Cape Kiwanda Anniversary Shoot / Monique Serra Photography

I haven’t blogged in SO long, and I’d like to think that it’s because it’s time consuming to export, resize, upload, and publish a blog post. But the truth is, I always struggle with what to write!! Each session becomes so important to me, and I build genuine relationships with each couple I photograph. So trying to sum up an experience in just a few short sentences is unbelievably challenging. But, I’ve had so many people ask that I blog more, and so I’m inspired to do so! I’ll try my best to my couple’s and their/our stories justice, but even if I can’t express the depth of my gratitude in these short posts, I’m confident that if I’ve photographed you, you already know how special you are to me.

Alyssa and I had been emailing for quite a while before this shoot came to be. She is an insanely strong, inspiring, and Godly woman, who loves others so fiercely. I knew immediately that she was meant to be in my life. Her and Keli’i wanted to take some photos to celebrate their dating anniversary, and when she talked to me about their relationship, and how they’re waiting on engagement (all in God’s timing), I was so excited to photograph them! Not only was I drawn in by her emails, but her attitude and happy spirit was contagious! Little did I know how much I would truly need her presence in my life.

On the day of their shoot, I was early in my pregnancy (early enough that I hadn’t had my first doctor’s appointment). I had been feeling very sick, but also very crampy, specifically in one spot. My doctor feared I had an Ectopic pregnancy, and so they requested that I go to the hospital to get blood work done. I had been in Pacific City all week for my workshop (that blog post to come!), and so after my workshop finished and I was able to pick up the rental house, I drove an hour to the closest hospital. Alyssa’s shoot was only a few short hours away, so I tried my best to stay calm and told her everything, honestly. I had to wait for my test results, and I was so sick and tired, I ended up falling asleep in my car before they arrived to their shoot. I remember wanting so badly to reschedule (and even proposed that another photographer take my place if rescheduling wasn’t an option, since so many talented photographers were nearby), but Alyssa kept telling me that although they would 100% understand, and never be upset with me, she felt like I was meant to be their photographer, and that we were supposed to meet.

The second they drove up to my car, and we hugged and formally introduced ourselves, I felt like I actually forgot about how bad I was feeling. My energy and focus was solely on them, and genuinely telling their story, and it was a huge blessing. Those two hours were full of belly laughs, sandy hikes, and so many incredible talks. Alyssa was so encouraging, and constantly reminding me that God always has a plan and is writing our stories. After their shoot I drove home feeling blessed and thankful that the shoot happened (it was also POURING rain the night before, yet completely sunny and beautiful when we shot). For days, and weeks, after, Alyssa texted me constantly: asking about me, praying for me, and sending me bible verses to help me stay confident and calm. She will probably never understand how important she was to me in those days of confusion and being scared. She was exactly what (who) I needed in that exact moment, and I know for certain that our shoot was so much more than just a 2 hour anniversary shoot. It is a shoot I will forever be grateful for, and always remember. It definitely had a bigger purpose.

(and baby girl is healthy, growing everyday! We’re almost 17 weeks now).

Hi! I’m Monique!

I'm a mama and wife, trying to balance life, falling in love with the messy, raw, and organic (joyful and vulnerable) moments of YOUR story! 


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Monique Serra Photography

Albany, Oregon