A couple of months ago, I offered to do a portrait session with my little sister because 1) my other little sis and I did one together a few years prior while she was still in high school and 2) establishing self-esteem during the teens years is so challenging, and I wanted to help my sister see how beautiful she is! She reminded me that her braces were (*fingers crossed*) officially coming off in April, so we decided to wait until then. Spoiler alert: braces are gone!
I was headed down to Discovery Bay for the weekend anyways to spend some time with Shelbee, so we drove down to the Marina and took the long trek out to the lighthouse. Just hours prior, we were basically in the same spot, tangled up in seaweed on the jet ski--two sitting ducks. Thankfully with a little problem solving, we got out in time to do our sunset shoot! And it was totally worth it.
We were hoping for the place to ourselves to forego any embarrassing encounters, and were relieved to only have to share our spot with one other photographer. Not only was I excited to get some shots at the lighthouse (a first for me), but the weather and lighting was perfect, aside from a little pesky wind.
We had a great time posing, laughing, balancing on heels in gravel, and mostly trying to capture a shot of Shelbee without the wind attacking her face! Can't have anything obstructing our view of that beautiful smile now, can we? ;) Thank you, little sis, for being my model for the day and allowing me to capture these shots of you and your new pearly whites!
About a year ago, my friend told me that her beloved Subaru (which she and her friends hand painted to resemble the cosmos!) was on its way out. She had hoped that before I returned home to California, we would have the chance to celebrate it with a fun and sexy boudoir shoot. Well, the day before I began my road trip home, we made it happen!
With the help of some friends, we found the perfect property in Buckley, WA and let our artistic vision come to life. She brought it all; spirit, spunk, sass...
...oh, and did I mention her amazing galaxy skirt?
And, of course, there was a galaxy scarf, too. 'Cuz why the heck not.
I joked that between the two cars that passed by during our shoot, we'd soon be the talk of the town--maybe even make it on the front page of the local newspaper. Overall, the shoot was filled with laughter, joy, some flair, and lots and lots of glitter.
What she asked of me was definitely not a conventional request, and that's what made it so damn fun! To add to the experience, I brought a bottle of champagne. And, of course, it became a prop.
Thank you for trusting me to help bring your vision to fruition. I had such an amazing time with you; laughing, catching up, and photographing your bum (which is really the only appropriate way to end my time in Washington). Cheers to the Galaxy Subaru!
"Your nose is so cold!"
We stood nestled in the trees, the fall sun setting behind crisp, evening clouds. It was a beautiful autumn evening, and somehow we managed to escape the rain.
That prior afternoon, I had flown home from Seattle, where the rain plagued the city and thick rain clouds shielded the sun from view. On my drive back, heavy fog blanketed the East Bay, but the moment I drove through the Caldecott Tunnel, the fog broke and the sun shone through. While I'm totally able to make the rain and fog work for a photo session, I can't say I don't prefer the sunshine!
Instead of encountering the fog, our session location was fresh and bright, although it did require a short trek through the mud soaked autumn leaves.
Truth is...I hadn't seen either Curt nor Salina since I was in their wedding in September 2017! So, not only was this shoot necessary for some seasonal Christmas cards, but it was also a great excuse to catch up!
Fun fact: Salina and I have known each other since we were seven! I am truly thankful that she thought to reach out to me to do this lovely fall session with she and her husband. Thankfully, I think Salina still loves me, regardless of the mud on her heels!
Four years ago, at a Chinese restaurant in Santa Cruz, Marissa's eyes fell upon a man sitting at another booth. Determined to get to know him, she ultimately worked up the guts to write her number on a slip of paper for her best friend to hand over on her behalf (with a note to remind him that she, of course, was the brunette). Now, that slip of paper sits nestled next to a polaroid of the two of them, placed in a frame on their bedroom wall.
I have known Marissa since the start of our freshman year in college, and she never fails to make me laugh. And, upon meeting Ken, she has never seemed happier. The two of them have such a fun and playful vibe to their relationship, and of course, they share a huge love for their kitty (also the love of their life), Abby (so many Snapchats of her, you guys). When we all find the time to get together, there is an endless supply of joy, laughter, heart to hearts, and of course, lots of love. These two never fail to lift my spirits.
Before this engagement session, Marissa's best friend (and future Maid of Honor), Madison, organized a surprise engagement party exactly one year prior to their wedding day. This special day included lots of food and drinks, decor, the company of various friends and family (some of whom drove for 6+ hours to celebrate with her!), and of course, an endless loop of Hilary Duff's "What Dreams Are Made Of" playing in the background. There was also wind...lots of wind.
It was especially clear after our weekend together how loved these two are, and how much joy they bring to those around them. In fact, some of my favorite weekends in Santa Cruz are the ones where we all sit snuggled on the couch in the living room, with a drink in our hands, playing Fish Bowl and laughing so hard we get dizzy. Marissa and Ken have never failed to make me feel like such an integral part of their journey and love story, and I am so thankful to have been the one to document this moment for them. So thank you, Marissa and Ken, for adventuring through the slippery rock terrain with me and for allowing me to capture this special time in your life. Here are a few of my favorites from our session together!