Newcomers to the Bay Area, these two moved from Atlanta, Georgia to San Francisco, California for work. Though they are holding their wedding back home exactly one year from now, they just had to take advantage of the coastal views. We started at the Presidio, where L impressively trekked into the forest barefoot, and then adventured on to see the iconic Golden Gate Bridge. These two were absolutely hilarious, looking like GQ models while striking the best model poses in between endless laughter and smiles. And of course, we couldn't leave out their beautiful 4-year-old dog Bruce in the photos! (So if anyone else wants to bring their dog to their engagement session, it is always a yes!)
Sarah + Jordan: Snowy Winter Adventure Session in Yosemite National Park, CA + Magical Lantern Festival in Willows, CA
When Yosemite goes from so sunny that you wish for clouds, to so foggy that you wish for a clearer view of Half Dome, to so snowy and rainy that you're barely staying dry, you decide winter is not the time to visit...unless you're true adventurers like these two. When we asked these two if they were up for a quick weekend getaway, they immediately jumped on board and drove up that Saturday morning. So for any of you living in the Bay Area, there's no excuse for not visiting Yosemite! I mean, how can you resist these views?
And the adventures didn't stop there! The next weekend we drove up to Willows, CA for the Lantern Festival. Who else agrees Tangled is one of the best Disney movies?
I don't know about you, but when I think of hiring a florist, I don't think to rent the entire florist shop. Can I just say, these two are absolutely brilliant for thinking of this? I mean, you've got beautiful blooms and greenery lining the wall, string lights wrapped around a tree branch hanging from the ceiling, and vibrant turquoise barn walls as the signature marker of Ampersand SF's shop tucked away in the Mission District. This wedding couldn't be more unique and memorable for this sweet, intimate celebration with just 17 of their closest family and friends. From the moment you entered the room, you could feel the love from both families as they chatted it up before the ceremony. And little did they know that M + P were going to announce that they were not only joining together in marriage, but also adding to their family with a baby boy on their way! The tears and hugs and laughs and memories - that's what it was all about.
Despite the constant rain and snow forecast, Yosemite decided to shine bright for us with a beautiful sunny day (though the rain and snow did come for us eventually). These two adventurous souls drove up early in the morning to meet us at Tunnel View, where we quickly shot a few photos as the tourists piled in before running off to quieter places where we could roam free. We even joked that we all wished for a little bit of snow! Alas, we didn't see any of that mystical snow, but that didn't make the session any less magical - when you have a love like theirs, it's all you need.
There's just something amazing about being in a place like Yosemite that draws people from all over the world. Flying all the way from Austria, these two started their 5 week journey in New York, and then picked up a campervan in San Francisco to make their way down California. Though waking up at 5 in the morning was probably not the most relaxing thing they could imagine on a vacation, these two adventurous souls braved the morning cold to watch the sun rise above the mountains at Yosemite National Park. As they walked toward Upper Yosemite Falls, he surprised her with a proposal to marry him. She of course said yes, and couldn't stop grinning and laughing as I showed them around some of Yosemite Valley's best spots!
When fellow photographer Brianna approached me saying she wanted to surprise her boyfriend Jesse with a couple's session on their last trip to San Francisco, I immediately asked if they had been to Sutro Bath's / Land's End. They hadn't, so of course I had to take them to see one of the most beautiful sunsets in the Bay. Jesse had been traveling to the South Bay (Whoo San Jose!) for work, so they wanted to document their last adventure here in the magical city of SF before going back to Minnesota. So we went out to catch the famous California sun, and it so did not disappoint! With laughs all around and most sweet embraces, I just couldn't resist blogging half the photos in this session because #couplegoals!!
These two flew all the way from Michigan to visit a few of NorCal's most beautiful locations - can you believe that they drove from San Francisco all the way to Yosemite...and then back in the same day?! And that's not all - the next morning, they dragged themselves out of bed to catch the morning fog at Point Reyes at 8 AM, where we trekked through the mist to find the famous Leaning Tree, walked the 308 steps down to the Point Reyes Lighthouse, and ran down the rows of trees at the Cypress Tree Tunnel. That's commitment right there - find a guy who's willing to not only to take adorable photos with you, but also drive to the ends of the earth for some epic adventures. We had a best time showing them around the beauty of Point Reyes National Seashore, a (literally) hidden gem just north of San Francisco. Karl the Fog was strong that day, but I think he only made it all the more awesome, do you agree?
PRO PHOTOGRAPHER TIP: Ban heels from photoshoots. Just kidding. Well, only a little. Katherine and Jason flew all the way from El Paso, Texas to elope in one of the most beautiful city halls in San Francisco, CA. Kat was just glowing as the most beautiful bride in her layered lace dress and minimalist nude heels. But take off those heels, and behold - a whole new person with the brightest laughs, the cutest smiles, and the sweetest embraces! (I mean, look at all those stairs we had to climb!) I love that these two sweethearts passed by each other in their high school hallways never knowing that they would one day be MARRIED to each other - funny how life works right?! Happy 4 1/2 years together, and many more happy years to come!
Raise your hand if you're a guy reading this. Now keep your hand up if you like being photographed. I imagine most of you put your hand down, or shakily kept them up because your partner was looking over your shoulder, Yea, I get it, it's awkward and you'd rather not pose in front of a camera for an hour so your partner can show off all the cute photos to friends. So when I took these two out to their favorite hidden gem along the California coast, I knew right away that my job was to get them to forget that this was a photoshoot in the first place. It was just a beautiful day out on the beach, threatening to throw each other in to the water, hiking up the coastal bluffs, and watching the sunset over the horizon..they just happened to have a stalker with a very nice camera.
If these photos don't scream romance, you've got no soul. This beautiful cliffside spot in Big Sur has been Brian and Candice's secret hideaway for the last 7 years. Each year, they return to where they fell in love to picnic atop the coastal bluffs. This year, he had an extra special surprise for her.
Behind the scenes, their very excited photographer arrived to the unmarked turnout (only recognizable because of the GPS coordinates he had sent her) and wondered if the only other car (with an adorable dog in it, waiting patiently for its owner) that was parked could be theirs. They had agreed to meet at 4 PM, but the photographer wondered if the couple had headed out first. That seemed like the likely situation, right? There was no cell service of course, so she walked out to the path to find two diverging paths - one was blocked by some tangled brush but seemed to be the main path. Upon closer look, the photographer noticed an arrow drawn in the dirt pointing right. So she ventured onward, following the arrow, until she stumbled upon a very, very narrow, downhill path, and just beyond it - silhouettes of two lovers picnicking at the end of the path.
(After the session, Brian told me that he had pretended to go back for the dog, put the tangled brush there, drawn the arrow in the dirt, and even wrote a note for me, which flew away, hoping that I would be able to find my way there. He was just a bit worried. But the proposal - and the sunset - was certainly one of the most beautiful ones I had witnessed yet - so worth the trek.)