My friend and colleague of 10 years told me he was going to propose to his love and wanted me to capture the moment. I was so happy for him and excited that he wanted me to be a part of documenting this very special occasion.
Sandro and Kelly met at Big Block Realty. She was new to the firm and looking for a mentor to help her as she was growing her business. Sandro became her mentor. While spending time together they found that there was something special there; more than just a mentor/mentee relationship. They found they shared many interests and a mutual respect, a connection of minds. As time went on, they felt they could be themselves and found the joy in knowing that their partner was right there with them, side-by-side. What they found was a unconditional love.
When Sandro and I first discussed his proposal, he mentioned he really wanted to propose on the beach where they take their nightly walks. However this February 2019 has been a very wet one in Southern California and that very day called for 100% chance of rain! We could see the romantic scene slipping away. While it wasn’t going to be that big of a surprise, we worked it out so that he would propose in the limo he reserved for the night and I would be in the limo to photograph his proposal.
On that very special Friday it rained some, but it looked like it was shaping into a cold but still nice evening. I arrived at his home and hopped in the limo where his beautiful fiancé was waiting to go to dinner. At this point she knew why I was there, and she was just as excited about what was going to happen that evening. Sandro then joined us and we were off. I was going to ride with them from the house to Eddie V’s in La Jolla where he had a romantic dinner planned for the two of them.
Our journey started out in Del Mar, and we were taking the scenic route to La Jolla. Driving along the coast, we found a beautiful spot overlooking Torrey Pines State Beach. The rain had stopped and it was as though the shore had been waiting for them. The waves were crashing below and the ocean presented a glowing backdrop. It was magical. Sandro walked Kelly down to a nice area just by the boulders overlooking the Ocean. He got down on one knee and proposed. Even though she knew it was coming, the tears still rushed down her face as he asked her to be his wife. It was the perfect moment.
I feel very blessed to have witnessed and documented this important chapter of their lives and I look forward to being there as they continue to grow in their lives!
Despite all the planning and energy that goes into weddings, most of the happy couples I've worked with agree that The Big Day goes by incredibly fast! So how do you get the most out of your wedding day and enjoy every moment, again, and again, with unforgettable photos? Yes! Every moment (even cocktail hour!).
I always suggest to my couples that to get the most out of their day I highly recommend doing a “first look” before the ceremony.
Having a “first look” offers many benefits. The more time your photographer will have with the two of you together, the more opportunity you and your photographer will have to create and enshrine those memories and special images you’ll treasure forever. You’ll enjoy a more low-key, leisurely time leading up to the ceremony, and seeing each other before the event can go a long way toward calming those pre-wedding jitters--it's ok! Everyone gets them!
Some couples might be concerned that a first look will diminish that magic moment when the bride walks down the aisle, but in fact, that instant when your eyes meet will be just as special whether you’ve gotten a preview or not. If you’re together before the ceremony, it will allow your photographer to get your formal portraits done beforehand so you can relax a bit and enjoy your day. If possible I like to get the bridal party portraits done before the wedding as well. This gives you more time after the ceremony to get family formals photographed, and you can even enjoy half of your cocktail hour.
Whether you decide to have a first look or take the more traditional approach, keep in mind that in summer, the best light for romantic, beautiful portraits is after 5 p.m. Depending on the time of your wedding, you might want to wait to take your formal portraits until after the ceremony to coincide with that ideal time.
Your photographer can still get a lot of great shots before the ceremony even if you decide on the more traditional route. They can complete a session with the bride and her bridesmaids, and another with the groom and his attendants. That way, they can cut down on the amount of time set aside for portraits after the ceremony. I suggest to photograph the women first, about an hour before the ceremony is scheduled to begin. Then, it’s the men’s turn. Just be sure to finish in time for everyone to get ready for the ceremony on time.
This was a pretty exciting proposal for me. The planning started 5 months before the actual proposal was to take place. Huy was going to bring his girlfriend, Vi, to San Diego and propose, and of course wanted it to be a total surprise. When he contacted me, I told him we would do everything to make this proposal perfect. He had originally thought about proposing at Torrey Pines on one of the lookouts, but we figured out that was probably not the best idea, because the walk alone would have been a 30 minute travel roundtrip. That is when I told him about Windansea Beach, one of my favorite locations for photo sessions. His one request was that he was not in sand, and I was able to meet that request. Huy had never visited Windansea Beach, and in order for this to be a perfect proposal, my husband and I went down to the beach prior to the day he was going to propose to create a video for him. We walked him through every step so he could get a feel of where to park, as well as where to walk and stay out of sand. In the video my husband included a demonstration on how to set up for the proposal. Huy told me how grateful he was for the video because it really did help him visualize everything he was able to do to make his proposal to Vi perfect.
Huy spent his entire life on the East Coast, largely in Boston. But after graduating law school, he took a job that moved him out to Kansas City. Not having any friends or family out there he had some concerns about transitioning to the Midwest. Within months of moving to KC, he started to become homesick and more notably, he missed eating Vietnamese food! But not too long after, Huy met Vi through an online dating app. They bonded over their Vietnamese roots. Huy appropriately asked Vi out for Pho, one of his favorite Vietnamese dishes. The first date was certainly memorable. After enjoying their noodle bowls, he walked her to her car and they couldn't stop talking to each other and ended up spending 3 hours in the parking lot. Fast forward to present day, they have spent the last two years exploring different cities together. Indeed, their fondest memories are traveling and getting lost in new cities together. So, popping the question during a trip was only appropriate! Also, a proposal on the West Coast is also somewhat symbolic since this journey began on the East Coast. Earlier in July, Huy took Vi on a hot air balloon ride on the East Coast to catch a sunrise. Now, they are ending their July by catching a sunset on the West Coast.
Sadly on the day that Huy proposed to Vi the sun was well hidden behind the clouds. It was still a beautiful, happy, and perfect proposal. With that said, I took some time to create one photograph of them on the beach that has the feeling of the sunset. I am happy to announce they love this photograph as much as I do.
When I was contacted for this proposal, I was contacted by Madison, groom-to-be's sister. Madison told me how her family was coming to San Diego for a weekend so that Micah could propose to his girlfriend Elizabeth; and that they wanted to go to Sunset Cliffs. Their family was coming from the LA area and this was their first visit to Sunset Cliffs. What was so unique about this proposal was that it was a surprise for her brother and his girlfriend, for me to be there to photograph the moment. He knew he was proposing with his family around him, he just didn't know I would be there waiting.
Elizabeth and Micah met in college at Western Illinois university during their senior year in Parks and Recreation class. Micah, feeling a little uninspired about the subject matter that day, fell asleep in class when the professor noticed and directly asked him a question. To everyone’s surprise, Micah instantly popped up with the correct answer to his professor’s quiz. Elizabeth was already sitting next to him that day because she purposely sat herself near the funniest guy in class. Micah’s correct response, against all odds, caused her to burst out laughing, which inspired Micah to introduce himself. That event turned out to be the moment that it all began, and the two of them have been laughing together ever since.
Prior to and on the day of the proposal Madison and I kept in contact so that she could make sure her brother was lined up to get the best photographs of the proposal. She said she was even more nervous about Micah proposing then he was. What a great sister. When I arrived on the day of the proposal, I was excited and very nervous. It was such a beautiful day and it felt like everyone in Ocean Beach was there to watch the sunset. I was hoping there would be one spot left were they would have a beautiful view when Micah proposed.
Everything worked out beautifully. They found parking in the perfect spot, which was the area they needed to walk down to the cliffs. Madison, along with her mom and dad recognized me immediately from a video I sent them prior to the proposal, and I knew who everyone was from the photos Madison sent me. She knew right where to lead Micah and Elizabeth, and off they went to a beautiful open area with very few people around. Micah got down on one knee and asked Elizabeth to marry him. Everything about that moment was beautiful and shall I say...perfect.
If there is one thing I know about May and June in San Diego is that it is usually gloomy and cold. May 19, 2018 was one of those days. It was overcast, the wind was blowing and it was cold. As I sat there, bundled up, cold from the wind, I wondered if Brandon was going to be able to convince his future bride-to-be to be to talk a walk along sunset cliffs. There was nothing that was going to stop him that day. Not even some cold and gloomy weather was going to keep him from proposing that day!
Stephanie and Brandon met in high school. They ran track together and became best friends. Then the beginning of a relation started when they went to go see The Hangover, her junior and his senior year. They started having a bunch of inside jokes with each other, and hung out a lot more after that day. Being with each other was always so much fun. During Stephanie's senior year of high school and Brandon's freshman year of college they began dating. With the help of her mom, Stephanie was convinced attend the same college, Cal State Long beach, as Brandon. During their college years they were very busy with school and work, but they always knew that our relationship was a priority for them. They decided to adopt a dog together and named him Apollo. They always tried to make time for each other and began taking trips to San Diego. On their first ever trip to San Diego, they ended up at Sunset Cliffs. Throughout their 7 and a half years of dating, and as they began their teaching careers, they have kept Sunset Cliffs and trips to San Diego as a way to remain close and remember their first years together.