"The beautiful ones," that's what my mom calls Paras and Fabiola. And I must say, she is really not wrong.
We just enjoyed a weekend in the sunshine in Healdsburg and Sebastopol with these two sparkly lovebirds, and it was such a great time. They're cheerful and smart and warm and absolutely lose their minds over rolling hills, oak trees, vineyards, brunch, bowling, and California living in general. How great it is to be periodically reminded of how good we've got it out here on the West Coast, and by such a happy couple no less.
I'd hoped to squeeze in an informal engagement shoot (they decided to tie the knot in a glittering, snow-covered Prospect Park this winter) with my new fancy camera but between group logistics, delayed flights, an overly-ambitious hike (oops, my bad on that one), navigational challenges, and poor Fab's head cold, we sort of tabled the idea somewhere along the way. But then we got to the barnyard. Or Ben's parents' backyard, rather. Perhaps this is an undiscovered professional niche, farmy engagement photography? Or not. Either way, these two city kids were having such a good time hanging with the goats, feeding Fabio and Pacheco (the llamas), and collecting eggs I couldn't help but snap a few—even though Fab wasn't in her "cute shoes" and we weren't in the beautiful spring green meadow we'd imagined. Because the truth is that these two are so smitten with each other they literally radiate it out of their faces, and you can see that in front of a chicken coop as well as you could in a perfectly picturesque Sonoma field with the right shoes on. So informal engagement shoot it was—we collected pale blue and light pink chicken eggs, ran from aggressive llamas in our bare feet, and chased an escaped goat together—and I took some hilarious and oh-so-happy pictures. It is a real treat to hang with a couple that so clearly brings out the best in each other. They are a splendid, splendid match, these two.
We cannot wait for your Brooklyn nuptials, Team Shavarez. It is sure to be the greatest wedding ever because you two—and your inspiringly enthusiastic adoration for one another—will be at the center of it. And, after all, we owe our own marriage to you.
Love, love, love,