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UCLA Westwood Engagement Session

I’ve always wanted to shoot an engagement session on UCLA’s campus in Westwood, CA. But, for some reason whenever it came time for selecting a location with my clients, I would end up in other notable locations such as Santa Monica, the South Bay or Downtown Los Angeles.

When I suggested the idea of UCLA’s campus to Dore & Chris for their own engagement session, they were thrilled! Not only was this location in their own virtual backyard, but they also have personal ties to the university as well.  All in all, everything came together perfectly! The day was gorgeous, the couple looked beautiful, and the campus was full of photographic opportunities.

In all honesty, there were so many possibilities jumping out at me that it was almost sensory overload: from the buildings, arches and columns, landscape, and so on. All of these aesthetic elements deeply appealed to me and made this a new favorite destination for engagement sessions in the future.

When shooting an engagement session or even a wedding for that matter, there are 3 things for me that need to come into alignment: lighting, location and of course the subject(s). I’m always looking for the “good light”, even when I don’t have a camera in hand, after so many years of experience, it’s just instinctual. This visual training and awareness is both a blessing and a curse! It is not uncommon for me to see the perfect light and not be on a shoot, or see someone who is not my subject standing in this amazing golden backlit sunbeam, and they have no idea! 😉

So with my eyes feasting on the newness of this place and all of the potential areas to frame this stunning couple, we made our way through this iconic Los Angeles university. Royce Hall was one of my favorite stops along the way. The light pouring through the arches was soft and warm and the brick and stone exterior provided an imposing scale and perspective. Dore & Chris added the human element and rounded out the composition with their magnetic chemistry and sweet affection.

Spending an afternoon photographing a couple really gives me a great sense of their relationship and this session was no exception.  I’m happy to say that the time spent with Dore & Chris for this session really got me excited for their big day in December!

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