Now, I wouldn’t exactly say that I was camera shy. One of my best friends is super snap happy, so I have become accustomed to striking a pose with my girls at a moments notice. But the thought of having an engagement shoot, with just me, my boy and a photographer with a camera pointed at us fills me with embarrassment and dread.

I should clarify that, as I am not engaged, this isn’t likely to become an issue in the near future, but I am sure that there are many of you brides-to-be out there that would agree with me. The alternative name for an ‘engagement shoot’ is a ‘love shoot’, but as beautiful as that sounds it also adds an element of pressure. This is all about having the opportunity to capture your love on camera. No room for embarrassment or forced grins, right? But as much as you might loathe the thought of an engagement shoot, it is actually a really important thing. On your wedding day you don’t want to spend your time worrying about your photographer capturing intimate moments with you and your new husband, you want to let them do their thing while you soak up the moment, and when you receive the photos afterwards you will be so glad you did.

An engagement shoot gives you, and your photographer, the perfect opportunity to get comfortable with the idea of being photographed together.

Evan and Johanna were a bit self-conscious when they started their engagement shoot, but their lovely photographer Raisa Zwart instantly put them at ease and this is the breathtaking result…


Evan and Johanna met in 2011 after Evan and moved to San Francisco, a city in which Johanna had lived since 2008. Evan joined a rugby team called BA Baracus. Johannas friends husband was also a member of the team, and Johanna found herself going to various rugby related events with her friend.

On June 18, 2011, Johanna and Evan both attended the same rugby-sponsored tubing trip in northern California, and Evan was immediately attracted to Johanna. In fact, he told his best friend the following day that he had “met a girl.” For her part, Johanna didn’t quite remember Evan ! However, he caught her eye just the next weekend, during yet another rugby related event.

Over the course of the next few months, Johanna and Evan began to date. They explored various parts of San Francisco and California. During one memorable weekend getaway, the two stumbled upon a beautiful coastal lookout point off of Highway 1, called Sonoma Coast Beach. Little did they know that three years later, Evan would choose this very spot to propose to Johanna.

The proposal itself was absolutely beautiful. Evan tricked Johanna into thinking that the two of them were just taking a leisurely, spontaneous coastal drive on a random Saturday in June. However, he had carefully packed a picnic (hidden in the trunk of the car) as well as a weekend bag for Johanna (also hidden). He even booked the last available room at their favorite Bed & Breakfast in Mendocino, all unbeknownst to Johanna.

After about three hours of driving, Johanna almost asked Evan to turn around because she didnt know what was going on and felt car sick. However, Evan had a plan. He pulled over at Sonoma Coast Beach and while Johanna was taking in the breathtaking view, he slyly set up a beautiful picnic with their favorite bottle of champagne. When Johanna turned around, Evan was down on one knee and proposed.


The loveshoot in San Gimignano was absolutely breathtaking. This was the first photoshoot for both Evan and Johanna, and both were a little uncomfortable at first. However, thanks to Raisas clear direction and imagination, both were soon laughing and getting used to being in front of the camera.

As was captured in the photos, San Gimignano provided a beautiful backdrop for the shoot, as did the sweeping views of Tuscany in the background.


Emma K

I’m Emma, co-founder and editor of where I dedicate much of my time to encouraging people to live life to the full and say ‘yes’ a little more. But with a background in weddings (waitressing since I was 12 years old for my Mum’s catering business, and dabbling in wedding blogging), I am delighted to find a second home here at BLOVED

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