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Santa Barbara Engagement Session | Butterfly Beach and Funk Zone | L.A. & Ventura Photographer

Updated: Nov 25, 2022

couple embracing standing in front of an arched doorway
Katelyn & Loren at The Brisas Del Mar, Inn at the Beach

Katelyn & Loren

COVID-19 may have scuppered Katelyn and Loren's plans for their dream wedding to be shared with all of their family and friends, but thanks to telephoto lenses, it didn't stop them having their dream engagement photo shoot.

When thinking about where they wanted to do their engagement session, they wanted a location that was more than just a pretty backdrop. It had to reflect their style and personalities and they wanted it to be close to their hometown roots in Ventura.

The Funk Zone in Santa Barbara checked all the boxes. This hip, eclectic area where industrial meets culture and whimsical murals rule the day, perfectly reflects the way Katelyn and Loren meld together as a couple. So, I was honored that they drove all the way down from Northern California to do their engagement shoot with me.

I met up with Katelyn and Loren at the Brisas Del Mar, Inn at the Beach where they were staying. It's Spanish Colonial Revival style architecture, so quintessentially Santa Barbara, was too much to resist, so we decided to grab a few shots there before heading over to our destination location.

Funk Zone Engagement Session

After we hit a few key areas in the Funk Zone on Katelyn’s ‘must do’ list (the yellow door of the Funk Factory and the Lucky Penny with its penny-clad exterior), Loren had a few brilliant ideas of his own, including historic Southern Pacific 142 railway car and the famous Moreton Bay Fig tree, which is believed to be the largest Ficus macrophylla in the United States. Its majestic canopy is reportedly large enough to provide shade to 1,600 people! In any case, it’s the perfect backdrop for a portrait of epic proportions. Just click on the photos below to see for yourself!

During our session, Katelyn and Loren were so 'in the moment'. I love how relaxed they were to the point that they forgot about me at times, perfect for me to capture those sweet ‘in between’ moments that show how in love they are.

Oh! Did I mention that they were accompanied by their adorable little Yorkie, Penny Lane? Just about anywhere you find Katelyn and Loren, you’re sure to find Miss Penny Lane. So, it was only natural that she should be included in their session.

couple with their yorkie dog sitting next to each other on the spanish tiled steps of the Brisas Del Mar, Inn at the Beach
Loren, Katelyn & Penny Lane on the Spanish-tiled steps at the Brisas Del Mar Inn

Sunset Engagement Session at Butterfly Beach, Montecito

We ended Katelyn and Loren’s session with a sunset shoot at Butterfly Beach in Montecito. This semi-hidden gem, with its pristine sandy beach and rusty colored bluffs is charming and quaint, yet it feels like a luxurious holiday on the French Riviera. I can’t imagine a more perfect way to end a rather romantic day with this lovely couple.

Are you thinking of booking an engagement photo session in southern California? I would love the opportunity to help you realize your dream session. Click here and drop me a line to find out more. Not in Southern California? Ask me about destination sessions.

About the Author

Laurie "LoLo" Spencer is a lifestyle and portrait photographer based in Southern California specializing in emotive photography for families, couples, maternity and newborns.


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