Monika Bliss Morris Studio » Blog

Emerson + Brianna | Engagement | Napa Valley, CA

Brianna and I go waaaay back. Everything from attempting to teach her the ways of the road in my sweet ’89 Nissan pickup to making Spanish videos for class to being the best dang tennis players on the planet. 😉 Needless to say, I was super excited when she asked me if I’d fly to Northern California to photograph her engagement session with Emerson. Yes please! Jonathan (my husband) just happened to have landed a travel job outside of Sacramento the week before the session, so the poor guy had to drive all the way across the country alone from Tennessee, (whilst avoiding tornados!) while I flew across the skies in luxury. He’s such a good sport.

Anyway, we all met up in the airport late Friday night (after two extremely delayed flights) only to decide the night was young and headed out to enjoy midnight Chinese food. We had an exciting weekend of laughter, sleep deprivation, calorie overload, and odd suntan lines.

We awoke Sunday just in time to reach our destination at sunrise. We started the session in a vineyard and were happily surprised by the hot air ballon party going on in the background. Then we headed into downtown St. Helena for coffee and finally up to their alama matter where Brianna + Emerson first met. Here, they shared in the tradition of drawing an eye on Daruma doll they were given by Emerson’s parents for their engagement. It’s a Japanese tradition. The idea is to draw on one eye when you make a goal, and draw on the second eye when your goal has been met. In this case, their goal is marriage! Yay! It was very fun to be a part of this tradition. And the doll really is quite beautiful. I don’t think we could have unintentionally matched the blanket any better. 😉

Special thanks to Emerson’s parents, Isaac + Cheryl, for being my super assistants. I surely would have been run-down by all of those speeding cars without your help! And thank you for safely reuniting me with my dear husband afterward.:)


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  • Caiti - 05/29/2013 - 10:38 am

    Great job, Monika! The pictures capture them perfectly :-)ReplyCancel

  • chris - 05/29/2013 - 2:27 pm

    Love this session Monika! So fun and lots of good light :)ReplyCancel

  • Katie - 05/29/2013 - 5:29 pm

    GORGEOUS! Also, I must have that turquoise dress!! Great pics, Moni!ReplyCancel

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