It's possible that Saryn and Dave could have gone their entire lives and never crossed paths. They lived thousands of miles apart. She was in NYC, he was in California. Luckily, they did happen to have one very important thing in common: a friend. A smart friend, at that. A friend that saw something in each of them that he knew the other would like. So he talked to each of them. He told Dave about the gorgeous girl he knew back in NYC that was totally his type, he told Saryn about his handsome friend out in California that would definitely make her laugh. It worked. And with those simple conversations and the exchange of contact information their friend started them on a path that would end up changing their lives.
It started with e-mails. Over the course of several weeks they slowly got to know each other in written messages - a modern day story of love that began through the written word. Love letters sent through cyperspace. What a romantic idea, getting to know one another slowly and steadily through the things you chose to share in each message. Big things, little things, the ins and outs of your daily life - the e-mails serving as not just simple chit chat, but as a glimpse inside. This is me, this is what I like, this is what I do. Tell me about you. You can almost picture each of them, sitting at their respective computers, excitedly checking their inbox to see if there was another message.
The e-mails turned into phone calls and not long after Saryn found an excuse to head out to the West coast, conveniently giving her the opportunity to finally meet Dave in person. After a very successful first date they made plans to see each other again the next night. That night ended much the same way, with plans to see each other again the next night. And the night after that. By the end of the week they had seen each other every single night that she had been in town. After that whirlwind week, it was hard to say goodbye and go back to life on separate coasts. But they texted each other regularly. Short, sweet, romantic little messages - reminders that they were thinking of one another.
When Dave sent her flowers just a few days after she had returned home, all of Saryn's thoughts and feelings were confirmed. He was different. This relationship was different. They didn't have to wait too long to see each other again. Dave made the trip to her coast just a few weeks later for a fourth of July family barbeque. He invited Saryn to join him and introduced her to all his friends and family. It was that weekend confirmed it for both of them. Over the course of that one weekend, they realized that in one another they had found something that had never know before. They knew that this was the beginning of something big.
For two years they made the long distance work with a steady flow of e-mails, calls, texts and bi-costal visits. Finally, Saryn moved out West to join Dave and they were officially living in the same state for the first time. From then, it didn't take long for Dave to ask the one question they had both known was coming. Dave had been planning it for a while. He picked out the ring and planned out the afternoon. While she was at work, he filled their apartment with balloons, candles and flowers. He picked her up from work, drove her home and led her inside. Confused by all the stuff in the apartment, she looked at him to find out what was going on. He got down on knee, smiled, and asked her to be his wife. Overcome with emotion, she said many, many words (mostly "oh my god!"s) but no official yes. Dave asked again, looking for the definitive answer. She laughed, shouted "Yes!", and hugged him as tightly as she could. She laughed because there was no question. She had known that she would wanted to marry Dave since that fourth of July weekend three years before.
This fourth of July, she'll do just that.
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We have been very lucky to have many couples that happen to live on the West Coast but are getting married in Connecticut. We always give them a lot of credit because it can not be easy to plan a wedding from halfway across the country (we know it was no picnic to plan one just two hours away). But Saryn and Dave are smart - they got some professional help and they chose wisely. They'll be working with our friend Candice from Jubilee Events and we can't wait to see what she comes up with for their wedding, no doubt it will be gorgeous.
It could be a challenge, living on one coast and having your photographs on the other, but it can be a total bonus. We love it because it gives us the chance to give them the best of both coasts with their photos (engagement on the West, wedding on the East). It seemed even more appropriate for Saryn & Dave since a lot of their relationship had involved both coasts - making the long distance work for nearly two years. Of course, we loved the idea too. Not only because we love going out to California but also because we love taking pictures in new places. We love the challenge of it - going to a place that we don't know, jumping in and going for it. As you have seen from our own little photo adventure trips to NYC and just recently to Nevada, we love discovering the colors, textures and people in a new place and capturing it all through images. Destination engagement sessions give us the chance to do those exploration journeys with a couple, uncovering what a place has to offer together and getting some fabulous engagement pictures in the process.
We were very lucky that Dave and Saryn just happen to live in one of the most beautiful places in California, Santa Monica. To have a bit of variety in their session, Dave suggested we included not only Santa Monica but also the nearby town of Venice. With a large bohemian population filling the streets with art, canals styled after the Italian Venice, and tons of VW buses, Venice, California was pretty much a photographers dream. And the perfect fit for Saryn & Dave - the whimsical quirky vibe of the community totally matched the dynamic between the two of them. It also happens to be one of their favorite places to spend a Saturday afternoon.
I know what's you're thinking...how do we go to Santa Monica and not photograph around the famed pier? Well don't worry... we did. We actually went there the night we arrived, doing a night session incorporating the many lights on the pier. We'll be posting that as Part II of their session - check back soon!
Before we boarded our plane out to Burbank we checked the weather from our iPhones one more time. It was calling for 100% rain throughout the day on Saturday, the only day Saryn & Dave had available for their session. They really wanted a dry outside session to really show off the unique areas around the Venice CA canals as well as Venice Beach, and of course we really wanted to give it to them. Since we arrived the night before we decided to suggest to them that they meet with us late at night 9:30pm their time, 12:30am (the time we were on) for a night shoot on the Santa Monica Pier just in case the weather didn't cooperate on Saturday and we had to find some indoor locations. We were very excited when they were all about it because a night engagement session is something we always wanted to do. We will be sharing that part of their session (a little out of order) after this post, you don't want to miss it, it is really fun! The morning after the night shoot we met up with Saryn & Dave really early 7:45am as to shoot outside before the rain came. We had a good two hours so it was completely worth getting up early!
Ahhhh, our couples are really incredible!
This is one of our personal favorites from their session! I mean seriously look at how great they are, they are such a sweet couple and the way they feel about each other just radiates through these photos!! We feel SO lucky to be able to spend our time with really wonderful people!
Can you say model?!!
The reflections of the Palm trees in the canal... it doesn't get much better than this.
Southern California neighbor hoods with their perfectly manicured lawns, little streets and palm trees really are all like little movie sets.
We really loved all of the small bridges crossing the the canals, it is such a unique and fun location... and seriously look how sweet Saryn & Dave are.
Many parts of Southern California are filled with VW Buses from all years. We LOVE VW and always wanted to own a bus, preferably from the 70s. Something about a VW Bus shouts California to us so it only seemed fitting to incorporate one on the side of a street. I think their might have been someone sleeping in this one! :)
After spending part of the morning around the Venice Canals we went over to Venice Beach where we got to take advantage of the really cool storm clouds rolling in. There is always such an amazing energy right before a storm comes in, it is one of our favorite times to photograph a session.
It is one of the most amazing feelings being able to shoot on the beach bare feet! :)
One of the many things that is so great about Saryn & Dave is how they interact with each other, it's like they have their own language filled with smiles, little laughs and sweet looks.
While I was capturing this shot of Saryn & Dave under the pier...
...Kathleen was capturing this one at the same moment. It's one of the great thing about shooting everything together!
Did you know that most palm trees are not actually native to California. They were imported back in the 1920's and 1930's. Either way, we love them and love that they are all over California.
Here is one of my shots...
...and this is Kathleen's at the same moment.
Saryn & Dave - thank you for an awesome two days! Can't wait to see you both again in July.