Elle-May and Christian

How we met

Christian and I had known of each other’s work since 2013 and unknowingly, we were both somewhat drawn to each other’s styles. For years of having no contact and not knowing that we were both on each other’s radar, we went about doing our own thing, getting to know who we were, what we stood for personally and what kind of life we were passionate to lead.

Then, in early 2015 I received a comment on one of my picture’s from Christian playfully asking ‘Elle, will you marry me?’ As soon as I saw that I decided to find him on Facebook. He was so mysterious to me and I wanted to understand more about him. He accepted my request right away, we messaged each other immediately, and then Skyped pretty soon after that. I couldn’t deny how much he meant to me, although I had never even met him in person. It was a strong feeling of knowing how important our friendship was becoming.

Later that year, my older sister had the chance to travel to San Francisco for a Polyvore Meetup and she asked me to come along with her. Oddly enough, Christian (living in Texas at the time), happened to be in San Francisco at exactly the same time. He was scheduled to leave the day I arrived but when he found out I would be there too, he extended his trip.

We planned to meet in the evening on the first day I arrived. We were both so nervous and I know I could’t eat or think about anything else all day. Christian bought new clothes even. The lead up was so intense, but the most amazing part was the sense of instant peace, joy and belonging we both felt as soon as I got out of my uber and saw him standing by the wooden staircase we decided to meet at.

With a huge smile, he handed me a beanie to wear, and we explored the San Francisco hills together.

how he asked

One morning, we planned to meet some friends for breakfast and then hike to Saddle Mountain together. All of our friends were photographers so nothing seemed suspicious about them having their cameras out almost the entire day. I, being from Australia, didn’t have boots with a grip so there were several times going up the mountain, I thought I would have to turn back or just wait. I am glad I did not!

We finally reached the viewing point that was as far up as were capable of going. It looked like heaven – bright and ethereal. A few seconds later, Christian took me aside and said Dylan and Jess were going to take some pictures.

I had no idea it would be anything more.

Christian had mock proposed to me many times, so when he got down on one knee, I thought he was kidding.

But THEN. I saw him take out a compass case he had given me back when he visited Australia. It had all sorts of pieces of nature inside, like shells and dried plans and little drawings, and that’s when I realised, there could actually be a ring in there this time!

And it was. He pulled the ring out of the case and asked me to marry him (this time for real).


I said yes and it’s felt so good to be engaged – to share our visions for life, and to have these pictures as moments in time we’l share for generations.

Want more? Check out Christian and Elle-May’s beautiful work too.

Special Thanks

Dylan M Howell
Photography