The Blog

Ashton and James

Do good and put good out. It will come back.

A few years ago, I donated a session to a non-profit not thinking much of it. A few months later, I was contacted by a lovely individual (who I would later come to know as the mother of the bride) that wanted to put her session towards her daughter’s graduation at USC. At that point, I was shooting all sorts of different things and was happy to make my way out to campus. To my surprise, I ended up working with Ashton who, to my DELIGHTED surprise-was one of the sweetest humans to walk on planet earth. We spent the afternoon taking photos all over USC and she spoke about her boyfriend, James who was away at the Naval academy. She said one day in the future, they planned to get married and that I had better stay in contact with her. How could I say no?

A few years would go by…We would collectively go through a pandemic where I would safely shoot a fake engagement shoot for some much needed content with the elusive boyfriend, James (who had to come home since everything was on lock down). He was as wonderful as she had described and it was then I understood why she made a long distance relationship work. After the shoot, people thought they had really gotten engaged….but that wouldn’t happen for about another year.

“Hey Emily! It’s James! I have some exciting news….The time has come and I want you to be there.”

January 1, 2022 I hid in the choir loft of a church and photographed their surprise engagement like someone out of a national geographic shoot. Moments later, James pointed to the loft and to Ashton’s surprise, I caught the whole thing. After a reel made with “Mission Impossible” did not go insanely viral as I always hoped it will, I was still very excited to learn that they wanted to hire me for their wedding. Not a day after I photographed their surprise engagement, I had a health scare that sent me to the hospital. James and Ashton were some of the first two people to text me to ask me if I needed anything at all.

(This is what I say when I couples truly are the best).

Fast forward 6 months, and I am on a beach with these two and photographing their real engagement photos. It felt like we were on an private island and it was an absolute dream seeing these two being in their most natural state-goofy and in love. Approximately one year later (as time we know…flies) here we all were. Their wedding day. From getting to photograph them in the same car as James’s dad drove away with his newlywed momma to a tearfilled, first look with Ashton’s mom….the moments were incredible. I am so proud to have a been a part of this one. Congratulations, Ash and James…It has truly been an honor to be a part of your love and your lives.

Venue @talegaweddingandevents

2nd Photographer @clarissawyldephotography


Florals @violetsageflorals

MU @daisyksosa

Hair @essjay_mua

  1. Sheradyn Luro says:

    The best description of the most beautiful day for my favorite people! You’re the best of the best. 🤍

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