Hawaiian girl and Santa Cruz boy are tying the knot this fall season.
One of the reasons I love living and working in California is that I can shoot outdoor almost the entire year. I did that free spirited engagement shoot in the beginning of December near Santa Cruz, CA.
I got introduced to Leilani and Matt by Matt’s mother whose engagement photo session I did few years ago. Actually, it wasn’t exactly an engagement session, but I would call it a Forever Love photo session. A photo session for people who got married a long time ago and want to have a record of their special relationship.
Currently, all my clients who book me for more than 4 hours of a wedding coverage have an option: either to get a complimentary engagement session or have an extra hour at their wedding day. As most of the couples I speak for first time Leilani and Matt weren’t very enthusiastic about an engagement photo session too. After, I explained to them how important this is going to be for us to get to know each other and that they will not have enough time at their wedding for being in front of the camera by themselves for hour or two hours, they realize how important this was for their relationship as well.
The first thing in my mind about photographing someone at the Santa Cruz area was the beach and the water, surfing and swimming, chasing and laughing. I know it may sound cliche, but the images always turn out great! However, being born and raised in Hawaii , Leilani preferred something that reminds her to the nature there and where she met Matt. The organic and spiritual style of these two beautiful people who decided to connect their lives forever took me in the middle of The Redwoods - at the magical Forest of Nisene Marks State Park near Aptos, CA.
First we started shooting under the big redwood trees. However, our main goal was to find the little creek there where we could take some photos of them. Believe it or not finding the little creek was a quiet mystery.
It was the beginning of December and it was still quite chill out there, especially under the tall redwoods. But that didn’t bother the beautiful Leilani who stepped inside the cold water and walked like she has been doing this since, like a fish.
The scenery was absolutely beautiful. There was this big wall covered with plants and you kind of have a feeling of being inside a botanical garden or an exotic place where all kind of different trees and plants are growing.
I really like the simplicity of the preparation for the photo shoot. A white long dress suggesting pureness brought from their vacation in Bali, a flower crown and a warm pinkish blanket. Fresh and Natural.
This engagement photo session is another pure example where all the pieces come together as one - location, props and styling.