Mo and Kent are the winners of my recent Engagement Session Giveaway Contest! I had a hard time picking a wedding idea - truly, because there were so many fabulous ones - but theirs got me the most excited, both visually and in my tastebuds! Here is a little excerpt from Mo's entry email, about their first date:
"... He charmed me with his dimples and soft spoken demeanor, and I somehow woo-ed him with my Buddy Holly glasses and fierce dedication to Bruce Campbell... we ended up eating a late-night dinner at a grimy hole in the wall noodle shop. Like any legitimate Asian eatery, it was dirty, cramped, and after you left the place, you (and your clothes) smelled like the food. It was teeny tiny so there were only two swivel chairs and a counter by a large window overlooking the street. We sat there eating noodles and talking until 2 in the morning, and I knew after that night that I had found someone special.
I would love to take our engagement pictures in one of the noodle restaurants in Chinatown... I think it'd be a nice commemoration of that night 7 years ago, and also a fun and kitschy way to have pictures of one of our shared interests: food. Because despite being two very different people, Kent and I completely bond over food...
It would also be fun to take some shots in Chinatown should the restaurant get super boring/smelly/uninspiring. We could even expand on the food idea...milk tea...dim sum...pink boxes from the Chinese bakery..."
I loved everything about this email! :)
We were planning to meet up to talk about their June 2010 wedding while they were in the Bay Area, anyway, so once I announced that they won, we decided to combine the wedding photography meeting with the engagement session, all in SF's Chinatown. Then, it seemed like it was going to start pouring, so we moved the exact meet up time around several times. Mo and Kent were wonderfully patient, mellow, and fun to get to know, and I think the shoot worked out perfectly! It was so much fun, and a great excuse for me to snack on some of my favorite Chinese treats: steamed sweet bean buns. Yum!
We wandered around a bit, dashing out in between cars to get some portraits with those lovely lanterns strung over the streets.
The sidewalks were busy with locals and tourists. Right after Mo asked if I often got asked questions about what I was doing when I shoot in public (and I said, "no, not often"), we had two separate strangers ask something about my camera! It was almost overwhelming to be photographing amongst the crowd, but it also kept us on our toes in a fun and unique way. I think I need to make it out of my little country town more often, to shoot in more urban environments.
I like this shot a lot for that reason - it was just a cool little moment of expression amid all of the hubbub:
This one too - Kent looks so happy and open, while Mo keeps a lookout for cars!
Mo had the cutest outfit on - they both looked fantastic! - and I particularly loved the big green belt with the poofy skirt. She had gotten several "superhero" comments from friends, but I thought it was perfect. Nothing wrong with a superheroine element now and again!
After wandering up Grant Avenue, we popped into Eastern Bakery, the first bakery in Chinatown. Yum, yum, yum!
Then we found this orange brick wall and did some more straightforward portraits to round out the day:
Kent got eager for some pastry before Mo had a chance to share:
So cute. I love the shots with the lanterns and bustling Chinatown streets, but these closer-up shots are some of my favorite from the day. Simple, colorful and adorable!
Thank you, Mo and Kent, for such a wonderful day! I enjoyed meeting you, and our shoot, and all of our delicious snacks!