Surprise, we’re engaged!

JeannieMutaris_engagementshoot_004I’ve been given the best gift in the world, someone to love for all eternity. I couldn’t have it any other way. It takes a man with incredible patience to deal with me. I kid, but I am just so happy to have someone so special in my life. He’s perfect for me and that’s all that matters!

How did he ask?

In late May we scheduled a portrait session with Tim’s cousin, Jeannie Mutrais, for some time in June. I was under the impression that the photo shoot would involve our cars (the 3rd generation Acura TLs) because it was the car that brought us together after all. Tim was also in the process of changing cars so it was his last opportunity to have it photographed. I didn’t think too much about it.

On the day of the photo shoot, we scrapped the idea of having our two Acura TLs in the photo shoot. Instead we drove Tim’s TL to CarMax to get it appraised and began the process of the resale. It was a bittersweet moment.

Once we arrived in Chino Hills and met with his cousin, we were off scouting for locations. We initially planned to shoot in Chino Hills State Park but the road on the Chino Hills side was closed to vehicles. We opted to shoot in the adjacent hillside. It was just perfect. I was completely in love with how the lighting came out. Funny thing is that I knew a handful of folks who shoot in that same location and never revealed the location to me! The jig is up, and we found it!

We had a blast being photographed for a change. Tim and I are usually behind the scenes on engagement sessions. Jeannie was so patient and bubbly during the shoot. I loved it. I need a dosage of whatever happy pill she is on for portrait sessions.

As the shoot was wrapping up, Tim and Jeannie decided we should include jumping pictures to the shot list. We walked away from the grassy area to the asphalt trail in between the hills. I tried to jump in my heels, but it was impossible! I decided to take them off and try barefoot. Nope, it wasn’t going to happen. So I opted for Jeannie’s sandals for the jump shot.

When we began the transition to the next shot, I decided to put back on my heels. I asked Tim to help buckle the straps of my shoes. He was having a bit of trouble getting the strap through the buckle.

He was already down on his knees at this point.

“Since I am already down here”

He reached down to pull something out of his back pocket and said, “Malissa Tem, will you marry me.”


Jeannie caught that candid moment. I have envisioned my reaction for so long but when it actually happened, I was so shock. I didn’t cry but I was really taken back. Tim was calm and collected for the entire time. I really didn’t have an idea that he was planning to do it during the shoot.

And we lived happily ever after!

When’s the wedding?

We decided to begin planning in August. We have some numbers to crunch and so forth. Let’s just say I have a really really really big family. We also don’t intend to make the official date known to the public for private matters.



Take the Lead


My personal spoof of Russian photographer, Murad Osmann, who photographed his faceless girlfriend leading him to different places across the world.