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engagement photos at the beach

Panther Beach - Santa Cruz Engagement Session

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Panther Beach - Santa Cruz Engagement Session

Panther Beach is one of the more popular engagement photography destinations in the Santa Cruz area, mostly because it offers stunning natural features and is fairly private, as it’s challenging to access. But with great beauty, comes another natural risk – big waves! This is the only beach I or my couples have fairly routinely gotten wet at – usually by accident :) Luckily I was able to get a bunch of great photos before the risky shot at the end. A sneaker wave pummeled the rock these two were standing on and utterly drenched them. I got the shot (of course), because that would be a real bummer way to end a session if I didn’t! Luckily they were in good spirits and it wasn’t too cold (even though it’s March). Enjoy a few of my faves below:

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Capitola Beach Sunset Engagement Shoot

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Capitola Beach Sunset Engagement Shoot

It’s been rainy… rainy… RAINY for weeks, and it’s been a real challenge to schedule (and reschedule) around the weather since 2019 started. It had been raining on and off all day, and I knew my clients were coming from the East Bay for their engagement shoot, so I was worried they’d drive all this way for nothing. Luckily we caught a break about 45 minutes before sunset on the beach in Capitola, California. Sweet! I’m shooting with to very different cameras now, my trusty Nikon D850 and my new mirrorless Nikon Z6. They are both amazing pieces of tech, and while it’s generally more efficient to shoot two of the same camera bodies (especially when it comes to editing), I’m embracing the unique way each camera renders light and color, bringing more variety for my wedding clients. All the wide-angle shots below are with the Z6, the tighter shots with the D850. Which do you like best? Enjoy…

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Panther Beach Santa Cruz Engagement Session

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Panther Beach Santa Cruz Engagement Session

We had nice soft light for Abbey and Andrew’s engagement session at Panther Beach just north of Santa Cruz, California. Just because you’re a little shy in front of the camera doesn’t mean you aren’t capable of amazing photos! By some miracle, we avoided getting soaked by the notoriously enormous waves at this beach. Here’s some of my faves from the session…

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Seabright Beach, Santa Cruz - Mini Engagement Session

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Seabright Beach, Santa Cruz - Mini Engagement Session

Zoe and Kenny are getting married down in Santa Barbara this year, and like pretty much all the other brides, she realized it’s January and she should really, seriously, think about starting that whole photographer search thing! Even though it was cold, windy, threatening to rain, and with the weather service issuing a high surf advisory, Zoe and Kenny agreed to go for a quick practice session at Seabright Beach in Santa Cruz. They’re super easy to work with, and I did my best to provide clear direction over the noise of crashing waves and gusty wind. The waves surprised us several times, dousing this couple (RUN!!), but we kept safe, had fun, and kept our hearts pumping the whole time. We were blessed with an amazing sunset once the sun lowered below the dark layer of murky clouds, and we wrapped things up so this lovely couple could thaw out back at the car. I really enjoyed my time with them, and hope to work with them again soon! Here’s a few of my faves…

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Natural Bridges Beach Engagement, Santa Cruz, California

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Natural Bridges Beach Engagement, Santa Cruz, California

These two lovebirds ran into traffic coming over the hill from San Jose, so our engagement session was definitely a true mini session, but I’m so glad we didn’t postpone because we were awarded with an amazing sunset! How lucky am I to live somewhere that looks like this in January!! Enjoy a few of my faves below, and stay tuned for their wedding later this year…

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