One of the best things about being from Orange County and shooting couple’s photography is regardless of whether it is structural or natural, there are many venues to which to shoot at. This was evident for my recent engagement photography session with Brittany Nicoles and Jeff Gonzales as they began the road to their wedding.
We left Orange County and headed up to Big Bear Mountain, where the weather was perfect for the shoot. With the woods and forest in the background, everything just seemed so “natural.” Brittany and Jeff are such a loving couple that it made my job, not only easier, but it really brought out my love for what I do. I look forward to their wedding in September of this year. You know, probably a good idea they are planning it for September. After all with them both being Dodger fans, you wouldn’t want to interfere with a playoff game… right?
In early 2007 my friend was dating Jeff’s roommate, in early February we all went to super cross, after sitting together at the event, Jeff and I really hit it off. to be honest, after a few rocky months, we finally decided to try out this relationship. Jeff and I have always had a healthy relationship, of course we have had some differences but we have always been devoted to working through them and finding a common ground, together.
Fast forward to when we were celebrating our 7 year anniversary…
When Jeff proposed, it was 2014, the anniversary after 7 years together. We kept mentioning that we should go to Disneyland because we hadn’t been for a few years and conveniently our friend can get us in for free. Even though we had discussed it, I was really surprised when he told me a couple weeks before our anniversary that our day (June 17th) was blacked out from our friend getting us in. I was so excited he wanted to go to Disneyland for us, I told him we should go the day after. So we moved our Anniversary celebration to the 18th of June.
We were living together at the time, but the night before I felt like a teenager at a sleepover. Just knowing that we were ditching work for a day and going to spend the whole day at Disneyland, made us so excited!
So the next morning I woke up early and got ready. We left by 9am for Disneyland. Our friend met us at the gate and let us in.
It was 10 am and Jeff said we were going to go get our caricatures drawn at 11.
I was SO excited! We have never had our picture drawn and I thought the idea was awesome!
We decided to ride Indiana Jones first, then ate a churro and walked around. We finally arrived at the stand for our caricatures. We sat down and waited nearly an hour for the lovely lady to draw us. I was anxious to see what we’d look like. I was staring at the other drawings of floating heads on display wondering, “Would we have a heart background? I don’t know!”
As time passed, the crowd behind the artist grew and I kept getting more anxious. I heard a few “awwwes” and “it looks great” from the Disney go-ers. After almost an hour the lady asked, “Are you ready?” I said, “yah!”
She turned around a picture of me, with a tiny little body and long blonde hair, and Jeff with a big beard, and I laughed out loud!
Then I thought to myself, “Why is that rock in the middle of the drawing?” Then I over looked the entire photo again and saw it was a mini Jeff on one knee with a ring, asking, “Will you marry me?” to my mini-self and an empty bubble over my head!
Once I figured out that I was being proposed to, I looked over at Jeff and he was kneeling on one knee asking if I would marry him!
With my hand over my mouth I squealed (because that’s all that would come out) and quickly uttered “YES!” As I leaned down to kiss him, he fumbled with the ring, and the whole crowd cheered!!I was beyond surprised that Jeff proposed at Disneyland. I knew it would happen, but for him to go out and find a ring and orchestrate this entire day was beyond me. He couldn’t have chosen a better way to get on one knee.
My advice to other engaged couples is to enjoy every moment of being engaged. This should be only a small chapter of your life and you don’t want to miss, or take for granted a second of it. This is a blissful experience, if you’ve chosen the love of your life to share it with. Being engaged has made me a better woman. I have a lovely man to take care of, to cheer on, support and love for the rest of my life. This, right now, is the best moment of my life!
To be continued…”