31 August 2012

Lake Arrowhead Engagement Session by Daniel Cruz Photography

What better way to start off your Friday than with this gorgeous So Cal engagement session by Daniel Cruz Photography? I love the whole woodsy feel to the shoot, the cute props, and just everything else! Thank you Daniel for sharing this shoot with us!

About their engagement session: "It was extremely fun! I have known Daniel since probably the 5th grade, and it's awesome to have him as our photographer for our engagement session/wedding! We kept in contact, but hadn't talked as much as we used to after high school, so it was a really good time getting to catch up and get to know him a little more. We met in Lake Arrowhead, and initially just cruised (Cruz =) around looking for spots that we could use. Daniel was driving and we went up into the mountains and kept hitting turn after turn until we eventually found a perfect spot that we could use! It was in this little forest area which was actually pretty close to some homes as well. We spent the first half of the shoot there, and eventually moved back down to the Lake where we spent the second half of the shoot. It was a little weird at first modeling and posing and whatnot because we had both never done that before, but as time went on it just seemed natural. Daniel was really good at keeping a comfortable feeling to the shoot, and not to mention providing us with a ton of laughs along the way. I feel he did an amazing job, and we can't wait to see what he does at our wedding!"
Their love story: We met each other when we went to school at Fresno Pacific. We were both Cross Country athletes, and as an athlete you get to move onto campus about a week before everybody else does. It was during this time that we met each other, and Amanda was actually the very first girl that I met on campus through a mutual friend. We all had an early dinner together, and made plans to watch a volleyball game later that night. Our friend didn't show, but we ended up spending the rest of the day together. After that, we started our friendship started to grow stronger, and we ended up spending a lot of our time together. She made it very clear that she wasn't at school for a relationship, so I never made any moves on her, but just continued to seek her friendship. After freshman year, we remained friends, though we didn't spend nearly as much time together. We had both ended up dating other people, but nothing serious. I knew that I didn't want to move onto something serious with anyone else, because I still had really strong feelings for her. Eventually, senior year of college had came around, and I wasn't going to go our whole college career without letting her know how I felt about her. I figured we'd graduate soon, and if she felt awkward about me sharing my feelings for her, at least I would have tried. So one day I told her how I had had "more than friend feelings" for her since I've known her, and I expected something big to happen. Initially, all I got was a "Yea? I kinda figured" in return, with no type of answer as to how she felt about me, so it was pretty awkward for me. It turned out she felt the same way but just didn't do a good job of communicating it to me, because months later when hanging out, she was apparently "jingling her keys" after we hung out together and I didn't get the memo. Later that night, I started to ask myself, "Was I supposed to kiss her tonight"? Sadly I realized that I had missed my moment, but that it also wasn't too late to try the next night because she was headed back home to Oregon the following day. So I ripped off a piece of a bush, pretended that it was a mistletoe, and went straight up to her door. We hung out for a bit, and eventually I pulled the "mistletoe" out and stood expecting a kiss. She just stared at me for a while without reacting, but I figured I'd just hold my ground and something would happen. She eventually let me kiss her, and we said our goodbyes. After that, we started spending more and more time together again until our casual dating eventually turned into an intentional relationship.

The proposal: We had known each other for 6 years, been dating for 2 of those years, were about to finish our credentialing program at Fresno Pacific, and both knew that we wanted to be with each other for the rest of our lives. Amanda is from Oregon, so it made it hard for me to get to see her parents and talk with her dad before I proposed. So, as I call it, "Operation Put A Ring On It" was put on hold for a couple months longer than what I had hoped for. Amanda knew that it would eventually be coming, but was expecting it months after it did. She has a sister who lives in Arroyo Grande, and her family came down for Easter and we all spent the day together. I knew that this was my chance to talk to her dad, because I probably wouldn't see him for months after that moment. So him and I went down to the beach and talked for a while, and I received his blessing then. I had a couple different ideas as to how I was going to ask her, one of them being in front of her family, but I didn't have a concrete plan of action. I eventually chose to go with something nice and genuine rather than something big and for show. Amanda and I had always taken a picture together when we went to the coast and framed it. On our way out, I told her we couldn't head back to Fresno without our picture, so we headed up to this hill where we could overlook over the city, and we got our picture (and a horrible one at that, because it was all kind of rushed). It was freezing that night, and I asked her what she'd like to have at that moment if she could have anything in the world, to which she replies, "Probably a blanket". Sidenote: I'm just realizing she just has those stinging replies.. Anyways, I replied back, "Well I don't have a blanket on me, but what about a promise that we'd be together for the rest of our lives"? This is of course where I pulled the ring that I had had for about 9 months now, and proposed. With teary eyes, she of course said yes, and here we are.

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