Alina & Al - Sacramento, CA Engagement Session

On February 2, 2019, Alina found a lump in her breast at 33 years old. That next week, she was diagnosed with stage 2B Breast Cancer. She started her first of six rounds of chemo on March 8, 2019, the day after these engagement photos were taken and had her chemo port placed earlier that week. Usually, engagement photos are a time of joy during the “stressful” wedding planning process. Being with these two, watching them go through this journey and doing so while engaged, planning a wedding and life together definitely puts things into perspective.

Society places too much emphasis around weddings and not enough on marriage. There’s pressure to have the perfect engagement photo session, engagement party, bridal shower, bachelorette weekend and to have the wedding of your dreams. What if for some reason, life gets in the way and doesn’t allow for that? I feel that during this season of engagement, we lose sight of the end goal, a successful marriage.

This shoot was planned in a handful of days and rain or shine, it was going to happen. We picked up her stunning bouquet made by the talented Walnut and Main, threw on our rain boots and walked around the beautiful American River Parkway Trails outside of Sacramento. My favorite memories of this particular day were seeing Alina & Al take everything in. I witnessed these two truly love and appreciate each other. They laughed, smiled and shed a few tears but most importantly I watched them forget about cancer.

Alina & Al; I wish you both a lifetime of love and happiness. It is my hope that during this journey, you never lose the light within you. That you continue to be brave. You are not fighting alone.

Photography: Rachel Leigh Photography | Film Lab: The FIND Lab | Floral Design: Walnut and Main

Jacqui & Ben - Glen Ellen, CA Engagement Session

Jacqui & Ben met about 10 years ago while both living in LA. They both found themselves in the same friend group, but were living separate lives. They lost touch over the years but reconnected while Ben was up in San Francisco visiting a friend. Jacqui saw he was in town via Instagram, contacted him to hang out, and the rest is history. 

J & B both have very welcoming personalities We met in Glen Ellen with their dog, Baxter, to pop some champagne, snap a few photos and ended up grabbing a bite to eat post session. We chatted, ate one of the best burgers at a local dive bar and sipped on more wine while Jacqui became BFFs with a local who had mistaken her for a family friend. These two make everyone around them feel like family. 


Have you ever met someone who calms your soul? Within minutes of meeting these two, I immediately felt a calming vibe. Not just towards each other, but also towards me. Hannah currently lives overseas, while Ricardo is in Houston. They came back to San Francisco for a long weekend, full of wedding planning and little sleep. Despite their hectic schedules, these two were so relaxed and truly soaked in every minute with each other.

H+R, I cannot wait to shoot your romantic wedding this fall.