We discovered Empire Mine State Park while searching for places to do Rita and JJ’s engagement session. Rita had suggested somewhere around Nevada City because they really like it down there, and we just happened to have a wedding in Grass Valley the night before. The mine was definitely one of the biggest state parks we’ve ever been to, and there were great photo settings everywhere! One side of the park has an old mansion on it that’s entirely made of stone with beautiful gardens all around. The other side of the park is the mine itself, and is full of old mining equipment and metal buildings. While we walked around enjoying the wide variety of backdrops, Rita and JJ entertained us with the story of how they met. They were both at an ag conference in Sacramento and, through a series of new-made acquaintances, ended up going out to dinner together with the rest of their group. They exchanged phone numbers, but the next day at the conference Rita was positive JJ wasn’t going to want to talk to her. Little did she know that he was trying to find her, but she was doing her best to avoid him. He said that when he tried to make his way over to her, she disappeared. Needless to say, he eventually caught up with her, and here they are!