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Yasmeen and I went up to Yosemite the day before. On the drive up we got stuck behind this guy going 10mph under the speed limit. Now before you start telling me to be patient, there were at least 10 cars behind us. No exaggeration. We finally arrive at the tunnel and lo and behold they are doing construction. Damn. One way traffic into the valley. Not fun. Nothing really beats that view when you exit the tunnel off of 41 and emerge in Yosemite Valley. That entrance is such a poetic thing especially for those who are on their first visit but even to the rest of us who have been there before.

 

That evening I saw my first Yosemite sunset. Even with some of the lingering smoke from recent fires, it was beautiful. Sunset in the valley is very special. The way the light falls in there is so unique due to those rising granite walls on either side of you.

 

Cue the alarms going off at 5am. We stayed in a cabin just outside the valley so we could get up for sunrise and not have to make the extra early morning drive. There was a fair amount of smoke driving up to Glacier Point. Enough that it worried me. Another first for me was arriving at Glacier Point for sunrise. Honestly, there are very few words to describe it. Its beauty is awe inspiring. The kind that limits you to one syllable words. Breathtaking. Spiritual. Gratitude. Wonder. Joy. All things I felt once we arrived.

 

Amanda and Joel were such good sports letting me take them all around Yosemite. The one thing that I continue to learn throughout all my engagements is that each love is different. The way we interact with each other. The things we say to make the other smile. The small nuances that people don’t appreciate. That’s what makes it beautiful. So although there have been thousands of engagements shot here in Yosemite, the love that this two have, make it unique. Make it their own.

 

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I like to talk about the things close to my heart. This blog & website are a lot of that. Love. Creating new directions. Those are all things that are great an awesome. But every now and then something touches me in a different way. A lot of times these instances are the ones that get “edited” from social media. That’s okay I don’t think we should talk about EVERYTHING to EVERYONE. But what I do want to encourage that we talk about the serious, emotional side with those who we trust. And I want to show people it’s okay to be “emotional”.

 

Recently I have felt very compelled to talk. To say something. I almost feel obligated to. The death of Chester Bennington of Linkin Park hit me hard when I saw the news. I would listen to Linkin Park so much when I was a kid. That was the first CD that I owned. Yeah I didn’t understand fully what the lyrics meant at the time. I don’t think a lot of us understood them as we do now. But that music was something I could relate to. I think that on some level we all relate. That’s what music does for us. It helped me get through tough times of the everyday struggles growing up as an adolescent.

 

When I saw the news a few days ago I was moved more than I anticipated. Thats not the right word, because we never “anticipate” something like this happening. But I was moved very deeply. So naturally like a lot of us probably have been doing, I flicked through my phone and put their entire collection in my phone on shuffle.

 

The raw authenticity of his voice, of their lyrics, was so clear to me. There is a beauty in it that you can’t really articulate. You just have to feel it.

 

So what I am leading up to is this. Depression & anxiety are very heavy words. For those who haven’t been there it can bring about a kind of pulling away response. Like “That’s definitely not me, and I don’t want to get anywhere near it” sort of thing.

 

Well I want to do the opposite. We have all felt sad. We have all been nervous. Anxious. Despair. Shame. Guilt.Lonely. Loss. And on and on. Let’s stop acting like we don’t. That is part of what makes us human.

 

That is okay. It is okay to feel those things. And even more, it is okay to talk about them. It’s important that we do talk about it we those we love. That part is hard. And scary. But fear is just another one of those emotions that we all feel too. So you are not alone.

 

 

 

My heart goes out to Chester, his family, friends & the lives just like mine that he touched. He inspired me to not be ashamed of what I felt and to create the art that inspires me. 

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Fresno gets kind of a bad rap. Especially downtown. I’ve even been one to be hesitant at times. But there is so much beauty to be held in our town if you only open your eyes to it. And more importantly your heart.

Now let’s bring in the main subjects of our story, Drew & Haylie.

Haylie is a teacher and not to mention she volunteers downtown helping the homeless. Drew works in outreach too with Teen Challenge  Ministry in Los Angeles. Both these two have huge hearts. The kind of hearts that truly see the best in people even when we sometimes find it hard to see it ourselves.

So it was only fitting that, both of them having grown up in the central valley, that we shoot their engagement here.

I hope you enjoy Drew & Haylie’s engagement photographs!

 

 

As a side note I have a huge announcement coming up soon about adding vide services to my repertoire so be on the look out for that!

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A lot of times when I see art, photographs, paintings or even hear music, it connects & resonates with something inside of me.

A majority of the time I have no idea what that something is.

Do you experience art that way?

Granted there are the times when I just know. Where my genius shows up and is very clear about the inspiration he is providing (side note about me I have adopted Elizabeth Gilbert’s way of thinking where I believe I have a genius that sometimes shows up and provides me with inspiration and a lot of the time he is off doing God knows what). However I think that if we continue to sit with that something. To embrace it and just listen in. That we may find a direction. Or even a bread crumb as to what about it touches us.

I really am in love with this session. Not because it is “epic” though. i love it because it reflects something that I am currently learning and going through.

Love is about embracing all of the mountains as well as the valleys. Love is about not pushing back when life’s wind tries to push us, but rather finding the joy, the beauty in that wind.

That’s why I love this session so much. I hope that you enjoy these photographs as much as I do. That something about them touches you. I’d love to hear about it. Jamie & Nick are a beautiful couple and were totally willing to adventure out into that wind with me and I am super grateful for that.

If you want to see more of my work head over to instagram to see daily postings that I treat really as a daily journal entry.

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So i have been doing this for a little while now I just haven’t really posted it to the website just yet. But I have fallen in love with video. As a storyteller I want you to connect with whatever story it is that I am trying to tell as much as possible. Video for me is just another tool to offer my wedding clients another memento of this beautiful time in their lives. And I personally love it.

So the weather was not ideal for this shoot. And I love it that much more because of it. Ryan & Mariah were fantastic in being flexible with me and willing to venture out into the rain & wind without a care in the world. I think at one point I heard her whisper “this is the most fun I have had in a while.” We first stopped at Kuppajoy Downtown, then made our way near Yoshi Now where they were kind enough to shelter us from the rain AND let us take a few photos inside of the store, so awesome.

Honestly, I would love to know what you think? Do you like this mix of photo + video? Do you love it? Or maybe not for you? Let me know below in the comments!

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