November 21, 2019

Amanda & Kevin // Harry Potter Engagement // Robert’s Park, Oakland

We’ve always wanted to do a Harry Potter-themed something

Or perhaps we didn’t realize we had wanted to do a Harry Potter themed photo session until Amanda and Kevin brought our hidden dream to life.

As we confirmed the location for our session, Amanda and Kevin casually dropped in a little something along the lines of, “By the way, we really like Harry Potter, so we’re going to bring along our books and wands and stuff––is that cool?” Uh….so cool! And so nerdy, in the best way. Tim and I revel in our own nerdiness of loving HP. 

Amanda found us over a year ago and started planning her wedding to Kevin nearly two years in advance! She works in education, and he is in the process of getting his Masters Degree. Naturally, they are both incredibly organized people and wanted to get everything set in stone so that they could enjoy their engagement together and be prepared for the big day when it rolls around.

ProTip: this is such a great idea. The engagement period is the only time you will be each other’s fiancés’. Be sure to build in time to enjoy it without planning stress!

We decided to photograph them in the spectacular redwoods of Oakland to capture that perfectly dark, dreamy, and moody essence of the forest. Little did we know, the Netflix series Riverdale had thought of this same idea and was filming around that exact location.

(Catch us in the background of the next episode?!)

The good thing was, they weren’t filming in the woodsy area where we wanted to be, so we were thrilled to have our own patch of the forest to ourselves. The run-in also gave Amanda and Kevin an incredible celebrity vibe knowing that we had chosen a place for them that was so sought after.

However, it did take a minute of convincing the crew that we were here for a very important photo session and that we needed parking in their lot… They were super friendly, and as most people running security on set are usually just wandering around with nothing to do, we think they were happy to have some nice folk to chat with. 

Once we got all settled in, and finalized Amanda and Kevin’s first outfits, we set up a really cute picnic blanket area. We might have also had a magical spell battle. Never grow up, it’s a trap! We love that these two had actual magical wands from Harry Potter World. And we feel the session kept its authenticity in that they were not over-styled (as in – they didn’t dress up as Harry and Hermione).

We talked about all of our favorite books and scenes, and of course, we all went home and promptly watched our favorite movies. What’s your favorite?? Ours is probably the Deathly Hollows, but we also love the Goblet of Fire and the Prisoner of Azkaban. Let’s be honest, they are all great in their own right.

A funny story about Harry Potter for Michaela. . . My parents bought the first novel when it came out as a gift for my little sister. Please note, I was in high school and she was in elementary school at the time. At first thought, an elementary school kid would be more into it, right? However, my sister certainly wasn’t (not then… she definitely is now).

So, I picked it up out of curiosity, wondering what all the hoopla was about. Being a self-proclaimed punk rocker, blue-haired, and anti-everything, I couldn’t believe that I actually finished reading the first book a week later. And I have been a fan ever since. There’s something about transcending reality into a magical world that you wish existed, with a person you would want to be friends with. J. K. Rowling creates characters that are very relatable, and very human (despite being far from the average person). Her storylines relate authentically to things going on in our own unique lives in the real world. 

With that being said, the subject matters do transform into darker storylines, making the progression of the books really interesting. If you grew up with the books and were a kid when it started out young and innocent, you could see the progression as the series gradually got darker, as you yourself were growing into society, having relationship issues, etc. I am really glad the story was not wholly published when I started reading them, as it was really fun to have one come out every year and to have the movies follow in subsequent fashion. 

Anyhow, I guess this is sort of a thank you to the franchise for creating something that brings people together and light in our lives, particularly when the real world can be harsh. We hope you love these cute photos as much as we do.

  1. […] We encourage bringing your own personality and meaningful tidbits into your session. Take it as an opportunity to represent what about your connection is special to you. For example, we had a great time photographing Amanda & Kevin, two adorable Harry Potter fanatics who wanted to represent their shared love for the series in their engagement photos in Oakland Redwood Park. […]

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