couple playing with horses

Niki shared her fond memories of her days spent as a young girl running and getting lost in the gorgeous vineyards of the Wente private estate in Livermore, Ca.  She grew up running through the rows of grape vines and riding horses all summer long. When she had invited me to come shoot her engagement session at the Wente Private Estate in Livermore I was more than excited.

Out in the country, with a quiet energy surrounding this property, it was a golden light that wrapped around the majestic property and a subtle feeling of love in the warm breeze. The couple lead me through the vineyards giving me a tour of the incredible property and I fell in love immediately. The light painted captivating golden hues filtering through the green of the olive leaves wrapping Nick and Niki in a warm autumn glow. 

As we laughed and played on the fields Niki had a few apples in her truck and soon we had some beautiful visitors that wanted to join the party. A couple of gorgeous horses that new Niki very well stood patiently waiting and expecting their treats.

I loved photographing these galloping beauties. Horses possess a calm energy that grabs the attention of so many. Gentle and fierce creatures horses have been known to be good omens in many cultures. They represent a freedom in Native American culture. I loved seeing how gentle they would come up and observe Niki and Nick. Niki was so amazing with them. She laughed and shyly giggled as the horses wanted to nuzzle up to her. Nick seemed a bit nervous but soon relaxed as he enjoyed watching Niki have fun with these gentle giants.

The couple were briefly introduced in 2015 at a concert, but then quickly parted ways. Later, the destined-to-be pair rejoined in a crowd of 60,000 people and decided to ditch their friends and spend the next 3 days falling in love. Later they would confirm that both of them had the same feeling… “this is the one” The betrothed were to be married under an ancient oak tree in front of the Wente family home in June.

Thinking of engagement sessions I always urge couples to bring forth their personalities and something that feels personalized for them. I guess it is easy to take photos in front of iconic monuments which I am all for, but when an engagement session is this special it pieces together a feeling and a story that is more unique to the couple. I am so grateful that Niki and Nick chose to have their engagement session at home on the Wente Private Estate. What a beautiful place it truly is….