El Matador Beach Engagement Session

Aug 30, 2017

RACHEL & FRANCIS

Locations:

 

Introduction:

Rachel and Francis got in touch with me back in May about photographing their special day next Spring 2018. They met during their freshman year at the University of Chicago where they were both student athletes and living in the same dorm, but didn’t begin dating until their sophomore year.

They’ve been together ever since, despite having to do long-distance over the last four years as Rachel finished her studies in Southern California. Francis popped the question while they were hiking Los Liones Trail last summer and just a few days ago, I had the pleasure of meeting and working with them on their El Matador Beach engagement session.

romantic couple portrait sunset el matador beach malibu e-session

Francis carries Rachel along the sands of El Matador Beach during their romantic sunset engagement session.

 

Abbot Kinney engagement session photos:

We met up in the creative West LA area of Abbot Kinney to begin their e-session and just hit it off from the start. Rachel and Francis are a really fun-loving couple and brought so much personality and chemistry to the e-session, as well as some very stylish outfits.

We wandered around the streets and lane ways of Abbot Kinney, utilizing the creative backdrops such as vine-covered corrugated iron walls, hedges and even a bamboo forest. I captured warm embraces between the couple and Rachel leading Francis along the sidewalk, as well as some shots of them dancing in the street. Because Rachel and Francis like to keep fit, we also went into a Crossfit training center in Abbot Kinney to stage some photos of them lifting weights together.

whimsical couple embrace abbot kinney engagement photographer

A whimsical portrait of Rachel and Francis embracing in front of a vine-covered wall during their Abbot Kinney e-session.

couple did wooden wall abbot kinney engagement photographer

Francis dips Rachel in front of a rustic wooden wall during their vibrant engagement session in Abbot Kinney.

couple sidewalk hedge abbot kinney engagement session

Rachel leads Francis along a hedge-lined sidewalk during their playful Abbot Kinney e-session.

couple lift weights creative los angeles engagement session

Rachel and Francis lift weights together at a crossfit training center during their Abbot Kinney e-session.

romantic couple embrace hedge abbot kinney engagement session

Capturing Rachel’s reaction as Francis embraces her warmly in front of a hedge in Abbot Kinney.

couple relax corrugated iron wall abbot kinney e-session

Rachel and Francis look lovingly into each other’s eyes while leaning against a corrugated iron wall in Abbot Kinney.

couple embrace bamboo forest abbot kinney engagement photographer

Rachel embraces Francis warmly in front of a bamboo forest during their Abbot Kinney engagement session.

couple dancing sidewalk twirl abbot kinney e-session

Francis twirls Rachel while dancing in the streets of Abbot Kinney during their Los Angeles e-session.

playful portrait couple weights crossfit gym abbot kinney e-session

A playful portrait of Rachel and Francis hanging out in a gym during their Abbot Kinney engagement session.

couple kiss bright blue door hedge urban e-session abbot kinney

Rachel and Francis kiss in front of a bright blue door during their romantic urban e-session in Abbot Kinney.

 

Solstice Canyon engagement session photos:

We then made the drive out to Malibu and beautiful Solstice Canyon, which was perfect for some whimsical portraits of the couple sharing in their love of the great outdoors. Francis changed into a more casual, open-necked shirt while Rachel was in an ethereal white dress with a wreath headpiece.

I photographed them embracing on the trails and beneath a sprawling tree, as well as some playful shots in the grassy fields. We also utilized a bridge within this natural wilderness area for a creative, wide-angle shot and I captured a romantic up-close black and white portrait of Rachel and Francis embracing.

whimsical couple portrait solstice canyon engagement session

A whimsical portrait of Rachel and Francis during their mid-afternoon e-session at Solstice Canyon in Malibu.

playful couple embrace nature-inspired e-session solstice canyon malibu

Rachel embraces Francis playfully during their romantic e-session in Malibu’s Solstice Canyon.

couple kiss tree solstice canyon malibu engagement photographer

Rachel and Francis kiss beneath a sprawling tree during their nature-inspired e-session in Solstice Canyon.

couple kiss hand whimsical romantic e-session solstice canyon

Francis kisses Rachel’s hand tenderly during their late afternoon e-session in Malibu’s Solstice Canyon.

couple dip grassy fields solstice canyon malibu e-session

Francis dips Rachel in the grassy fields of Solstice Canyon during their nature-inspired e-session.

creative couple portrait kiss shadows solstice canyon malibu e-session

A creative shot of the newly engaged couple kissing with their extended shadows on a walkway in Solstice Canyon.

tender moment couple portrait solstice canyon malibu e-session

Capturing a tender moment between Rachel and Francis on one of the walking trails at Solstice Canyon in Malibu.

romantic couple portrait bridge solstice canyon whimsical malibu e-session

Francis lifts Rachel on a bridge during their romantic engagement session at Solstice Canyon in Malibu.

whimsical couple portrait ethereal light malibu engagement photographer

A playful moment between the newly engaged couple in the late-afternoon light during their Solstice Canyon e-session.

playful couple portrait solstice canyon malibu engagement photographer

A playful shot of Francis lifting Rachel into the air at Solstice Canyon during their Malibu engagement session.

romantic black and white couple portrait malibu engagement photographer

A black and white shot of Rachel embracing Francis affectionately at Solstice Canyon in Malibu.

whimsical wide-angle couple portrait bridge solstice canyon malibu

A wide-angle shot looking across a bridge at Solstice Canyon as Francis lifts Rachel into the air.

 

El Matador Beach engagement session photos:

We finished off the day with an El Matador Beach engagement session, taking advantage of the gorgeous sunset light before it slipped behind the mountains. I photographed the couple standing hand-in-hand atop the cliffs overlooking the Pacific Ocean and being illuminated in the rich light, then one of Francis leading Rachel down onto the sands.

Here we got creative in the rocky alcoves and the shallow waters, as well as staging a portrait of the couple standing either side of an imposing rock formation. I also grabbed some silhouettes of Rachel and Francis in this undeniably picturesque Malibu setting, taking advantage of my off-camera flash as darkness set in.

couple walking trail el matador beach malibu sunset e-session

Francis leads Rachel down onto the sands of El Matador Beach during their sunset engagement session in Malibu.

couple embrace sunset el matador beach malibu e-session

Capturing a warm embrace between the newly engaged couple, backed by the rocky cliffs of El Matador Beach.

couple glowing sunset e-session el matador beach malibu

Rachel and Francis illuminated by the setting sun during their El Matador Beach engagement session.

couple stand cliff top pacific ocean malibu engagement photographer

Rachel and Francis stand hand-in-hand on a cliff top at El Matador Beach during their romantic sunset e-session.

couple kiss hand sunset cliff top el matador beach e-session

Francis kisses Rachel’s hand as they stand on the top of a cliff at sunset in El Matador Beach State Park.

elevated creative couple portrait el matador beach pacific ocean

An elevated vantage looking down towards Rachel and Francis as they embrace in the shallow waters of the Pacific Ocean.

couple embrace rock sunset e-session el matador beach malibu

Capturing a tender moment as Rachel and Francis embrace on a rock at El Matador Beach in Malibu.

couple laugh walking el matador beach sunset e-session malibu

Rachel and Francis share a laugh as they walk arm-in-arm along the sands of El Matador Beach.

couple embrace rocky alcove off-camera flash malibu engagement photographer

A creative off-camera flash portrait of Rachel and Francis embracing in a rocky alcove at El Matador Beach.

creative couple portrait holding hands malibu engagement photographer

A creative shot of Rachel’s expression as she holds hand with Francis on the sands of El Matador Beach.

couple kiss waters pacific ocean malibu engagement photographer

Rachel and Francis kiss in the shallow waters of the Pacific Ocean during their El Matador Beach e-session.

creative silhouette couple portrait malibu cliffs sunset

An off-camera flash silhouette portrait of the couple atop the cliffs of El Matador Beach.

couple dip rocky beach malibu sunset engagement photographer

Francis dips Rachel in the rocky shallows of El Matador Beach during their sunset e-session in Malibu.

creative couple portrait rock formation admiring ring malibu e-session

A creative shot of the couple standing either side of a rocky formation at El Matador Beach in Malibu.

silhouette couple portrait sunset el matador beach malibu

A silhouette shot of Rachel and Francis within a rocky outcrop at sunset on El Matador Beach in Malibu.

 

Conclusion:

I really had a great time getting to know Rachel and Francis better during this El Matador Beach engagement session and am excited to share these shots with them. I wish them all the best as they prepare for their Santa Barbara wedding next April and look forward to reconnecting then.

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