Queer Summer Engagement Session in Guerneville | Emily + Ava

August 26, 2020

Two women sit on a bench in the forest, with one woman's legs over the other's. LGBTQ+ photos from this forest and river Guerneville engagement session

This Guerneville engagement session with Emily and Ava was so much fun! They had been to Guerneville once before and they consider it a formative trip in their relationship — so when they planned a special long weekend trip for the summer, they knew they’d do it here. I was so thrilled when they reached out to book me for a session during their stay — I had just moved to Guerneville three months before and was so excited to be able to photograph a session in my new hometown!

Guerneville is a tiny town in the coastal mountains of Northern CA. ‘Coastal mountains’ sounds a bit like an oxymoron, but that’s the best description I can come up with! It’s less than 20 minutes away from the coast and is at sea level, but is surrounded by rugged mountains of forests. And at the center, the region’s only river cuts a path right through. Because of that, Guerneville is one of our major regional tourist traps — people flock like crazy to the river beaches and historic redwood grove in the summer!

Emily and Ava make all of their decisions together, so when they started talking about marriage, they decided to go into it together and propose to each other together. How sweet is that?? The night before their session, they exchanged rings and love letters, and immediately facetimed their families to tell them the news. I love the sentiment behind their weekend; celebrating their relationship, walking into the next phase of their life together with eyes wide open, and commemorating it all with an engagement session the next day. Perfection.

I was looking over their photos as I curated this post, and noticed how many I’d taken without their faces in view. This definitely isn’t a new thing — I’ve always gravitated to creating those images. But this time I stopped to really think about why I felt pulled to take those photos. I realized it’s because I’m fascinated by images that convey emotion through body language alone, where you can’t rely on someone’s face to read what’s going on. I also nailed a couple double exposures during their session which I am SO dang pumped about!! There are three in this post, but only two of them are super obvious. 😉 When you take double exposures in-camera (not by overlaying them manually in post!), it’s a SUPER high rate of trial and error, but somehow I walked away with three gems here that are my new faves!

Anyway, hope you enjoy this Guerneville summer engagement session as much as I did!! If you want a session in all the cool spots only locals know about, you know where to get in touch. 😉

Two women stroll with their arms around each others waists. Be sure to check out this post for photos from their forest and river engagement session!
Two women embrace with their arms around each other. Be sure to check out this post for photos from their forest and river engagement session!
Two women embrace with their arms around each other. Be sure to check out this post for photos from their forest and river engagement session!
Two women sit side by side with only their legs and hands in view. Be sure to check out this post for photos from their forest and river engagement session!
Two women embrace with their arms around each other. Be sure to check out this post for photos from their forest and river engagement session!
Check out this post for photos from their forest and river engagement session!
Two women walk hand in hand in the forest. Be sure to check out this post for photos from their forest and river engagement session!
Two women run in the forest hand in hand. Be sure to check out this post for photos from their forest and river engagement session!
Two women sit together on a railing facing each other with their hands clasped together. Be sure to check out this post for photos from their forest and river engagement session!
Two pairs of hands interlaced are shown with an overlay of the forest around them. Be sure to check out this post for photos from their forest and river engagement session!
LGBTQ+ couple during this forest and river Guerneville engagement session.
LGBTQ+ couple during this forest and river Guerneville engagement session.
LGBTQ+ couple during this forest and river Guerneville engagement session.
LGBTQ+ couple during this forest and river Guerneville engagement session.
LGBTQ+ couple during this forest and river Guerneville engagement session.
LGBTQ+ couple during this forest and river Guerneville engagement session.
LGBTQ+ couple during this forest and river Guerneville engagement session.
LGBTQ+ couple during this forest and river Guerneville engagement session.
LGBTQ+ couple during this forest and river Guerneville engagement session.
LGBTQ+ couple during this forest and river Guerneville engagement session.
LGBTQ+ couple during this forest and river Guerneville engagement session.

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Ready to make this thing official?

Heck yeah, let's get it done!! 

Ready to make this thing official?

Heck yeah, let's get it done!!