Silvia & Ricardo’s Engagement

Truth be told, I’m not much of a morning person and usually need countless cups of coffee to wake up and be totally in the moment. But, to make the most of the early morning golden light, I met up with Silvia and Ricardo for their engagement session on Santa Monica Pier at 7 a.m.

As I approached them from the beach, I could tell from their smiling faces and the adorable way they interacted with each other that it was going to be a great morning. And it was!

Silvia wore a flowy skirt that went perfectly with the beach setting. It’s couples like these two that make me love my job. They had a lot of fun together and that came across in their photos, whether Ricardo was giving Silvia a piggy back ride and carrying her through the surf, or they were picking out the best blooms at the farmer’s market.

The best engagement sessions are personal to the couple, somewhere that has significance – whether it’s where the proposal took place or a memorable date, or highlights an activity that the couple enjoys doing together. With Silvia and Ricardo, it was the farmer’s market where Silvia told me they often go to spend a relaxing Sunday picking out bundles of colorful flowers.

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Matt’s Horse Competition

Matt’s love of riding was discovered by coincidence – he decided one weekend to go on a trail ride at a local ranch and after a few miles of dusty trail, rust-colored vistas and giant blue skies he was hooked. He started to take lessons every week, making friends at the ranch and absorbing more of the cowboy culture. After about a year, he was asked if he wanted to compete for the first time in a barrel show so I came along to photograph the day. Matt rode confidently and did well, nabbing two second place ribbons and a first place.

We joked that he was the reincarnation of Teddy Roosevelt from his Rough Riders years.

Matt by the stable, American flag

Black and white riding horse

Horse head in stable, long row of stable doors


Matt on Horse, boots in tree

Matt standing by horse stable

Matt standing by stable, black and white

Horse competition prize ribbons

Riding horses in a row

Matt on horseback

horse and saddle

Matt on horse

Matt riding a horse

Dusty horse trailer

Row of prize ribbons

Back of horseback riders

Alana & PJ Couple Shoot

Alana is a freelance writer who has published articles about her adventures, or misadventures, in Los Angeles dating. She had tried online dating, but like many others in this sprawling metropolis, it had been hard to meet the right guy. Then, after many dating disasters, she met PJ through the site OK Cupid. She discovered that they shared a love for space, web comics and HP Lovecraft novels. From that point on, they were inseparable.

We met up at Griffith Park for a picnic couples shoot and with the Griffith Observatory high above us, it seemed like the perfect place for this star-gazing duo. Summer evenings in Los Angeles are the best. The light is golden and warm rays pour through the branches of oak trees…and it’s especially lovely with bowls of ripe strawberries and blueberries.

white flowers and couple in griffith park

Couple having picnic and reading book

black and white photo of couple

couple laying on blanket in Griffith Park

Trails cafe sign and couple kissing on trail

Large tree at Griffith Park

couple holding hands and having picnic

long strands of grass

Couple picnic in Griffith Park

bowl of strawberries and blueberries

tall tree in griffith park and couple standing on trail

flowers on blanket near bowls of fruit

trees and sunshine at Griffith Park

Couple laying on blanket in park

couple reading books in Griffith Park


Nathan & Alexa’s Engagement

I met up with Nathan and Alexa on the University of Southern California campus on a beautiful, blue-skied day. Being USC alumni is something we all have in common and I have lots of good memories of my student days (yes, I’m getting to an age where I can look back nostalgically). The Mudd Hall of Philosophy was always one of my favorite buildings on campus, with its elegant stone archways and tall tower, and it made for a gorgeous backdrop for this Southern California engagement session.

Nathan described first being captivated by Alexa’s laugh before he even spoke to her. The rest is history. Nathan is a wedding videographer, and when he decided to propose, he took Alexa to the courtyard they visited on their first date. Both of them love art, so he painted a picture of her on a canvas and had it set up on an easel for her to discover, and as an extra romantic surprise he had the real ring on her finger in the painting. They’re planning a wedding for November 2014. After finishing at USC, we couldn’t be so close to the Rose Garden and not venture over to take some photos.

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