Eric & Emmeline’s Engagement Portraits | Walnut, CA

It was a perfect day for a photoshoot–cool, & sunny! John & I met up with Eric & Emmeline at Eric’s house to get ready for the day! I knew Eric back in college and got to photograph him during his senior year as part of my gift to the seniors in our college fellowship. He wore his infamous basketball shorts and a t-shirt since I told the class to wear something they felt comfortable in. This time around, Emmeline made sure he dressed up a bit–but still was comfy! ;) Our awesome friend Chris (Chris Ahn Productions) was also with us & worked on an exciting video for the lovely couple before we got to take them! By the time it was our turn, while they were all warmed up! ;)

Their story of love is one beautiful tale that I can’t wait to share, but since I was graced with the opportunity to photograph their wedding later in the year, I’ll only be sharing a couple details they shared with me! If you want to keep up with Eric & Emmeline’s story & wedding, cruise on over to my Facebook page (click here) & feel free to “like” it! That way, you’ll be one of the first to know when their wedding comes through!

Our first stop during the shoot was the High School where they first met! Oh those good old High School days! Eric & Emmeline knew each other since middle school, but they officially met and became friends in high school during their calculus class. “The first thing I noticed was how friendly he was, but he always looked so tired. Probably from all the video games he played while in high school…hahah.”

Eric said their friendship grew as they sat next to each other in that class.  “Over the course of the year, we became good friends….HOWEVER near the end of junior year…Emmeline thought I liked her (which I didn’t) and she was dating someone at the time. So…she started treating me very rudely, first nice…then really mean.” As many girls do it in high school, this was how Emmeline tried to confirm her disinterest in him while she was in a relationship with someone else.

After some time, after Emmeline had broken up with her previous boyfriend, and a friend clarified Eric’s intentions of being a friend (& his general friendliness), they became friends once again. “After that was settled, we were able to become close friends again…and oddly enough…2 months later..I started liking her. Hahaha.” It’s funny how God works things like this into His plans!

 

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Eric & Emmeline showed us the exact locker Eric asked Emmeline to prom at. Eric had written Emmeline a cute note (though as Emmeline says, it was a bit confusing) and stuck it in her locker. He planned it out so that after she finished reading it, he was standing behind her, flowers in hand & ready to ask her to prom!

But this isn’t where their story started. After she found out that Eric liked her, she made it clear that she wasn’t interested… but as summer rolled around a few things changed that grew their relationship.

From Eric’s perspective:

“The summer of 2007, we had graduated from High School..and during that summer I started going to church. The 1st time I went, it was for Emmeline; However, I continued to attend church because of the great people I had met there. Eventually, it would be for God.”

 

From Emmeline’s perspective:

“That summer after graduation though we built a stronger friendship, and Eric eventually accepted Christ after God encountered him personally. A few months later halfway into our freshman year of college we decided to officially start our relationship. I was initially attracted by how thoughtful he was, and how even in our friendship he was a gentleman. For example when we went on hiking trips over the summer, he’d always walk in front of me on downhill slopes, or behind me in uphill slopes, so that I wouldn’t hurt myself in case I fell….guess he knew early on how clumsy I was. -___-“

 

 

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“That summer, I hung out with Emmeline and our mutual friend Christine a lot. We would go hiking, watch Boy Meets World, and we pretty much did everything together. It was in September of 2007, right before College was starting, that Emmeline admitted to me that she liked me as well. At that moment, we both decided it wouldn’t be good for us to date because I was going to UCR, and she was going to UCLA. In the next 3 months, we attended our separate colleges, but because of Church, we both saw each other every Saturday and Sunday…so the feelings did not go away. On January 3rd, 2008…we started our relationship as Boyfriend and Girlfriend.”

 

 

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Walnut High had so much greenery and great lighting! It was so sweet getting to see where they first met and where their story somewhat began! :)

After the high school, we headed off to one of Eric’s favorite treats–donuts!! Because of their frequent visits, the owners at Donut Tree know these sweethearts, and gave us permission to shoot at their shop! We got a couple treats and started this part of their session! :)

 

 

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They didn’t have any of their delicious blueberry donuts (probably because they’re high in demand), but we got some sprinkled donuts! Yum! :)

 

 

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Eric shared this with me about Emmeline: “Emmeline is super clumsy and messy when she eats…often something will spill things and her food will be everywhere after she’s done.”

I don’t know Eric, after this part of the session, it sure seemed like you might have been the messy winner! ;)

 

 

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“[Emmeline] is very loving and kind. She has a lot of patience with people. She takes care of me when I’m tired, sick, or irritated. I love that she invests so much of herself and time into things that are important to her.”

 

 

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After spending some time at Donut Tree, we headed back to Eric’s neighborhood to a red fence special to Eric & Emmeline’s relationship. The one thing about relationships that doesn’t get nearly enough attention in the media is how difficult they can be at times. It isn’t necessarily the red fence that was special, but what happened at it that makes it special to this shoot. This red fence was where the mending of a rough break in Eric & Emmeline’s relationship took place.

They allowed me to share a couple of details from this break up. “Things were great to start….but slowly the immaturity of our relationships with God revealed themselves…and our selfishness began to tear the relationship apart. After dating for 1.5 years…we broke up.” – Eric

 

 

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“After a year of dating, I began to question our relationship and Eric’s ability to lead me spiritually since he was so new in his faith. Instead of letting God work in his heart and grow him, I decided to break up with him, and although it was hard it was definitely something God had planned.”

During that time, Eric grew into deeper in his relationship with God and solidified his faith apart from me. A few months later when we started talking again, I realized that Eric still had an impact in my life and was speaking certain truths that I needed to hear. I saw that I needed to change my expectations from what I wanted them to be, to what God had in store for us. We had a huge dramatic fight during the breakup where we almost ended our friendship. When I saw how nearly impossible it was for me to cut Eric out of my life, we decided to give the relationship another try, and made this decision by that red fence.

Although we got back together, the next few years of college were difficult, filled with a lot of arguments and just learning how to build one another up instead of tearing one another down. Over time by the grace of God, we learned how to humble ourselves and let go of things we were holding onto, in order to love each other better. Learning more about the gospel and Christ’s sacrifice for us has been instrumental in helping us work through our flaws, and also remember that our identity is in Christ and not just in our relationship. Because of this we are able to work better at our relationship when we turn to God together instead of pointing fingers at one another.”

Relationships will always have struggles and difficulties at different extremities for every couple. They might seem perfect on paper, or in social media, but there’s definitely hard work involved in relationships, and often times it means seeing the ugly in ourselves that we need to fix, also. But it only means growth in yourself and in a relationship. I loved how Emmeline & Eric’s story showed the deep graces of God that allow for one imperfect person to love and come together with another imperfect person. To turn to God & work together in learning how to love one another, & learning to put each other above our own selves is truly a humbling, refining & beautiful thing. :)

“We dated for the next 3.5 years…and we went through much trial and tribulation. Looking back on it, Gods grace was the only thing that was consistent and constant.” – Eric

 

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Emmeline absolutely loves nature, so we worked together to think of an idea for their Save the Date! With the help of her friend Trisha, Emmeline cut out numbers on these frames and we strung them up in one of my frame props! The outcome was awesome! She let me share it with you all so you could see all the hard work that went into it! ;)

 

 

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I asked Eric what made them “work”.

“We work well because we’ve been through many different seasons of life… having gone through a glimpse of what a long term relationship looks like, it has prepared us, somewhat.

Also, many of my strengths are her weaknesses… and vice versa… we can learn from one another and challenge each other to be better.”

 

 

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I asked Emmeline to tell me four things she loved about Eric:

“1. Eric’s ability to be GENUINE around all groups of people. He doesn’t try to impress others by being someone he’s not. Instead he’s consistently caring, compassionate, and super dorky (which I love) without being ashamed of it.”

 

 

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“2. He loves God more than he loves me. In doing this he can actually love me best by grounding me in what’s true and good, instead of just doing or saying things that make me feel better.” 

 

 

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“3. His quality of being able to read people very well. He often jokingly asserts that he has good EQ (emotional quotient…or Eric Qin!), but he truly has the insight to see how people are feeling and say the right things at the right time. Because of this he sometimes knows me better than I know myself, and offers me insight on issues I may be struggling with.”

 

 

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“4. The fact that he can apologize after an argument. While it might take some time for him to process after a fight (which I’ve learned to give him space to do!) I can always trust that he can recognize what he’s done wrong and be humble about it.

 

 

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It was so sweet seeing them together. You could truly see their genuine care and love for one another! This three hour shoot took a lot out of Eric (he’s an introvert), but I could see that even still, he pushed through, and I could see that every smile he had for Emmeline was real. :)

 

 

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Eric has definitely always been one of the taller guys in the fellowship we were in. When I met Emmeline, I saw how great the height different was between them, and it just adds to how cute they are together! ;)

 

 

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This couple doesn’t take advantage of the sweet daily activities of life. “We usually just like to go out and eat, hang out with friends, or take walks around the neighborhood while talking.” :)

As the sun set, the last place we headed to was a nearby park.

 

 

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This shoot was so fun–filled with so many laughs! Eric has quite a way of making her laugh! I asked Emmeline to share something quirky about her fiancé, and this is what she shared:

“Eric really enjoys his personal bathroom time and sees it as his “me” time to listen to sports talks or do stuff on his phone. He even joked (but partly serious) about having his own bathroom in our future home so he can have his own space.
Then there’s those Qinteresting quotes….”
You can see the Qinteresting quotes on Emmeline’s Facebook Wall! Haha! For instance Emmeline let me dig around for one…
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Oh Eric… HAHA! I died when I read this!

 

 

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& Then there was this most recent Quinteresting quote that equally killed me! HAHA

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At least this one was pretty cute? HAHA!

 

 

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The story of Eric & Emmeline’s proposal is pretty sweet too! :) This is from Emmeline’s point of view:

“I knew that Eric was going to propose soon after he told me in October he was looking to get married August 2014. I suspected it would happen in January after one of my best friends would be back from Hong Kong by then. What I didn’t expect was that it would happen the DAY I landed back to LA after a family vacation in Canada. I was exhausted from having barely any sleep the night before since we almost didn’t make it back for our flight due to being snowed in. I had no idea Eric was also very stressed from dealing with potential delays and possibly rescheduling the whole ordeal.

When I came back I knew that our college group from church was planning a hiking trip (which was fake) so Eric wouldn’t be able to see me til later that day. One of our friends, Fiona, however said she needed to meet up and talk so I agreed to hang out after lunch even though I was super tired. She drove me to Starbucks, pushed me into the bathroom and asked me to change into a dress. At this point I had some idea what was going on, but was too tired to really react. She then drove me to nearby park and played a recording of Eric while handing me a homemade card with our story written on it.”

 

 

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“At the park, Eric was there with a picnic set up along with our stuffed bear Quentin, who we passed back and forth while dating in college since we went to different schools. He also had a carpet that reminded me of Aladdin, my favorite Disney movie! When I arrived he finished reading to me the other half of our story, went on to explain why he wanted to marry me, and then got down on one knee and pulled out the ring! It was gorgeous (he picked it out himself!) and I was a bit delirious when I said yes (mostly from the surprise but also from just having landed a few hours before).

Afterwards we sat down and had a picnic with some macaroons and coffee (totally needed it), until I started hearing some camera shutters go off. Apparently two of our friends had been taking pictures the whole time. We did a mini photo shoot and hung around the park for a bit before heading back to my house, where I thought we would rest up until we went to watch a Lion King musical that night. Little did I know Eric had another surprise planned…a surprise party with our closest friends and family! I was so shocked everyone hid that secret from me and that my parents and friends were so quick to set up the house while I was gone.”

I loved how sweet and personal Eric made their engagement! :) So precious!

 

 

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We ended the shoot at a small bridge at the same park! It was such a full day, but a fun one none-the-less! Eric was a trooper lasting as long as he did, and Emmeline helped encourage him through it all! :)

 

 

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I asked if they had any advice for the newly engaged that are currently wedding planning! Loved their bits of advice!

“Ask both parents to make a list of requirements, expectations, and traditional religious or superstitious beliefs before you start planning anything.

Also…remember that you aren’t married yet and enjoy the last few months of singleness that God has blessed you with. =)” – Eric

“Wedding planning can be very stressful! So plan on some days to focus not on the tasks at hand, but to take a break and enjoy the company of the person you’re going to spend the rest of your life with :) You’re going to have to partner with each other to get through the trials that will come, but make sure you honor your fiance, your families, and most importantly God in all the planning and decisions that will be made.” – Emmeline

 

Eric & Emmeline’s shoot was so much fun! I loved getting to know them more and getting to see how they interacted! I am SO excited to photograph their wedding this summer! :)

Once again, if you want to stay up to date with this couple and see when their wedding comes out on the blog, make sure to check out Facebook page (click here) & feel free to “like” it! I’m also up on Instagram! ;)

 

Happy Friday!!