Santa Ynez Hills Engagement | Jennifer + Andrew

Santa Ynez Hills Engagement

Jen and Andrew braved the rain and wind with me last week to capture their beautiful Santa Ynez Hills engagement. It’s quite a rarity, but we’ve been experiencing consistent rainstorms throughout Southern California for the past few weeks. Fortunately, the skies cleared and the rain ceased just long enough for us to head up to the mountains.

I especially love this engagement session because Jen and Andrew wanted to include their three dogs in the photos. Couples are always encouraged to bring something special with them to our portrait session because it makes the photos that much more meaningful. I was overjoyed when they told me their pups would be tagging along!

We met in downtown Los Olivos and caravaned up to the mountains to visit one of my favorite lookout points. The last time I visited for a Santa Ynez Hills engagement, the area was enduring a heatwave and the landscape was golden. Thanks to all of the recent rain, we got to enjoy lush, green hills. As we photographed, we chatted about their wedding later this year at Switzer Farm with the talented team at Two Roads Event Co.

Andrew brought along a bottle of champagne so we could celebrate the end of a successful evening. The two toasted one another and ended the evening sipping on bubbly while watching the sunset.

Lab | Richard Photo Lab

Tuscany Engagement Shoot | Lily + Steven

Tuscany Pre-Wedding Portraits

The day before Lily and Steven’s wedding in Italy we headed out to the Siena countryside for their Tuscany engagement shoot. While I researched different locations I wanted to find something that looked unequivocally Italian. Located not far from their wedding venue is the Abbey of San Galgano. I knew as soon as I saw it that this would be the perfect spot for Lily and Steven’s photos. Dating back to the 13th century, this gothic-styled monastery set the perfect backdrop for us to capture their portraits.

Upon stepping foot onto the grounds, we felt like we were transported back in time. There’s just something about classic architecture that brings joy and inspiration. Luckily for us, it was quite empty that day so we took our time exploring the property. We walked through the ancient halls and under the stone archways supported by the massive pillars. We imagined what it was like for the monks who lived and worked here so many hundreds of years ago. It was truly a humbling experience for us all.

Lily stunned in a green strapless dress and Steven donned a navy suit minus the tie for a truly relaxed European look. After exploring all of the areas inside of the abbey we headed to the backside where the sun was doing some truly magical things. In a field just beyond the abbey was a spotlight in the grass where the sun passed through an old broken window. Lily and Steven took a step into the beam and were enveloped in the most beautiful warm light.

After the sun dipped behind the abbey we headed back to our cars and were on our way to greet family and friends back at Conti Di San Bonifacio for their welcome dinner.