formal nighttime engagement session downtown los angeles
Henry Chen

Henry Chen

Downtown Los Angeles Engagement Session

A nighttime engagement session in Downtown Los Angeles to celebrate the love between Jie and Samuel in the lead up to their wedding day. After capturing some whimsical portraits at Malibu's Solstice Canyon and a sunset e-session on the sands of El Matador Beach, we ended with a sophisticated evening portrait session backed by the lights of Downtown LA.

JIE & SAMUEL

Locations:

 

Downtown Los Angeles engagement session photos:

Jie and Samuel met back in the summer of 2013 when they were both living in New York. Jie had just graduated from optometry school and Samuel had moved out to the east coast after completing med school. They were introduced by a mutual friend and dated for a few years before becoming engaged during a romantic hot air balloon trip in Temecula.

Jie and Samuel are now both based in Southern California and it was a pleasure to capture their love during this Downtown Los Angeles engagement session.

formal nighttime engagement session downtown los angeles
Samuel twirls Jie during their romantic nighttime e-session at the Dorothy Pavilion in Downtown Los Angeles.

 

Solstice Canyon engagement session photos:

We met up at a coffee shop in Malibu around one o’clock on the Superbowl afternoon, with some time to chat and get to know one another. Jie had trusted me enough to book everything online, without have any meetings, so this was the first time we actually had the chance to talk.

We then headed into the beautiful Solstice Canyon for a nature-inspired e-session, taking advantage of the whimsical trees and golden foliage of this Malibu park. Jie was wearing a flowing pink skirt and white blouse while Samuel was in a casual shirt and trousers, with the colors really standing out against the greenery behind.

I captured portraits of them embracing along the leafy pathways and leaning up against tree trunks, as well as a creative shot showcasing Jie’s gorgeous engagement ring. I grabbed some intimate, up-close shots and sweeping wide-angles, with the couple really wearing their emotions and love for one another on their sleeves.

whimsical couple e-session solstice canyon malibu photographer
Capturing a tender embrace between Jie and Samuel on one of the leafy walking trails of Solstice Canyon in Malibu.
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Jie and Samuel stand hand-in-hand in a grassy field during their Solstice Canyon engagement session.
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A romantic, close-up portrait of Jie and Samuel during their whimsical e-session in Malibu’s Solstice Canyon.
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Samuel kisses Jie’s hand tenderly beneath a sprawling tree during their Solstice Canyon engagement session.
creative couple portrait engagement ring malibu photographer
A creative portrait of Jie and Samuel embracing showcasing her gorgeous engagement ring.
casual couple portrait solstice canyon malibu engagement photographer
A casual portrait of Jie and Samuel strolling through Solstice Canyon during the Malibu engagement session.
romantic couple portrait tree solstice canyon malibu engagement photographer
Jie and Samuel relax together against the trunk of a tree during their whimsical e-session in Solstice Canyon.
playful couple portrait solstice canyon engagement photographer
A playful portrait of Jie peeking over Samuel’s shoulder during their nature-inspired e-session in Malibu.
beautiful black and white couple portrait solstice canyon e-session
A black and white portrait of Jie and Samuel looking lovingly into one another’s eyes during their Solstice Canyon e-session.
couple portrait pathway solstice canyon malibu engagement photographer
Jie and Samuel stand hand-in-hand on one of the leafy pathways in Malibu’s beautiful Solstice Canyon.
tender couple embrace romantic solstice canyon engagement session
Capturing a tender embrace between the newly engaged couple during their romantic Solstice Canyon e-session.
couple kiss bridge solstice canyon e-session malibu photographer
Jie and Samuel kiss on a rustic bridge during their nature-inspired e-session in Solstice Canyon.
romantic couple portrait golden foliage solstice canyon
A warm embrace between Jie and Samuel backed by the golden foliage of Solstice Canyon.
couple dancing pathway solstice canyon malibu engagement session
Samuel twirls Jie on a pathway in Solstice Canyon during their afternoon e-session in Malibu.
playful couple portrait whimsical e-session solstice canyon
Jie playfully covers Samuel’s eyes during their nature-inspired e-session at Malibu’s Solstice Canyon.
couple portrait tree trunk solstice canyon malibu e-session
Jie and Samuel stand hand-in-hand on a tree trunk during their romantic e-session in Solstice Canyon.
romantic couple portrait solstice canyon engagement session
Capturing a tender moment between the newly engaged couple during their e-session in Solstice Canyon.
romantic close-up couple portrait solstice canyon engagement photographer
A close-up portrait of Jie and Samuel during their romantic engagement session in Solstice Canyon.
couple dip bridge solstice canyon engagement session
Samuel dips Jie on a bridge in Solstice Canyon, illuminated by Malibu’s golden foliage.
romantic couple portrait solstice canyon engagement photographer
Jie and Samuel look lovingly into each other’s eyes during their nature-inspired e-session in Malibu.
whimsical creative couple portrait malibu engagement photographer
A whimsical shot of Jie relaxing on Samuel’s shoulder during their mid-afternoon e-session in Solstice Canyon.

 

El Matador Beach engagement session photos:

Jie then changed into a flowing magenta dress and we headed towards the coast and El Matador Beach for a sunset e-session overlooking the Pacific Ocean. We got creative with some high-vantage shots as they walked hand-in-hand along the sands, as well as up-close portraits in the magical light.

We utilized a rocky arch to capture some romantic sunset shots and grabbed a striking silhouette, as well as using the off-camera flash in some portraits. I was lucky to have Jie’s sister helping me out throughout this sunset e-session and standing in as my lighting assistant.

couple embrace wooden staircase el matador beach malibu
Jie and Samuel embrace at the bottom of a wooden staircase at El Matador Beach in Malibu.
whimsical couple portrait embrace el matador beach coast
A whimsical portrait of Jie and Samuel embracing backed by the rugged coastline of El Matador Beach.
couple portrait cliffs sunset el matador beach malibu
Jie and Samuel look out across the waters of the Pacific Ocean from the cliffs of El Matador Beach.
couple embrace sunset e-session el matador beach malibu
Jie and Samuel embrace warmly, illuminated by the setting sun, on the cliffs overlooking El Matador Beach.
romantic close-up couple portrait sunset e-session malibu
A whimsical, close-up portrait of the newly engaged couple during their sunset e-session at El Matador Beach.
creative couple portrait pathway el matador beach
Jie leads Samuel along a pathway down to El Matador Beach during their sunset e-session in Malibu.
creative couple portrait high vantage el matador beach e-session
A high-vantage portrait of Jie and Samuel walking hand-in-hand along the sands of El Matador Beach.
romantic couple portrait el matador beach sunset e-session
A romantic portrait of Jie and Samuel standing on the rocky shores of El Matador Beach in Malibu.
beautiful black and white couple portrait malibu e-session
A black and white portrait of Jie and Samuel embracing during their El Matador Beach engagement session.
creative couple portrait rocky arch el matador beach sunset
Jie and Samuel stand hand-in-hand beneath a rocky arch during their sunset e-session at El Matador Beach.
silhouette couple portrait sunset el matador beach
A silhouette portrait of Jie and Samuel backed by the setting sun at El Matador Beach in Malibu.
gorgeous couple portrait sunset el matador beach e-session
Capturing a tender moment between the newly engaged couple at sunset during their El Matador Beach e-session.
wide-angle couple portrait southern california pacific coast
A wide-angle portrait of Jie and Samuel walking along El Matador Beach beside the Pacific Ocean.
creative couple portrait sunset malibu engagement photographer
An off-camera flash shot of Jie and Samuel embracing in the shallow waters during their El Matador Beach e-session.
couple embrace pacific ocean waves el matador beach
Jie and Samuel embrace while the waves roll in behind them during their El Matador Beach engagement session.
beautiful couple portrait el matador beach engagement session
Capturing a reflective moment as Jie leans on Samuel’s shoulder looking out towards the Pacific Ocean.
couple embrace rocks el matador beach sunset e-session
Jie and Samuel embrace, illuminated by the setting sun, during their El Matador Beach engagement session.
couple walking el matador beach engagement photographer
Jie and Samuel walk hand-in-hand along the sands of El Matador Beach during their Malibu e-session.
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Samuel carries Jie along the sands of El Matador Beach during their romantic sunset engagement session.
couple embrace rocks sunset e-session el matador beach
Jie and Samuel embrace in a rocky cove during their romantic sunset e-session at El Matador Beach.

 

Downtown Los Angeles engagement session photos:

Once the sun had sunk below the horizon, we made the one-hour drive back into Downtown Los Angeles for a nighttime e-session at some of my favorite locations. Jie changed into a gorgeous red gown and Samuel opted for a formal suit, giving these shots a really sophisticated and stylish urban look.

We moved to the DWP Building, Grand Park, and the Dorothy Pavilion, taking advantage of the beautifully illuminated fountains and soaring skyscrapers throughout this nighttime e-session. I photographed Jie pulling Samuel along the DWP terrace and grabbed a reflective shot of the couple embracing, as well as a creative portrait of them standing in front of a set of elevators.

couple walk dwp building downtown la nighttime e-session
Jie leads Samuel along the DWP Building terrace during their nighttime e-session in Downtown LA.
creative reflective portrait downtown los angeles e-session
Capturing a reflective portrait of Jie and Samuel embracing at the Dorothy Pavilion in Downtown Los Angeles.
couple dip formal nighttime e-session downtown la photographer
Samuel dips Jie at Grand Park during their formal nighttime e-session in Downtown Los Angeles.
creative couple portrait purple fountain downtown los angeles e-session
Capturing a romantic, off-camera flash portrait backed by the illuminated fountain at Grand Park.
creative couple portrait dorothy pavilion downtown la
A creative shot of Jie and Samuel at the Dorothy Pavilion during their nighttime e-session in Downtown Los Angeles.
romantic nighttime couple portrait dwp building downtown la
Capturing a tender moment between the newly engaged couple in front of the fountain at the DWP Building in Downtown Los Angeles.
couple portrait red fountain downtown los angeles engagement photographer
Jie pulls Samuel along a terrace at Grand Park during their nighttime engagement session in Downtown Los Angeles.
couple portrait yellow fountain downtown los angeles e-session
Jie and Samuel embrace in front of an illuminated fountain during their Downtown Los Angeles e-session.
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Samuel lifts Jie into the air on the terrace of the DWP Building during their Downtown Los Angeles e-session.
creative couple portrait lifts downtown la nighttime e-session
A creative portrait of the couple in front of the Dorothy Pavilion lifts during their Downtown Los Angeles nighttime e-session.
formal couple portrait nighttime e-session grand park los angeles
Jie and Samuel stand hand-in-hand in Grand Park during their formal e-session in Downtown Los Angeles.
tender couple portrait off-camera flash downtown la e-session
Samuel kisses Jie tenderly on the forehead while being illuminated by an off-camera flash in Downtown Los Angeles.
couple embrace downtown los angeles nighttime e-session
Jie and Samuel embrace at the DWP Building, backed by the city skyline of Downtown Los Angeles.
creative couple portrait staircase downtown la engagement photographer
A low-vantage portrait of Jie and Samuel on a staircase at Grand Park during their Downtown Los Angeles e-session.
couple embrace trees christmas lights downtown la e-session
Jie and Samuel embrace between trees illuminated with Christmas lights during their Downtown Los Angeles e-session.
couple walking downtown los angeles nighttime engagement session
Jie and Samuel walk hand-in-hand at the DWP Building, backed by the fountains and skyscrapers of Downtown Los Angeles.

 

Downtown Los Angeles engagement session photos:

This Downtown Los Angeles engagement session was a long but really rewarding afternoon and evening and I want to thank Jie and Samuel for their patience and enthusiasm. I’m looking forward to reconnecting with them to capture their wedding in Universal City in a couple of months and wish them the best of luck as they make their final preparations.

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