot and it's fabulous :-)  03.23.10 - 10:41am
Sissy - AMAZING!!! eee  03.23.10 - 10:39am
Meli J - AMAZING, simply stunning!  03.23.10 - 10:29am
Jamie - Well, all your photos are so fabulous but oh my gosh - the one of them sitting under the tree is EPIC!  03.23.10 - 10:20am
Jessie Smith - yep I have to agree with everyone else, the shot of them under the tree is stunning. Gorgeous couple, beautiful pictures!   03.23.10 - 10:14am
Shannon - These are some great shots! I really wish we hadn't done our announcement photos ourselves. Wish I had some keep sakes like these.  03.23.10 - 10:09am
rebecca - OH MY GOSH!!! these are seriously soo beautiful! i don't know what it was about this shoot but i literally kept saying out loud, "oh my gosh!" "daaaang!" and other phrases that showed my excitement and amazement. you did such a good job jasmine!!!  03.23.10 - 10:07am
Marissa Rodriguez - So gorgeous! Your slide shows are always my favorite part!  03.23.10 - 10:04am
Alejandra Amador - THAT TREE composition!! So gorgeous!! And I whole-heartedly agree with Lacy that you take something so random/normal and make it artistic and just... beautiful. You're not pretentious with props, Jasmine, and I applaud you for that during these photography fads. You're such an inspiration!!  03.23.10 - 9:52am
Tammynize - I love the second one and the one laying down and the one under the tree. green with envy!  03.23.10 - 9:45am
ali caudill - i love the second to last one so much! beautiful job and sweet couple.   03.23.10 - 9:40am
lydia {ever ours} - beautiful!!  03.23.10 - 9:30am
Leandra - I love their story! So sweet. And the pictures are beautiful as well... of course. :) Lovely session!  03.23.10 - 9:30am
Ed Goodfellow - One word: WOW!  03.23.10 - 9:25am
Lacy Dagerath - Love love LOVE!! I love the way you used the sun in creative ways! And I love the random house in the background that you found! :) You know you're an artist when you can take something MOST people wouldn't take a second look at and bring it to life! But... you're not most people! ;) love u! :) It was SO great seeing your beautiful, smiling face week before last!  03.23.10 - 9:24am
Julie - As always, fabulousness Jasmine!  03.23.10 - 9:19am
Sheila - WOW...3rd to last, absolutely LOVE this image. Perfect.  03.23.10 - 9:19am
Nicole - I *heart* the under the tree shot!  03.23.10 - 9:15am
Bree - Keren, you're beautiful!!!   03.23.10 - 9:14am
Elise - 3rd to last photo: BEAUTIFUL!  03.23.10 - 9:13am
Melissa @ Whooo's That Girl - Gorgeous!!! I was going to say how much I LOVE the globe/map shots, but then I kept viewing and they just kept getting better and better! Fabulous work!  03.23.10 - 9:13am
arnie isa - beautiful subjects, amazing pictures... as usual :) if i may ask, how did you meter the gorgeous pic with the couple sitting on the stump, with amazing light all over? did you meter the couple, the sky, or the trees? i tried taking backlighted pics before, most came out dark. help! thanks :)   03.23.10 - 9:08am
Janelle Vano - LOVE the one under the tree!   03.23.10 - 9:06am
Romonia - Beautiful shots J*! Love the picture of them sitting on the stump under the tree with the light bursting through. Your shots truly show who they are and how much they are in love. Great job as always! You inspire me!!!   03.23.10 - 8:55am
jenny tarau - Yet another great sess.... Aweeeeeesooooooumm  03.23.10 - 8:54am
Krista - oh my. i think i could stare at the 3rd to last photo all day ... the one where she's sitting on his lap and the sun's coming through the trees. i'm in love. beautiful.  03.23.10 - 8:52am
Adrienne - You are fantastic! MUCH LOVE for the one under the tree! So georgeous!  03.23.10 - 8:48am
kim schmidt - oh my heavens they are a beautiful couple! love all the different emotions in these photos.  03.23.10 - 8:48am
ashley - Um...that shot under the tree is just yummy!! I really dig the ring shot too. Beautiful work lady =)   03.23.10 - 8:45am
Francine - I don't know them. I don't know you. And yet I'm all teared up! Jasmine, you are so blessed with talent I can't stand it!!! "When I grow up" I want to be as great as you! : )  03.23.10 - 8:44am
Rebecca - So gorgeous!!!  03.23.10 - 8:38am
Jenny Sun - LOVE LOVE LOVE the shot of them under the tree backlit. That is just gorrrgeous!!!  03.23.10 - 8:38am
Kathleen Porter - Ooooh, I really love the third image from the bottom. Very romantic!  03.23.10 - 8:37am
Deborah Zoe - These are beautiful Jasmine. The one of them on the picnic blanket laying down is gorgeous.  03.23.10 - 8:36am
Amanda Chapman - Ok J*...The one beneath the tree with the gorgeous sunrays (in my opinion) is your best shot...EVER! You rocked this shoot for sure :)   03.23.10 - 8:32am
angel pope - That light is amazing and you captured it in a way that makes me so envious (but in a "good for you" way). My favorite engagement photos I've seen in awhile! Awesome!  03.23.10 - 8:31am
angel pope - That light is amazing and you captured it in a way that makes me so envious (but in a "good for you" way). My favorite engagement photos I've seen in awhile! Awesome!  03.23.10 - 8:30am
Michelle Haurilak - Jasmine, these are gorgeous and you are such an inspiration! Tree stump shot is an instant fave.  03.23.10 - 8:29am
Gail - SOOO gorgeous! What a sweet couple. I really loved their story. :)   03.23.10 - 8:28am
s h e r r y - These are lovely, and they look like they love each other very much! <3  03.23.10 - 8:26am
Joseph Yarrow Bristol Wedding Photographer - Some of your best images ever I think Jasmine. I love them (ESPECIALLY the one of them under the tree near the end! wow!!!)  03.23.10 - 8:25am
Julie D. - for crying out loud...the one on the stump. awe---some!  03.23.10 - 8:23am
Otto Rascon - I love the image on them sitting on the tree stump. What a beautiful image! Thanks for posting.  03.23.10 - 8:22am
Kellie Carter - Absolutely Beautiful! You can feel their love and the warmth of the sun!   03.23.10 - 8:19am
gina - beautiful! I love the map and globe so creative and personal!  03.23.10 - 8:19am
Emilie - This is absolutely lovely!!! I love the colors of your photos. And what a cute couple!! Perfect match!!!   03.23.10 - 8:17am
Natalie Tuggle - Oh my goodness! Some of these photos just made my heart flip!  03.23.10 - 8:16am
Girish - Great photographs Agreed, to good a light, because it makes the shady areas lovely for a photo shoot. Very nice and candid shots.  03.23.10 - 8:15am
Jessica Willis - i absolutely *adore* the picture of them on a stump...makes me want to do engagement pictures...or just regular pictures with my boyfriend. hah!  03.23.10 - 8:14am
shannon - oh, jasmine...these are beautiful! romantic, fun, real-they make my heart smile. the one on the stump, under the tree...glorious!!  03.23.10 - 8:12am
Dawn McCarthy - I see that Keren accepted your permission for her to be beautiful in front of your camera because SHE IS! And her man is quite the catch as well. Great couple. Wonderful images. Can't wait for the wedding!  03.23.10 - 8:07am
Amber - Lovely as always J*!  03.23.10 - 8:03am
Anye - beautiful capture!  03.23.10 - 8:01am
mallika Malhotra - love your images!! when your subjects are lying down on their backs, do you shoot high from a ladder? i am such a midget that i can't get everyone in the frame. tips?  03.23.10 - 8:00am
Amanda Cardinal - I love love LOVE the image of the 2 of them sitting on the stump!  03.23.10 - 8:00am
Barb - Beautiful! That first shot is my fave :-)  03.23.10 - 8:00am
krista lucas - they are super adorable. i love love love the shot from above them. and you're right - that light is delicious!!!  03.23.10 - 7:59am
Melissa Papaj Photography - Beautiful - as always! I love San Juan hubby grew up there and Dana Point. In fact his best friend from elementary school still lives in SJC. :)   03.23.10 - 7:57am
ellie - Amazingly beautiful....  03.23.10 - 7:52am
Leora Shiff - What a beautiful couple!!!  03.23.10 - 7:42am