Dena + Mike | Corvallis, Oregon Engagement Photography

Dena + Mike have a special kind of love. …the kind that was developed in Outer Space!

I’m getting ahead of myself, let me start again. I’ve known Mike for a few years through his local art supply shop and his public art activities. His enthusiasm for art of all kinds has never been a secret and Corvallis has been lucky to have him here. After he and his lady, Dena, got engaged I finally got to meet her and could tell instantly that their connection was of the strongest and that it had been tested. Then they told me their love story…

Mike and Dena were high school sweethearts. She was the quiet new girl in town, he was the cute/nerdy boy on the cross-county team. They had a sweet young love for a year, then Dena moved away for college. They kept in contact for years, each secretly harboring THE question, “What if…?” …then, they lost touch.
Six years ago Mike emailed Dena out of the blue. He was living in Washington DC, and he’d had a dream about her.  Dena was in medical school in Phoenix, and by chance there was a conference in DC that spring. She signed up at the last minute, met Mike for dinner, and they fell in love all over again. And so began their long-distance romance. “I can feel your love through space”, one texted to the other. “Space Love!” the other replied. By the end of the year, Mike said goodbye to DC and moved home to California, to help the family business. When Dena had medical school rotations in Portland and Seattle, he joined her. They both wanted to move to Oregon. Dena graduated and started residency in Corvallis a few years later. Mike came along, and they jumped into a new life together with both feet! She brought her dog and he brought his cat – nicknamed The Otter Clan. Mike and Dena supported each other in their new ventures–her in a grueling internal medicine residency, he in a start-up art supply store.
While on a Key West boardwalk, watching the legendary sunset, during their annual escape-the-drizzle winter vacation, Mike proposed! Dena’s shocked response: “For real? Is this the real one?”…I’m pretty sure after that there was a “Yes!” and some kissing.
We spent an overcast afternoon visiting some of their favorite places around Corvallis – their first home together – Michael’s Landing + Fitton Green. They kept telling me that they were going to need direction… ummmmmm… no. They were/are naturally a sweet, lovey, cuddly couple and would make anyone feel warm and fuzzy inside. We only got sprinkled on for about 3 minutes at the top of Fitton Green, but really it was raining for 3 days before that, so I feel like we got off easy. We ended their session with some Bloody Marys, tapas, dominoes, and fur babies at their apartment. I am so excited for their DIY, locally sourced, wedding next summer at the Bald Hill Barn. Enjoy!


  1. […] And if ya’ll can’t get enough, you can see even more photos of these two right here on Amanda’s blog. […]

  2. […] many recall from their engagement session post that Mike + Dena have a very special love. As high school sweethearts Mike was Dena’s first […]