Haidan and Jake invited me to their beautiful hometown of Yucaipa, CA for their engagement session. It's only fitting for a love story that started there even before the two knew it.
Jake and Haidan went to the same high school, only a grade apart, and never said a word to each other. It wasn't until they met again at their local Crossfit years after high school that the two realized they had found something special.
A few weeks after chatting at a local coffee shop, they invited me back to adventure around the hills of Yucaipa. We first walked the grounds of the family home where they'll be getting married and found some great spots for portraits for the day of their wedding. It's so nice to be able to see the space ahead of time and get an idea of how everything will unfold, especially in a unique place like a private home.
Side note, backyard weddings are some my favorites. There is a certain special feeling about being in an environment that is literally so close to home. Everyone is so comfortable and relaxed and the photos will be even more special to the family. Outdoor receptions are definitely my favorite - we live in Southern California, where else can you take advantage of an outdoor dance floor in almost any season? Bring on the wine and twinkle lights!
After finding some cool spots for the wedding day photos, we checked out the awesome trees at Wildwood State Park. Haidan mentioned a gorgeous scenic spot along the highway close to where we were so we set out to catch the sunset. The sky gave us some beautiful light and Haidan and Jake were absolutely adorable. So adorable that we even had a special onlooker towards the end -- a baby black bear! He scurried across the highway right as we took a break to wait for the sunset. Thankfully, he disappeared into the safety of the canyon and we were free to finish our session sans dangerous wildlife. Let's hope he doesn't bring some friends to their wedding in October!