Last Sunday I got to hop around to some of San Francisco's prettiest places — the Presidio, Palace of Fine Arts, and Baker Beach to photograph Mathew and Crystal's engagement session. This session was EXTRA special because if you can't see the resemblance, Mathew, is actually my first cousin!
SPOILER: scroll to the very end, you will see a picture of us from our childhood , along with other family pictures from the archives!
Mathew is the only one in my family (on both sides) that's exactly my age. We did our college tours together and attended schools a few hours away from one another (I went to UC Santa Barbara and Mathew went to USC). I remember meeting Crystal in college, while I was visiting Mathew 9 years ago. When they were dating, they would come and visit me in Santa Barbara and I would third wheel with them to all my favorite spots. Little did any of us know that I'd be photographing their engagement session 9 years later!
When planning their engagement session, we originally talked about getting shots of them in front of the golden gate bridge from the Marin side. However, those plans quickly changed once the fog started rolling in the hour of our shoot. Luckily, Mathew and Crystal had already picked out some favorite backup locations and they were perfect! It was actually my first time shooting at Lover's Lane and we got a little lost in the Presidio trying to find the trail. We eventually found it and got some great shots along the way before heading to the Palace of Fine Arts. I saved Baker Beach for the very end since it's sandy and I knew I didn't want them to worry about their clothes getting dirty for the rest of the shoot. Overall, I loved how these came out and I can't wait for these two to tie the knot next year!
More about my family
So a little side note about family.... I come from a HUGE family. My dad is one of 8 siblings and my mom is one of 5 siblings and pretty much everyone had at least two kids. Many of us are all around the same age, so I grew up close to lots of cousins. My dad's side lives primarily in the bay area and my mom's side lives mostly in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Growing up, we'd spend every other month getting together with my dad's side for birthday celebrations and various milestones. We even had a cousin's camp in Berkeley one summer where we spent the entire week doing fun activities together! Mathew's mother, my aunt Teresa, is known for being our family historian. She's also a photographer and documents everything, so we're really lucky to have pictures and albums from our lives each year.
For my mom's side, we would make a trip out to Michigan at least once a summer to hang with our cousins there. I have so many memories spending days out on the lake tubing, waterskiing, and being silly. Now that we're entering this next phase of life, so many of my cousins are getting engaged and I'm so excited for all the weddings next year — so far we have 4 weddings in the family for 2019! One of them is my sister and I'll be shooting their engagement soon, so get ready for a good post on that :)
I put together some old photos I found of my cousins and I — scroll down to view them. Hope you enjoy!
From the family archives
To the right is my cousin Mathew and I (circa 1995) hanging out on a log. This may have been taken at the Oakland Zoo.
Disclaimer: If you're in my family and seeing this — sorry if I don't have your picture in here! I pulled these from Facebook.
In the carousel below:
1. Cousins from Michigan (mom's side) visiting my sister and I at our home in Stockton, California.
2. My sister and I hanging with our cousins (mom's side) in Connecticut one summer. Lots of girls on this side of the family!
3. All my cousins living in the Bay Area have a quarterly cousin's dinner or brunch to try a new restaurant and catch up. This now includes our +1's!
4. Taking a big group shot with my mom's side of the family at my cousin's wedding in Grand Rapids a few years ago.
5. Christmas with my dad's side of the family. We have a tradition of taking pics like this every year. Only missing a few!
6. Being silly with my sister and some cousins from my dad's side of the family. My mom and aunt are also in this one.