Christina and I go way back to freshman year of college. Though we did not attend the same school, we often bumped into each other at church-related events. Christina and Dave’s engagement had been long-anticipated by many people. Dave is a resident in emergency medicine, which means pretty crazy work hours, so… I actually never met him until this session. I always joked to Christina that he was a ghost boyfriend. After college, Christina and I frequently went out for food or hung out at friends’ parties.
Christina and Dave love the outdoors and the four seasons. Originally, we had an idea to do four engagement shoots – one in each season – but once I moved away from Boston, it was pretty much impossible what with our three schedules being too hard to match up. With my move to the Bay Area, there are many things in Boston that I could not commit to, one of them including attending Christina’s wedding. However, we were so, so fortunate to all be free this past weekend. Christina and Dave took extraordinary measures to drive down at 6AM with a snack-filled car from Boston to meet me in Philadelphia while I was attending a friend’s wedding. Christina has always been a super creative girl with a love for beautiful, cute things, and flowers. In fact, she has even assisted me in the past on some shoots, so she knows how I work! However, it’s always a little different to be in front of my camera. [grins]
Their engagement story is amazing and there is absolutely no way for me to recount it here. However, I will let you know that it involves snow, post-its, two teddy bears, fresh flowers, and their first “I love you”. The first things Christina actually replied with was “I WIN” because they had a running bet that she would cry, but she did not. Haha! Anyway, I burned midnight oil to get this post up given that they are marrying soon and I’m flying out to San Francisco today.
We started with a picnic at Morris Arboretum because, if there’s one thing you should know about both Christina is that she is hungry. All the time. And macarons and cupcakes are awesome
In fact, when I asked them what their most memorable date was from recent memory, both mentioned dates involving food! For Christina’s birthday, they went to O Ya in Boston. Last October, Christina and Dave took a road trip down the east coast that basically involved eating and visiting friends. I totally want to do that
Yummy yummy. And thank you for getting me a red velvet! What a beautiful, beautiful ring
They were so comfortable and laid back with me
We had incredible luck with flowers. With the recent cold snap and rain and wind, Chicago pretty much has no more flowers, but spring flowers abounded in Philly. This was probably my number one goal (and Dave’s too) – to make sure Christina was 100% happy with these photos, we did a lot of digging and researching to come up with a location that wasn’t too far from the city and would have the greatest chance for all these colors. By the way, I tied that green sash :D
Their faiths are very important to them. We actually took a little time in the middle of the session for a little prayer. And a couple more cute kisses
Christina knows my love for shoes all too well. These J. Crew pumps have such lovely detail, I want a pair now..
This was a cool plant that looked autumn-like. I have no idea what it is. Anyone, anyone?
One of my favorite things: awesome trees
One thing I really like about Dave is how genuinely nice he is and how he is always looking for other people’s happiness
This sums up the engagement proposal: post-it notes, teddy bears, and “I love you”
Thank you Christina and Dave so much for being incredible to work with and Christina, for your years of friendship, for seeing me through all these different changes the last several years. A true friend indeed!
For photographers: I continue to receive a lot of questions about whether I use special actions or tricks to achieve my photographic style. Honestly, if you have to rely on editing tricks to get great photos, I think you’re making things too hard on yourself. Sure, I do edit the photos a little in Lightroom because not everything turns out perfect, but it’s all about finding good light and getting it as correct as possible in the camera. Every day, I’m looking for better light
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Shang Chen Photography has rebranded to Saavedra Photography
she takes photographs of celebrations of love and life
Based in NYC | Open for select photography commissions on Sundays only