Sunrise Engagement Photography at the Healdsburg Ridge Open Space Preserve

We’ve been doing a lot of engagement sessions this year and I find something to improve upon with each one. Earlier in the year, I arranged for some morning shoots hoping to still find some nice light around 9 and sometimes 10am. What I learned and what I really should have already known was that the sun was already too harsh at that time. I guess I spent the last decade only scheduling couple or family sessions for later afternoon or sunset.

So I was a little nervous telling Tami and Brad that the best time to shoot was sunrise… would they think I’m crazy? Maybe so. But it turns out they decided to be equally and if not more crazy, haha. They left San Francisco in the dark and made the drive up to meet us at the Healdsburg Ridge Open Space Preserve just as the sky was filling with light. We walked along the path and found the sun juuuuust peaking over one of the hills and it was golden perfection. Besides the gorgeous light for photography, watching the sunrise is not something most of us humans do often enough, and it was just a beautiful moment for us all to take in and I think they really enjoyed having that experience together.

Tami and Brad are getting married in Carlsbad early next year and we are so excited to work with them again. I love seeing couples who really balance each other: Brad is down to earth and Tami is super spunky. Together they are smart, driven, playful and loving. With careers that sound like they hardly have any time off, they still manage to accomplish a lot. In Brad’s first e-mail to me, he described Tami as “super creative, energetic, and caring” which I think is just the sweetest, and from our hour together, I found that all to be true. He also told me that she’s a clinical pharmacist at San Francisco General Hospital… whoa!!! … and is still finding the time to DIY a lot of their wedding.

One of my favorite parts of getting to know them was when Tami was talking about how initially she thought Brad was kind of strange, and he cutely, semi-disappointingly said back to her, “you don’t think I’m super strange any more?”

I’ve actually “known” Brad for a very long time. I grew up being good friends with his brother, and their mom is an awesome supporter of my photography. So in my first response to them, I just had to ask if his mom put them up to contacting me. He admitted that his mom did mention us, but it was my “awesome photos that got us to hit you up.” So that was really good to hear, because you know, referrals and connections can only go so far, but when you hear that a couple really likes your photography, then you know it might just work out.

We are so thankful that it did work out and especially thankful for their willingness to meet us in Healdsburg since we were already there shooting a wedding at Ru’s Farm the day before. They both grew up in southern California and we look forward to seeing them and their friends and family down south in just over two months!

- Julie

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