Lukas & Suzy International Wedding Photographers » Blog

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    Welcome to the blog! If the banner doesn't make it obvious enough I'll just spill the beans and let you know that we are a full time husband and wife wedding photography team. We love life, God, weddings, and if you slide over our names to the left you'll note a few other things we love.

    We are based out of Los Angeles, and when I say that, I mean our studio is right in the smack dab center of downtown. However, if you start browsing through the blog history you will soon note that we shoot weddings all over the country and world. We put a lot into making our images so I hope you enjoy checking some of them out!

    If you're up for having a great time at your wedding, and our photos have the look you are going for, then feel free to shoot us a note and we would love to chat some more!

    - Lukas and Suzy VanDyke

I’m Engaged: The Story!

At last! Suzy and I are engaged to be married! I can’t tell you how happy I am! I need to admit the proposal did involve a little bit of lying, and a good amount of sneakiness. It also involved a secret trip to Lexington to ask her dad’s permission and Atlanta to go ring shopping with her mom. Here’s a few photos Cassia took right after, and then I will let Suzy tell the story of the actual proposal!

Suzy’s Story:

I have never been so surprised in my life! Since last Thursday night since we got engaged, I feel like I have been floating. So here’s how the story goes: My brother and sister, Travis and Lianna, had planned some family time to hang out just the three of us. When I asked Lianna if Lukas could come, she made it pretty clear that she wanted some “just family” time. So I decided to not invite Lukas. However, as we were instant messaging on Thursday morning, he was weasling to find out where I was going that night with my siblings. I didn’t want to tell him because I had suggested going to a place which Lukas and I frequently visited. A vague reply of “to L.A.” did not satisfy his questioning, and he soon instant messaged me back saying “You’re going to Urth Cafe without me?!!” Apparently my brother had told him where we were going. Drat. At this point I decided Lianna would just have to get over it.  So I invited him to meet up with us later if he wanted to. He told me he had a wedding consultation that night, and it depended on what time he got finished. Fast forward. That night: Lianna and I are driving down to L.A. and get stuck for 45 minutes on the freeway because of a car accident. I text Lukas and tell him he might not want to come because of the traffic. We get to Urth Cafe, meet up with my brother, and are there for about 15 minutes when Lukas texts me saying he’s almost there. Completely oblivious, I text him back saying how surprised I am the traffic cleared up that quickly. Lukas arrives, says he just had tea and doesn’t want any. Meanwhile, Lianna starts yawning and Travis says he’s jet-lagged, so Lianna suggests we walk around Venice Beach. I think it’s a bit strange that no one seems to want to enjoy the cafe, but don’t think too much about it. So the four of us walk along the sidewalk next to the road across from the beach. A minute later, Trav and Lianna run across the road to the beach. Because my siblings are naturally so random, I look at Lukas and say, “I knew they were going to do that”. Little did I really know. Soon we get to a small park that Lukas and I had walked through on dates before.

The moon was full and stunning, so I suggest we go to a bench at the top of the hill along the path. Lukas readily agrees. However as we get near the top, I notice a random backpack, and tell Lukas maybe we shouldn’t go up there since there are probably homeless people sleeping up there. He tries to assure me its ok. As we walk near the backpack, he suddenly reaches for it. “Lukas! Don’t touch that homeless guy’s backpack!” I say as I pull him away. But he keeps saying “What’s this? What’s this?” I am still oblivious at this point. Then he unzips the backpack, pulls out a large flat box, opens it and hands me a book. By the light of his iphone, I see that a picture of my piano that he had given me for Valentines’ Day is on the cover. I sit down and start flipping the pages, reading out loud the story of how we had come together, and some of the many adventures we had taken. By this time I am so confused and not really understanding a word I am reading, partly because Lukas had purposefully made the book random, partly because my heart was beating so hard. The next thing I know, I am reading the words, “So one day as they sat and re-counted their dating experiences he got down on one knee, pulled out a ring and proposed to her.” All of a sudden, what I’m reading becomes a reality. In the midst of floating on cloud 9, I see him take a knee and pull out a ring…..the rest is blurry, but somewhere in there he proposed and I said yes! Lukas’ sister Cassia and his roommate Jeremy jump out taking pictures, and Lianna and Trav appear out of nowhere. Oh, and Lukas reaches in the backpack and gives me a huge bouquet of wildflowers! I am so extremely blessed and we are both super excited about our wedding!

These ones are a little grainy because it was all supposed to happen a bit earlier, but due to the traffic on the 405 it was completely dark by the time we got to the backpack. =). Cassia ended up having to shoot at 1/5 sec at f/ 3.2, ISO 3200 with a 400 mm lens.

That’s us sitting on the hill reading the book.

This is me down on one knee, actually I think it was both knees. I would have begged if I needed to. ;)

Cassia and Jeremie hiding.

This is the book I made for her with a couple sample pages.  =)

And the ring!

August 12, 2009 - 2:43 am

Caroline - Congrats u guys!!!! I loved the story…. very creative… All the best to you two:)

August 12, 2009 - 7:49 am

T. A. Green - It was really McAfee, KY that Lukas came to for the permission…the oldest settlement west of the Allegheny Mtns. That is 30 miles sw of Lexington (in the toolies). We had a meaningful discussion, time of prayer, and some pie. (He didn’t eat it all.) Then to bed and up at 4:00 am for his trip to GA. I look forward to adding another quality son to the family. (Travis was on my intel agent payroll). Lukas has shown me in the time that I have known him that he puts our Lord first in his affections. He will now have another heart with which to calibrate his spiritual journey as he serves Him. This brings me great comfort for the welfare of my much much loved little girl, Susannah. I guess it stands to reason and God’s provision that the “little face” that was always saying “take my pitcho” when a camera appeared would marry a photographer. I love you all. DAD

August 12, 2009 - 3:37 pm

Erin Augustson - Lukas, I am so thrilled for you! You guys just exude joy and it’s contagious when I see it all over your faces. God bless you both and may you bring Him more glory each day you are together. Congratulations!

August 12, 2009 - 5:59 pm

Suzy - Awww Daddy! I love you! I guess I’ll never have to say “take my pitcho” again.

And now “I’n not a Gregg, i’n a Green, will turn into I’n not a Green, I’n a VanDyke!”

<3 !

August 14, 2009 - 5:41 pm

Sharon Devol - I just love reading engagement stories, especially when the groom-to-be is extremely creative! Congrats to you both, and may God be the center of your marriage!

August 17, 2009 - 12:28 am

Jessica Tounger - That is such a sweet story and that book is a fantastic idea! And the ring is beautiful. I don’t really know either of you, but I love your work, and I thought Suzy was just the cutest thing at Keith and Chelsea’s wedding on Friday. She was so much fun dancing with us.

I know of your photography and have looked at your site from time to time because of a lot of friends I have at Masters, as well as Chelsea, obviously. It’s cool that you are willing to travel for photoshoots! I will keep that in mind for the future…. :)

Best wishes to both of you!

Jessica (one of Chelsea’s bridesmaids)

August 17, 2009 - 7:38 pm

Renee Bailie - Hey Lukas – Congratulations!!! What an exciting story. You did such a good job with the engagement and the ring is beautiful! So happy for you!

August 22, 2009 - 1:19 pm

angel taylor - amazing. i love that Lukas! way to be creative… and to the sibs and sia and jeremy, AWESOME. hahaha I love the sneakiness. It’s better that way, you have be to be surprised. i’m so excited for you two… yay suz! i can’t belieeeeeeve it. i hope to see you both soon. xo

March 23, 2010 - 6:02 pm

Lukas VanDyke Fine Art Photography» Blog Archive » Lukas & Suzy: Our Wedding Reception - [...] It was super fun that we could have our wedding album all ready and done for everyone to see as well as the book with the story of how we got engaged! [...]

July 21, 2010 - 11:47 am

Lukas VanDyke Fine Art Photography» Blog Archive » I have the best clients! - [...] is just like the one I got Suzy for Valentines day two years ago, which I also incorporated into our engagement. I don’t know how you found that piano necklace but it fits so well into one of our favorite [...]

March 5, 2011 - 8:14 pm

512 days of marriage « Other « Lukas VanDyke Fine Art Photography - [...] here for pics of our Engagement and the Proposal [...]

June 5, 2011 - 4:34 am

Featured Post Wedding Session: Glamour & Grace « Published « Lukas VanDyke Photography - [...] shoot has a special place in my heart for two reasons. One, Lukas used one of these pictures in the proposal book he designed to ask me to marry him (that’s me in the bottom corner). Aww! Two, Carol later [...]

July 1, 2011 - 1:43 pm

Thank You Piano « Other « Lukas VanDyke Photography - [...] music box etched all around with filigree. Piano‘s have played a big part in Suzy and my relationship over the past years, and filigree was one of her big preferences for her engagement ring making [...]

September 3, 2013 - 7:59 pm

Alexandra Marie - you guys are the cutest!

Jason & Elizabeth: Wedding

In Elizabeth’s wedding program she told how as a little girl she always watched the glamorous brides at their weddings on the patio at the Fess Parker Dobuletree. She said that on her day she hoped there was a little girl there watching who would be inspired by her wedding. I love how the little intricacies of life are passed on from one generation to another. Every stage of life, from a dreaming child, to a beautiful bride make the wonderful memories we treasure. I’m so happy for Jason and Elizabeth making a childhood dream come true!

Check out the Storybook Slideshow for the full story! I also posted the rest of the photos on my proofs page!

I almost forgot to add these to the post! A few days before the wedding Elizabeth came to the studio and we did a little bridal session!

August 20, 2009 - 9:54 pm

Eric - Wow – this is gorgeous work you have here. Would you be willing to write a short essay about how to find a good wedding photographer or something along the lines of 10 Ten Mistakes Brides Make When Hiring a Wedding Photographer? We’d be happy to promote your business link at the end of the essay. I’m looking for high quality professional to contribute to our project.

Stage of Life

August 20, 2009 - 9:54 pm

Eric - P.s. Please contact me through my site if you’re interested in my above post. Take care.

Scott & Carol: Trash the Dress

Carol TTD
I think it was late June sometime right after I posted my last Trash the Dress session that Carol left a comment on my website. She said that she was considering doing a session with her wedding dress for her tenth anniversary. I emailed her and told her it sounded like a ton of fun, and that I had some time in mid July for a session. Little did I know that Carol and her husband actually live in Alabama but would be in L.A. for 2 weeks in the middle of July. I also didn’t know that Carol has only been married nine years and was thinking sometime next summer. But somehow in a flurry of events we ended up meeting for coffee a day or two after they got to L.A. We spent the time brain storming a ton of really fun ideas!

In the end we decided on two locations. Carol’s husband Scott is a rocket scientist and just happened to have access to this test launch base way out in the Mojave desert where they go to fire off the rocket engines. Other than this being an incredibly stinkin cool location it also has some significance in their relationship. The second location took me a lot of hours of driving to find. But Carol had mentioned she loves fruit, and orchards and the whole feel of all the produce out on highway 126 near Filmore. I don’t think I can disagree with her. That’s one of my favorite stretches of road, and who doesn’t love fresh fruit? All said we had a complete blast at both locations and came out with a ton of awesome images!

Fine Art
On another note I think I need to say that the fine art sessions I do are some of my favorite kind of images. When I shoot weddings I capture everything as it happens. I hate when photographers miss stuff and feel like they need to re-create the scene. So fake! Just catch it as it happens and you won’t need to worry about it.

On the flip side I love creating extremely structured scenes of a representative reality. No the scene isn’t supposed to depict reality, and no it isn’t supposed to be a gag. It’s just a really fun way to create fine art that’s representative of someone’s personality. Trash the dress sessions aren’t for everyone, but for some it’s a really great way to get a double use out of your dress and show a little bit about yourself while creating some fine art!

June 5, 2011 - 4:43 am
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