Sunrise Proposal Malibu

It’s super rare for me to get the opportunity to document a marriage proposal.  I have done it only one time before, back in 2012 for Rynxes and Mylene.  When I got a message from Nathan about his plans, I was super excited to be there for the big moment!  Nathan wanted to bring his girlfriend to Escondido Beach in Malibu, to the exact spot where they went on their first date 8 months ago.  He planned on a sunrise proposal for the best light and also to have fewer people in the shots.  I arrived at the beach about 15 minutes before the sun came up and waited with my assistant Sindy.  It was a perfect morning with zero wind and a beautiful cloudy sky.  The visibility was so clear we could see all the way to Santa Monica and even Long Beach!

Right on cue at 6:15am, we spotted the two of them walking along the beach toward us.  We stayed back and tried to hide as much as we could.  I used my longest lens (70-200mm) and my assistant got a second angle (with a 50mm) from under the pier.  The next few images are of the sweet proposal!

As you can see by the pictures above… she said “yes!”  She was thrilled to discover we were actually there for her!  After the proposal we did a little portrait session along the beach.  I love how there was so many great spots for pictures.

This last image below is my favorite.  Congratulations to the newly engaged couple!


If you are interested in a proposal or engagement portrait session, CONTACT me today for availability!

Alan & Jenny Engagement

Today, I’d like to share a little bit behind the scenes how I photographed a recent engagement session.  I believe, a big part of my service for my portrait clients is to creating images that are both meaningful and pretty… in addition to facilitating an experience that is also fun.

For Alan and Jenny’s session, they wanted to include their two dogs Millie and Honey.  They are both huge animal lovers and Veterinarians!  They enjoy spending time together hiking and exploring.  Our first thought was a portrait session at the beach, but after timing it out on a weekday for sunset, it didn’t make much sense being in traffic 4-5 hours.  Then, I thought about a recent meetup I attended in Orange County with some fellow photographers.  It turns out, Carbon Canyon wasn’t too far from where they live!  I really love lots of things about Carbon Canyon including pretty views with rolling mountains, lots of plants, a big lake, and good light.

With our location figured out, next on the planning agenda was wardrobe styling.  Jenny initially sent me a picture of a dress she wanted to wear.  From the dress, I created a style board including some options for Alan and the dogs.

Here’s what the session ended up looking like:

Above is a shot I did with one off camera flash a little to the right of camera.  Below, you can see the same pose but with natural lighting.  Notice how much detail we can see in the background from version 1 and version 2?   Which do you prefer?

Above and below is another great sample of natural lighting vs flash.

Alan and Jenny have been to the park before hiking with their dogs.  A couple weeks before the session, they found the mustard fields bursting with color! 

We did a couple options with natural light with one facing toward the sun and the second set was backlit for a softer glow. <3

For our third location we went over to the lake at sunset for a couple more romantic shots.  We were lucky to catch the last little kiss of sunlight before it set over the mountains.

I’m looking forward to seeing these two again soon for one more photo session before their wedding in October. <3