One of the best parts of being a professional photographer in Orange County, especially in the wedding industry, is meeting and getting to know all the people you cross paths with. One of the things I love about photographing engagement photo sessions is that the couple is completely more at ease with one another, with the photographer, and with their surroundings. It’s a time for them just to relax and be in love and with each other. Whereas the wedding day, there is so much to think about, what could go wrong, being the center of attention, etc. Engagement sessions allow them to really put their love for one another on display. This was definitely evident at Victoria and Jacob’s Whiting Ranch Wilderness Park Engagement Photography session.
Located in Trabuco Canyon, Whiting Ranch Wilderness Park is one of our favorite locations in Orange County. It’s an amazing park with so many features. It is 2,500 acres large with 23 hiking trails that equate to 17 miles worth of trees and hills for our engagement shoot. Whiting Ranch includes woodland canyons, amazing rock formations, and grassland hills. If you go in the right direction, we will end up in Red Rock Canyon as the two locations connect with one another. This location allows for some beautiful sunsets, especially when they play off the hillsides, as well as a tremendous mixture of trees and cactus as you walk along the trails. Most of which you can view in Victoria and Jacob’s engagement photos.
This amazing couple met in August of 2015, and just four years later, on September 29, they will stand in front of family and friends at The Red Horse Barn in Huntington Beach and become husband and wife. The love between them was instant, and as you can see on their faces in the engagement photos, that love is just as strong today as it was when they met and started dating. Their session was playful and loving, and they seemed just so at ease along the trails of this wilderness park. In addition, they matched each other by wearing white, which contrasted nicely with the dirt trails, hills, green shrubs and cactus behind them. Wait, they both wore white and Jacob’s last name is white. Was that planned or was that a coincidence?
Planned or coincidence aside, all of the details of this engagement session at this naturesque engagement location were captured by the team at Three16 Photography and we would really like to thank Victoria and Jacob for allowing us to be part of your special day. We wish you many years of love and happiness.
Check out their love story. We hope you enjoy it, and their photos, as much as we do.
How & When did you first meet? Describe your thoughts and how you felt about each other. Was it love at first sight?
We met through my old friend, who happened to be his cousin. She introduced us by inviting us to Thousand Steps Beach down in Laguna Beach back on August 30, 2015. Jake and I were both in his cousin’s wedding party, but it wasn’t until we were both invited to his cousin’s family BBQ that she was throwing that we actually met. I was the only “friend” that his cousin invited to her family BBQ. Deep down inside she was trying to set Jake and me up. Later that day the whole gang took a family photo on her outside stairs. Jake decided to sit directly above/behind me. The picture came out looking like we were together, although I’m sure Jake had that plan in mind. It was the cutest and still is the cutest picture of us as friends. Later that night, I ended up taking Jake to his car down the street. As we were driving down the street to his car, he asked me out on a date. I told him I would text him later with the response. I made him wait until I got home, which was about 45 minutes to an hour later. I told him YES! I would go on a date with him. So, we set it up for about a week out.
What do you both do for work?
Victoria is a part-time employee at an athletic retail store and Jake is the owner and operator of an organic termite and pest control company.
GROOM: What was it that made you first start liking your bride-to-be?
First and foremost, before really getting to know her, it was her beautiful blue eyes and gorgeous authentic smile – she was so happy and goes with the flow. Her happiness was contagious, and her spirit is so soft and gentle with a hint of spice and sass. I felt immediate feelings of love for her the more I got to know her. I fell even harder for her seeing her interacting with her nieces and nephews. It gives me confidence in knowing she’s going to be the best mom ever!
BRIDE: What was it that made you first start liking your groom-to-be?
For me, I started liking Jake when he just threw on the beats in the car on our first date and started rapping every word. Although he is somewhat tone-deaf, he didn’t come off like he was showing off. I thought it was super cute. I loved that we couldn’t bear to go two days of not seeing each other, even when we were not officially “boyfriend and girlfriend.” Mind you that I lived in San Clemente at the time and he lived in Costa Mesa.
Then I started to love him because he made me feel super special every day that we saw each other, and he talked with his kind words all the time. Still to this day! I love that he’s sooooo adventurous even though I’m totally not. But I somewhat try for him. I love his drive and hard work what he’s done for others in the past and for himself to become successful in the future, not only for himself but for his future family that he had planned to have one day. Even though hard work can be tough, challenging, and tiring at times, he still always pulls through like no other. That’s when it all started for me.
Tell us about your first date. What was going through your mind and where did you go and what did you do?
We went out on our first date to this upscale wine restaurant in old town Santa Ana. He’s thinking I’m totally into wine, and although I like wine, I don’t know anything about it. I think he just wanted to impress me – haha. I’m the type of girl who will be happy with Chick-Fil-A for example – haha. We talked for quite some time at the restaurant about normal date talk, such as what we’re both looking for, life stories, about our past relationships. Then Jake decided to Bump Big Sean’s “Bounce Back” and proceeded to rap every line word for word. Well, maybe word for every other word, but it wasn’t bad. I told him he sounds like Drake. We both felt comfortable and natural like we were meant to have “ginger” babies together. We would absolutely say love at first sight and a kiss good night. Many more dates followed until we couldn’t spend time apart.
What makes your relationship special? Tell us some things that you both value in your time together and what makes your relationship unique?
Our relationship is special because of so many things. Let’s see… from our crazy, random road trips blasting hood and rap music to our cuddle sessions on the couch watching the bachelor. We both have completely different loves and passions while at the same time, we get and love each other’s passions. We have introduced each other to new ways of thinking, traveled to so many cool and interesting places across the world and locally. We have encouraged each other to overcome fear and grow. Over the past two and a half years, we’ve certainly had our ups and downs, but the most important thing to us is never to give up! No matter how hard, because no relationship or person is perfect. We find that being completely authentic and honest has helped us in creating a more loving and trusting relationship.
Tell us about your proposal story! How and Where did it all unfold? Were you surprised and tell us, who cried first?
Well for starters, Jake took me on my first flight ever on a plane a week before he was going to propose. He told me that this trip to Iceland and Paris was a Christmas present, so I kind of had no idea that he was going to propose. But in the back of my mind, I wondered, because everyone I knew was telling me that he was going to propose in Paris. I didn’t want to get my hopes up because obviously, I was ready for that next step in our life, so, I never did.
While in Paris, it snowed the most it has ever snowed in 30 years there, which made it harder to propose I guess… lol. I honestly think he was just nervous… haha. Luckily the day before we were supposed to leave to go home, there was a little sunshine. A day before he was going to propose, he had told me that he was going to find a photographer in the area to take some professional photos of us near the Eiffel Tower. I literally didn’t think of anything at that moment as nothing crossed my mind. But he clearly had a plan in his own head. The next morning we met up with the photographer and he started taking photos near the Eiffel Tower and then he turned around and got down on one knee and said, “you’ve made me the happiest I’ve ever been and I can’t imagine spending a day without you. Will you marry me?” My literal response was, “OMG, no. I mean yes, but no this isn’t happening right now.” I was just in shock with happiness. I cried first and have the pictures to prove it. Then we carried on with more photos over Paris.
What is one piece of advice you have for couples just beginning the wedding planning process? And what have you enjoyed most about planning your wedding?
Well, first we’d love to plug All-Inclusive Events at The Red Horse Barn. They have made wedding planning much easier and more fun than originally expected. We spent more time focusing on all of the design and feel elements of the wedding as opposed to EVERYTHING IT TAKES TO GET A WEDDING DONE!!! We enjoyed that we were able to have a great time meeting each of our wedding vendors at scheduled events with family. Although the family is important, we would recommend going with your gut and go with the people and vendors you feel understand and get you and your vision the most. Finding and cultivating relationships within our wedding venue and planning community has shown us how many people and loved ones are involved in making this day special to us.
Loved reading about Jacob and Victoria’s Whiting Ranch Wilderness Park Engagement? Show them some love by liking and commenting below! Also check out our other recent wilderness engagement photography sessions like Wayne and Cambria’s Santiago Oaks Regional Park Engagement, or Mark and Diana’s Thomas F Riley Wilderness Park Engagement!