the latest & greatest

If you know me, you know I love a good sunrise session. Maybe I’m a freak of nature, or maybe I just love the morning light. I’ll let you decide. I somehow persuaded Mary and James to accompany me up to the mountains before the sun came up for their peak autumn engagement session. 

We fueled up with some hot coffee before making our trek up towards Hope Valley and found ourselves in the perfect location before the birds chirped. I spotted this location years ago and will talk just about anyone and everyone into going with me because it’s just that magical in every season. 

Mary told me weeks after that they had both been so nervous the night before that they barely slept. But as soon as we hopped out into the open valley, they were too busy to think twice about their nerves.

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My fiancé Jaime and I had never taken any sort of professional photos before, so the thought of 2 hours of shooting made us cringe. We had just accepted the fact that we had to take these pictures for our save the dates. From the second we met up with Vanessa she made us feel so comfortable with her bubbly and upbeat personality. We arrived at the location and our nerves were going nuts, but she assured us we would be fine. I’ve never felt so at ease doing something so out of my element. She let us be ourselves and made a two hour shoot feel like 10 minutes. Still we wondered how the pictures would look and how awkward we would look in them. It was the longest 2 weeks of my life waiting for the final photos, but when we finally saw the pictures edited we were absolutely blown away. We looked so natural and so much better than I could have ever imagined. Vanessa has a vision like nothing I’ve ever seen before. We loved her and the pictures so much we scheduled another shoot with her a week later. Vanessa is not only professional and talented, but warm and comforting.. We will never use anyone else for our photos and I’m telling the world about her.

— Mary H.

Fall Engagement Session in the Mountains

According to Dan, the proposal was code named “Operation Sea Otter,” where he asked Sarah to marry him right by the water at Moonstone Beach. They both share a love of otters and, just as Dan was about to get on one knee, they looked out on the water and saw a pair of otters. No joke. If that doesn’t melt your heart, folks, I don’t know what will.

When Sarah, Dan, and I were discussing the details of their engagement session, they only had one request; they wanted their shoot to be where Dan had proposed. We picked the date (which was several months out) and really hadn’t give weather a second thought. California usually has pretty fantastic weather, even in the winter.

Well, fast forward to February and we had the storm of the century. on our hands. Luckily, the time of day that we scheduled our shoot, there was a break in the torrential downpour which allowed for the most stunning backdrop to their photos. The combination of the ocean and green, rolling hills is where it’s at.

I’m not sure if I have ever laughed so much during an engagement session. Honestly. Their love is both evident and contagious. Thank you, Dan and Sarah, for choosing me to photograph such a special day. You guys rock.

These two are getting married this June and I could not be more thrilled.  XOXO

Engagement Session: Sarah and Dan