“You came into my life like the rain to the parched desert!” - Avijeet Das

Well, I just have to say THANK YOU to Rubie and Jun. Their devil-may-care attitude and adventurous spirit enabled us to shoot them in three different, but yet captivating places. Their engagement shoot in Yosemite Park really pushed the envelope in terms of our creativity and what we can achieve when we avoid looking at Yosemite engagement shoots on Instagram. Because the difficult part about shooting in Yosemite is the beauty of that place can be blinding. We had to stray away from the expected shots and really avoid the pitfall of just hiking to a designated trail where you can see El Capitan in the background, wait for Golden Hour, pose the couple then call it a day. There were random rock platforms and fallen trees that were just waiting to be used along the way. Just make sure you watch out for bears that may happen to cross your path.  

Then their wedding this past summer was another memorable one for us. Not only did it give us another excuse to travel to Northern California, but we also got to shoot in the most beautiful church we've ever stepped on. The Cathedral of Christ the Light in Oakland is definitely a modern piece of architectural engineering. The church's ceiling, which is covered with140 aluminum panels angled in a way to let in diffuse light, provides the interior with unique appearances at different times of day. The church was pretty much designed to focus on light so it's definitely a photographer's dream. Their choice for their reception is no slouch either. Nestled in San Pablo Valley, the Orinda Country Club features a spanish-mediterranian house overlooking the foothills east of San Francisco Bay. There is also a balcony that is still connected to the room with the bar. Perfect place place to enjoy a glass of wine while you take in the views. Speaking of wine, Jun and Rubie's wedding were one of the few weddings where we were comfortable enough to actually drink. Sometimes it's ok to mix business with pleasure. 

So now here we are. Alot of couples forego this session since, let's face it, who wants to put on their dress and suit one last time? I mean, after the wedding, the first thing you want to do is to get out of it.
"The dress is heavy."
"The suit gets too hot."
"I'm tired."
"I don't want to put make up again."
"We just want to make babies."

And the list of excuses goes on and on. But not for these two. They even drove down from Oakland to Los Angeles to accomodate me so I didn't have to drive. Ok. I was lying on that last part. In reality they had relatives in San Bernardino. Which was perfect, since Joshua Tree is only an hour away. The catch 22? My daughter had to be with me since no one could watch her. It's not really a big deal since I've brought her to some maternity and family shoots. But bringing a toddler to Joshua Tree in the middle of summer, with no Wi-Fi or bathrooms is not the brightest of ideas. But the good thing was, on the day of the shoot, it was only a warm 90°. You wouldn't be able to tell by the photos, but there were plenty of times where she would run in front of the camera, pose with them, or completely distract Rubie and Jun because she would suddenly climb up a tall rock. Good thing, Jun and Rubie have kids of their own so they completely understood my plight. This post is lengthy enough. But we just had to acknowledge them for being who they are. Adventurous. Warm. Fun-Loving. And just plain awesome. 

Group shot with my daughter Sophia, who tagged along for the shoot.