'La La Land' engagement photos honor love, Hollywood

LOS ANGELES -- 'La La Land' has danced and sung its way into the hearts of several people with a Los Angeles love story expected to win big at the Oscars this year. The film really touched a California couple who stumbled on a view that's tailor-made for two.

Ellen Wleklinski and Corey Collins' love story is somewhat similar to that of Mia and Sebastian (played by Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling) including going on their first date to the Griffith Observatory, as did Mia and Sebastian in the film. The couple shared their story with photographer, Marlies Hartmann of M. Hart Photography, and she created a picture-perfect engagement photo shoot very similar to the movie.

"I had just seen the movie 'La La Land' and noticed how they resembled Sebastian and Mia," said Hartman. "I was initially hesitant to suggest it since I wasn't sure if they had seen or even liked the movie, but threw out the idea and they loved it! They were both huge fans of the film, and Ellen always felt that Corey looked like her own personal Ryan Gosling!"

Hartman said Wleklinski already owned an iconic yellow dress and the rest of the wardrobe came together effortlessly.

"We knew that our goal was to recreate and evoke the energy and feeling from the film as well as portray the images as if the characters had indeed gotten their "Hollywood" happily-ever-after ending we all hoped for when watching the movie," said Hartman.

All the photographs tap into the "Old Hollywood" feeling of the movie and each scene recreated had a special meaning for the couple.

"We already knew we were going to shoot at the Observatory, since it meant something personal to the couple. We also knew that we wanted to use Ellen's yellow dress to recreate the iconic dance scene and most famous shot/poster from the film."

The photos give people the same swoonworthy magical feeling of the movie and went viral.

"We joked about it going 'viral' or becoming 'big' but I so often doubt my own talents and skills (because) I am relatively still new to photography myself that it's hard to believe that so many millions of people would want to see my photos. I realized, though, that between the similarities of the couple to Mia and Sebastian as well as the global impact the film La La Land has had on the world, that there was a possibility of it becoming a big deal."

The photos have been called a win in several publications and Hartman hopes 'La La Land' walks away with several wins at the Oscars.

"I most certainly hope that 'La La Land' will at least tie for the most Academy Awards of all time. Classic love is timeless. The film touched me deeply, as well as so many others, and there was so much talent and brilliance that went into the making of the film."
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