Engagement Photos

Oh yes, another wedding post because that's essentially all this blog is now. But we're all okay with that, right? Right.

We got our engagement pictures back last week and to avoid flooding my Instagram with them, I figured it would be best to just do a dump of them here. I love them so much and this somehow STILL isn't all of the photos.

I've also really been enjoying digging into my process with all things wedding planning so I wanted to share the process of finding our photographers and taking these too!

Choosing the Photographer(s)
Out of everything we've done so far, other than choosing the venue, this has been what I've spent the most time on. A LOT of people have given me wedding planning advice (most solicited, some unsolicited), and the #1 thing that others have said they spent the most money on is the photographer. That made a lot of sense to me since at the end of the day, the photos are really what you're left with the rest of your life (you know, other than the happiness and memories). We'll probably forget what the food tasted like or how big the centerpieces were eventually, but we'll always have the photos. So yeah, this was a really important decision for us.

I want to be transparent about the budget because I found that I had no idea what to actually budget for most things when we started. I hope this will help someone, but if you're reading this to get some insight for your own budget, keep in mind that we're lucky to have both sets of parents helping out and we live in an expensive area. While our budget is actually cheap for Southern California, it's probably higher than some other areas. We originally had $1,500 budgeted, and after a little bit of research, I realized that was just not going to happen so we raised it to $2,500. We still felt a little limited by this (most of the people we found at first were over $3,000), but we definitely had more options.

I didn't really know where to start with finding a photographer so the best thing I did was look through the venue's Instagram. Our venue is about an hour away from us and we don't know the area that well, so we really liked the idea of finding someone who had worked there before. Let me tell you, I did a DEEP dive through every photographer tagged by the venue. Some had styles we didn't like and others were too expensive. Eventually, we came across Cobos Co., a local husband and wife duo, we were amazed to find that they had such a beautiful portfolio, had worked at the venue before, AND they were under our budget. After chatting with Hollow, the husband of the team, we instantly felt like we were in good hands.

Planning the Shoot
We weren't sure that engagement pictures were something we wanted to spend money on originally, and since my sister-in-law is an amazing photographer who also took one of my other brother's engagement pics, we were going to have her do it. But since Cobos Co. included engagement pictures in the full wedding package, we figured it would be a great way to work with them before the actual wedding.

Hollow gave us a few different options for locations, and I was excited that one of them was the Orange Circle. The Circle is one of my favorite places in the world, and I've spent a LOT of time there. It's a downtown area full of antique shops and restaurants, and it's surrounded by old houses. It's right next to my dad's restaurant, and I also wrote for the local newspaper for a couple of years after I graduated from college.

I loved the idea of taking pictures in one of the antique stores or a diner, and Hollow and I discussed taking some in Watson's, a diner/soda fountain that I've always loved. It's one of my favorite places that has been there since 1899 (it used to be a drugstore), and they remodeled it a couple of years ago. As much as I was bummed about them changing it at the time, I can't deny that it's even more adorable than it used to be.

The Photos
We could not be happier with how they turned out! I wanted to make sure our photos felt like us - some retro locations, us laughing and having a good time - and these were exactly what I had envisioned. Taking couple photos is WEIRD, so it helped a lot that we instantly felt comfortable with Hollow and Grace. My only idea that I really had was going into Watson's, so I was relieved that Hollow guided us to some great spots and helped us figure out how to pose. Side note: the strangest thing for me was taking kissing pictures! I've always thought it was so uncomfortable to take and post pictures of kissing, so it was extra strange to be directed by someone to do so. I'm very much not into PDA so I don't think I'll ever get used to that.

Overall, though, I love how much these photos show our love and our happiness. Neither of us wanted stiff pictures or ones of us looking too serious, so I'm glad these photos capture our personalities and our relationship.

As for the last photo - anyone who frequents the Orange Circle knows that there is one record store and it is NEVER open. I swear, it keeps the strangest hours and for all of the time I've spent in the area, I think I've only seen it open once. As we were walking up, it looked like the lights were on and we got so excited...only to find that, as usual, it was closed. Obviously we had to capture our disappointment. 

All Photos by Cobos Co.


  1. These look soooo great! What a perfect area for shooting. I love them all but especially the one's in the soda parlor with neon lights which I guess is Watson's? <33

    Priya the Blog

  2. Custom engagement rings are an ideal option And like Diamond earrings if you’re looking for something that’s uniquely yours. When you create a custom engagement ring, you can tailor every last detail of your ring to perfectly suit you, from its design to its materials. This allows you to create the ring of your dreams, a ring that truly tells your unique love story as a couple.