Stephan & Adriano's Los Angeles Arts District Session

I keep calling this an engagement session but technically Stephan and Adriano aren't engaged. However, seeing as how close they were and their great relationship I can't help but think that an engagement isn't far off ;)

We chose the Arts District in Los Angeles for their session because I knew it would match their vibrant, urban style. Stephan is a professional choreographer and photographer and Adriano is a former Italian model. Obviously they were both very comfortable in front of the camera! We had a great time wandering around, laughing, enjoying the beautiful murals, and sneaking onto a roof top garage for our final few shots of the evening.

Sessions like this are why I became a photographer. There is nothing I crave more than capturing a relationship authentically, and all that requires are people who trust me and allow their true selves shine through. Thank you Stephan and Adriano for being so trusting and so real in front of my lens!

Stacy & Brian's Tahoe National Forest Engagement Session

While we all live in the Bay Area, Stacy and Brian requested that we do their engagement session in the high Sierras, specifically at Sardine Lake in the Tahoe National Forest. For generations Brian's family has been coming here so it's infused with memories and tradition. Not only that, but Brian proposed to Stacy high atop a peak at this very place.

I brought my family along and we stayed in the cutest one room cabin with no cell service and no internet (we had to drive 90 miles out of the mountains for that). My kids are city kids through and through so this was quite the experience for them :) Stacy and Brian left a bottle of wine in our cabin along with a note welcoming us to their special slice of heaven.

For our session we jumped in a car with their adorable dog Cowboy and explored the area. We knew that we wanted to end our session on the lake in rowboats right as the sun crested behind the mountains. We frolicked in late summer meadows, splashed around in a stream, loosened up with a cocktail, and then went out on the lake. It was magical.

Click Away, no male model, and working under pressure

Picture this: It's day two of the Click Away conference in San Antonio, TX where I am one of the instructors/presenters. I am all set to stream with a crew of four camera men for my class on shooting couples, one of just 11 classes set to be filmed out of over 150 offered. My female model shows up on time and I get her dressed. Our male model is late, so we keep prepping and figure he's just a few minutes out. With 5 minutes to go until our start time, I'm informed that my male model is a no-show. We quickly run through our options- use just the female model alone? Pull a female attendee out of my group and ask her to pose with the female model? Try to scramble and find any available man? Shooting a subject alone was not an option and I wasn't keen on trying to pose two straight women...if we had a lesbian couple that would have been fine but sadly the female model was straight wink emoticon So, I ask them to find me a man. Keep in mind, this is a conference put on by Clickin Moms and the only males in attendance were the maybe 8-10 spouses that tagged along as well as any male vendors. The Clickin Mom's staff apparently tried to find fellow speaker Jesh de Rox...the infamous, amazing, professional educator and couple's posing extraordinaire Jesh de Rox. I certainly would have thrown up in the bushes if I had to pose Jesh.

With basically no time to spare, we get a call and are told that they found someone- Michael, AKA the Shoot Proof Guy. He's wearing his Shoot Proof t-shirt so they ask if I want him to change. I say yes, knowing that this poor guy will literally have to sprint up to his room and then back down to get to us in time. He shows up, looking completely perfect right as we are ready to begin (I mean, he is wearing a pocket square!) I barely have time to introduce myself, let alone prep him for what I'm about to have him do in front of a completely full class, streaming video, and with a girl he has never met. Without missing a beat, Michael rolls with every crazy thing I throw at him and looks amazing as he does it. I am so thankful for his willingness to help me out. What a crazy experience for all of us! And, a big huge thank you to all of the Clickin Moms staff who scrambled to find a solution to our problem and especially to Jodi Arego who was by my side with a smile on her face assuring me that it would all work out smile emoticon

If you want to see the class/video in it's entirety, it's included in a video bundle offered by Clickin Mom's and on sale for a limited time for $99. If I talk extra fast, laugh a little too much, or overall seem awkward in any way let's go ahead and blame it on not having a model 5 minutes before I was filmed. haha.

The perfectionist in me feels the need to tell you that because of the camera crew, we had to stay in one location for the session. Also, it was 1:30pm. Okay, enough of are some photos :) The first photo was taken by the awesome April Nienhuis.