Jen and Joe California engagement photos

los angeles

Photographer Marnie Goodfriend has given us our California engagement photos. Marnie did a nice job, and I say that mainly because these photos make me look tall. If you want to see more of her work, please go to her website. Below you will find the rest of our California engagement photos. These were taken in and around Lake Hollywood Park.

On the swings. This photo is a lie, though, because normally she is the one who pushes me on the swings until her arms are very tired.

money bars
Jen is very competitive on the monkey bars and will sometimes make us go best four out of seven when I win first two out of three. Don't be fooled by how nice she is. She's a shark.


lake hollywood house
A beautiful photo of Jen and I trespassing on someone's Lake Hollywood property.


True story: while we were posing for this shot someone driving by in a car yelled, "That'll be a good one!" A drive-by-compliment? Only in LA.


I thought this photo was just of our shadows, not of us. Good thing Jen was actually paying attention.


lake hollywood park
I think we made out for about 35 minutes after this photo was taken. Marnie was a good sport and waited patiently.


Fact: couples who are in love look down at the ground with their foreheads pressed together. (Yes, that's the Hollywood sign in the background. Pretty cool shot.)


We are the things in this photo that are not trees.


This is me walking toward a cliff after Jen explained how much the wedding will cost. She eventually coaxed me back.


I'd say this photo sums things up. As does the next.





Joe Donatelli
Joe Donatelli is a writer in Los Angeles
  • terry

    thanks for sharing the pictures. it would have been a total letdown not to see them after reading such a great — and funny — story! a sense of humor will take you a long way in marriage. congratulations and best wishes!

  • colleen

    Oh my god! A really good article on Salon. Thank god I’m too old to have done this, having been “tricked” into getting married while in Ashville, NC years and years ago. Hope they don’t do this in Bulgaria where my son is getting married. But then, he did a gig as a model in CA about 2 years ago in which he posed w/ women in similar poses but with glitzy clothes. Yeah, you will have fun talking and laughing about this in the future. Please write more for Salon as the adventure continues. Can’t wait to hear about the honeymoon plans.

  • Joe Donatelli

    Thank you! Appreciate the kind words. The photos turned out nice and we have a lot of fun getting them taken.

  • Loved the article. LOL x 10! You told the trend story and the personal one with real wit. I’ll be watching those eyebrow levels now. And those photos are great!

  • Teresa Chandradibya

    It’s good to see the engagement photos and it’s great to hear that you enjoy it. Not lots of men admit that it is ridiculously fun and yet you just create a day of life time memory to tell stories of.

    Thank you for sharing the photos and your thoughts.

    Best wishes to both of you! Hope your marriage bring fun to your life everyday! Have a safe trip to your wedding and back.

  • Haha, funny article! You two are very cute together. I am part of a husband and wife photography team in Seattle, and we love shooting engagement sessions. They are so much fun (we don’t really elaborately stage anything but try to get the couple interacting naturally and having fun together). Although it’s true that the guy is usually against the concept at the start, he often tells us how much he enjoyed it afterwards (mostly because our engagement sessions involve a lot of kissing, I think). Good luck with all the wedding craziness and congratulations!

  • Lawrence Anthony

    Your hilarious story made a day of depressing news from DC a whole easier to bear.

  • HILLARIOUS! I sent a copy to all the girls I know in danger of getting married, lest they be thinking of “Engagement Photos!”

  • Loved your article in Salon, and I love your engagement photos even more! Thanks for bringing a smile to my Monday. Have a beautiful wedding!

  • Susan

    Our good friends just got married on Saturday, and I had a little chuckle looking at all their posed engagement photos (complete with wardrobe changes!), but your piece gave it a whole new perspective. I laughed out loud reading it, but it also made me appreciate the whole process. Good on ya! And, congratulations!!

  • Laura

    That explains a lot! I got married here in the UK two years ago, and I don’t think it’s really caught on as a trend here yet (give it time…). So the only engagement photo shoot I’ve seen was recently posted on Facebook by an American friend, and I wasn’t sure whether she was just being sentimental, or whether it was now an established ‘thing’. Very funny article, and great pics. Good luck with the rest of the planning!


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