Matthew and Laurel in Joaquin Miller Park: Oakland Engagement Photos - Grier Cooper Photography

Matthew and Laurel in Joaquin Miller Park: Oakland Engagement Photos

When M+L told me they wanted a redwood setting for their Oakland engagement photos I knew Joaquin Miller Park was a fitting choice. Named after the early California writer and poet, the 500 acre preserve is filled with hiking trails, and redwoods, many of which were planted by Miller himself. The park is known for its stone stairway, a popular exercise spot for locals, and a hike to the top (there are a lot of stairs) is worth the work (not to mention a great aerobic workout); the sweeping SF Bay Area views from up above are quite breathtaking.

M+ L met years ago at a friend’s party that neither of them were particularly enthusiastic about attending. I always love hearing about how couples meet, especially when fate plays a hand! They’re both glad they ignored the initial impulse to blow off the party, and their lives are forever changed because of that decision.

This was M + L’s first visit to the park, although they lived in the Bay Area for many years before moving to Sacramento. We got to learn a bit more about the history of the park as we explored different areas for their Oakland engagement photos, and discovered the beautiful Westminster amphitheater  at the very top of the hill. The 2000-seat, open-air theater is currently under renovation, but normally hosts a variety of musical productions, both amateur and professional, carrying on the tradition of theatrical entertainment Joaquin Miller began more than 100 years ago.

L’s elegant vintage look paired well with M’s classic outdoorsy style and the blue of his shirt perfectly matched her midnight blue dress. Together, the two of them are gentle, affectionate, fun loving, and deeply connected. I am so excited to capture all the wonderful wedding day they have planned in September!

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