October 28, 2018
We shot Michelle and Andrew in Atwater Village, close to where they call home in Los Angeles. They wanted the funky, boutique vibe of the village with a taste of what makes Los Angeles unique, so executing that vision was so fun. As a result, Allen and I got to do a lot of exploring in a neighborhood we hadn’t visited much before. Now we definitely want to come back for more sessions and to check out some of the delicious eateries and hole-in-the-wall stores we spotted.
The Christmas Spirit
Michelle and Andrew have been together for four years but their romance actually began at work. Michelle was decorating for Christmas and was deep into an intricate design for a door. A nurse approached her and kept making fun of what she was doing. Her first impression was not favorable–she remembers thinking “Who is this annoying guy?” But maybe the magic of the holiday season was at work! After that, Michelle kept running into Andrew at happy hours with other coworkers. The couple started out as friends, texting and hanging out. Their relationship soon blossomed into the romance that led to their proposal story! What they love best about being together is how they can really be their authentic selves with one another, and how they never get tired of trading hugs and kisses.
Down On One Knee?
The day of the proposal started out as an ordinary one. Michelle and Andrew are a laid-back and relaxed couple, and this casual attitude was a perfect cover for what Andrew had planned. He suggested that they drive up to Angeles Crest so that he could try a new app he downloaded. Michelle agreed and they drove up, looking for a good place to pull off and enjoy the sunset. Finally, they found a perfect turn-out and got out to enjoy the view of the city.
Andrew started telling Michelle how much he loves her and enjoys their life together, and asked Michelle to marry him! Andrew had a knee injury at the time. Due to this, he couldn’t get down on one knee per tradition. Michelle freaked out, not wanting him to risk being hurt, and snatched the ring before he could even try! She put it on right away and of course said yes. (No word on how the “new app” worked, but if Andrew meant the proposal, we’d say it worked perfectly.)
Before we do sessions, Allen and I like to scout out spots when possible so we can start planning. Neither of us had visited Atwater Village before. We could see how Michelle and Andrew fell in love with the place! Atwater Village unites the metropolitan feel of larger Los Angeles with the smaller, mom-and-pop vibe of classic California. When we were initially scouting, the neighborhood was lively and crowded. But on the day of the shoot itself, we were so lucky to have open areas everywhere we went! It really allowed us to showcase just Michelle and Andrew in the environment they call home. You can see that they can’t stop smiling into one another’s eyes. Our final shots are closer to their home, with the signature LA palm trees arching above.
Allen loves architecture and enjoyed getting pictures of the unique storefronts and signs. I feel like he captured the funky mood of the strip. My favorite spot was probably the giant rainbow wall. It’s smeared like a sunset, and it offered such amazing contrast with Michelle and Andrew.
Tips & Tricks for Your Engagement Shoot
- Think of what places you and your partner love. We always feel lucky when we get to discover the relationship a couple has not just through their stories and interactions, but with the places that are important to them. Some of our shots in bushes here are actually a little off the road in a small shortcut that Michelle takes while walking. We could see people from Atwater Village lazily fishing the river below. It was definitely a spot neither Allen nor I would have identified, and yet those pictures turned out beautifully.
- Communicate your vision to your photographers beforehand if you can. This helps us scout places with an eye towards what speaks to you. And it makes it easier to prepare for situations like crowded public places!