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When I spoke to Bryant, he said, “I’m thinking of proposing as early as this Thursday or by next weekend.” And from there, the ideas started flying within Bryant’s head on the specific location and the details included in it. He wanted everything to be perfect and would not execute this proposal unless it was. So even the Thursday before (what is now) the big day (May 31st), Bryant was uncertain. Would Joyce want to hike all the way to this location? Would location #2 be much more ideal? Did Joyce already know?!? There were definitely also nerves within Bryant so of course, there was a lot of back and forth, but come Friday, we met up and Bryant dropped off the red blanket and the decor for the surprise proposal.

So as I headed to Leo Carrillo State Beach with the bag in tote and the instructions, the nerves started filling up in me as well! I wanted to make sure I set up everything perfectly at the designated spot. I gave myself plenty of time to reach Tower 3 and rearranged the set-up multiple times thinking, Is this the best spot? Is the lighting good here because it will shift before they arrive? Oh my gosh, I have one shot at this and cannot get this wrong! These were the nerves going on inside of me and as I was feeling this, all I could think about was, How is Bryant feeling? I could only imagine how tightly his hands might be gripped around the steering wheel as he casually parked the car or how nonchalantly he was walking toward Tower 3 with his heart beating a million miles per minute.

And then I saw Joyce and Bryant at the top of the staircase. Joyce was was pointing to a location further down, but Bryant was pointing down the staircase. In a way, it was funny because he was trying to lead her in one direction and Joyce had something different in mind, but they eventually reached the spot where everything was set up. Since it was tucked away, Joyce didn’t notice it. Once they reached that red blanket, Bryant pulled out a book he made and together, they looked through photos and flipped through the pages. It then led to words that Bryant prepared and then he dropped down to one knee. There it was – that magical moment and of course, the big YES.

It was super exciting (and nerve wrecking!) to capture this moment, but also super sweet, loving, and all things wonderful. Joyce was actually caught off guard and didn’t expect the proposal so that made it even better. (And the fact that she didn’t see me peeking around the rocks to capture the moment made it even more surprising!)

Congratulations, Joyce and Bryant on your engagement! It was lovely meeting the two of you and capturing this exciting moment!

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Our lives are filled with milestones and moments. Before Cecilia’s birth and arrival, it was her mommy and daddy getting married. Then it was Cecilia doing tummy time for the first time when I took her Christmas photos. And now, not only a big moment for her, but for her entire family (extended included) as well, was Cecilia’s baptism. Held at the San Gabriel Mission, Cecilia was blessed under the house of God and before her family’s eyes. It was a celebratory moment and just one of the many moments Cecilia is going to experience in her life.

As always, it was such a pleasure seeing Ana and Chris and I feel so fortunate to have photographed them and their family once again! They truly are such great people and I love seeing them grow along with Cecilia. Thank you for giving me yet another opportunity you two and I look forward to more throughout the years!

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I met the Aguilar family back in December when we did a Christmas photo session together. During that time the youngest one was sitting up on his own and was showered with love and affection by his older brother and sister. Fast forward to May and now he is the big one! The minute I saw the Aguilar family there was definitely a sense of familiarity – almost like no time had passed, but at the same time, evident that it has been a lil’ while only because the youngest one was walking – even running to reunite with his daddy, brother, and sister who had to take a bathroom break – and exploring galore. Because this was our second session together, the older one shared his love and interest of soccer with me – saying “Goooooooal!” during his individual photos – while their daughter held my hand and we explored South Coast Botanical Garden together. I love that when I take photos of families more than once there is a different type of relationship and that the kids feel comfortable around me to play around and not be shy in front of the camera.

It was such a joy seeing the Aguilar family again and to see how much they have grown, yet remained very much the same as well. I look forward to our next session at the beach! It should be a fun and adventurous one!

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