Where you go I will go...
They met in the summer of 2013. Michaela was eighteen and fresh out of high school. Raphael was twenty-one and paving a new path in life. He walked into the room, their eyes met, and BAM! Magic.
Just kidding! That’s not exactly how it happened…We did meet in the summer of 2013, I was in fact eighteen and fresh out of high school, and Raphael was indeed trying to pave a new path in life. But sparks didn’t fly (right away).
We ended up becoming really good friends and, over the next three and a half years, as God began to draw us closer to Him, He also drew us closer to each other.
We had our first date on May 21, 2016, and we were married a year and half later on November 12. It was a beautiful and emotional day filled with so much love and joy. Doing life together has become a motto of sorts for us, and we genuinely love spending quality time together, and creating moments we can hold onto forever.
The Big Move & Starting a Family!
In April of 2019, we loaded up a trailer and moved from sunny San Diego to the stunning city of Knoxville, Tennessee (Go Vols!) The first couple of months were difficult being in a new place, but I'm telling you, God has totally provided!
Once we got settled in, we began talking about starting a family. It was another huge move, but we felt in our hearts that this was the time. We got pregnant in May of 2021 and had our beautiful baby boy, Ezekiel Maverick, in January 2022.
We've been incredibly blessed during our time here, and our amazing church family is no exception! We actually helped plant the church we currently attend! We love getting to lead our congregation in worship each Sunday and watching God move!
Even though both of our families are still in SoCal, we make a point to visit at least once a year! Let’s be honest, nothing quite beats a burger at In n’ Out and sitting by the beach!
Working Together & Finding Our Passion
We’ve always had a goal of owning our own business and working side by side. We weren’t entirely sure how that was going to look, but we trusted that God would figure out the details! We're both entrepreneurs at heart, so it made sense that a conventional job just wasn't for us.
If there’s one thing we know for sure, it’s that life has a tendency to slip by without you even realizing it. We made the decision to act on our dreams and desires and turn them into reality. We’re really blessed that we not only get to do something that we love but do it together as husband and wife.
A Note From Michaela
Hey heeeyy! I wish you could see me right now! I’m jumping up and down in my chair, listening to Novo Amor, drinking coffee, and cheesin’ reaaaal big haha! By now you’re probably thinking, “who the heck is this girl, and why is she acting so weird?” Well, I’ll tell ya!
First, Hi! My name is Michaela (AKA the Pine to Raphael’s Grizzly). My personality is a funky balance between Jessica Day, Peyton Sawyer, and Katniss Everdeen, with a slight under flavor of Dean Winchester. Yup. You read that right. I’m a huge book nerd (BookTok is my jam) and you can usually find me listening to either some kind of Indie band or Ice Ice Baby. There is no in-between.
I love tattoos (getting them and admiring them), iced lavender lattes (I’m a Veteran Barista, but don’t ask me to do latte art, mine sucks), and thrift shopping (I love the thrill of finding a good deal!). The Beatles are my all-time favorite band, hands down (1 - the whole album), Dwight Schrute is the best character on The Office (fact), and soft pretzels are the superior snack food (prove me wrong). If you love some of these things too, we should DEFINITELY be friends!
I’ve always loved art and being creative. I was actually convinced that I would become a famous musician when I was ten! During my senior year in high school, I had to choose a Senior project to present to the faculty at the end of the year. My dad was really into photography (he was in the Air Force and had taken photos all over the world!) so he actually suggested using some of his old film cameras and creating a portfolio of sorts. “A Year in the Life” is what we called it, and it was epic! Every weekend we would drive around and I would take pictures of literally everything.
After my dad passed away in 2017, I realized I never took any photos of him. I have exactly seven pictures of my dad (that’s a whole long story that I won’t get into). This realization catapulted me into photography at full speed.
It’s not just that I love taking photos of people and giving them memories; I look at photography as giving people a piece of time. The thing is, I’ll never get my dad back on this side of heaven. We’ll never drive down the coast blasting ZZ Top, CCR, and of course our favorite: The Beatles. I might not have that many pictures of him, but the ones I do have, I cherish. There’s just something about looking at a photo, ya know? It can transport you back to a moment in the blink of an eye.
And that, my friend, is why I do what I do. So that you can hold time in the palm of your hands.
A Note From Raphael
Thanks for stopping by our site and getting to know us more. I'm 30 years old and married to my lovely wife Michaela. I am also a new dad to my son Ezekiel Estrada. A big part of my life is my relationship with God and being a good husband & father. These priorities guide pretty much all my decisions in life and growing in these areas is an enormously fulfilling calling or purpose for me.
Here are some fun facts about me:
Instead of playing sports, I skateboarded growing up.
I love Star Wars, Lord of the Rings, and anime.
I've always loved to draw and make art.
I put hot sauce on everything.
I love hip-hop/rap music.
My professional background has always been in the creative industry, specifically graphic design. I've actually worked in the sign industry for almost 10 years doing all sorts of projects such as vehicle wraps, signage, banners, business cards, flyers, wall graphics, and so much more. I've designed a wide variety of physical marketing materials that companies use to grow their business. I now continue to use my experience working with clients, managing projects, and utilizing design principles in the digital space, such as websites and social media graphics. I love to see new ideas come to life and graphic design has been a great way for me to serve others and provide value.
We Want to Get to Know You!
Our heart is first to serve God, and then serve others - we're both hyper relational and know that, although it's not impossible to take good photos of strangers, it's a lot easier (and so much more fun!) when we're friends.
We would love to get to know you and chat over coffee or food. We're big on hanging out with our clients and building lasting friendships!
If this sounds like you,