Fun-Loving (and Just Totally Awesome!) Rustic Fall Inspired Bay Area Engagement Photography Sunol, CA

“Chris and I met on OKCupid (or OKStupid as I like to call it) in October 2012 right after I had recently relocated back to the Bay Area from Sacramento after scoring a new job! I was on my phone one work night and randomly searched OKCupid and saw this handsome goofball crouching down next to an ugly English bulldog. After reading through his page and noting how much we had in common, I knew I had to message him. So I did, and I had a response the next day!

We messaged back and forth for a while, getting to know each other, and eventually we were texting all the time! All the dates I had gone on in the BC era (Before Chris) always felt like there was something missing that either had me running for the hills or trying to force myself to be open-minded about.

I creeped on him through the peephole as he walked up and when he walked through the door, I knew that there was nothing missing here. It was natural, it was instant, and I knew right away we were going to be together. I don’t believe in love at first sight because I think love is something that develops and deepens over time and can only be felt when you are willing to put that person above yourself and their needs above yours (I do, however, believe love develops at its own pace and it can start quickly and intensely). I think what I felt when I first met Chris was the realistic equivalent to love at first sight because that feeling just kept intensifying as I spent more time with him and grew to know him. There was no exact moment where I said, “he’s the one,” because deep down I think I’ve always known since he walked through that door in my favorite plaid shirt.” – Nicole (More from Nicole and Chris below gallery…)

“The only reading I do is young adult fiction so let’s hope that doesn’t impact my style of writing when it comes to reviewing the best photographer in all the land!

My fiancé (Chris) and I, both tend to be a little on the awkward side and the idea of taking engagement photos was more scary than exciting for our mostly introverted brains. But we knew the value of having them taken – it’s so important to capture this moment in our lives as we embark on this really big adventure together! Also, let’s be honest, we can’t just post up a series of selfies at our wedding or on our save the dates and not expect judgment (stupid people and their judgey faces judging everything).

When it came to finding a photographer, we had a list of what was important to us. We needed to find someone whose style fit the kind of photos we wanted and most important of all – we needed someone who made us feel comfortable amidst a situation that was highly abnormal for us!!

I gathered intel on photographers, looked at portfolios, sent out a few inquiries, and took into consideration every recommendation I received from people I trusted (one of which referred Angie to us…) Eventually, I narrowed down my search to Angie and a few others. The difference between Angie and the others? She called me as soon as she possibly could and left the nicest, warmest voicemail I’d ever heard, providing the information I needed and just helping me to get to know her. She followed it up with an equally informative and friendly email and was quick to respond to any questions or concerns I had. It wasn’t long after that, that we set up a phone call to discuss what we were looking for which ultimately led to us booking an engagement session. It was an easy decision after seeing her awesome portfolio and realizing how friendly and easy going she was over the phone.

Having never done this before – Chris and I really had no idea where we wanted to take photos, but knew the kinds of scenery that we liked. Angie had a few ideas and I spent some time hunting for areas online that would be good for us in the east bay, which is how I discovered the regional park in Sunol, CA. I showed Angie the photos and rather than just saying, “yeah, let’s do it,” (which would have been awesome already!) she actually drove to the location ahead of time, spent several hours scouting the park, and found several diverse locations that fit our interests!

She gave us realistic time frames on how long it would take to shoot and get to and from each location, which also helped determine the number and types of outfits we wanted. At first, I thought a 30 minute session with one outfit at one location was enough. BUT she promised that we would get addicted, it would be more fun and easier than we expected and we would definitely want two locations with two outfits – and well… she was right!! She was incredibly flexible, leaving her afternoon open so we could do more if we wanted.

Fast forward to the engagement photo session: it took absolutely no time at all for this awkward duo to warm up and be comfortable with Angie!! Angie helps you with where your hands should go, if your hair is laying in the correct way, or for Chris, “how to stand like a “cool dude-man.” This is totally helpful (and hilarious) because let’s face it, our natural body language isn’t always the most photogenic. So with a little coaching to get those basics down – and being able to laugh at ourselves as we learned – we ended up finding the experience to be easy and actually really fun (just like she said!)!!

There were so many candid moments of us just being ourselves that she shot – not posing for something specifically – and I just knew these would be some of my favorites. It really helped that Angie is just as CRAZY as we are and she fed right into our ridiculous behavior and jokes. Every so often when she got a picture she was really excited about, she would bubble over with happiness and come show us on the camera. It was absolutely infectious and made us even more excited to see how everything would turn out. I’m so happy that we booked a one hour session because 1) my secondary outfit rocked and 2) we started off amateurs but were now pros.

After the shoot, Angie set the expectation about how long it would take to receive the photos. I thought I would die waiting (because I’m dramatic) but it was actually faster than I expected. Part of that was due to her surprising us with the photos about a week ahead of schedule! We were actually out celebrating Chris’ birthday when the photos came in and I rudely looked at my phone – diving right in! But so did he, so it’s okay!

We admired the beautiful colors and light that I adore about Angie’s style and noticed that she did an absolutely perfect job capturing all the funny moments that really embody our relationship. Like I had guessed, some of my favorite photos she took were the candid pictures of Chris and I being ridiculous and making each other laugh! And now I get to look back at these gorgeous pictures and not only remember this time in our lives, but a really fun day with an awesome professional!

After this experience, I feel like I know more about what types of pictures I like, what poses are flattering for me, how to select clothing, and so many other details I never knew before that she helped me discover. Angie provides you with color and pattern suggestions before your shoot, and stresses that while the guidelines are helpful – it’s most important to dress in clothes that you feel comfortable in and flatter your best features! It’s crucial that even though the positions you’re being asked to stand in isn’t necessarily natural or comfortable for you in real life, that you trust her and try it because she knows what she’s talking about and you’ll see why she asks you to do what she does in the final photos (especially with her fabulous boudoir background ladies!!).

For those of you searching for your ideal photographer (no matter what the occasion is) make sure you choose a photographer that you feel very comfortable with and could see yourself sitting down to have a glass of wine with afterwards. If you do, it will just feel like you’re hanging out with a friend the whole time. Magically, a few weeks later you get something amazing to remember it by.

PS: Angie, let’s get some wine!! Whoop Whoop!!

PSS: And in case you’re wondering, YES!! We’ve definitely already booked Angie as our official wedding photographer!!! EEK :) :)” – Nicole and Chris