When deciding on a location for an engagement session, the first thing I do is ask the couple where they like to go: What are they into, what kind of places reflect who they are?
For Annie and Mike I didn’t have to ask: We’re old friends, and I knew that they’re true locals of Oldtown Salinas.
Mike and I have worked together at newspapers since my very first professional job as a reporter in 1996. We’ve got great old stories of the days when we were both learning the craft, sitting side by side in the small, stuffy newsroom of a daily paper in a tiny old Florida town. We’ve both gone many other places in our careers, but we ended up in Salinas, me running the photo department and Mike running the entire newsroom.
Mike met Annie at the Penny Farthing Tavern, my favorite bar in Salinas, a place just a couple blocks from their home. We started making our Oldtown Salinas engagement photos there, on the bar stools where they met. The Penny Farthing’s manager generously accommodated our request to shoot pictures and even poured a couple beers for us as (drinkable) props.
From there we went on to the Cherry Bean coffee shop, far and away the best place to get your caffeine fix in the area. The historic downtown also provided other good backdrops for photos: the Fox Theatre, the old train station, and even, from on top of the parking garage, the entire downtown itself.