It's a pretty unique thing when your best friend meets someone and falls in love, then that person becomes one of your best friends too. I usually start out with a blog by mentioning that the couple I'm writing about is a friend, but Chuck and Eliza are way more than friends... they're my family. Not by blood but by choice. These two incredible people make my life shine so much brighter, I choose to call them family.
It's almost, scratch that... it is fate that Chuck and I became friends. He grew up in Bend, OR and ended up playing college baseball at Western Oregon University. While I was still in high school, I visited Western Oregon and was really close to signing there myself. I chose a different route and played my ball in Northern California but when I moved back I decided to play on a team with a bunch of buddies from high school in a competitive men's league. After one season of playing on that team, we needed one more player and the commissioner of the league "gave" us that player to join us for the upcoming season. That player was White Chucklate, I mean Chuck. Chuck and I were the first ones to show up to the first game of the season and the rest is history. We are now playing our 9th consecutive season together since that day.
Being as close to Chuck as I became, I really got to know him, the good and the bad. I know he could say the same about me. There was a defining time in his life where I started to see a positive shift in his life that would eventually lead him to the man that he is today. A man that I am very proud to call my friend for the record. That defining time was when Eliza entered his life. I'm telling you right now, that if you don't know Eliza, find her, open your heart to her and become best friends with her. Your life will benefit from it, I promise. She's one of the brightest lights in any room she stands in, you can't help but smile when you're around her and (one of my favorite things) she gives probably the best hug you could possibly receive. It warms my heart knowing that one of my best friends found a guy like Chuck to spend the rest of their life with.
Ok, I'll stop crying now and talk about their engagement session.
When Chuck and Eliza do something, they do it big and they look good doing it. Chuck aka "SwagChamp" brings his own personal flair to everything he does and Eliza not only does that too but she makes Chuck look waaaaay better in the process. So when they said they wanted to take a bunch of people (Brian Mallik and myself included) to Moab and celebrate their engagement and take some photos in the process, I had to think about it for about a half a second before I knew I had to make it happen.
One of my other best friends and stellar photographer, Brian Mallik lead the excursion of the engagement session and we found ourselves in a crazy beautiful place capturing Chuliza being Chuliza. It's their names put toge... you'll catch on, don't worry. Taking pictures of these two was just too easy. They're beautiful, they have incredible energy and are always having fun together. We went to Canyonlands National Park, saw an amazing sunrise at Mesa Arch and before we knew it it was over, but this was definitely one shoot that I'll never forget. I usually say at the end of each engagement blog that I can't wait to shoot their wedding but, I'm standing up there next to both Chuck and Eliza during their wedding in New Orleans in November, so Brian will have to be the one stoked to shoot it. I will say though that I a, seriously giddy about heading down to NOLA and getting after it celebrating the special love that these two share. It's gonna be lit (another Chuck joke).
I love you both so dearly!