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?
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.)
When you spend the holidays with family in Taiwan and Japan and your brother says he asks you to photograph his proposal in Japan...the answer is of course yes! These two dragged themselves out of bed for an early morning trek out to the forest, as we knew that it would become crowded quickly. We stood in the quiet, peaceful silence of the forest hearing nothing but the whistling of the wind as it weaved through the tall bamboo stalks rising above our heads. As we walked on the path, the snow started to fall in the most magical way to make for the perfect proposal. Welcome to the family Bess!
When Ellie and Sami of Wilder Events approached me to photograph redwoods forest styled elopement in the Santa Cruz mountains, I couldn't resist the opportunity to collaborate with such amazing vendors! Could you guess that this was just on the UC Santa Cruz campus? With the location picked on the fly, we had such a beautiful array of details, from the florist to the calligrapher. Plus, this real life couple were just too adorable! So if you need inspiration for your own redwoods forest elopement, check out the rest of the session below!
When you live in California and fall basically means dead trees and grass (and not beautiful autumn leaves), the struggle is real. So when Jessica approached me wanting to surprise Austin with a photo session for their one year anniversary, I wasn't sure what we'd find with the weather changing the landscape so quickly. But hey, the photographer's job is to make anything work, so we adventured out to see what we could find, and happened to stumble upon the most awesome tree nest! Whoever built this fort around a fallen tree trunk, thank you!! With the last light disappearing from the forest, we couldn't have found a more perfect spot for these two lovebirds.
P.S. Just because you aren't engaged doesn't mean you can't have awesome photos!
If I told you this was Yosemite, would you believe me?
When you meet 10 years ago at Cragmont Rock Park in Berkeley, CA because you both are avid rock climbers, you know that you have to get married at one of the most epic spots for climbers - Yosemite National Park. But Half Dome was a little far away for an engagement session (plus you gotta save that magic for the wedding!), so instead we settled on the spot where they met. With the sun setting beyond the city views, you couldn't even tell that this wasn't the golden sunset hues of one of our most beloved national parks.
You know what else you can't tell? The very, very crowded top of the rock where we maneuvered our way into a spot right between another couple and a couple of kids running around. Now that's what you call what the photographer sees! (Ok I admit, there was a bit of Photoshopping going on).
Originally from Topeka, Kansas, Blake and Sarah met in high school. From the very beginning, before they even started dating, he knew he wanted to marry her. Though separated in college, these high school sweethearts found their way back to each other. With their avid love for adventure, travel, and food, these two took a surprise trip to San Francisco where Blake planned the most picture-perfect proposal. Check out the rest of their sunset proposal session in the Presidio below!
P.S. If you're an avid dog lover, check out their precious dog's Instagram @mavtheaussie.
Rudy and Nere met years ago in high school, but sparks really flew when they reconnected during their college years. A few long distance years later, Rudy moved back to Dallas to be with her. These two dated for almost 5 years, when he brought her to the beautiful city of San Francisco to propose to her. With their love of nature, they just had to cross the Golden Gate Bridge for the unforgettable views at Muir Beach Overlook. As they walked along the trail, he subtly took off his backpack and hid in a bush (can't have that in the photos!). He couldn't wait any longer and proposed in the middle of the trail! The moment couldn't be any more perfectly them as she teared up and of course, said yes.
These two ER nurses drove all the way from San Diego - and back in one weekend! - to celebrate their engagement where they first took their first trip together. With stunning views surrounding us on all sides that make Big Sur such a popular destination, we were excited to see where Highway 1 would take us! Unfortunately Pfeiffer Beach was still closed after all of the road closures, so we instead decided to hike down to the Calla Lily Valley in Garrapata State Park which surprisingly still had some lilies left in bloom! We couldn't have picked a better spot - and ended the night with some epic smoke bombs! Check out the rest of their engagement session below.