Cindy and Jelani : Engagement

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 -

    What is there NOT to love about LA?

      7.30.09 - 7:43 pm

  2. Melissa -

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

      7.30.09 - 7:44 pm

  3. Carmen Whittaker -

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

      7.30.09 - 7:44 pm

  4. Gloria McCune -

    Absolutely GORGEOUS!

      7.30.09 - 7:45 pm

  5. Nicole Glenn -

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

      7.30.09 - 7:48 pm

  6. Yadira Laguerre -

    LOVE the last two. Really sweet.

      7.30.09 - 7:48 pm

  7. sabrina -

    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… 🙂

      7.30.09 - 7:52 pm

  8. Don Mamone -

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

      7.30.09 - 7:56 pm

  9. Corinne Primus -

    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!

      7.30.09 - 7:56 pm

  10. Monica Starr Brown -

    Love the images and their story. Beautifully written!

      7.30.09 - 7:58 pm

  11. Katherine Bowman -

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

      7.30.09 - 7:58 pm

  12. Daniel -

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

      7.30.09 - 7:59 pm

  13. Nicole Benitez -

    Love these! They look so happy

      7.30.09 - 7:59 pm

  14. Mapuana -

    Beautiful shots!

      7.30.09 - 8:05 pm

  15. kay english -

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

      7.30.09 - 8:09 pm

  16. Lacy Dagerath -

    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

      7.30.09 - 8:16 pm

  17. ohana photographers -

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

      7.30.09 - 8:16 pm

  18. Ginger Murray -

    Great looking couple! Love the color shots:)

      7.30.09 - 8:18 pm

  19. Kevin -

    I love, love, love that last photo.

      7.30.09 - 8:20 pm

  20. Stephanie Stewart -

    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!

      7.30.09 - 8:21 pm

  21. Megan Case -

    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!

      7.30.09 - 8:30 pm

  22. Ashley -

    Love these!! Your photos are so fabulous!!

      7.30.09 - 8:33 pm

  23. jeramy -

    as always….

      7.30.09 - 8:36 pm

  24. Rebecca -

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

      7.30.09 - 8:52 pm

  25. Char Baiz -

    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

      7.30.09 - 9:04 pm

  26. erin conrad -

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

      7.30.09 - 9:26 pm

  27. Michelle Parish -

    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?

      7.30.09 - 9:40 pm

  28. Wayne Bradt -

    Way to capture the mood!

      7.30.09 - 10:01 pm

  29. Lydia -

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

      7.30.09 - 10:27 pm

  30. michelle cunningham -

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

      7.30.09 - 10:53 pm

  31. Lorrie Prothero -

    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.

      7.30.09 - 11:17 pm

  32. Cathy Crawley -

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

      7.30.09 - 11:33 pm

  33. Meg -

    So chic! Love these!

      7.30.09 - 11:39 pm

  34. Nick Yutaka -

    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!

      7.30.09 - 11:45 pm

  35. Holli True -

    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!! 🙂

      7.31.09 - 12:09 am

  36. Hanssie Trainor -

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

      7.31.09 - 12:28 am

  37. Karen -

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

      7.31.09 - 12:35 am

  38. sanjay jogia -

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

      7.31.09 - 2:18 am

  39. Jules -

    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. 🙂

      7.31.09 - 2:56 am

  40. Marissa Rodriguez -

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

      7.31.09 - 4:18 am

  41. Caroline Ghetes Photography -

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

      7.31.09 - 4:26 am

  42. KarlB -

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

      7.31.09 - 5:00 am

  43. Cassidy -

    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.

      7.31.09 - 6:03 am

  44. lucy -

    cute couple~ I love LA too

      7.31.09 - 7:25 am

  45. Yolie Ramirez -

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

      7.31.09 - 8:17 am

  46. nena -

    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! =-)

      7.31.09 - 3:00 pm

  47. Jamie -

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

      7.31.09 - 3:22 pm

  48. Diapers and Divas -

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

      7.31.09 - 4:22 pm

  49. Jackie Beale -

    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.

      7.31.09 - 4:31 pm

  50. Brian Fletcher -

    Very nice shots, Jasmine!

      7.31.09 - 4:36 pm

  51. Ashley Rose -

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

      7.31.09 - 7:09 pm

  52. Karen (Mikols) BOnar -

    that magenta dress rocks my face off!!!!

      7.31.09 - 9:19 pm

  53. Shannon K. -

    Fantastic locations! Love the graffiti wall!

      8.1.09 - 4:13 am

  54. Alicia Swedenborg -

    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 🙂

      8.1.09 - 7:18 am

  55. Liza -

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

      8.1.09 - 8:40 am

  56. joan.solitario -

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

      8.1.09 - 3:37 pm

  57. Irene Frankhouse -

    As always – absolutely beautiful!!

      8.1.09 - 7:48 pm

  58. Crash Taylor -

    Big time Crash Taylor thumbs up!

      8.1.09 - 9:30 pm

  59. Life with Kaishon -

    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?

      8.2.09 - 5:59 pm

  60. Amanda -

    love the color of the walls!

      8.3.09 - 5:33 am

  61. Seyeau Photography -

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

      8.3.09 - 8:05 am

  62. Amy Neeson -

    Lovely, lovely, lovely….simple.

      8.3.09 - 3:18 pm

  63. Jeremy Williams -

    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

      8.4.09 - 6:02 am

  64. cassandra m -

    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.

      8.4.09 - 8:14 am

  65. Louise -

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

      8.6.09 - 7:08 am

  66. ERica Velasco -

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

      8.7.09 - 4:29 am

  67. Justin -

    Some great and creative backgrounds. Love the pics.

      8.9.09 - 11:57 pm

  68. Oscar L -

    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.

      8.10.09 - 7:52 pm

  69. Patricia -

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

      8.13.09 - 12:59 pm

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