Lovers in Havana: Felix + Ishak

Lovers in Havana: Felix + Ishak

To meet Felix (floral jacket) and Ishak (black jacket) is to meet vibrant electricity in a colorful place. You can't help but to feel happiness and excitement when you're in their presence. We shot in the streets of Havana at 7am and it was nothing short of early morning magic. And even better for them: they got on a plane to Paris later that evening for what would be Felix's first time out of his home country! During the entire shoot all we did was laugh and it was easy to see their genuine love for one another. Their energy was contagious!

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Real Couples // A Special Clemson Engagement Session in Columbia: Brent + Cass

Real Couples // A Special Clemson Engagement Session in Columbia: Brent + Cass

I loved being able to document the little looks between these two and learn about their engagement story. When Cass first told me about the way Brent proposed I was ecstatic to hear something as romantic as the story she shared! She told me about how Brent invited her to travel to Paris with him, how they spent a few days in the city as girlfriend and boyfriend, and how he surprised her one morning with the question of a lifetime. Doesn’t that sound dreamy and oh-so-romantic?! Brent and Cass left the country as a couple dating and returned ready to promise each other their forever.

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Real Couples // A Lake Michigan Beach Engagement: Emily + Ang

Real Couples // A Lake Michigan Beach Engagement: Emily + Ang

Emily's engagement ring is gold with a small diamond and was made for my great-grandmother in the 1940s by my great-uncle in Melbourne. My great-grandmother was a rabble-rousing Anglican woman who loved me dearly and was always kind. It seemed appropriate to give it to a rabble-rousing Episcopalian woman who loves me dearly and is always kind.

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Real Couple // A Fijian-Mexican Engagement Shoot in Oakland: Falisha + Jorge

Real Couple // A Fijian-Mexican Engagement Shoot in Oakland: Falisha + Jorge

We chose to have our engagement photos in Oakland because it's special for both of us. My grandparents migrated from the Fiji islands to Oakland, and his parents from Mexico to Oakland. It was the landing place for both our families – their first taste of a foreign culture where they longed to be and the start of the American dream. 

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Real Couple // A Natural Setting Engagement Session in Mount Airy, NC: Ashley + Ruthie

Real Couple // A Natural Setting Engagement Session in Mount Airy, NC: Ashley + Ruthie

I'll never forget the moment my whole life changed. As I came down the escalator to the baggage claim, the woman of my dreams was waiting. She had my favorite flowers, hydrangeas, and the most heartfelt card in hand. Her legs were shaking as I approached her, kissing her before exchanging words. I've never lived a more romantic moment than that one. We really haven't been apart much since.

Two girls means two proposals! I asked first, on Elon day, right in front of her college dorm where she had a brick made with her name on it. She graduated there, under the oaks, and so did my dad when he went to Elon in 1972 (another thing that drew me to her). Elon is a special part of our story because it's part of what brought us to NC and allowed our paths to cross. I had flowers, a note, and a necklace with Ashley's married initials monogrammed waiting for her to find at the brick with her name.

The same words in my note she had engraved on the ring box she used to propose to me two days later at the airport where we first met (she's definitely the more romantic one). "Without pause, without a doubt, in a heartbeat, I'll keep choosing you."

Being in our thirties, we both feel like we've waited a long time for the right one. We're thrilled to start our lives together, make our own traditions, get through school these next two years, and work on growing our family. We look forward to the depth of companionship that time will bring to our relationship, knowing that things won't always be perfect or easy, but that we are a team and we will love each other through any storm we may weather.

We chose to have our pictures done in a natural setting because we wanted the focus to be on us and our connection. We are often told that "we look so in love" and wanted that to come across in our pictures without distraction from a busy background.

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Real Couple // A Diablo Lake Engagement Session in Washington: Iyanna and Michael

Real Couple // A Diablo Lake Engagement Session in Washington: Iyanna and Michael

We got engaged on our four-year anniversary. Ever year we try to outdo each other with gifts on our anniversary. I was sure that I would win this year as I planned on gifting Michael, not one, but two Seattle Sounders jerseys because they are his favorite MLS soccer team. I had planned to record his reaction live for all of our family and friends to witness his priceless reaction. However, I did not realize that Michael had planted all of these ideas into my head through various family members. 

Michael played along with the surprise and had a small gift to give me so that I felt I had won that year’s gift exchange, and at the very end of it all Michael got down on one knee and proposed to me while all of our family and friends watched from all over the country. It was a magical moment that we’ll have forever and can relive whenever we want because he made sure that I had recorded it.

Diablo Lake was chosen as our photoshoot location by suggestion of our photographer, Meghann. It had been on our list of places to visit and therefore it was the perfect opportunity.

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Real Couples // Joshua Tree Engagement Photos: Eda + Matt

Real Couples // Joshua Tree Engagement Photos: Eda + Matt

Matt had been carrying a ring around for over 4 months and proposed on the last day we were in Copenhagen. We were at a dessert bar and he asked the waitress to hide the ring in my pastry, but they almost brought my dessert to the wrong couple! He told me that this place specifically puts gold in their desserts and when I found the ring, I thought it was part of the tart until he got down on one knee. Good thing I didn't eat it! I was surprised to hear that all our family members already knew except me. He nailed it!

We planned this trip just for leisure and our lovely photographer just so happened to have time to meet us in Joshua Tree for a quick engagement session. It was so nice to have such a different landscape in these shots.

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Real Couples // Evening Garden Engagement Session in Shelby Township, Michigan: Genevieve + Maurice

Real Couples // Evening Garden Engagement Session in Shelby Township, Michigan: Genevieve + Maurice

Maurice and I met while attending Central Michigan University. After passing each other a few times on campus, exchanging smiles each time, we decided it was time we spoke. Maurice asked me to be his date for Sweetest Day, and five years later, on that same day, he asked me to spend the rest of my life with him. Breakfast in bed and a trip to the movies was just the beginning of our day. Maurice surprised me with a photo shoot at our local park. As we walked onto a wooden bridge overlooking the creek, I was shocked to see both of our parents approaching us. Seeing as how my parents don't live in the area, I knew something big was about to happen. Caught on camera was my guy on one knee, and myself emotionally overjoyed with the fact that I'll be spending the rest of my life with my best friend. We then celebrated with a family dinner and headed home. To my surprise, there was even more to come. I walked in to find hundreds of photos of us surrounded by string lights, candles, and a bottle of wine. Am I not the luckiest girl in the world?!

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Real Couples // A Natural Engagement Session in Boca Raton: Kelsey + Kris

Real Couples // A Natural Engagement Session in Boca Raton: Kelsey + Kris

Kris and I met during high school track and field. We have always been polar opposites of one another, but like opposing sides of magnets, we were drawn together. Kris has a way of mellowing out my high-strung nature and keeping me grounded to the here and now. And I like to think that I bring happiness and structure to Kris's life. We've been together (on-again, off-again) for going on 17 years. Being apart during our college years made us both aware of how much better we are together than apart.

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Real Couple // Fun and Flirty Amusement Park Engagement Session in San Diego: Angela + Jamie

Real Couple // Fun and Flirty Amusement Park Engagement Session in San Diego: Angela + Jamie

Jamie's cousin, Glenn, told me to come to his housewarming. I really didn't want to go because I was already in my pajamas and I knew Glenn didn't have a new place. Our friend Jesus ended up picking me up so I had no other choice. It turned out to be Jamie's housewarming—I met Jamie and thought he was cute and shy. Later after I left, Jamie asked Glenn about me and the rest is history.

I (Jamie) had asked her parents for their blessing a few months back. It was her birthday weekend and she always talked about going to Catalina Island so I wanted to surprise her with a day trip.

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Real Couples // Randall's Island Park Engagement Photos in NYC: Hari + Jen

Real Couples // Randall's Island Park Engagement Photos in NYC: Hari + Jen

I (Jen) am a San Francisco native living in New York for the past seven years. I'm a book editor, and passionate about fiction, traveling, animals, good TV, and Vietnamese food. Hari is from India and moved to New York four years ago. He runs a creative agency that works to develop, design, and brand companies. He's a fan of cricket, podcasts, pets, whiskey, and animated films.

Hari took me to the New York Public Library (one of my favorite places) under the guise of meeting up with a friend. He arranged to have one of the security guards let us into a restricted section and he got down on one knee.

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Real Couples // An Engagement Session in the Forest: Casper + Ulises

Real Couples // An Engagement Session in the Forest: Casper + Ulises

Casper was the one to propose to me. I had just started my Master's program at SDSU and he was adamant that we take a trip up to Seattle. I was excited, but nervous because of my program. I had a lot of homework that I needed to complete and wasn't too thrilled to be going up North because of my school, but I went up anyway. We strolled around the city for a day. Then he took me on a one-day trip to Bainbridge Island. I was very excited because I had never taken a ferry to the island. We were at a beautiful park sitting on a bench with an amazing view of Seattle when Casper popped the question.

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Propose On The Beach, Then Handcraft Matching Rings // With These Rings

Propose On The Beach, Then Handcraft Matching Rings // With These Rings

Tory planned the most elaborate and heartfelt proposal for her girlfriend, Kate, and a run-of-the-mill engagement ring would not do. After dating for seven years and living together for two, Tory and Kate knew they wanted to get married, but both felt ambivalent about engagement rings, as neither wears much jewelry. Tory says that after guessing at Kate’s finger size based on a mood ring, she went into Tiffany’s one day after going for a run, “which was one of the funniest experiences. I was like, can I just look at bands with no bling, and they were very confused why this sweaty woman with no engagement ring wanted to try on wedding bands.” In the end, Tory decided they would make their own wedding bands together at With These Rings in Port Townsend, Washington, and she planned an elaborate proposal leading up to the making of the rings.

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Real Couples // Engagement Photos in NYC: Jálynn + Tiffany

Real Couples // Engagement Photos in NYC: Jálynn + Tiffany

"Tiffany and I met for the first time on a January evening in New York City. It was my birthday, and I was celebrating with friends. Tiffany had been invited to the same bar by a mutual acquaintance. Tiffany recalls she was amazed by how quickly we connected, despite just meeting that night. I was taken with Tiffany’s quiet confidence, charming intellect, and sweet smile.

After discovering Tiffany and I had both attended boarding school in the Northeast, had the same major in college, and were both passionate about careers in public service, I was smitten. We closed down the bar that night, and after hanging out a few more times, we finally went out on a proper date."

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Real Couples // A Wintery Engagement Session on the Streets of Paris: Gisele + Luiza

Real Couples // A Wintery Engagement Session on the Streets of Paris: Gisele + Luiza

It was fifth of August 2013 when I first saw her. We both work for the same organization, and she was giving a speech regarding a subject that I was completely aware of, so I actually had planned not to be there. When I saw her, I couldn't help but sit and watch the flawless way she spoke about something she enjoys and listen to the sound of her voice. Some days later, I found the courage to send her an e-mail (she did not have Facebook or any social media, which I found weird!) inviting her do have lunch with me. After that, we could not stop being together.

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