September 18, 2012

When Ryan Proposed to Emily - Deer Creek Falls - Surprise Engagement Photography

This wonderful love story is very close to my heart, so I will do my best to keep it from turning into a wedding-day speech. Emily has been one of my dearest friends since I moved to Chico over nine years ago and she is one of the sweetest and brightest people I know. She is also one of the hardest working, graduating Chico State in 4 years and getting her Master's Degree just 1 year later.

The day Emily introduced me to Ryan, I knew she met someone special. Not only is he polite and handsome, but he makes her smile and laugh. I don't know if it was the striking red beard or his jokes that won her over, but the way he treats her, the way he dotes on her won us all over. When Ryan approached me and asked how I felt about him proposing to Emily, it wasn't much of a surprise. "I knew it! Do you have a ring? Do you have a plan? How about having it photographed?" He had a plan.

Annually, Ryan's family in Chester, CA, celebrate Independence Day at the Lake Almanor 4th of July Parade. This year's celebration was going to be a special one. His plan was to pop the question while en route from Chico to Chester, atop a beautiful little roadside waterfall called Deer Creek Falls about an hour from Chico. It is a location they often stop to decompress, making the change from "city" life to "mountain" life. The problem with photographing the proposal was that I had other plans for the 4th of July so we had to think of a way trick Emily into thinking my boyfriend and I were going to the mountains with them for the week. That's right, we went so far as to actually pack our bags and headed off caravan-style.

About an hour up the road, we reached our destination. Ryan suggested we take our cameras to get shots of the waterfall - Emily wasn't the wiser since she knows I always carry my camera wherever I go. After hiking down to the top of the falls, we gave Ryan and Emily their space while we "took photos" of the creek and waterfall. One thing we did not take into consideration was the noise of the waterfall: we could not hear a word that was being said so we had to watch their body language to see what was going on. At the point Emily turned to take a step and Ryan stopped her and got down on one knee, I began taking photos. She turned to him and saw the bright pink box with the heart formed of little crystals (handmade by Ryan, of course), she realized the true nature of their stop at the falls. Although we could not actually hear her answer, with the tears in Emily's eyes and the loving embrace that followed, it was an obvious, "Yes!"

Congratulations, Emily and Ryan. I am so happy for the two of you and I can't wait for your magical day.














September 14, 2012

Megan & Cory's Wedding Day - Tuscan Ridge Golf Course, Paradise CA.

After having the pleasure of meeting Megan and Cory during their engagement shoot and learning a little about their classic love story, I was truly excited to be a part of their wedding day. They went to high school together - their senior yearbook "shout-outs" were even on the same page - but it wasn't until years later that their paths joined and they became a couple.

Their spectacular wedding day was set at the Tuscan Ridge Golf Course in Paradise, CA, overlooking the city of Chico and the Sacramento Valley. In addition to the breathtaking views, the venue was completely decked out with creative, chic decorations - the ceremony chandelier, the hanging glass candle holders and crystals, the table decorations and center-pieces, the Just Married sign - all handmade by the talented bride herself. Every detail sparkled during the day and night.

Everything about this magical wedding day was perfect: every bridesmaid - gorgeous; every groomsmen - dapper; every decoration hung thoughtfully. When groom Cory presented the flower girl (Megan's daughter Kiley) with the "third ring," there was an audible "Awwwwww!" from the guests. It was such a beautiful way to symbolize and celebrate the union of two families into one.

Congratulations to Megan and Cory on your marriage. I am so thankful to be able to document your love and matrimony. I cannot wait until future family photo sessions!