Justine & James | Desert Botanical Garden Engagement


I know this will be absolutely revolutionary to most of you, but I am Asian; my family comes from the Philippines, and embracing my culture and ethnicity is a super important part of who I am. However, in Arizona, it can be hard to find others outside my family who share the same culture and customs that my family does. So, you can imagine my excitement when I got to meet a couple who do exactly that - Justine & James!

They are both Filipino, like me so we bonded over Filipino food HARDCORE. They even got engaged on a family trip to the Philippines! Justine also grew up in California just like me! The bond between us was strong and instantaneous, you guys. She is studying to be a dentist, and Justin has 2.5 years of medical school left. You know, no big deal, they’re just the ultimate power couple. If that’s not enough, look how good looking they are and how perfect they look together:

Justine and James are so down-to-earth and friendly, which made this shoot such a fun one to be a part of. They love to travel and have had all kinds of adventures all over the world (are you seeing a theme with the kind of couples that I work with? I love it so much!), but they said that their favorite adventure was when they were finally able to stop being long distance and were able to move to AZ to be together. It was a lot of moving boxes and driving around for errands, but being able to cuddle up and be together knowing they’d never have to be apart again was really what helped them feel like their next chapter together was starting at last. I mean, COME ON. If you say you don’t have tears in your eyes after hearing that, you’re lying.

Justine and James, I am so excited and honored that you chose me to capture the beginning of your next chapter together. I can’t wait for your big day, and if there’s pancit and adobo (just a casual suggestion) at your wedding, it’ll just be icing on the cake. Congratulations you two!

Carmela Joy