One of the major reasons why I love shooting engagement sessions so much is because it gives me the opportunity to witness and celebrate my couple friends during such a special (yes...sometimes super stressful, but still very special) time of their lives. I not only get to capture how far they have come in their own unique relationship journeys, but also the ever-growing love that continues to move them forward to their wedding day. It's my way of helping them highlight the joys of that season and cheering them on to the even more exciting days ahead!
That is why I am so excited to share these photos of my dear friends, Nick and Grace, who have been on quite a journey of their own since they started dating almost six years ago! I've known Nick for a long time since we grew up at the same church (everyone in his family is pretty much like family to me). I remember during group sleepovers, it'd always be fun to (get hyper/ridiculous) and pester him about his love life...staying up to question him over and over again if he liked anyone...even though absolutely no information whatsoever would ever come out of it. Summer of 2011, it was quite obvious that that had changed when he suddenly started organizing several different events at church, one of which was this super awesome Nagashi Somen event where we ate noodles, oranges, and other fun things as they slid down...a rain gutter?! (Here is a photo of Nick and a photo of Grace from that afternoon.) At the same time, I was moving to Berkeley for school and getting to know Grace, who instantly became one of my most reliable college girl friends amidst a time of transition. I was very happy for Nick to have found someone as sweet and as kind as Grace. Over the years, Clay and I have had lots of fun with these two. A couple of my favorite memories with Nick and Grace include playing Dance Central together during a sleepover the night before Grace's Raging Water birthday party and when we decided to try Kula Revolving Sushi Bar together so we could eat yummy Japanese treats from a conveyer belt! Clay and I also enjoyed helping Nick when he planned an elaborate Bachelor-themed proposal and Beauty & the Beast-themed engagement party for Grace last December (you can read more about that here on How He Asked).
A couple months ago in January, on a rainy day morning, my dear friends Kirstie (my birthday twin!) and Jeff got engaged! These two have a truly special relationship story that started over ten years ago during their high school days. Jeff had actually asked Kirstie to his prom by taking her to a local park in Cupertino and giving her a booklet that he had illustrated and put together. Even though they went their separate ways after graduating high school and college, God eventually brought them back to each other when Jeff moved back to the Silicon Valley for work. When the two finally began dating last year, I could not have seen this girl happier. Any moment, I could always expect a very excited text update about something fun and encouraging that was taking place in their quickly-growing relationship. And I was certainly not surprised at all when Jeff decided to create a new and updated volume of his illustrated booklet to ask her to marry him at the same local park from back in high school!
Here's a little bit about my friendship with Kirstie. She has been a close friend of mine since we started sharing the same home church and college. In fact, when I transferred to Cal and hardly knew anybody, she immediately welcomed me to InterVarsity, our Christian fellowship. My first semester there, she also picked me up after class on our 20th birthday so we could buy each other lunch from Gregoire's and cupcakes from Love at First Bite. And since then, every year we have managed to get together on our/around our birthdays to share a special dessert and celebrate each other. Of course, I was more than happy to help when she asked me if I would be interested in photographing her and Jeff. These two smiley love birds made my job super easy. Even though it was a cold and rainy Sunday morning early before church (and everyone was getting sick), we were able to semi-spontaneously find a nice spot along the coast at Marine Fitzgerald Reserve. Fun fact: The three of us decided to step over a fence and stand right at the edge of a cliff for 85% of these photos! Another fun fact: You may have noticed that I was very intentional about incorporating negative space in my photos this time. That was done per the request of Kirstie, who I have officially deemed the queen of negative space.
Just a little over two years ago, I was studying abroad in Paris and remember being very excited for these two to come visit, so that I could show them some of my favorite spots in the city. On a warm summer afternoon, the three of us shared colorful Pierre Hermé macarons, walked through the cobblestone streets of Paris, and spent an evening sitting & talking on the steps in front of Sacré-Cœur. It feels like not too long ago, I was taking photos of them at the lovely Jardin du Luxembourg and fast forward to this past weekend, I had the opportunity of taking their engagement photos at the lovely San Jose Municipal Rose Garden. It was a delightful afternoon walking through the garden with Jack and Jasmine while capturing their joyful, silly, fun-loving relationship. One of my favorite memories of these two actually happened about a year ago, when our church was organizing a Pastor's Appreciation Night. Jasmine choreographed a dance and body worship to "God's Great Dance Floor" and was open to teaching anybody who wanted to learn. Jack and I both decided to be a part of it. I remember seeing Jack put in a lot of effort to learn the dance during the practices and seeing Jasmine give him constant encouragement. Through those practices, I not only saw their love for each other, but also their dedication to showing appreciation to the pastors at our church. Over the years, I'm glad to have witnessed how these two have loved and supported each other as well as the ways they've become so involved at our church. So excited for what's in store for them as they get married and start this new season of life together!
Just capturing as I go.