You may have looked at this title (an officer and a gentleman), and immediately thought about that famous movie – it was so romantic! Well the love story we have for you today is every bit as sweet! And even more amazing because it is a true story of how Justine and Jay met! I was so excited to be able to photograph these two lovebirds because not only are they vibrant and fun and full of life, but they are two of the kindest, most genuine people you will ever meet. Get to know them a little more by reading their love story.


An Officer and A Gentleman


After what you might call a Good Time at Sea; I (Jay) a U.S. Coast Guard Officer found my ship pulling into the beautiful city of San Diego, CA. Little did I know I would meet my future wife during this 10-day port call.

Day 1

After successfully docking the ship I was off with a friend, to enjoy the Gas Lamp District. Even though we were having fun, my energy began to dwindle and I started my trek back to the ship only to be deterred by my dangerously expanding bladder: I had to pee. I walked into the closest bar, “Henry’s Pub” was the name, and the music was POPPIN! My quick stop now turned to a full stop at the dance club where I found myself on the stage dancing Michael Jackson’s “Smooth Criminal.” After my abrupt kick off the stage, I met eye-to-eye with a very pretty girl, who explained to me that her friend found me attractive and very interesting. Her friend would later explain that she actually thought it was cute, and very odd, that I was confident enough to dance lone on the dance floor. The first girl I met was merely a gateway for me to meet the most beautiful person in my life. I told her my name, and she told me hers, Justine Ramos. We danced, we laughed, I gave her my number, and I left. I was left with a new spurt of energy after this attractive encounter and I went on a second round about the Gas Lamp District. The late night dwindled, and the early morning was only few hours away. I began to walk back to the ship. Like a second chance, “or a second sign”, I managed to run into Justine as she was leaving in a taxi to go home for the night. Our small talk was short, but the encounter was unforgettable; her mere presence was glazed into my mind. Before I knew it I was on the ship, sitting alone staring at my phone waiting for my third and final sign. My phone beeps signifying a new text message to see that my sweet Justine had not only taken the time to text me before she went to bed, but she texted me her truth: that she had a 5-year old son. I will admit, it struck me for a surprise, but only for a second, a smirk stretched from ear-to-ear, and responded to tell her that she was an amazing person, and her son must be equally amazing, I couldn’t wait to get to know her better!


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Day 17

The morning dew blanketed the Columbia River, and the mighty Steddy Eddy whistled the ships movement through the fog. My eyes piercing the dew could make the outline of my temporary home in the distance. I was home. Though it had been a rather long and arduace mission, my time underway was reaching, yet again, an end. However, my mind was not on the tranquility of my homeport, nor was it on the many exciting missions my ship and I had experienced during out 3 month deployment off the coast of Colombia and Panama. My mind was on the amazing 10 day adventure of love and connection. Justine was all that I can conjure in my mind.

That night I was in awe at the sight of her through my computer screen. I hadn’t seen her for 7 days, but her laugh and smile already seemed permanently engrained in my eyes and ears. Our conversation began subtle and quickly turned intimate, sharing our love of things in the world, and hopes and dream of our own futures. I must admit, even though my ears were Justine’s my eyes were focused on something else. Admist our conversation I halted Justine’s beautiful description of our rouge love escapade in San Diego to ask her a question: “If you could, would you come to Astoria and visit me for a few days?”. She paused, and paused again, but collected her emotions and explained she would love to come visit me… someday. I retorted, “Would you mind coming here in 2 weeks?”. She was puzzled and quickly recalling her scheduled time with Erik, and plans she had previously made, and finally answered, “Yea. I can do it in 2 weeks.” I sighed to loud Justine’s speakers crackled and shear confusion loomed over the moment. I explained to her that I had bought her plane tickets 30 minutes prior to even calling, and that I had been nervously building the courage to ask. The next several seconds were silent, and a low tone voice came through my speakers, “I like you, Jay.”

Day 32

The night started with such brilliance, complete with a beautiful dinner, and amazing conversation. I had known this amazing woman for a month now, but I couldn’t imagine how I lived before her. How I could conjure a smile before, knowing that I haven’t been this happy before. A barrage of questions and topics passed by through the hours that felt like minutes. I did not want a single thing to change. A glass of wine in her hand as she sat on my kitchen counter, as I washed dishes from the dinner I had made her. We periodically stopped our words and gave into a session of kisses, and then back into great talks. Two things made that night amazing: One being a night of passion that we had not experienced before, one of which our love was expressed physically for the first time since the night of her first text message. The Second is what led to that first point.

I had loved before, but not like this.
There are many traditions I don’t care for, but this one I do… with Justine being with me in my home, enjoying the time spent with one another, I couldn’t have had a better opportunity. I, officially, asked her to be my girlfriend. Evolving past our dating, and ambiguous infatuated loving tendencies, to solidify our bond, and exclusivity dedicate ourselves to the other.

She said “Yes”


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6 Months Later

Again, I stand alone, but only for a moment. This solitude moment lasted for only a couple hours maybe more. But at least the view was grand. I was atop an abandon lighthouse staring out over a cliff and peering into the horizon. I checked my belt and sword, and the shininess of my shoes. This moment of solitude was coming to close only to open to the next chapter of my life. I could hear her foot steps as she climbed up to the top of the lighthouse. I turn around and see Justine walking up the stairs. Her eyes and smile, her glow and spirit were all magnified ten-fold in the beam of sunlight as it made its decent to sunset. She giggled, amused and awed by the prestine white Officer Uniform, spit-shined shoes, never-dulled brass, and finalized with my Officer sword. I held her hands, and explained to her my love for her and how it grew from a “Michael Jackson” dance number on a stage, to this very important day. I dropped to one knee and pronounced my love…

She, and a friend, had just arrived from day long scavenger hunt that I had set up for weeks, fully thought out with breakfast, coffee, a trip to my ship, lunch, a trip to a local monument, picked out dresses, and a trip to the salon, all to dramatically finish the hunt right here, in this light house. This day had arrive after months that seemed like forever! We learned so much about one another – as much as we learned about ourselves. I had been in love before, but this relationship, this connection, this love I had to keep and cherish it forever

“Will you marry me?”

She said “YES.”


12 Months Later

Day of the wedding day… such joy and beauty, love and connection hardly felt before. I, in my white officers uniform, and her, in a beautiful white dress, short-cut, to truly accentuate the curves of her beautiful body. If you were there, you would had been surrounded by family and friends that were either known or new, but loving towards one another due to the matrimonial bond occurring. You would have talked with our handsome boy Erik, for he is the embodiment of the bride-to-be and curiosity. You would be viewing Justine and I not at an altar, but on a cliff in San Diego, CA. In the distance, a beautiful blue horizon off the coast of Sunset Cliffs. The sun beamed with such content, and sky so blue to perfectly light our vows.
She said her words, I said mine:

I said “I, Do.”

She said “I, Do.”


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