Cindy and Jelani : Engagement


For some guys, it’s the girl next door. For other guys–like Jelani–it was the girl on the other side of the world. Japan, to be precise. Cindy and Jelani met at church in Los Angeles and while there existed an undeniable spark, it wasn’t until they they conversed over udon soup, sushi, and curry that their worlds collided. A group of people from their church traveled to Japan to help build and buttress a church in Okinawa…but Jelani and Cindy were building a friendship.

At different points in their lives, they remained friends for two years from a distance, but one fine Sunday, Cindy crossed Jelani’s path, much like two chopsticks. Their friendship blossomed and the next thing Cindy knew, Jelani planned extravagant dates, opened doors, and held umbrellas in the rain. Four years later, they still eat sushi and curry, but they’re now sharing plates.

I’m thrilled to document their wedding this November, especially after shooting their engagement session in Downtown Los Angeles. They have a fabulous day planned and if it’s anything like yesterday, it’ll be nothing short of laughter, love and joy. And dancing…tons of dancing!

We started the session against plastered and graffiti walls…my heart was filled with happiness from all the vibrant colors!

C+J…graffiti’s never looked so good! 😉

Here’s Jelani trying to show me his smooth moves…uhhh, we discovered he ain’t so smooth… 😉

Later during the engagement session, we stopped by Union Station had a little fun…

There’s something I completely adore about LA…and Cindy and Jelani make it that much sweeter…

To see more of their engagement session, CLICK HERE for a slideshow!

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  1. Jaclyn Marie

    July 30th, 2009 at 7:43 pm

    What is there NOT to love about LA?

  2. Melissa

    July 30th, 2009 at 7:44 pm

    Beautiful shots! Love the one of her in the red dress where he is leading her along!

  3. Carmen Whittaker

    July 30th, 2009 at 7:44 pm

    Wow you are fast!!! Great pictures. Never seen downtown LA this way before.

  4. Gloria McCune

    July 30th, 2009 at 7:45 pm

    Absolutely GORGEOUS!

  5. Nicole Glenn

    July 30th, 2009 at 7:48 pm

    Um hi. The bokeh in the last picture is insanely perfect. Seriously. Love love love!

  6. Yadira Laguerre

    July 30th, 2009 at 7:48 pm

    LOVE the last two. Really sweet.

  7. sabrina

    July 30th, 2009 at 7:52 pm

    i love love love graffiti walls!! fab pictures. as always. can’t wait to make it to LA one day. maybe with my finace so you can shoot our engagement session. now if i can just find one of those finace guys… 🙂

  8. Don Mamone

    July 30th, 2009 at 7:56 pm

    Love these! The colors, the poses, the venues…YOU Rock J*!

  9. Corinne Primus

    July 30th, 2009 at 7:56 pm

    Hey J*, love your work! Great pictures as always. Also, I got the DPS weekly-ish email today and saw the Jasmine Star Pro:You artical, it was great!

  10. Monica Starr Brown

    July 30th, 2009 at 7:58 pm

    Love the images and their story. Beautifully written!

  11. Katherine Bowman

    July 30th, 2009 at 7:58 pm

    What fun locations! "Much like two chopsticks!" lol, that’s good! 🙂 Great job!

  12. Daniel

    July 30th, 2009 at 7:59 pm

    How did you acheive the bokeh in that last one?…its amazing!

  13. Nicole Benitez

    July 30th, 2009 at 7:59 pm

    Love these! They look so happy

  14. Mapuana

    July 30th, 2009 at 8:05 pm

    Beautiful shots!

  15. kay english

    July 30th, 2009 at 8:09 pm

    Cute!!! I heart graffiti so much wow! The colors look so bright and fabulous, great job!

  16. Lacy Dagerath

    July 30th, 2009 at 8:16 pm

    I love those downtown ones with the palms in the background! And that one of him pulling her with that AMAZING red dress! MONDAY! 😀 I think I was in LA when you were in LA last week (Tues-Thurs)… and I’ll be back THIS Sunday for the workshop!! I’m starting to think I should just move out there… haha

  17. ohana photographers

    July 30th, 2009 at 8:16 pm

    la la land has the rad walls! love the last shot jas:)

  18. Ginger Murray

    July 30th, 2009 at 8:18 pm

    Great looking couple! Love the color shots:)

  19. Kevin

    July 30th, 2009 at 8:20 pm

    I love, love, love that last photo.

  20. Stephanie Stewart

    July 30th, 2009 at 8:21 pm

    I just love your writing, the story is so sweet, I love the part about crossing like chopsticks! Makes me even more excited to see the photos, and they rock! Can’t wait to see their wedding!

  21. Megan Case

    July 30th, 2009 at 8:30 pm

    Every day when I look at your blog I ache inside for a 50mm 1.2…….I just hope I can create the same kinds of images! These are fantastic!

  22. Ashley

    July 30th, 2009 at 8:33 pm

    Love these!! Your photos are so fabulous!!

  23. jeramy

    July 30th, 2009 at 8:36 pm

    as always….

  24. Rebecca

    July 30th, 2009 at 8:52 pm

    I am SO wearing a red dress for my engagement session.

  25. Char Baiz

    July 30th, 2009 at 9:04 pm

    hey Jasmine. these are awesome!!Your photos are always so brilliantly lit. I know you have talked about lighting in previous posts, but do you have a specific workshop or book or class or some kindof practice technique to improve my available light skills??? Thanx

  26. erin conrad

    July 30th, 2009 at 9:26 pm

    love, love the pop of color of her dress in the last shot!

  27. Michelle Parish

    July 30th, 2009 at 9:40 pm

    This is a beautiful couple and you really captured their personalities. I esp love the last shot. It is so *crisp*, and it is that quality that draws me to your work!

    On a personal note, I hope my son Paris, finds someone like Cindy! He is 26 and serving in the Air Force in Japan right now. He has fallen in love with the people and the culture, but not a girl, not yet…

    p.s. Does Cindy have a sister?

  28. Wayne Bradt

    July 30th, 2009 at 10:01 pm

    Way to capture the mood!

  29. Lydia

    July 30th, 2009 at 10:27 pm

    Jasmine, your intro. is one of my favorites ever! So cute!!

  30. michelle cunningham

    July 30th, 2009 at 10:53 pm

    i love productive all nighters. and the sleep all day the next day 😉

  31. Lorrie Prothero

    July 30th, 2009 at 11:17 pm

    Love ’em. I was thinking about overpasses as backgrounds just today. The headlights on the road on her side really have a nice curve that leads you in.

  32. Cathy Crawley

    July 30th, 2009 at 11:33 pm

    I really like that last one because it reminds me of the morning we shot together in Vegas 😉

  33. Meg

    July 30th, 2009 at 11:39 pm

    So chic! Love these!

  34. Nick Yutaka

    July 30th, 2009 at 11:45 pm

    dude…the japanese connection AND he’s rockin’ asics. as a parttime sneakerhead, i just wanted to let you know, intentional or not, that detail wasn’t slept on by me! that’s a hot pair of onitsuka’s! also LOVE the graffiti shots and the view over the 110. did you stop in nearby little tokyo? i highly recommend a restaurant called komasa. anyway, hot shoot!

  35. Holli True

    July 31st, 2009 at 12:09 am

    Love the graffiti shots, Jasmine! The color makes me happy, too! 🙂 Also, the last BW image is amazing!! With Jelani leaning into her with his eyes closed and the city behind them- I just love it!! 🙂

  36. Hanssie Trainor

    July 31st, 2009 at 12:28 am

    That last shot is super cool! Love the slant to it 🙂

  37. Karen

    July 31st, 2009 at 12:35 am

    Love the use of the graffiti. So LA. =]

  38. sanjay jogia

    July 31st, 2009 at 2:18 am

    Lovely crisp images as always Jasmine. I love the way you see the world!

  39. Jules

    July 31st, 2009 at 2:56 am

    Love this couple and LOVE your locations! So FUN!!!
    They have a beautiful story and I’m sure will have a beautiful life.
    Thanks for telling like only you can. 🙂

  40. Marissa Rodriguez

    July 31st, 2009 at 4:18 am

    I am completely in love with their slideshow!!!!!

  41. Caroline Ghetes Photography

    July 31st, 2009 at 4:26 am

    Hi Jasmine! I LOVE the colors in this series. Cindy has a great laugh and smile! Great captures!

  42. KarlB

    July 31st, 2009 at 5:00 am

    Ab Fab as usual jasmine, you seriously have some great light over there in the USA, the light on the last shot is sublime…..

  43. Cassidy

    July 31st, 2009 at 6:03 am

    Oh so cool! The last image: I know exactly where that is! A few of my girlfriends and I took a roadtrip to LA in June 🙂
    Very random. But neat.

  44. lucy

    July 31st, 2009 at 7:25 am

    cute couple~ I love LA too

  45. Yolie Ramirez

    July 31st, 2009 at 8:17 am

    Love the colors and love the song you chose for the slide show…

  46. nena

    July 31st, 2009 at 3:00 pm

    There’s something different about this session that I love and is unique. You’re the best photog and I hope I get pictures like this one day! =-)

  47. Jamie

    July 31st, 2009 at 3:22 pm

    Great shots! Also loved your "ProYou" article!!!

  48. Diapers and Divas

    July 31st, 2009 at 4:22 pm

    These are great! I love her outfits! What a cute couple. I can’t wait to see their wedding.

  49. Jackie Beale

    July 31st, 2009 at 4:31 pm

    You were featured on DPS! I was so delighted when I opened my email this morning and found your article on their website. I briefly blogged about it and directed a link to the article. Great story Jasmine, very inspirational.

  50. Brian Fletcher

    July 31st, 2009 at 4:36 pm

    Very nice shots, Jasmine!

  51. Ashley Rose

    July 31st, 2009 at 7:09 pm

    wow jasmine, you really make every shoot sooooo freagin amazing. =) you made LA look magical!!!! love it!

  52. Karen (Mikols) BOnar

    July 31st, 2009 at 9:19 pm

    that magenta dress rocks my face off!!!!

  53. Shannon K.

    August 1st, 2009 at 4:13 am

    Fantastic locations! Love the graffiti wall!

  54. Alicia Swedenborg

    August 1st, 2009 at 7:18 am

    love the first location! and cindy’s laugh is so warming, especially on the second pic. don’t know how you do it, J*, but your clients always have the most warming smiles 🙂

  55. Liza

    August 1st, 2009 at 8:40 am

    They’re awesome!!! I’m curious, what photocamera do you use? Please,answer=)

  56. joan.solitario

    August 1st, 2009 at 3:37 pm

    i always enjoy your l.a. city photos! what lens did you use for the last one jasmine?

  57. Irene Frankhouse

    August 1st, 2009 at 7:48 pm

    As always – absolutely beautiful!!

  58. Crash Taylor

    August 1st, 2009 at 9:30 pm

    Big time Crash Taylor thumbs up!

  59. Life with Kaishon

    August 2nd, 2009 at 5:59 pm

    What a beautiful couple.
    I did an engagement shot last weekend and it was disasterous. I was just doing it to be nice and it was totally free for them but the girl was disappointed in a shiny forhead and fat arms. I felt terrible about having to use the flash at all. They came an hour late and the sun was almost set so I did have to use it for part of the time. And the arms…well, I wish she would have told me before, you know? And then I went to get the pictures developed and my camera store accepted the prints online and then called me to say that they were going out of business( Ritz( and I could go to another state to pick them up- which of course I didn’t want to do- so I got them some 8X10’s at CVS which I know is pathetic….. It was just a terrible experience. And I don’t really know why I am writing it all here when I should be saying how much I adore this shoot you did. I guess I wanted to share my pain. Can you recomend a good place to order prints online?

  60. Amanda

    August 3rd, 2009 at 5:33 am

    love the color of the walls!

  61. Seyeau Photography

    August 3rd, 2009 at 8:05 am

    Love Love Love these! I’m in love with these 1.2 shots, and I love the graffitti shots. Good lookin’ couple!

  62. Amy Neeson

    August 3rd, 2009 at 3:18 pm

    Lovely, lovely, lovely….simple.

  63. Jeremy Williams

    August 4th, 2009 at 6:02 am

    Stunning and beautiful! Very nice looking couple and collection of photos… One word that comes to mind is "stellar"!

    God Bless,

    J. Williams, U.S.C.G

  64. cassandra m

    August 4th, 2009 at 8:14 am

    Big fan of graffiti pics…but of course I was an artist before I was a photographer. That last shot has a swwwweeeet angle. I love the lines in that pic.

  65. Louise

    August 6th, 2009 at 7:08 am

    Good grief, your clients have the most amazing clothes! You’ll have to start posting the labels! Lol! Love these E sessions!

  66. ERica Velasco

    August 7th, 2009 at 4:29 am

    Love grafitti walls….they make everything so much prettier =)

  67. Justin

    August 9th, 2009 at 11:57 pm

    Some great and creative backgrounds. Love the pics.

  68. Oscar L

    August 10th, 2009 at 7:52 pm

    wow. you just made me miss LA in a way I had experienced before. Those shots of them over the 5 are awesome.
    Great job.

  69. Patricia

    August 13th, 2009 at 12:59 pm

    These are awesome! Love them all – and the colors are fantastic!