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San Juan Capistrano Mission Engagement Session

I have to say that this engagement session with Audrey & David is quickly becoming one of my favorites! I was really excited to get creative shooting this magnetic couple at the historic Mission San Juan Capistrano.  It’s always fun to be inspired by a new location, especially one as beautiful and interesting as this one. Braving traffic and well… more traffic, the trek down to Orange County was definitely well worth it!

There were many facets of the mission that made for the perfect setting. I personally loved the ruins of the Great Stone Church, and after having just returned from Italy a few weeks ago, it seemed fitting! The stone ruins reminded me of the various ancient monuments that I’d just visited (give or take a few thousand years of course!). In addition the church, there is also a beautiful garden bursting with color and faded brick.  What’s not to love?!

I’m a big advocate of engagement sessions, and of course there are many reasons to go about scheduling them: experience in front of the camera, the photos themselves, maybe an engagement album or guest book. Most importantly, I love shooting them because it gives me a sense of who this couple is and allows me to go deeper into their story, while they become more comfortable with me and the way I work.  There is really an important partnership that comes into play whenever a new couple chooses me to photograph their engagement and/or wedding.  It is always my utmost priority for my couples to feel at ease, and that I am not just a “hired hand,” but a friend that they have invited into their story.  Spending a couple of hours together really allows for that strong connection to be made. I’m convinced that the wedding photos themselves and the overall wedding day photography experience is greatly enhanced by having done an engagement session beforehand.

At the end of the day, these moments are also REALLY fun for me as the photographer to capture and a blast for the couples I shoot!  Often the engagement session is the first part of the planning and preparation process that really brings it all together for couples. Up until then, it’s making decisions about vendors, the venue itself and other important wedding tasks, and doesn’t leave a whole lot of room for these playful and intimate moments that allow for a much-needed exhale.

With Audrey & David, it really was an enjoyable and special afternoon! Getting to know them on a deeper level was great. I mean, how can you not after a 90 minute drive both ways! I definitely came away with a sense of their love and passion for each other, and at the end of it all, capping the day off with my favorite meal…. You guessed it: Mexican food!

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