Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Henry and Isby engagements, Preston Winery, Healdsburg, California

My cousin Henry is one of three brothers, and the second to get married. (You can see Morgan and Kennon's wedding photos here.) All three boys are like brothers to me (though when I try to explain our connection - our moms' moms were identical twins! - people get confused). So it makes me extra extra happy to see that Henry's found the love of his life, beautiful Isby, who I have only met 4 times now, but who I already adore. I attended her bridal shower this weekend and on the "how well do you know Isby?" quiz, I got 6 or 7 out of 10 right, which I thought was pretty rad since we've probably spent a total of 6 hours together in our lives!

Henry and Isby are getting married in Big Sur in June, and I am honored to be their photographer. I wanted to give them an engagement portrait as a gift, but they were both a little hesitant about having even more photos of themselves taken (and our schedules were almost impossible to match up). So it almost didn't happen, but then suddenly we all had an available afternoon, they were heading up this way anyhow, and we spent about 20 minutes getting some photos that are some of my favorite engagement shots ever!

We drove up to Healdsburg, got delicious sandwiches downtown, and then drove up up up Dry Creek Road to Preston Winery. Henry and Isby wanted to buy all the jugs they could (there's a limit of 2 per person per day, and they're only sold on Sundays) of the Preston table wine, Guadagni Red, to use as rustic (and drinkable) centerpieces for the wedding. We walked away with 8 jugs, after finishing off the barrel! The other visitors were not that happy with us ;)

Preston is an amazing, beautiful winery. I think I must have a sickness, because I instantly thought, "oooh, I wonder if they do weddings" (before realizing that there's no way the neighborhood would let them). It would be so perfect for a chic rustic wedding in the gardens... and there are kitties living throughout the grounds. So cute! I'll let the photos do the talking:

This funny guy pushed right up to us, and snuggled into Dev's armpit to try to get a bite of sandwich:

This pomegranate tree puts our backyard tree to shame - look at all the vibrant color:

The grounds have a working farm, a bunch of cool old shacks and furniture, and a bocce ball court. I strongly recommend a visit to Preston, and hope that we make it back soon. There are picnic grounds and a tasting room (and the wine I tasted was delicious).

Look at these cuties!

The light was just heaven that day - it had been raining all weekend, but the afternoon sun was starting to pour through the clouds. So beautiful.

They didn't need much encouragement to cuddle and kiss - they kind of can't help themselves. Theirs is a wonderful love, they are so comfortable and right together.

These are some of my absolute favorite photos:

These two dream of buying some property in the country and farming the land... so they had a little bit of chicken envy.

You should've heard it when I showed these to my aunties - so much oohing and awwwing and usage of the word "cute!" :) Henry and Isby weren't exactly looking forward to being in front of the camera and the center of attention, but they love the photos, which just goes to show you that we can do wonderful portraits in a very laid back and painless way. Isby wrote to me, "WOW! The photos are awesome! Thank you so much- I really do love your style... There's a couple that Henry and I both got really excited about- a rare thing for us."

So, not to be pushy, but if you are thinking of doing an engagement shoot, and are feeling like that would be a weird, unnecessary, look-at-us kinda thing, this is your gentle reminder that there are lots of good reasons to do them. They're fun, they're empowering, they're good practice for the wedding day, they make a great date, and they will thrill your moms (and aunties!) more than you can imagine!

Henry and Isby, thank you for being so cute. I can't wait for the Big Sur wedding day!

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