Daniel & Antoinette’s Engagement Session

1:24 PM

Q: What do you get when you combine popcorn, meds, books, and an airport?

A: Daniel and Antoinette, in one of the most highly personalized engagement sessions I’ve ever done.

I am so utterly thankful to Daniel and Antoinette for bringing me on board to create their engagement session. From the detailed spreadsheets and conceptual what-ifs, to our afternoon chasing the light in San Diego, I knew this would come to be one very inspired set. Engagement sessions have evolved so much since I first started doing photography. Going beyond just pretty pictures at cool locations, the goal of these photos is to share a story that instantly resonates with anyone who knows my couples well.

Daniel and Antoinette’s long distance relationship meant whatever time they did spend together in one place was precious, so their go-to activities and hobbies would take center stage for our session. With movie watching being a common pastime for the two, we kicked off the day with phat stacks of DVDs complete with raining popcorn! Down the street, the local library provided all the children’s books we needed to offset the hours and hours of TV we had just watched. And to prove that it is indeed possible to be adorable in photos anywhere, these two pharmacists brought me to their world where I found myself momentarily illiterate. Drugs have interesting names and lots of letters.

All this served to build us up to the final set of the day; the San Diego Airport. After years of frequent and regular airport runs, this trip to the terminal would be different. It would mark the start of the end: the end of living in different time zones, the end of countless ‘see-you-later’ moments, and the end of bittersweet goodbye hugs.

Daniel and Antoinette, you guys are incredible. Go get married.

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Daniel and Antoinette’s Post Shoot Review of SimplyTwo:

We recommend John Yao of SimplyTwo for the fantastic experience he fashions and the memorable photos he creates. We scheduled an engagement session with John in early March of 2015. The planning process was extremely fun and John was on board from the start with all our hare-brained ideas. When a rainy day threatened to jeopardize our shoot, John showed himself as the man with a plan in any situation! He strategized to move the majority of our shoot indoors, and once the rain let up, he took us outside to some spectacular spots.

Throughout the session, John is your best-fressional = best friend + professional. He keeps the mood fun and his mind in constant motion, resulting in no dull moments. We were impressed with his ability to direct our movements and poses, all the while keeping us feeling very natural. Additionally, John possesses a (metaphorical) 3rd eye in seeing the beautiful in something incredibly mundane. For example, as we were driving to the airport for a shoot, John asked us to pull over to a seemingly random gravel and grass patch. We looked at our surroundings and thought, "We look like we're in a dump!" But lo and behold, as John clicked away on his camera, he turned the scene from drab to fab when he gave us a peek what was on his camera screen. We enjoyed watching a master work his craft.

When deciding on a photographer, we wanted to choose someone who would produce photos we would be proud to show to our grandchildren. We can confidently say John's work fulfilled this hope. Thank you John for a wonderful day and many precious memories.

-Daniel & Antoinette

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