Erin and Michael’s Nature-filled Engagement in Big Bear

How can I possibly top Michael’s proposal to Erin on a peak in Machu Picchu? I had my work cut out for me…

Erin and I immediately connected when we first sat down together because her relationship is so parallel to mine. We both met our other half many years ago, separated seemingly to move on and part ways, then years later surprisingly rekindle and end up back together. We both are a perfect example of “if you love something let it go, if it comes back it is yours forever” That could have been enough to thoroughly invest me in their wedding, but then she proceeded to tell me how much they enjoy nature, love to go hiking, camping and finding adventures in the great outdoors. I reached a point in our meeting where I believe I said “I HAVE TO DO YOUR WEDDING!” She’s so down to earth, kind, easy going and fun to talk to. Thankfully she put her trust in me and the next step was how AND WHERE to convey their love along with their most organic setting, mother nature.

Having a home in Big Bear the last 12 years I immediately scanned my memory bank for all the beautiful spots I’ve explored up there over the years. She wanted something with water, but also big trees, some barefoot like they typically would be, yet also vast and full of scenery. I had a lightbulb moment and simply knew… After sharing a few iPhone shots she agreed that it was what they had in mind. This unknown, rarely visited small lake out off a fire road in the Angeles National Forest was our undertaking. (I’d tell you but then again it IS a secret spot) I appreciated their extra effort to drive two hours and make an entire event out of taking engagement photos, it matches my level of commitment to making something unique too. I can be talked into anything if it’ll create a setting for success! Going the extra mile, for me, if effortless when I have a super cool couple to share the experience with.

We drove about 30 minutes on rough, dirt roads, getting almost lost a couple times (although I’ve been there a dozen times it’s still unmarked and tough to find) I loved freaking Michael out that I take my X5 into the off roading terrain like a Ford F100. He was taken back, but that’s actually why I picked it! All wheel drive and luxury, it’s my work horse.

We turned a normally 1-2 hour shoot into 4 and I furiously clicked away until I was out of daylight. I felt so accomplished before I even loaded them into my computer. The afternoon was so fluid with our surroundings and their obvious love for one another. He’s so sweet to her, and the way she looks at him pretty much says it all. When there’s such a deep love it’s really fun to be around and these two radiate their attachment!

With over 400 photos on their way to them, here is a taste of my favorites. I loved so many it was torturous to narrow it to 10% Thanks again Erin and Michael, you are so cute together, and I get to capture it both before and on your wedding day. Lucky me!

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