What if I told you that you can be from Australia and someone else can be from France and that you will meet in Hong Kong, fall in love, and have your photos taken in San Francisco? Seems a little far-fetched? Well not for Mark and Ratiba.
I met Mark (Australia) and Ratiba (France) through an Instagram contest I held for a free engagement photography session while I was in San Francisco photographing a wedding. What a great couple and very courteous to many.
We met up at the Painted Ladies and then since Mark works for Uber, he had an Uber take us to the Palace of the Arts. I absolutely loved the architecture there and it made for a great spot to shoot some pictures. From there we walked to the beach and walked along the beach towards the Golden Gate Bridge for a photo opportunity. The weather was perfect and the city of San Francisco was a perfect backdrop for this wonderful couple who plan to marry back home in France.
We wish them well.
From Ratiba’s Perspective….
Q: What part of France are you from and how did you like growing up in France?
A: I am from a little town in the South of France called Brive. My childhood was peaceful. I knew everyone in my neighborhood, like a big family. We were in the countryside, so weekends were dedicated to nature.
Q: How did you first meet Mark and what did you guys do for a first date?
A: I met Mark at work in Hong Kong, where we were working on the same project. Our first date was kind of complicated, because of the work environment. We went to a Mexican restaurant and then a drink. We tried to avoid working colleagues!
Q: What’s the most exciting and/or adventurous date you’ve been on with Mark?
A: Oh there are so many! Filipinas. We went for few days to Panglao (Filipinas) and then went for a day trip to Balicasag Island. So magical! We went for a swim and saw so many colored fish and amazing creatures. We were both really impressed. Our boat had an engine failure in the middle of the sea… and it was just perfect. We were lost in this amazing place and we enjoyed every minute!
Q: How did Mark propose?
A: Mark prepared everything. We were in Paris at the time. He planned a weekend in Britany (Mont-Dol), in a little old Castle. Then we went for a walk to watch the sunset and found an ancient tower, and when we got to the top, we could have a great view of the entire area. With the sun coming down, it was so romantic! Mark chose this moment to propose. I was not expecting that!
Q: Describe Mark in 3 words.
A: Funny, Smart, and Handsome!
Q: How do you like living in the U.S .thus far, and how is it different than France?
A: It is definitely different. San Francisco is a great city, open and so diverse. You can find so many different styles and different people; I like that. The difference is the weather! The ability to go for a walk on the beach… that is for me a big deal!
From Mark’s Perspective….
Q: What part of Australia are you from and how did you like growing up in Australia?
A: I grew up in Hervey Bay, Australia. Growing up was spending lots of time outdoors and roaming free with my brothers.
Q What is it about Ratiba that first caught your attention?
A: Her amazing smile!
Q: In your own words, tell us about your first date with Ratiba. Were you nervous?
A: Our first date was at a cool little Mexican restaurant in Hong Kong. I was super nervous, but everything turned out ok!
Q: Describe Ratiba’s reaction when you first proposed.
A: Extreme surprise! But a well-received surprise!
Q: How is life different here than in Australia? What do you like about San Francisco most and what do you miss from home?
A: Life here at the moment is focused on new and exciting career challenges. We are exploring San Francisco each weekend and loving the great food and friendly people of San Francisco. I miss the beach lifestyle from home that was on my doorstep.
Q: Describe Ratiba in 3 words.
A: Beautiful, loving, generous!
Q: What is something that you find really cute about Ratiba?
A: Her sense of humor. And when she’s happy, it overflows!