Many years ago in a basement where the walls were painted apple green, I met Whitney for the first time. Her hair was red and she had a great laugh. We were destined to be friends. Over the next few years our friendship withstood thick and thin. During some of the hardest years of my life so far, Whit was there to let me cry it out. Even with me in school in Baltimore and her back and forth to Frederick, she always found time to swing by, give me a hug, and sleep on my window seat. Whitney helped me move more than once, I helped her find an apartment and assemble Ikea furniture. We ate pizza directly from the box on top of my bed (usually while watching Gossip Girl) more times that I can count. We gave fireworks personalities, explored abandoned flower shops, ice-skated at Rockefeller Center, waited in line for Harry Potter at midnight, spent wonderful weekends at Ocean City, and gave each other courage to keep moving forward even though it sucked and we didn't know if the future held good things or bad things. A few years ago, Whitney returned to California to finish her degree and I moved to Minnesota. Phone tag is the worst when you're in college, and our trips back to Maryland rarely overlapped. And then I got a call from Whitney about a guy. A guy she'd been friends with but "you know, never like that". He played baseball and was kind. He made her laugh and didn't play games. It was clear this was becoming something fast. Miss Independent was falling in love.
Whitney knew the proposal was coming. She texted me all week. "Luke said this" and "we're going here this weekend. I think that could be it". On a beautiful Southern California night overlooking the ocean, Luke asked Whitney to be his forever. The wedding was happening and she wanted me in it! But what about photos? I was dying to photograph these two. So we arranged for engagement photos while I was in town in March. We wandered the colorful streets of Santa Monica, drank milkshakes, laughed at ourselves, and had a blast. Whitney and Luke are perfect together. They don't have to try. Whitney is more relaxed and "at home" with Luke than I've ever seen her in years of hanging out with her friends and families. We photographed on some of the busiest streets in Santa Monica and they genuinely didn't seem to notice anyone else.
After shooting in Santa Monica, we drove south to the very spot on the Palos Verdes cliffs Luke had proposed at. While the location was absolutely stunning, nothing makes me happier than seeing my much loved friend finding her beloved one. My heart could burst from happiness. I can't wait to stand beside you in August, Whit. I love you!
- Downtown Santa Monica
- Steak 'n Shake at the Third Street Promenade
- Palos Verdes, CA
- B+W dress by Charlotte Russe
- Pink Maxi dress by Francesca's
- Shoes by J.Crew