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ENGAGEMENTS

ELISSA & NICK. OJAI ENGAGEMENT

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ELISSA & NICK. OJAI ENGAGEMENT

“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.

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GRACIE & CESAR. LAND'S END ENGAGEMENT

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GRACIE & CESAR. LAND'S END ENGAGEMENT

There we were, standing on Land’s End – on the edge of the continent. Looking outward you can see the vastness that is the Pacific Ocean. I can literally just sit there and lose myself in wonderment. On how magnificent the world can be. And how insignificant we truly are. But as much as I wanted to stay and bask in the sun while the cool sea air kisses my skin, I still had a shoot to do. So we began treading down the steps.

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CLARISSA & MATT

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CLARISSA & MATT

“Congratulations guys! But you’re not allowed to shoot here.” Damn. We’ve only stepped foot on Salk Institute for a mere few seconds and here we are, already being hassled by “the man”. “Can we at least shoot for 30 minutes?” I pleaded, while trying my best to look like a sad puppy. But no luck. We were shooed away. But one thing that I noticed is that the security guard was nice and pleasant about it. Well we are in San Diego. People here are not as snooty. So now where to shoot? Because it feels like life just handed us a bunch of lemons. So now do we make lemonade with it or throw it at the security guard? Or both?

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LYDIA & TESSA

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LYDIA & TESSA

“Occasional showers possible. Highs in the mid 60s and low in the low 50’s”. Shit. It’s going to rain. So like any professional photographer would do, I panicked and quickly texted Lydia. “It’s going to rain. Buy umbrellas.” But I shouldn’t say I panicked. More like sprung into action. One thing about this business is it’s important that you are flexible and are able to adapt to any situation at a moments notice. A sunny day can turn into rain. A happy bride can turn into a bridezilla. And all the pre-planning that you do can be for naught. But on that day in Calistoga, CA., Lady Luck decided to cast her smile upon us and gave us just the right amount of clouds and sunshine. 
So Lydia and Tessa finally arrived. I could tell they were nervous. Heck, I was nervous. Not because of the fear that I might botch-up their esession, but because Lydia and I went to nursing school together. I guess I always put more pressure on myself when it comes to photographing friends and acquaintances. Especially nurses. 

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JORDAN & DANNY

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JORDAN & DANNY

One day, in your search for happiness, you discover someone by your side, and you realize that your happiness has come to help you search.” – Robert Brault

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NESSA & TOMMY

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NESSA & TOMMY

I was actually surprised to read her text message. Nessa wrote: “I apologize. Our love story is nothing out of the ordinary.” Over the last three years that I’ve been speaking to couples and hearing their stories, I feel that each and every one of them is special. No matter how much of the initial courting stage might feel mundane or oft repeated, it’s what happens in between the lines that speaks volumes. 

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SHIELA & JEFFREY.

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SHIELA & JEFFREY.

We finally arrived at the desired location. I stepped out of the car and walked toward where my client was standing. Jeffrey, looking a bit pressured, was trying to decide which outfit he should wear first. “Yeah, you gotta wear the gray sweater first.” I reassured him. I then peeked over the rear window of his car. To my surprise his back seat was filled with props and items that are all intended to be used for the shoot. I knew then and there that this was going to be a great session.

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MARIA & TUAN. BACKYARD ENGAGEMENT

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MARIA & TUAN. BACKYARD ENGAGEMENT

We were invited to dinner by Tuan and Maria the night before their esession. Either to calm their nerves or to get to know us better. Nonetheless, we talked and laughed over Korean BBQ and some good red wine. Listening to Maria and Tuan recall their past was amusing. Each person had their own version of the story to tell. Despite Tuan’s version being a little bit more on the comedic side, you could still see the sincerity in his eyes. 

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