Old Poway Park Engagement | Chris and Danielle

This Couple! From the moment I started emailing with Danielle's Mom, I KNEW I wanted to work with Chris, Danielle and their families! Then we met for coffee, and just clicked! PS my husband is a Chris and rocks the beard and mustache as well :) Not often do I get to photograph Engagements or Sessions in North County, so capturing their love in this STUnning Park was just a bonus! UMMMM did I mention they brought their fur babies!?! I'm SUUUCH a fan of when my couples want to incorporate their pets in the Session or during their Wedding! It just makes it SO much fun, and creates for GREAT candid opportunities! The evening as you can see was STUNNing, this couple?! Their love, is undeniable. Not often do I see a couple just savor the whole engagement process, but I really feel like they have. Their excitement to be husband and wife is SO real. I'm SOO pumped for them to FINALLY tie the knot this weekend! AHHH! I'm so thankful for my team to capture their stunning day from start to finish! It will be flawless, and I just can't wait to share those images with you all. Chris and Danielle, I wish you both the ABSOlute best in this new adventure. I have no doubt you treasure the meaning of your vows. I'm thankful for both of you and I can't wait to capture you in the coming years for whatever milestone :) 

How to Find the Right Photographer for You! | Holiday Family Session Tips, Part 1

It's HERE, it's HERE! The long awaited Part One of how to successfully survive your Holiday Family Session! There is a bit of information included, however it holds so much value and will prevent quite the headache, so try to hang on! I'm so excited to help make this process more enjoyable for you, regardless of you being my Client or not! 

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1. Do Your Research! 

Not every photographer will fit with your personality, style and budget. Start by finding someone who already has galleries on several different forums that are consistent. Check them on Facebook, Instagram, their Website and maybe even Yelp. You should be able to love their style!  You want someone you'd never have to give a Pinterest board to, because you trust their capabilities to photograph your family, like you see on their portfolios. Read some of their captions on the Facebook and Instagram posts, watch their Instagram Stories! See if you can relate to that person. You want to be comfortable at your session so you'll want to know that you can connect on some level. 

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1. Review Check! 

Everyone can post their favorite images from a session, but does that mean they had great communication from the initial email until product delivery? Does that mean they were on time? Does that mean they know what they are doing, took time to notice details, posed in a flattering manner, did their best to entertain the children etc?! Did they deliver the galleries when they said they would?! This is where you need to take that extra time, to read reviews! Again those social media forums, Facebook, Yelp and maybe the Bump or even if they do Weddings, check their reviews on The Knot! Quantity isn't necessarily a big deal but if there is enough stating the photographer went above and beyond and you love their galleries, you've most likely met your match!

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3. Invest In A Photographer Who Finds Value In Their Work And Try To Up It To A Full Session, For Your Sanity!

You may think you want to find the best deal for your holiday Minis, this can be a major mistake. By now you've spent hours emailing the photographer, finding your coordinating outfits, scheduled your hair and nail appointment, gotten your kids haircuts, made extra sure to make sure your littles don't get bumps and bruises etc. A LOT of both time and money goes into that tiny 20 minute window, even before paying a photographer. If you find someone you love, that has good reviews, and their prices are a bit higher than what you're seeing posted on Social Media, go with your gut. Book that photographer. Pay a little extra for something that you know is going to be a sure thing, that doesn't make all that work for nothing. If you're able, go for the hour package! Kids are finicky. It often takes just a bit for them to warm up. Same goes for Husbands! {Mine included!} You'll be able to get more bang for your buck, a more relaxed session, more pose options, and just an overall breathable session. A photographer will never be shooting on the constant. Half of the session is just posing and directing, the other half is making sure there are about three - five solid poses with about 30 images to choose from in a 20-30 minute window. So having that extra time, especially if you can't seem to get out the door quite as fast, will make a world of difference! Don't hesitate to ask about a payment plan either! Almost all Photographer's would break payments up further if need be. 

There you go! Whether I'm the Photographer for you or whether you go with someone else, I hope these tips will help you to find your forever photographer who can capture you over time, for all milestones! This is just the beginning of the process! It requires a bit more research, but if you take the time, and are able to adjust your budget, it will be well worth your while! You can Contact Me to get on my Wait List for when I will be announcing my Full & Mini Sessions! 

 

 

San Diego Artist Lifestyle Feature | Julie Marriott Guest Post

Hi All! A few months back I had the honor of capturing Julie in her studio, doing what she does best, motherhood and painting! I asked her to be a guest on my blog, and share a little about being an artist and stay at home mom! I also wanted Julie to share her heart behind her work with you, like she did with me! I put together a sweet video of her and her daughter that at the end of this post! You can't miss it so keep reading and scrolling!! I hope you enjoy! 

Art + Motherhood

Julie Marriott is a painter, pattern designer, and workshop teacher living and working in San Diego, CA. She’s also wife to her husband, Danny, and stay at home mom to her two-year-old daughter, Violet. Julie is passionate about creating joyful artwork inspired by the bold, colorful beauty of nature.

For as long as I can remember, I’ve loved to color, draw and paint. I was, as Danielle from the Jealous Curator likes to call children like me, an “art kid.” My older sister and I were homeschooled, and I think our relaxed daily schedule and generous amounts of unstructured free time gave my creativity the breathing space to grow and develop. At 11-years-old, I was taking painting lessons at a local art studio and selling batches of meticulously painted animal rocks to my dad’s office co-workers. Yes, rocks. Looking back, my messy desk at home was basically a mini version of my current art studio: loads of paints, brushes, palettes, paper and pencils at the ready, a creative project always underway, more ordered chaos than tidy space.

Painting is one of my daughter’s favorite things in the world, close up there with tea parties, Mickey Mouse and the color red. Once or twice a week, we set up on the kitchen floor and paint together. Violet paints with an adorable mixture of thoughtfulness and spontaneity that I love to watch. At our last painting session, she actually rinsed out her brush in between colors! I’m one proud artist mama.

When I’m asked how I have the time to be both a mom and a professional artist, I usually answer that I have a messy house, don’t watch much T.V., and have an amazingly supportive family. My awesome, hard-working husband is the main provider for our family, allowing me the freedom to slowly grow my art business from home in the in-between moments of caring for our daughter. If there’s one thing I’ve learned as a mom, it’s that the magic is truly in those in- between moments. It may seem like there’s no free time in the day, but even 30 minutes here and there during nap time can add up. Developing a large vision for what I want to achieve with my business, as well as always having a specific, daily goal to work toward has been the key for being productive in those chunks of time.

I’m extremely blessed to be able to follow my creative dreams, as well as be at home with my kiddo. One of my favorite things about motherhood is being present to witness all the small ways Violet learns and grows each day. I also love that she’s growing up surrounded by art and creativity. Life isn’t perfect, and often daily household tasks fall through the cracks because I’m finishing a commission or prepping for a workshop instead. But I’m learning to be ok with the reality of my limits. For me, being both a mother and an artist is a wonderfully fulfilling path, and I’m so thankful that this is my journey.

If you’re in the San Diego area, join Julie for a floral painting workshop! Her classes are fun, beginner-friendly introductions to acrylic painting techniques, and each student takes home their own unique canvas. You can find her workshop calendar and tickets here (http://juliemarriottart.com/events/

Pacific Coast Grill Wedding | Ryan and Lindsay

I get a lot of long distance clients throughout the year. Family Sessions when people visit for vacation or Destination Weddings where everyone comes together in San Diego for the big celebration! I LOVed getting a call from Lindsay about her intimate Wedding in Cardiff by the Sea. I felt like I connected with her right away on the phone, and instantly knew I wanted to capture her dream day! The day was just as stunning as I imagined it would be. Very family & commitment based, which is when I know I'm photographing my Dreamies! I captured her sister's Family Session a few day's prior so I almost knew a chunk of the guests before I arrived! The ceremony was so tender, officiated by her sweet nephew. The family captures were a BLAst, everyone was being so fun and funny, I just truly loved getting to see Lindsay's families personalities! Then I stole the newlyweds away for some captures by themselves down by the water. It went so smoothly, and was such a love-filled morning. SOO happy for you Ryan and Lindsay, I loved working with you both, thank you for having me capture your Wedding! 

Venue: Pacific Coast Grill in Cardiff by the Sea, Florist: Florist Frenzy, Hair & MUA: Del Mar Beauty Box 

Windandsea Family Session | Hellmann Family

This family....what a joy it was to work with them on a June Gloom Eve at Windandsea! They traveled from out of town, to attend a family Wedding that I photographed a few days after their Session! I don't think I've ever worked with such well-mannered boys. Amazing listeners, please and thank you's all over, and they had a blast with each-other to boot! Leslye, I need to know your secret for my little! They weren't afraid to get their feet in the sand and splashed by the water. The little mister we could barely keep out of the water! It was truly a family fun night, captured at the beach, which is exactly how I like it to be :) I hope you enjoy this Lifestyle Family Session as much as I do! 

Martin Johnson House Wedding | David & Callie

I'm finally getting around to blogging this stunner of a Wedding that took place last year! It was one of my favorites! David and Callie are some of the most kind humans ever. Their people are just as amazing. This always seems to make a Wedding Day a breeze. Callie did so much of the planning for her day! DIY queen! Her table scapes were some of the most beautiful I've seen, paired with a killer sunset at a beautiful venue! Her flowers were perfectly wild and reflected her style and complimented her girls green dresses! David and his guys were absolute studs in their suspenders and shades! The day just ran smoothly, and I had to seriously unscrew my smile afterward. I'd have to say my favorite things were the toasts about David, because I felt like I knew Callie a bit more, as well as watching Callie with all the babies and her family throughout the WHOLE day. There is a serious amount of love between them. I hope you enjoy looking at this goodness! You can check out their Engagement Session Here. I highly recommend this venue and the DJ if you're still in the market for your Wedding! 

 

Wedding Venue: Martin Johnson House, DJ: Preston Foreman

Windandsea Engagement Session | Robert & Paloma

Well, these two are becoming one tomorrow, and I can't wait to capture it! Their energy is infectious. The love they have for one another is so tender. I've had to unscrew my jaw from smiles and laughter after both our initial consultation and their engagement session, and I can only imagine tomorrow will be that to the max! The incredible humans that Robert and Paloma are, I cannot wait to meet their loved ones! Oh man, you guys. It's going to be one big unforgettable party! I had to do a little post for them, because.....oh ya know, no big deal...they're GETTIN MARRIED TOMORROW! Hip Hip HOOORRAYYY!! 

 

 

ZLAC Rowing Club Wedding | Matt & Cynthia

I am SOO glad my 2017 year of Weddings started with these two saying "I do." It was nothing short of flawless. Matt, Cynthia & I met long before their Wedding, and I just knew I wanted to capture their Day! They both had such beautiful visions, and with Cynthia's passion for Wedding Planning I knew it would be just that. At our last consult before the wedding Cynthia broke out this incredibly detailed folder! It was organizational heaven! She planned, and coordinated most the wedding, of course delegating for the day of, but it was pretty much the most smoothly planned day that I've attended, even more so than some with hired Coordinator help! Not only did their Wedding go without a hitch, it was an ABSOLute blast. Matt & Cynthia were the most relaxed and happy couple ever, and their people are so supportive and kind! I felt like I was laughing the whole day. SO good. Meeting Cynthia post wedding for coffee to give her her Thank You Package, it felt very much not like a goodbye, but the continuation of a friendship. According to the guests at their Wedding, that's just the people that Matt & Cynthia are. Loving, Kind, Funny, Caring and genuinely friendly! They are my "Dreamies." My Dreamie Clients! Enjoy the incredible goodness that was their day! 

Venue: ZLAC Rowing Club, Ceremony: Sacred Heart Ocean Beach, Florist: Flora Glamor, Cake: Baby Cakes, MUA & Hair Stylist: Erica Franksen & Bristen E., Dress: Alfred Angelo, Tux: The Black Tux

San Diego Birth Photography | Titus WELCOME to the world, One year Ago!

I can't believe it's been one year since this AMAZing set of days. Last year I had the pleasure of being with Jake and Kendra as they were patiently awaiting the birth of their precious son, Titus. I was in the hospital for a while with them both, observing, capturing, and helping in any way I could. Titus just was just so comfy and Mama wasn't having it! HA! She had been laboring for HOURS. Let me tell you, she has INCREdible strength, and Jake is the most calming force and strong & yet tender support system for his beautiful bride. Things didn't seem to be moving along very quickly so I ducked out to an event I had scheduled previously. The moment I was done, I contacted Jake to see how things were going! As Kendra had been laboring for so long, it was now time that she have a C-Section for the safety of her and the baby. I arrived RIGHT as she was prepping to be a Mama, after this LONG wait! I assumed I wouldn't see them until after Titus was born, however the Doctor allowed me to put on scrubs and join them in the surgery room! AHH! WHAT?! I couldn't believe it. I didn't know what to expect. I was TOTally nervous, but I wasn't allowed because Kendra was about to push a human out of her body, so suck it up, right?! HA! Since I never shoot video, It's not always on the forefront of my mind that I have that available to me....but praise the Lord I remembered and I was able to not only capture but record some of these precious moments for the proud new Parents! Kendra, despite her shaking and being in surgery, was incredibly present. They had Titus poked, prodded, measured and weighed in no time, then passed him off to the new Daddy. Oh you guys. Their joy. The love in their eyes. The excitement in their grins. There is absolutely nothing like it. I've seen no deeper love. It was truly a gift to be able to witness such a priceless moment in time, and it almost seems to precious to share, but I'm doing so in celebration of Titus BEAUtiful one year of life. Sweet Boy, Auntie loves you like crazy. I'm SO thankful you were brought into this world, and in such a God-fearing, kind and loving home. HIP HIP HOORAY, Happy Birthday, Precious!

Sripps Seaside Forum Engagement Session | Brian & Ashton

So when your clients show up with two dogs, collar crowns, three outfits and a friend....you KNOW it's going to be a good Session! Especially when the sun is shining after postponing from the rainy night before! WHEW was I glad we still had that morning, as Ashton was about to fly home that afternoon! This beautiful couple. I had been in communication with them for a while! I absolutely loved my time chatting with them and even more so, enjoyed my time with them the day of their Session. Their love is so completely tender, and kind. Their Dogs were just PREcious, even though they probably would have rather just relaxed in the sun, they were troopers! The tide that morning....I mean, Brian and Ashton expected to get a little wet, but little did they know...ha! I've only seen the tide that high a few times to where it is crashing agains the cement edge! They still were game to play in the waves, so of COURSE we had fun! I couldn't get them under the Pier due to safety but we had just as much fun on each side! We left Scripps Pier soaked up to our waists, but with HUGE grins on our faces. It was a Session for the Books and I'm happy to share it with you!  

Temecula Creek Inn Wedding | Dan & Laura

Friends! This couple! I've had the pleasure of knowing them since Laura was pregnant with precious Weston. OH I NEVER laughed so hard at a Session. Dan is literally the most funny guy, and Laura compliments him in the sweetest way. I knew, that evening at Sunset Cliffs, that I wanted to be their friends! HA! No, but REAlly! Thankfully the Maternity Session was a success, so they called me back for their Lifestyle Newborn Session! Then Laura just started emailing me to photograph her work events, and then a surprise shoot for Fathers Day as Dan was Deployed, and his homecoming, and then we ran into each other at a Wedding Marketing Event....All this to say...our emails over the years graduated from details, times, dates and packages, to "How are you doing?" and "I love you!"  They are the perfect example of how I hope to model my business, going from clients to friends to practically family, and handshakes to hugs!

So here comes their Wedding for all their friends and family at the most beautiful venue, with the most AMAzing vendors! It's going to PERfect right?! Well several days before, there were alerts about a horrible storm over the weekend full of rain, wind, thunder and lighting! I'm generally a positive and optimistic person, so I just kept praying it would for some reason clear up right in the middle of when it was supposed to be the most strong. That being said, I was fully prepared for rain, assuming umbrellas would be useless with the wind. I also checked in with Laura double checking if they would be ok to get some sweet moody weather shots post ceremony! They were totally ready to get creative, and were so worry free, at least that's what it seemed like! It wasn't until the MORNing of, that I noticed we actually may have a break in the weather! AHH! Praise the LORD! Just in case they had rented a full sided clear magical tent for their reception. We only had to retreat from light rain for about 10 minutes for some sweet indoor captures before we were able to head back outside for portraits! They were hoping to have the ceremony uncovered and outside and low and behold the rain literally held off from the beginning of the ceremony until the end of the family formals! How cool is that?! The day went on without a hitch. The vendors were all positive and efficient, like serious secret ninjas making the most dreamy day come to life! 

My favorite part of the day, my favorite part of every time I get to capture this beautiful family, is the tenderness expressed from Dan to Laura, the Joy Laura gets from Dan, and the adoration they have for their dolly of a Son. 

Venue - Temecula Creek Inn, Wedding Coordinator - Cara @ Michelle Garibay Events, Rentals - Rustic Urban Events, Florist - Blanc Floral Design, Videographers - Lereve Films , DJ - Csquareddj_lighting, Calligrapher - Swash and Spur , Cake - Laura Marie's Cakes

Scripps Seaside Forum Wedding | Brennan and Alycia

Oh friends. On a beautiful sunny San Diego day, one year ago, two of the most amazing souls said I Do. From start to finish it was one of the most beautiful days. I may have shed a tear or two to say the least. The amount of Love and Support surrounding Brennan and Alycia's Marriage was overwhelming! Everyone soaked up the precious moments throughout this day. Just as it should be. Then energy in the morning was so peaceful and fun! It was Shark Week, so of course that was on the TV with Alycia's love for all things underwater! Her colors of teal blue and yellow just really represent her upbeat, kind and happy self! Alycia's first look with her brother was just about the sweetest thing I've ever seen. He felt so honored to have this moment. Throughout the day all he wanted was for the day to be flawless for the couple. I caught him delicately placing Alycia's vail over her chair, he was often checking in with me in how he could help. I wasn't in the guys limo, but I heard they  prayed on their way to the venue which I thought was so neat. The ceremony was stunning, where the groom met his bride for the first time. He was beaming. She was breath-taking. The bridal party were all smiles throughout. The toasts brought a tear to everyone's eye. Then the dancing. OH the dancing. From the first dances to the party dances.....I had to unscrew my jaw at the end of the night from all the smiles! That dance floor NEVER stopped. WAY to go DJ! Just the other day I met with Alycia for coffee! This is my goal for my couples. To not only become their lifetime family photographer for work, but to develop and grow our relationships! To become friends where we exchange Christmas Cards and meet for coffee every now and then. I had a blast photographing this BEAUtiful pair, and I look forward to keeping in touch with them in the coming years! Three Cheers, loves and a HIP HIP HOOORAY for their One Year Anniversary! 

Scripps Pier Engagement | David & Callie

Ohh these two! I love meeting my future couples for Coffee, however it's not always realistic for those who have made San Diego the destination for their Wedding, as they live farther away! I had the BEST consultation with Callie on the phone, I felt as though we connected right away! I loved hearing about how David proposed in Lake Tahoe during a Hike! They were able to meet me in San Diego for their Engagement Session, which is where I met them both for the first time! Oh what kind and fun people! With their love for the Ocean, Scripps Pier was the perfect place for this Session, and boy was it a beautiful evening for them! I can't wait to capture their Wedding Day!

Kendra's Maternity Session - Mission Trails Regional Park

This BEAUtiful mama to be! Kendra and I are from the same tiny town in Washington and met through my childhood best friend! We've connected once again, as she just moved to San Diego with her husband! Her joy and excitement for baby boy to arrive is infectious and she is absolutely glowing! After a few coffee dates and getting reacquainted, I had to schedule a session and knew exactly where it should be! Mission Trails Regional Park, is in my mind, a hidden treasure in San Diego. Capturing a lovely expecting mother inside and out, in this golden light, made the session! We had a blast and I'm so pleased with the turnout! Kendra is a Professional Hair and Makeup Stylist, so she did her own hair and makeup for this shoot! I hope you enjoy viewing these captures as much as I do!