Jess and James Glowy Engagement Session on Ring Mountain

Guys, this engagement session post is super special because Jess and James are two really close friends of mine. When I moved out to California four years ago, I applied to Marin Montessori to support them in office work and after school care. James was on the interview committee that hired me. And then ended up being literally the best boss/coworker/friend you could ever ask for. We hit it off the summer before I even started working. So for fun, I’m gonna tangent a little bit here. Skip ahead past the italics if you don’t give a rat’s whatever.


When I moved to California, I really wanted to experience the San Francisco Pride celebration. The Twin Cities pride parade is pretty epic, but I really wanted to experience San Francisco’s community culture. Their pride parade was at the top of my experiential list.

Basically, no one was available to go with me. (I had just moved to California – didn’t know many people.) My brother was out of town. The few people I had met were unavailable or not interested in going. So I reached out to James and asked him if he’d be interested in joining me. Sure enough, he was down! I took the ferry into SF and met James and his buddy for the parade. They came decked out in costumes and glitter, ready to have a hell of a time. We had so much fun!

Fast forward to the school year. James and I worked side by side at Marin Montessori running their after school care program. I had an absolute blast working in that position. Every afternoon was filled with hours of basketball (lightning!), dodgeball (fireball!), capture the flag, ultimate frisbee, snacks, art…you name it! I have since worked multiple summer camps alongside James that were filled with adventures to Angel Island, the top of Mount Tam, Stinson Beach, the Exploratorium, and more! Needless to say, he is a brilliant PE teacher and awesome friend.


Jess is equally as awesome. A total bada** who works to make our environment cleaner for future generations. It’s extremely admirable and she works super hard. So hard that she got an incredible promotion and these two are going to be moving to Seattle at the beginning of the summer. I’ll be sad to see them go but so excited for what their future has in store. She’s also an ultimate frisbee player (woot woot!), dog lover, and outdoor enthusiast. Basically, they’re a humble, down-to-earth power couple.


I remember going to their house warming party when they bought their first house together. Jess made homemade dumplings and James had prepared a station for wreath making. It was bomb. I also remember when James told me he was saving money to buy a ring and pop the question. You can imagine the excitement everyone had when it finally happened!


Also, the craziest thing happened. After Jess and James got engaged, they asked me to be their wedding photographer! (I’ll let you in on a little secret: I’ve never photographed a wedding before!) I’ll be honest, I was shocked. I had to think about it for a few days. But I said yes(!!) and I’ve been preparing for that weekend ever since!


For their engagement session, we started on Ring Mountain that sits across the street from Marin Montessori School. They brought their pups and we walked around in search of wildflowers and glowy light. We ended the session well into blue hour on the tiny beach along Marin Montessori’s campus just in time to catch the sun’s tiny orange glow over the top of Mount Tam. It was beyond dreamy.


Thank you so much, Jess and James, for letting me capture your engagement photos AND for trusting me to be your wedding photographer. I am extremely honored and excited to not only witness, but get to encapsulate in time your lifelong commitment to one another. I love you guys so much!




These two were so easy to work with. I hardly had to direct them.

The doggies were posing so well! That’s Josie on the left and Jackson on the right. 🙂

This photo above is so sweet!

The dogs couldn’t stay away, hahahhaha.

The above photo is one of my FAVS! ♥

I’m in love with the colors of these last few photos on the mountain. The wildflowers + the sweet doggies = ♥

Then we headed down to the tiny beach across the street just in time to catch the last bit of blue hour.


This shot above is one of my FAVORITES! I gave them a color copy as well 😀

If you liked this post, you may also love:

1. Best of 2020

2. Sunny Family Session in the Eucalyptus Groves

3. Sophia’s Glowy Sunrise Senior Session

May 21, 2021

  1. Patara Lai says:

    Beautiful engagement photos and blog! Such a happy couple! Love it!!

Leave a Reply