White sand, cerulean waves and jaw-dropping sunsets. There really isn't a better beach for engagement portraits or Snapchat selfies than Carmel. Even on the coldest, foggiest days, Carmel beach still takes my breath away. It's like another world... it feels like I'm not even in America anymore when I'm sitting by the water, looking out at the pacific horizon as surfers and dog-lovers roam the coast. And it's only an hour away.
Naturally, Carmel beach is my favorite location to bring couples for an engagement session because of the breath-taking views and beautiful backdrops. It's the perfect spot to celebrate this short season of engagement. I suggested the idea to Christiane + Cody thinking that it was too far for this young lovely Central Valley couple, but they enthusiastically said, "HECK YES!"
One of my first brides ever was my college roommate, Kelsey (as in #kelsteban... you can go way back in the blog archives to find their super cute Clovis wedding), and it was there that Christiane discovered me. In her inquiry, she told me she was friends with Kelsey and loved the work I did with her Clovis wedding. Christiane told me all about the details of her and Cody's Reedley wedding, and my jaw dropped. A beautiful outdoor venue with twinkly market lights, a lake in the backyard and the beautiful rolling hills just outside of the Sequoia National Forest (I mean, what). That's when the idea crossed my mind to give them a Carmel beach engagement session.
After our initial consultation in Clovis, I was sold. Christiane + Cody are two of the most joyful and loving people I've ever met, and super funny, too. I knew it was a match for us! For most of the Carmel engagement session, we were laughing, making jokes and taking pretty pictures. I thought it would be fun to do the first half of their engagement session up in the downtown Carmel luxury shopping areas—that was definitely a great idea (and you'll see why). A more urban setting was unusual for me, but it worked for this sweet couple who loved to explore, read books and make memories in new places. And, of course, the second half was up and down that beautiful white sand and cerulean water that I love. It was the perfect engagement session for a bride and groom I could not wait to celebrate with for their wedding day.
It's really something special to get to photograph a couple for the engagement session AND their wedding. I highly recommend every couple do this because it gives you the chance to get to know your wedding photographer and feel comfortable in front of the camera—it builds chemistry and rapport. After all, your wedding photographer is the vendor that is with you side-by-side for the entire day. It's important to know who you're being vulnerable with, and I love being that friend who gets to walk with you through all the emotions of the day and give you pretty pictures to remind you of all of it. It's truly something special.
Check out some of my favorites from Christiane + Cody's Carmel engagement session and let me know what you think down below!