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Santa Monica Engagement: Katherine + Jesse


In 1999, Katherine hopped on a jet plane headed to Cancun for spring break.  Little did she know that Jesse, now her fiance, did the very same thing.  And as fate would have it, there paths crossed one night.  As she sat at a table with her college girl friends, she saw his sweet smile as he sat at a table with his friends.  After some introductions, they talked and danced the night away, and exchanged numbers before heading back to Indiana and California, respectively.   Back home at IU, Katherine thought about Jesse all the time.  And across the miles in San Francisco, Jesse thought of her too.  Upon graduation in 2000 and many phone calls and frequent flier miles later, Katherine followed her heart to be with Jesse in San Francisco.  After all, they had fallen in love during their visits over the past year and a half.

Last fall, Jesse planned a getaway weekend for the two of them in Palm Springs.  The second evening there was one they won’t ever forget.  Usually very cool, calm, collected, Katherine says that evening Jesse was quite animated, nervous, not quite himself.  Insisting they hurry off for their dinner reservation, Jesse led her to a quiet, secluded area of their resort.  Champagne awaited, sweet words were whispered, and he asked her the single most important question every girl waits to answer.  And Jesse got the answer that every lucky guy hopes to hear from the woman who holds his heart.

Katherine and Jesse are pledging forever to each other in September, and I couldn’t be happier for the two of them.  I met Katherine at IU, and I remember hearing about the night that she met Jesse.  And when I heard that they were engaged, I was beyond excited!  I’m honored and thrilled to be the one to document their wedding day.  A few years back, they moved from San Francisco to Santa Monica.  I was fortunate enough to travel to Santa Monica for their engagement session, along with my husband Reggie.  Besides having such a fun, beautiful couple to photograph, I was in photography heaven – the light, the flowering trees, the beach, the light…did I mention the light?  All in front of me, just waiting to be captured by my camera.  Katherine and Jesse, thank you so much for allowing me the great honor to capture this special time in your lives!  I adore you both!   Please be warned, I have far too many favorites from this session, there’s no possible way I could choose just one…or three…or five.   We started the afternoon in their neighborhood before ending the session at the beach.  Family and friends, to see more from their engagement session, click here for their online gallery.

I love how Jesse makes Katherine laugh!


When we were planning their session, I mentioned to Katherine that I loved this crosswalk…boom!

Love these two!

Katherine, you are beautiful.  

Another favorite. 

Love this one!


Those eyes!!!   

Such a gorgeous couple.
We made our way down to the beach to catch the last of the beautiful evening light. 

Katherine and Jesse are the kind of couple who loves to have fun and just throw the football around.
And they happen to look quite fabulous while they do it!
P.S. Katherine, you’re right about Jesse’s smile.  🙂

They didn’t keep score…we’ll just say they tied. 

Love, love, love this one.  

I’ll just say what everyone else is thinking…Katherine, you.are.gorgeous. 
(Favorites…good thing I’m allowed more than one!  😉  )

As I was editing this session, the Jesse’s Girl came on Pandora.  🙂
In college, we always thought of these two whenever we heard this song. 

Perfect light, perfect evening, perfect couple.  

Katherine and Jesse, thank you again, from the bottom of my heart.  Thank you for being so kind, so genuine, and for just being who you are.  You rocked your session, and I hope you love the images.  Thank you so much for your hospitality – I absolutely loved California!    I am so, so, SO excited for your wedding day!

  1. Anonymous says:

    Oh, these pics are just OUT OF THIS WORLD TERRIFIC!!! LOVELY couple and scenery!!! Another GREAT job, Stephanie!!!


  2. milsztof says:

    Great session. Brilliant idea the ring shot.

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