On Saturday about 238 lies were told... and that was just the tip of the iceberg. It took about 30 people to pull off the elaborate rouse that kept the incredibly nosy Jessica Claire from finding out that my brother, Jeff was going to propose. Whether it was clandestine trips across country to ask her father's permission under the guise of "work trips", fake bachelor's parties in Vegas, or Hudson Lyon's birthday party being "canceled" at the last minute... it took a lot of work.

At about 6:15 that evening it all paid off though with Jessica being completely and utterly surprised. Cyndie and I were in charge of getting here there.  We said we were having dinner with some friends down on Balboa.

If the images have my name and logo on them I took them, if they don't my good friend Victor Sizemore took them.

Here's Jessica as we turned the corner saying, "Jeff took me here once."



Here's where Jess noticed Jeff standing by the ferris wheel. You can see the confusion in her face because she'd just talked to Jeff on the phone and he told here him and his friends were "off to play some blackjack." Haha!






jeffandjess09.jpg After it was official I jumped on the ferris wheel to take a few fun images of them.









We ended the night with dinner at the pier with about 30 of our closest friends and family. It was an amazing night.

Congratulations guys! I love you both so much and I'm so happy for you!

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15 Comments Add A Comment
[April 7, 2009] Amy Boring said:
I love it they are so very cute together. Great images. Congratulations Jeff and Jessica!
[April 7, 2009] Anna Jaarske said:
Such a beautiful story and amazingly beautiful photos! Awwww! :)
[April 7, 2009] Kayleen T. said:
How Sweet!
[April 7, 2009] Amancay said:
very well done... great shots, and kudos for helping pull it all off!
[April 7, 2009] Sara Gwathmey said:
Congratulations to them both! How exciting! Love, Sara (your cousin in San Antonio)
[April 7, 2009] Michelle Sidles said:
That's so fantastic to have play by play photos of the proposal! I'm sure she'll be SO HAPPY so many lies were told! ;) Nice!
[April 7, 2009] Mary said:
Congrats to Jessica and Jeff!!! What a cute and fun way to get engaged!! And lucky them for having you there to capture it! The ring looks beautiful!
[April 7, 2009] Fred Egan said:
This just makes me smile-haha! And I don't even get mushy over this kind of stuff [I'm emotionally confused right now]
[April 8, 2009] Tiffany Aicklen said:
Ahhhh, how fun! Love the photos, so exciting!
[April 9, 2009] imthiaz houseman said:
Oh wow! what a great series...congrats to Jeff & Jessica!
[April 10, 2009] Heather Kincaid said:
THAT is such an amazing story... how awesome to be able to document that-- and to have that documented!
[April 11, 2009] JENNIFER SKOG said:
NICE! Awesome shots and I'm so excited for you and your family!
[April 25, 2009] Kyle Burnell said:
Awesome! I love ferris wheels. The pictures came out really well and I'm sure it took a lot of effort to keep it hidden from her. Good job :)
[April 27, 2009] Mandi said:
I read her story. It was so sweet. They make the cutest couple. Great images that they will cherish always.
[January 25, 2017] Thomas said:
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Its been so long since I blogged I had a hard time remembering the URL to login... then an even tougher time remembering my username and password. I apologize.

Last week I went to New York for a shoot and a few meetings. I absolutely love it there. The city, the weather, and most of all... the people. I hear from a lot of people that Orange County has a community among photographers that doesn't happen in the rest of the country. Every time I'm in New York I'm reminded of how wrong that statement is. I stayed with my good friend and amazing photographer Carlos Andres Varela while I was there and EVERY night he took me out and we had the best time hanging out with our other good photographer friends Mel Barlow, Jason Groupp, Allan Zepeda, Lindsey Thorne, Shelly Kroeger, Angelica Glass and my favorite photo editor Rebecca Crumley. There are awesome photographers and an amazing community in NYC and I'm so happy be a small part of it and to call them my friends.

On to the real reason for the post... On Wednesday I met my new BFFs Brett and Claire in Manhattan last week to shoot some portraits of them. They wanted some shots of their first trip to the city. Brett is an awesome wedding photographer from Oklahoma. Check out his work. We had a blast running around the city on what was the most perfect day I've experienced in a long time.

Ok, on to the images.

We started down in the alleys in China Town.





brettandclaire10.jpg Then we headed up to SoHo. They wanted some paparazzi style images like these from last time I was in New york.






brettandclaire19.jpg Then we caught the subway and headed up to Madison Square Park in the Flat Iron District.








brettandclaire31.jpg We ended the shoot in Central Park.





New York is my favorite place in the world to shoot. I'm going to be back there the first week of May. If anyone else wants a shoot there shoot me an email!

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[March 22, 2009] Jasmine Marie said:
Gosh I love NYC. SO much fun to shoot there. Excellent job, Michael!
[March 22, 2009] Carlos Andres Varela said:
Awesome job Michael. One of my favorite NYC engagement shoots for sure!!!
[March 22, 2009] Suzanne said:
Rad, Rad, Rad. Great shots! Gosh, i really miss NYC.
[March 22, 2009] Edmund Prieto said:
Dude your work stands out so much to me, I love it. Great job you nailed it!
[March 22, 2009] Jamie Delaine said:
RIDICulously gorgeous. Sheesh.
[March 22, 2009] Carlos Andres Varela said:
Awesome job Michael. One of my favorite NYC engagement shoots for sure!!!
[March 22, 2009] Brett Heidebrecht said:
Michael! Claire and I are obsessed with these! You exceeded all of our expectations... and I had HIGH expectations! Your the man! Thank you so much!
[March 22, 2009] MegRuth said:
These are really phenomenal. Love the light in the park images. Just gorgeous.
[March 23, 2009] allan z. said:
good stuff norwood! glad you had a good time out here!!! ;)
[March 23, 2009] chipgillespie said:
Unreal, dude! Great shoot! Will we get to see you while you're in Houston?
[March 23, 2009] Kayla said:
These are amazing! Oh course any photo shoot in NYC would be awesome for sure! Great job!
[March 23, 2009] Trever Hoehne said:
bro, killer shoot. love it!
[March 23, 2009] Jeret Slack said:
Awesome shoot my friend love the lighting, backgrounds awesome locations. Keep them coming...
[March 23, 2009] joyful weddings and events said:
Love these! Makes me jealous. I want to be there. Glad to see you back on here!
[March 23, 2009] joyful weddings and events said:
Love these! Makes me jealous. I want to be there. Glad to see you back on here!
[March 23, 2009] Akil Bennett said:
hey man, nice shoot! lovin' the light and locations
[March 23, 2009] caroline said:
I've so missed your updates!
[March 23, 2009] Onada said:
love this post! the lighting is great!
[March 23, 2009] Olivia Leigh said:
Love these. Great light and energy.
[March 24, 2009] Sarah Smith Photography said:
these are awesome. i am 3 hours north of the city and i have not yet had the opportunity to shoot a session there...looking forward to it though. I am going to be there in June and July though :) enjoy your trip back in May!
[March 24, 2009] brad peters said:
Great shots, was wondering if you fell off the map ... welcome back! Love the balance of light you have in the Flat Iron shots.
[March 24, 2009] Kristen said:
Wonderful images Michael - ALL OF THEM! I would want them all if I were this couple.
[March 24, 2009] Events by Evonne said:
I love NYC... makes me want to go visit now! :) Beautiful photos...
[March 26, 2009] Ayesha said:
These are so beautiful.... relaxed and fun. It reminds me of why i heart New York. Michael you are an amazing photographer!!! How I wish i got the opportunity to meet you when you were in town!
[March 26, 2009] imthiaz houseman said:
Wow! Not only are they a cute couple but the backdrop of NYC fits them perfectly...well done!
[March 26, 2009] Anonymous said:
This is the most beautiful couple ever-- and some of the most fantastic photography i have ever seen! you are by far one of my top favorite photographers! GREAT JOB- keep it up!
[March 30, 2009] FELIX WU said:
These photos are awesome! The light and the colours are amazing.
[April 2, 2009] Rob said:
Whoa, stunning gal. great shots. love the ones on the subway. sickness i tell you.
[April 8, 2009] Donavan Freberg said:
Amazing shots. Can I ask what lens you used for these, particularly the subway shots? Love these!
[April 10, 2009] Lilian said:
There are AMAZING !! I believe one of the best NYC couple shoot I've seen. I borrowed some of the pictures and posted on my blog (http://nuflaiir.com). Fantastic work !
[April 10, 2009] Lilian said:
[April 29, 2009] caroline said:
absolutely my favorite shoot you've done yet! so so impressive.
[July 10, 2009] Arno Paul said:
One of my favorite session : just perfect. Bravo !
[February 22, 2010] tim tab said:
seriously, this still remains in my memory as one of the best engagement shoots ever!!!! haha... I keep this in mind as a standard to reach!!!
[March 6, 2017] Donald said:
I'm seeking weblogs which all have fantastic guidance on what's popular and specifically what the top rated makeup is..
A few days ago I met Hsin and Ping in Pasadena to shoot their engagement images. We almost got rained out but it held off just long enough for us to get done. I'm shooting their wedding this weekend down in La Jolla and can't wait. They hired Kerrie Underhill of Platinum Weddings to coordinate and she always does an incredible job.

Here are a few from the day.

hp01.jpg hp02.jpg hp03.jpg hp05.jpg hp06.jpg hp07.jpg hp08.jpg hp09.jpg

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[December 4, 2008] Matt Dorroh said:
Great shoot, love the images!
[December 4, 2008] Cathy and David Photographers said:
Love the last one there Mike. These are so so cool and so you. :)
[December 4, 2008] jenberry said:
yeah. you posted again. how excited am i!!!! these are awesome. love the 3rd to last. great colors.
[December 5, 2008] Meg said:
Beautiful- love the feel of these..... the light really reads FALL which is kind of rare for us socal kids ;) Awesome!
[December 5, 2008] chipgillespie said:
Very nice ... How much? : )
[December 6, 2008] Pascal said:
I love the photos in front of the brick wall, it really creates a lovely mood.
[December 7, 2008] Lisa Llarena said:
Hi, Michael! Came across your blog earlier today and fell in love with your work. I particularly like the treatment you give your images, everything's so clean and crisp.
[December 7, 2008] clint said:
great choice on the backdrops.. great stuff!
[December 22, 2008] anna brewer said:
these are beautiful pictures, and they are a beautiful couple!! happy holidays michael norwood!
[January 16, 2009] Sarah Smith Photography said:
*sigh* i adore your images :)
[June 19, 2014] ABM Photography said:
Michael Norwood Photograhy is really amazing, the image is well shooted and it is very clear.100% super like it.I can say to you that you are an Expert :)

You might remember Jen and Andrew... I shot their engagement images in New York and their wedding last year.



jaf0004.jpg They recently had a little girl, Sofia. While we were in Manhattan recently they asked if I'd shooting some family pictures of them. We went up to the Cloisters on the Upper West Side and shot for a little while. Here are a few images of their beautiful family!






jaf0012.jpg And a few of the happy couple. It was great seeing you guys!



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[October 24, 2008] Jeremy Gilliam said:
Beautiful family, and session. Your photos are always inspiring. I'm keeping an eye on your Twitter for more 2nd shooter opportunities. Which has nothing to do with my mission to become a Mammoth Man.
[October 24, 2008] Jen & Andrew said:
michael, so glad we were able to hang out!! thanks again for shooting us. the pictures came out BEAUTIFULLY -- no surprise there. =)
[October 25, 2008] jenberry said:
beautiful family. and as usual you are amazing. i agree with @jeremy truly inspiring. you are so perfect with composition and capturing the perfect light. and from your writings it seems like a nice person too! (pure speculation of course). anyways, i can't 2nd shoot yet, but i'd love to hold your reflector, camera bag or get you coffee.
[October 26, 2008] AmyC said:
These are great, Norwood! I love the one of the parents kissing & baby looking. Too cute!
[October 27, 2008] Cathy and David Photographers said:
DUUUUDE!!! THAT BABY IS SO CRAZY ADORABLE!!!! Ahhhhh!!!! I'm going to have a big smile on my face for the rest of the day. ^_^
[October 29, 2008] carrie@urbanbaby said:
these are such incredible family images...gorgeous work, as always ;).
[December 8, 2008] anna brewer said:
dang that baby is cute!
[June 17, 2010] Kimberly Witort said:
This family is so adorable! I love the pics!
[February 13, 2017] Michael said:
You have an incredibly nice layout for your blog, i want it to utilize on my site also .

Today I had an interesting shoot... a proposal. I followed the couple around SoHo taking pictures of them all while hiding behind plants, cars, people... etc. It was one of the most difficult shoots of my life. How do you stay close enough to shoot the couple for an hour and a half, yet not be seen? Well, Muhammed, the boyfriend, thought I was successful in not being seen but I'm not so sure. I thought I was found out in the first 10 minutes.

He never actually proposed... at least while I was there. Either he was too nervous and kept putting it off or he always intended to do it later and wanted to just get some shots of them together on the day he proposed. Whatever the case, it was cool to shoot something so different from what I normally shoot.

These images will obviously look different than usual. I had no control over any of the circumstances. Not the location, the light, the couple, backgrounds, angles... in most instances I was handicapped by one or all of these things but in any case it was a fun shoot and I think I got some cool images.















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[October 7, 2008] Lanne said:
I caught your tweet about this earlier... wow. You did awesome!!! I love these and I am sure they will too.. I hope he did propose!!!! :)
[October 7, 2008] Brian Khang said:
dude that so awesome. I really want to try something like that.
[October 7, 2008] gabe said:
rad shoot. seems like it would be fun, challenging and frustrating all at the same time. Nailed it.
[October 7, 2008] Natalie Williams said:
Wow I love these images! It looks like it would have been a lot of fun shooting this... not that I want to be a stalker of any kind!
[October 7, 2008] Jasmine Marie said:
Still interesting nonetheless! :)
[October 7, 2008] Cathy and David Photographers said:
DUDE. These are freaking sweet. You should do these sorts of shoots more often! SUCH GREAT INSPIRATION!!! :-D
[October 7, 2008] Annemarie said:
Wow, so cool. I think it's sweet that they were so comfortable kissing on the everyday street. They were like that without thinking that anyone is watching....imagine what the shoot will be like when you're called to do their engagement photos!
[October 7, 2008] Jory Cordy said:
these are fantastic! mr. boyfriend is looking at you through that store window "are you freaking getting this??"
[October 7, 2008] jean smith said:
i love your blog...it is completely inspiring. i just had to drop a comment that this is one of the coolest posts i have seen in a very long time. these images are to die for amazing. the fact that you didn't have control of the background, the cars, the people behind them, etc...is what makes these so interesting and beautiful.
[October 7, 2008] jean smith said:
i love your blog...it is completely inspiring. i just had to drop a comment that this is one of the coolest posts i have seen in a very long time. these images are to die for amazing. the fact that you didn't have control of the background, the cars, the people behind them, etc...is what makes these so interesting and beautiful.
[October 7, 2008] chipgillespie said:
Holy crap, dude!! What an awesome concept! And you killed it! Amazing work. I love the one where she's kissing his cheek and he's looking your direction! That's awesome.
[October 7, 2008] wrecklessgirl said:
i actually really love this entire set. i'm going to try that approach next time i shoot an engagement session---"okay, yah, so you're just gonna walk around and i'm going to hide. you'll never really know where i am." apparently this technique works wonders. fabulous job!!
[October 7, 2008] Hagen said:
Superb, Sir! What a great concept!
[October 8, 2008] Patrick said:
Michael, You are very talented and have an amazing eye. I've seen portfolios that couldn't stand up to your one days worth of work above. Not to mention all of your portraits from Kenya. Very, very good.
[October 8, 2008] Dad said:
I know that a dad is required to be impressed, but you have truly impressed me, son. Great work!
[October 8, 2008] carl Reid said:
Hey Michael I think this is so awesome...this could be a trend dude!!! If you donít mind I linked your blog to mine. http://attachedphotography.blogspot.com/ Peace
[October 9, 2008] Jennifer Skog said:
I love these! It def makes me wonder if you were caught or not! There seems to be a lot of kissing in romantic spots! lol... This is great, and what a fun challenge to shoot! I wish he would have proposed!!!! He better have!!!
[October 9, 2008] Jamie said:
Michael.. Seriously.. this session is VERY cool! It actually reminds me of the movie Unfaithful and the shots that were taken of the wife and her lover... pretty cool shots. I love what you did even with the the angles you had to come from.. it makes it that much more real.
[October 17, 2008] Karli Tanner said:
Ok, so did he propose? I love the whole secret agent aspect of these shots. They sure do kiss alot for people who don't know they are being watched!
[October 23, 2008] joel maus said:
what up Michael?! Killer new blog, killer session in NY, killer shoot of the little girl- you just kick tail!! Where you at? Haven't seen you- we gotta hang out soon! Take care-
[November 14, 2008] Elizabeth said:
Is my first time visiting you blog, and im in love with your photos. And special this one. They are the most original photos of a couple i ever seen. I want some of me and my housband too! :) Fantastic
[November 21, 2008] CReid said:
Hey Dude This is still one of my favourite photo sessions...I come here often to see if there is a follow-up. I'm hoping to see engagement photo session. I'm curious did he ever pop the question?!!? I can't wait to see more similar sessions with other couples. Regards, Carl
[November 30, 2008] kyle said:
HAHA, I am dying right now. I'm a photographer in Chile and Nut4Nuts is everywhere down here. I had no idea that they had them in NYC. The guy who started the company is bad news though, so for that reason I boycott eating them.
[December 8, 2008] anna brewer said:
smoochy smoochy! i love it!!
[March 10, 2009] Heather Kincaid said:
Wow! What an amazing type of shoot! I love this concept... You got some amazing shots! I'm sure the couple was totally jazzed.
[March 17, 2010] lea said:
[October 4, 2016] Charles said:
I think this is among the most significant info for me. And i am glad reading your article. But want to remark on some general things, The website style is wonderful, the articles is really great D. Good job, cheers

I shot Grace and Phil's engagement session down in Santa Monica and found one of my new favorite spots. Check out the little white house. I felt like I was back in South Carolina. So sweet. Here are a few of my faves.















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[August 21, 2008] Platinum Weddings by Kerrie said:
I just love that green dress! And they make such an adorable couple:)
[August 21, 2008] Amanda Auer said:
Kerrie read my mind. I know maybe YOU don't care... but that green dress is to DIE for. I will say this, though: it's because of the porch and house that accompany it!! I love them, Michael. They're fantastic!!
[August 22, 2008] Katherine said:
I think that green dress is from J. Crew. I think that this entire set of photos is just amazing- and I would have totally thought that the house was from somewhere down south! Not California. :)
[August 22, 2008] *B* said:
Wow, you are such an amazing photographer! I now have a new idol!
[August 25, 2008] Brian Khang said:
Do I count 3 outfit changes? I love the lighting at that white house, awesome!

Last week I shot Thanh and Nguyen. They know ahead of time that we're not going to have a lot of time on the day of the wedding so we scheduled a couple of hours to make sure we had some great stuff of them alone so we can be a little more relaxed when the day comes. We went to Laguna Beach and had a great time and were blessed with incredible light. Here are a few favorites!







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[July 12, 2008] jeret said:
Very nice my friend...
[July 13, 2008] Jory Cordy said:
good idea getting them done early. i freaking love the one shot by that kitchen!
[July 14, 2008] Amanda Auer said:
Cuuuuute, Michael! I love it!
[July 30, 2008] Jen said:
amazing photos on the jetties! wonderful location! WOW! amazing DOF you get in some of these photos...i'm not sure how you're doing it...but I'd love to know.

After coming home from the Mammoth men trip and shooting two weddings this weekend, I'm just beginning to dig myself out of the mountain of work that piled up while I was gone.

A couple of weeks ago I shot Katherine and Jim's engagement pictures in Seal beach and had the best time. After the shoot they took me to Beachwood BBQ, right on Main St. It was awesome. If you're ever in the area you need to check it out. Make sure to try to Mac and Cheese if you go... its off the hook.






kj06.JPG At the end of the shoot we were on the pier and I looked down to see these surfers just waiting to catch the last wave of the day back in. I don't know why but I really like this image.


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[July 3, 2008] jeret said:
These look awesome. Great job the last image is very cool. Makes me just want to jump right in.
[July 5, 2008] Mimi said:
Long-time lurker, first-time poster. LOVE the new blog! It looks fantastic! This shoot was incredible.. really love the one with the sun flare under the pier. Love your style and processing.. so yummy!
[July 6, 2008] angel swanson said:
beautiful images, michael! i know the couple is thrilled with them (and you!), too! i can't wait to work with you again on this fantastic wedding. ;-) hope you are having a great weekend. take care!
[July 30, 2008] Jen said:
Love the one you caught under the pier! Great eye to spot that shot!
June 18, 2008 Engagements

A few weeks ago I shot Jen and Ryan's engagement pictures. The day they picked seemed to be the first overcast day in months. I assured them it would be okay and we went out to one of my favorite new secret spots. We had a great time rolling around in the grass, hoping we weren't going to get attacked by mountain lions which is apparently a real possibility out in the OC wilderness. We made it out alive and I think we got some really great images... I just love them.





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[June 18, 2008] Anonymous said:
I love these pictures. They are gorgeous!
[June 18, 2008] jeret said:
Man these ones are awesome. I love the colors great job.
[June 18, 2008] Helen (Dogeared) said:
I love the second one especially, with us looking at them upside down, looking at each other - so cute! The new site looks great Michael - very professional! Have you toasted it with champagne? ;-) (Sorry you couldn't see my Blog before - I've only had my photo one since January this year (had a general Blog before), and my photo one is on my Blog profile. I never imagined you'd try to visit my site, I thought you were too rockstar photographer for that! Sorry about that - would have let you know the URL if I'd known!)
[June 19, 2008] Johnny Five said:
These are some of my favorites! I love them!
[June 19, 2008] Tiffany Aicklen said:
I love the new blog!!! So fitting for these beautiful images. Congrats friend, I'm excited for you.
[June 19, 2008] prettygeeky.com said:
I am in awe of your work! The pictures look spectacular and I love that she wore yellow, she stands out but also blends nicely with the background.
[June 19, 2008] Jodi M said:
Hi Michael - been visiting for a little while wanted to say hi, great new blog-look and love the colours in this shoot. Your style is elegant and natural - love it!!!! Jodi M
[June 21, 2008] Kevin Vu said:
These pictures are gorgeous, where was this located?
[June 24, 2008] carrie@urbanbaby said:
i am lovin this new blog michael. and these shots are incredible...
[July 3, 2008] Linda Truong said:
I'm a fan!!! :D I am loving the straw/grass... It's sooOOooo cool!
[October 30, 2008] Asther said:
Yes... definitely love the location! Those dried grass field! Amazing!!! U did a great job even under the overcast weather.