a year ago over a lovely breakfast JOEL & JOSE
asked me to be their wedding photographer…

i was so touched that they would want me to document their nuptials…
to be honest, i was a bit nervous…i felt such a responsibility to capture
the beauty of another photographer’s & film-maker’s celebration…

soooo, i suggested that we do an engagement session….

although we knew one another & had great mutual respect for each other…i
felt it was important that the rapport between us, translated well in images…..

JOSE & JOEL were absolutely gracious every step of the way….

they let me, and even encouraged me to just shoot as i like…
never giving direction & always open to any suggestion i had….

we photographed both in their home & in the
beautiful countryside near where they reside….

it was an absolutely gorgeous day….

we laughed…we photographed…..

i was deeply moved by their genuine love & affection….

spending this time together was valuable to all of us…i
think it created an ease & comfort level between us, that truly
resonated into the photographs of their wedding day….

as much as i’d like to share JOEL & JOSE’s wedding images….
their wedding is slated to run in a national magazine in 2012….
(so they must remain private until publication)

it was such a pleasure & an honor to be part of their beautiful love story…

i was so touched by this lovely thank you note  i
received from JOSE & JOEL i simply had to share…


dearest elizabeth,

we haven’t had the opportunity to write you a proper email because it’s so hard to find the words to describe how grateful and fortunate we feel for having you create such beautiful memories for us. the truth is that we never imagined the emotions that would take over every time we see our beautiful photos, they are better than anything we could have ever imagined…we’ve tried writing this email before… tears and all but no words in the american dictionary could ever describe our internal feelings of gratitude and appreciation for what you have created and captured for us.

we’ve been together for almost 8 years and we had never been photographed before so we were nervous about facing our image on film. jose proposed first in mazatlan mexico,one of our first getaways together and joel proposed a year later, we enjoyed our engagement for 3 years. the duration of being engaged for so long was a beautiful part of our relationship and we enjoyed every bit of it, we experienced more and learned more about each other in that time than ever before. looking at all our photographs brings back so many happy emotions from 8 years of life together.

when we first got engaged there was no doubt you elizabeth messina would capture our memories, it sounds funny but we would even have dreams about the actual emotions we would feel after receiving the photos and i have to say that the dream was probably a prepping of many tears of joy after receiving the first batch of engagement photographs in our hands, prints, all on FILM. elizabeth when you hand delivered these to us at our rehearsal dinner, we didn’t even want to join everyone, we just wanted to sit and see all of our photos. how could someone see our love in this way? how could someone capture our emotions and love so perfect? elizabeth when you stepped out of the room we unwrapped more and more of our photos batch per bath and could not believe our eyes, we hugged and cried.

thank you elizabeth for making this experience for us simple, and about us. we will never be able to thank you enough. we can’t wait to start a family and have you capture us as a whole.

we love you,
jose & joel


to see more of their engagement check out
the always inspirational STYLE ME PRETTY

love is beautiful….xoxo

a little more sweetness...

Thank You for your comment, it has been sent for moderation.
  1. Jun 29-2011 , 09:39PM
    These are so lovely. You did a wonderful job. The letter they wrote to you was so sweet. The ultimate compliment. xoxo
  2. Jun 30-2011 , 07:11AM
    Love IS beautiful, and these are so gorgeous and personal. I just love them. What an amazing love to see on film!
  3. Jun 30-2011 , 07:23AM
    [...] the Wild Things Are – cute family shoot ♥ Photographer Jose Villa’s own engagement shoot ♥ Tattoo porn ♥ Gina & Joe – Morning Glory Inn ♥ Real North Carolina Wedding [...]
  4. Jun 30-2011 , 05:37PM
    A love so beautiful perfectly captured! These are heavenly!
  5. Jul 01-2011 , 01:17AM
    this brought me to tears! such incredible images and celebratory on so many levels. thank you for sharing elizabeth!
  6. Jul 01-2011 , 07:16AM
    This made me a little teary eyed. The letter they wrote to you is the sweetest and the photos you took truly are beautiful and show so much love.
  7. Jul 01-2011 , 10:02AM
    [...] Jose Villa and Joel Serrato’s engagement captured by Elizabeth Messina [...]
  8. Jul 02-2011 , 10:31AM
    Wow, I'm blown away! What a beautiful story you told Elizabeth... This is one if my faves and I can't wait to see their wedding. Congratulations Joel and Jose, what you wrote to Elizabeth had me teary eyed it was beautiful.
  9. Patricia:
    Jul 05-2011 , 12:44AM
    This brought tears to my eyes! I am deeply touched by their love for each other, and it truly shows in each of the photographs you took. Thank you so much for sharing this!
  10. Jul 08-2011 , 07:28PM
    How fitting & obvious that they would choose you. You all are the best imagery artists in the world in my opinion! Pure magic!
  11. Jul 10-2011 , 07:48PM
    beautiful. love wins.
  12. Jul 11-2011 , 03:05PM
    Just so amazing.....they are pure, raw and honest and the way love needs and should be photographed. Your work is beyond tender and simply beautiful.
  13. Jul 12-2011 , 10:05AM
    so glorious.
  14. Jul 14-2011 , 06:22AM
    STUNNING! Just stunning! Did you use 400H in the series of photos in their house too? SO in love with these images! :)
  15. Jul 25-2011 , 04:14AM
    This post brings tears of happiness to my eyes! I love these images and the letter you posted will make me smile all day! You are simply amazing, and the images of these two are stunning! You captured them perfectly :)