HEART+          .


An Earthy Romantic Engagement in Morro Bay CA

Meet my sister, and my future brother in law. It’s a dream to walk through these moments with beautiful couples, and when it’s family, it’s something I can’t describe. I don’t believe that any of my family has to automatically get their portraits done by me. I want them to always feel free to book anyone they feel connected to. So, when they honestly choose me, it’s a joy.

If you’re a professional photographer and you’re just wanting insight on what it’s like to capture your family member’s wedding, I give some insight of when I did that for my little sister’s wedding HERE.

I’ll be doing this once again and I just can’t express the joy I feel about it. Only this time, I’ll also be a bridesmaid….so….new challenge: How to photograph a wedding in a bridesmaid’s dress! Blog coming soon. JK.


Rueben and Crystal are a sweet couple. Having Rueben join our family is something we are all thrilled about. From the moment we met him, it was extremely obvious that he was crazy about Crystal [insert tears]. It’s what any family would ever want!

I’ll never forget the first time I got to photograph Rueben and Crystal at their proposal. You can see their entire BEAUTIFUL proposal that took place in San Diego HERE. There was something absolutely epic about their connection and about the way the sky responded and the views were that day. I was literally in awe. The words that came out of the videographer Carol Martinez, aka best friend and maid of honor, were “the Lord approves!” That was such a beautiful statement to match the wonder of what we were seeing with our very own eyes.


The day was so magical. If you know me, you know that I’m a HUGE fan of overcast weather. We showed up to an overcast day in Montana de Oro. I thought that I would miss and crave the peaks of light shining through the trees in the forest, but I didn’t. It was perfect. Everything was so crisp and clear. Making the greens really rich.

Some of my favorite things:

  1. The random tree stump sitting in the middle of a large field of high wildflowers. This was so special because it was actually Crystal who saw it from a distance and pointed it out. Knowing they were going to have to trek through some questionable high weeds-they chose to do it anyway and it was really worth it. I had them stand on the stump and the perspective was just magical.
  2. A drier side of the forest with yellow wildflowers. I don’t know if this area of the space would have been as magical if it was extremely bright that day. It would have washed out all of the softer tones. But because it was overcast, it was stunning. Rueben and Crystal really popped in this space of neutrals.
  3. A patch field of dreams. There was this random growth of really bright wildflowers on one side of the forest. It stood out so much because it just felt like a fairytale. It was in such a random spot and the area sloped down making it a little uncomfortable to sit it. Yet, Rueben and Crystal made it work, they sat down together and it just felt really special.


Here’s what I’ll remember for the rest of my life. Remember how I’d mentioned that at their proposal, there were the most epic skies. Those same exact skies appeared at the end of their shoot in this part of the session. In all of my years of doing sessions at sunset hour and everything-those skies have only looked that way at their proposal and then again at their engagement session. So incredibly special. So passionately romantic. So fierce.

Rueben and Crystal. What an honor to capture your love. What an honor to document this incredible season of your lives. I love you both and I’m wishing you nothing but the greatest time as you adventure into marriage. I can not wait for your wedding day. Congrats on fighting through covid and all of the hard things that came with changing EVERYTHING you thought your day would be like and fully focusing on wanting to start a life together! Your day is going to be absolutely intimate and beautiful. Something you both deserve.

With all my heart and soul,

Your sister…Rubi Z

Friends…if you want to see a few other blogs in relation to this one check out the following:La Cuesta Ranch Landers Wedding [aka my little sisters wedding]

Where to shoot: San Luis Obispo Engagement [featuring another couple near the Morro Bay Rock]