Stories have to be told or they die, and when they die,
we can't remember who we are or why we're here" - Sue Monk Kidd

“The Hoov” is what we started calling it.” Apparently, the apartment complex where Elissa and Nick used to live is located on the corner of Hoover St. in Los Angeles, hence the nickname. Nick would go on to tell me that parties would happen on a nightly basis since all the neigbors that live in that complex got along. “So basically, it was a fraternity house?” I asked jokingly. They both laughed and nodded in agreement. But the laughter would soon turn into a more wistful mood. They began to tell their story of how it all started. Of how they met. Imagine for a moment, Elissa being played by Molly Ringwald and Micheal Anthony Hall as Nick. Nick, who is lounging on the patio with beer on his hand suddenly notices a UHaul park on the street. 2 girls come out. But only one caught Nick’s attention. A Brown eyed girl who is the epitome of the Girl Next Door type. So with reckless abandon Nick rushes down the stairs, introduced himself and offered to help the two girls with moving some of the boxes. Elissa accepts, their eyes locked and they smile. The two not knowing that the universe conspired in this chance meeting. And as the two started to talk, the camera pans up for a wide shot. Cue in that oh-so familiar drum/guitar intro from the song Don’t You (Forget About Me) by Simple Minds, and you can swear that their story is the recipe for any 80’s movie directed by John Hughes. Such is life and love. Sometimes its a romantic comedy. Other times its a horror flick. “They looked like they needed help.” Nick professed with a smile. But I think there was more to it. It was indeed an act of kindness towards a stranger but I am sure it carried with it, a fascination to befriend and get to know Elissa. I don’t blame him one bit. Elissa has a lovely, gentle face that is never imposing. You only need a few moments with her and you can quickly tell she is a gentle spirit. Sweet-natured, funny and everything that is good in a person. And that smile Nick showed ealier? Well he deserves it. Because from that one moment, from that one small gesture, two strangers ended up falling in love. And the Boy got the Girl of his dreams. We finally arrived at “The Hoov”. The place is unassuming. It looks like any other apartment complex that I’ve seen around Los Angeles. But I can tell as we were walking around the vicinity, that to Nick and Elissa this little nook holds a special place in their hearts. I can tell. Because under the very warm November sun, they look mighty happy to be back at their old stomping ground. “That wall with all the graffiti.” Elissa revealed as her face lit up upon seeing that wall again. “We use to just hang out over there and talk all night”. The “feels”, or whatever you want to call it was written all over her face. Although they told me while we were still in the car that they just want to do a quick shoot, 15 minutes tops, I decided to stall a bit. You know fumble with the camera a bit. Unecessarily check the batteries. Walk around and pretend you’re in deep thought. Dilly-dally for awhile. Because I know they want to stay in the moment for awhile. I know that you have to appreciate where you came from so you know where you currently stand. And that is what I feel ever since I started doing wedding photography. I am appreciative. It has blessed me with the best couples and it has allowed me to travel to places that I would be too lazy to visit. Joshua Tree. Big Sur. Niagra Falls. Sutro Baths. All those places I will forever remember as special. But it is extraordinary when a couple decides to bring you somewhere else. Somewhere that is not a place or location. But somewhere back in time. Kahlil Gibran said it best: “To be able to look back upon ones life in satisfaction, is to live twice.”