Del Mar Branding Session | Kelly Higdon

So as business owners, today, social media is essential to the growth of your business. The percentage of being hired goes up significantly when you have professional headshots, lifestyle shots of you doing things relevant to your work as well as a pleasing aesthetic with the parts of your business that makes you, you. That makes you relatable. That isn’t just you looking at the camera. That isn’t just you in a jacket. Sure there is a place for those professional look-at-the-camera, dressed up shots, which we get, but the remainder are with you wearing an outfit that’s more what you would wear on the day to day in your business. You’re process is being captured. Favorite mugs that give you inspiration. Journals with words of affirmation. Your work sheets. You drinking coffee or wine. What makes you down to earth, human. :) This gives you weeks and then some of content for marketing your business! Have you noticed that you get more interaction when you’re posting an image of yourself?! People want to SEE you. Not just what you do. So schedule that lifestyle branding session, and set yourself up for more success! I LOVED working with Kelly. Her personality was SHIning through, and the Flower Hill Promenade was perfect for her business! You’ll have to check her out!

Guys! A Lifestyle Branding Session is 20% off right now, until December 7! It’s to be booked in 2019, until September! All you need to do is pay the retainer with contract to secure your promo! Comment or Email me with your interest!

Yepez Newborn Session | Chula Vista Newborn Session | San Diego Newborn Photographer

Ohh be still my heart. You guys. I showed up in this home, and was greeted by the most loving big brother. So proud. So excited to get photos taken with his little brother. Yes, ice cream was awaiting him, but ohh I know he enjoyed himself. It’s not always easy capturing a newborn session with another little who’s used to being the center of attention but this guy was a champ. And WHAT a perfect baby. Such a sleeper, and he just SOAKED up his big brother’s kisses. The Parents were so kind, welcoming and accepting of all my direction and poses. They were able to truly be in the moment. They were able to breathe, and look at one-another and have a few quiet moments in the comfort of their home, captured, naturally. It was an amazing session. It was lacking stress and we were able to get all combinations. I’m SO thankful to have met them - they were a referral from a current client of mine. You guys, your referrals mean the world. They don’t just matter in a booking sense, but in the fact that they are more often than not my “dream” clients. The ones who find value in what I do, and who respect my work and are appreciative. I don’t know how I get so many sweet humans to work with - to God be the Glory.

Just a heads up! I have my 20% off promo! You have to book by the December 7th! You can use this promo for a newborn session or otherwise! It’s to be used next year until September! Perfect time to save! You just can’t use the 20% off for weddings - I have $389 off of those right now until the 20th of December! Comment or Email me with your interest!

Burgess Family | Marian Bear Park Family Photos

Ahh this family! This little Man, what a dolly. He totally stole my heart, so tender! You can see his kindness came from his parents. Gentle spirits. It was SUCH a pleasure to work with them in such a beautiful setting! Doesn’t this look like Fall?! Ahh I love this park, it reminds me of my home in WA! You need a dose of season change in a sunny all the time place :) I hope you enjoy :) These are some of my FAVOrites!

Don’t forget - I’m having 20% off until December 7th, off of my sessions to be used next year until September! All you need to pay is the retainer to secure your promo with me! Comment or Email me with you inquiry!

High Tea with Daddy | A Veterans Day Styled Shoot Experience | The Thursday Club

Happy Veterans Day, Friends!

There’s something very special several talented wedding vendors and I put together for a very special Veteran, Brian, and his 3 year old daughter Ellie!

Not your everyday bride and groom styled shoot. We wanted something different. We wanted to create an experience. We wanted to style, but with natural captures and captured emotions. We wanted to pay tribute to the military and show how littles can do just fine amongst a lovely wedding scape.

Brian, his wife Mary Beth & their children have been my clients for years so I knew Brian’s relationship with his daughter was a special one. I knew Ellie despite being up past her bedtime would soak this special project in and would cherish it for years to come. So we got the idea to have “High Tea with Daddy!” We wanted to set up the most beautiful surprise date for this Lieutenant Veteran and his daughter, where all they had to do was show up and we’d guide them from one surprise to the next.

I reached out to several of my FAVorite wedding vendors and I was so thankful they all were so excited to partake in the fun! The Thursday Club was ideal for a Tea Party setting with a getting ready room perfect for a little princess. The coordinator Courtney of Breezy Day Weddings killed it with her magic and made everything come together. Rustic Events drove at least 45 minutes to bring the furniture and on Jen’s Birthday no less! Barb of Blanc Floral created the most beautiful hair piece for Ellie, bouquet for Ellie to be given by Brian and arrangements for the table and more that complimented the table scape beautifully. Lela of Orange and Melrose came through with her calligraphy, designing the invites despite her morning sickness! Cheri of Cheri’s Vintage Table had the table scape for this tea party. Russ’ associate of Russell John Films was kind, gentle and patient and was SO good with Ellie. Tara from Sweet As Bliss brought my vision to life with her flawless mini cakes & cookies that survived the heat! Little Kids Wear Inc is where I found the dream dress and ballet slippers for sweet Ellie. And So Cal Hair and Makeup came to make Ellie feel extra special even though I knew we couldn’t do much to her hair, so I was thankful they came, more for the experience. And boy did Ellie feel like a princess.

The day of the High Tea, Brian and Ellie had little guided direction but were mostly instructed to just be, that this was their date. I’ll let the images and video describe the rest. It was pure magic. We were all watching quietly with exploding hearts as this real Daddy & Daughter made a memory for a lifetime, which was the soul purpose of this day. Ellie got to take home the invites, cake, flowers, and shoes all for her memory box. I got in my car to go home and just cried as it was something so beautiful, shared with people I respect and enjoy. I hope you enjoy this special shoot as we all did and we want to thank all those who serve, have served, and their families who hold down the fort at home, in support. We thank you for our freedom. Happy Veterans Day!

Basic Invite | Modern Wedding Invites, Save The Dates, Holiday Cards etc.

Friends! For your paper needs look no further! Basic Invite is an incredible company with excellent product for your Wedding Save The Dates, Invites, Maps, Envelopes, Magnets, Holiday Cards, Birth Announcements - you name it! They’ve kindly send me some samples so I could have something to share with my clients, and I’m impressed! The quality is there, the colors match the colors in my images that I sent to them, which Shutterfly, Minted, Costco and more printing companies are always WAY off, altering the quality of the image. They have creative Save the Date options, such as this first one is a Magnet, so you can’t forget to have that date blocked off!

They have so many design options, 180 custom colors, paper types, fronts, textures, price points..It’s worth a look! I’m going to use them for my Holiday Cards this year, I can’t wait to send them out! They have styles that are perfect for your Fall and Winter Wedding as well, not just blush, gold and soft tones! I LOVE the blues and gold like in the image below! With the holidays around the corner, you don’t want spend extra time on the lookout for your invites and cards, check out Basic Invite who has it dialed in, and email their customer support for any help! They are SO responsive! If you’re wanting a discount off your order, shoot me an email and I have a code for you!

Source: https://www.basicinvite.com

Journey in Motherhood | Miscarriage & IVF | Endometriosis

Sensitive post regarding Child Loss.

The second brave Mommy to share her story with the world, with hopes it will be a comfort to those going through the same thing. It’s been hard for me to actually put this up and share it, not due to fear, but the reality that is this post. It’s real. It’s raw. It’s what happens often and is completely tabled, so women continue to go through their grief thinking that they are alone. Let me shut that down right now. It kills me that this is something we’re not alone in, although not being alone means someone to talk to about it. Being together in this means working through our grief with another. For a healthier life. To continue living, not once being over it, but learning how to continue living despite our heart-ache. These Mommies, who have decided to share their hearts with the world, are here for you. I’m here for you. So please reach out via comment or email with your struggle. Maybe we know something that will help you, maybe we can only say you’re a wonderful Mom and we’re here for you. But we’re here. Below is Andrea’s story. Her life, shared with you regarding her miracle baby from IVF, her Miscarriage and her recent trail in IVF. If you’re going through it, or family of someone who is, or even if you can’t relate yet, I hope you’ll read through to better understand, to find something that would be helpful, or to be a helping hand.

Note* Andrea has to wake up every day. She has to show up for her eldest daughter and for her husband. She has to still be a teacher, and play, and do all the Mom things, without a part of her and while trying for another miracle, amidst the failed attempts. She’s one of the strongest women I’ve met and quite inspirational. Please follow her on Insta @andreakalexander.

Please share your story with us.

After trying to conceive naturally for about a year, we were referred to see a specialist that specializes in infertility. Who knew that we would begin one of the longest and most difficult journeys of our life. After tests, ultrasounds, blood work, etc,. the reason we could not conceived it ended up being because of my diminished ovarian reserve and endometriosis.

Although this wasn't the greatest news, we were still happy because we knew there was a chance we could still get pregnant. From this point on, our only option was going through IVF. Now we had to decide exactly how we wanted to move forward with the egg retrieval. After talking with our doctor, we decided to do two back-to-back rounds of retrievals. Then, if we had embryos, we would do a transfer a couple of months after.

The fun began. Not only were we working full time jobs (for those of you that know us, we have never worked just a 40 hour work week, it's more like 60-70 hours), we were trying to go through this process of IVF. Let me say, I knew this was going to be hard, but I wasn't prepared for the physical, mental and emotional rollercoaster that we went through. For our 1st cycle (retrieval), we retrieved 5 eggs. After fertilization and testing, we ended up with 3 embryos. For our 2nd cycle, we retrieved 3 eggs of which one fertilized and made it through testing. In the end, we had 4 embryos, however only 2 were of good quality (60% chance of resulting in a pregnancy), 1 was of borderline/poor quality (40% chance) and the last was poor quality.

With that being said, the retrieval process was completed and now we had to prepare for the transfer. Again, there were a lot of meds, shots, blood work, ultrasounds. Through the process we stayed positive and had the transfer. The next 11 days are the LONGEST DAYS EVER! This is how many days you have to wait to find out if the transfer worked and if pregnant. This is on one's mind 100% of the day. The day we were to find out, I couldn't wait and took a pregnancy test in the morning. Again, completely nerve wracking! Best news ever!!! We were pregnant! We waited for the call just to make sure but they confirmed what we already knew. We were pregnant on our first shot of IVF. There are no words to express our happiness! We had a beautiful baby girl, Lillian Alexander on May 27, 2016.

Fast forward 2 years and we are set to try to get Lily a sibling. We had our second transfer on May 31, 2018. Again, the longest 11 days ever. We got the call that we were pregnant and were thrilled but the hormone number were lower than they would like so we had to go back in a couple days later for more blood work. More waiting. The call came in. Our number actually decreased. We were told that we were going to have a miscarriage. There was nothing we could do. So for the next almost 2 weeks, I waited. I waited and waited and waited. Finally around 6 1/2 weeks pregnant we lost our baby boy.

I felt tired and defeated and responsible for the loss of our child. I stayed positive by looking forward to the next step. We knew we had one embryo remaining but wanted to make sure that incase we wanted more children in the future, we needed to get more embryos. It was decided to do two more back to back retrievals. So now we had to prep all over again, with a toddler in the house.

I thought the first time was hard, but having a 2 year old and going through this was so much more difficult. Lily was our light that kept us going though. When feeling down, there was nothing more precious than a hug or a laugh from her. Well, we completed our first retrieval on August 27, 2018. We had 3 eggs retrieved. Of those 3, 2 made it through the fertilization. Of those 2, 1 made it through all the additional testing, however when we had the genetic testing done, the results came back abnormal. It was missing chromosome #10. With this being said, we ended up with no embryos. There are no words. No words.

I'm typing this mid October now. We have to stay positive because we have one more retrieval to go at the end of October. We went into these retrievals hoping to get a boy, but at this point, we just want a healthy embryo. For someone that has gone through this process, it's hard not to constantly think about babies, the process, the craving to get pregnant, and just trying not to have a breakdown. Luckily I have an amazing, loving and supportive husband and precious daughter to keep me going day to day.

What are some side effects that you've battled with IVF? What have you done to overcome them physically or mentally? What is your thought process on sticking to the diet you're supposed to have when going through this?!

IVF can take a toll on the body. I've gained over 15 lbs and have had bad reactions to meds. I broke out in hives when taking progesterone. I've had blistering rashes from two different sets of patches. I've had an unpleasant experience with taking estrace. When you want to have a baby so badly, these effects don't matter. You'll do anything. Not being able to have caffeine or alcohol is a bummer lol, but after a couple of weeks it doesn't matter. The funny thing is that this is the healthiest I've ever been but because of the meds and not being able to workout since April, I feel like I'm pregnant with the bloating. The not so fun part of going through IVF. I just have to keep envisioning that baby to get me through these obstacles.

What do you do for yourself, to stay sane?

The 1st and 2nd cycles I had a full time job. Now for the 3rd and 4th cycles I am a stay at home mommy so my 2 year old is what keeps me sane. That and unfortunately shopping (sorry hubby lol) and just spacing out and watching tv to get my mind off of things. I also like to stay sane and optimistic by looking at baby stuff online- I feel like that is a way of me saying, we are going to do this and I have to envision it.

What would you say to someone who is going through the same thing?

Stay positive and have a sounding board. You are going to have really low lows and hopefully some really high highs. Either way, it's always good to have someone to talk, cry and just be you. Don't bottle anything up. If you don't want to tell the world you are going through this, it's okay, we didn't either. We let our family and close friends know.

What have friends and family done that has stood out to you and been so helpful through the trying process?

Just being there to actively listen. During IVF, it's nice to just say some things and have someone say anything back that's encouraging. Even though it might sound silly, any words of encouragement mean a lot.

What are some ways family and friends could help, that you've realized could be so great during this?

Staying involved. There are ups and downs, to the extreme and knowing that there is someone there to reach out to at anytime is helpful. Also, don't be afraid to ask us for certain details if it's confusing to you. We don't mind.

Is there anything you do to keep your lost son's memory alive?

As of right now, we just have our ultra sound pic of him when we did our transfer. We haven't really decided yet, but once we see how the rest of our journey goes, I'm sure we will have decided by then what we are going to do.

Is there anything you'd suggest to those who are starting to try for kids?

Meet with a specialist sooner rather than later if you are having any issues or doubt. It's better to get educated and to find out if there is something that is preventing one from getting pregnant.

Are there any hospitals, doctors etc that you recommend?

Reproductive Partners La Jolla, Doctor V. Gabriel Garzo. Not only is our doctor amazing, but the whole staff is so friendly.

Are there any quotes, verses etc that keep you going? Besides your daughter, what pushes you to keep living amidst hardship?

“We must accept finite disappointment, but never lose infinite hope.”

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

“It always seems impossible until it's done.”

Nelson Mandela

That's a hard one because my daughter is my light. She's definitely is what keeps me going. I think it's because she is our little miracle baby. She's a result of what can happen if we stick with it and stay positive. She's our everything.

Journey in Motherhood | On Child Loss | Sweet Axel

Sensitive post regarding Child Loss.

I photographed this Mom a while back. She is the first to say let me share my story, with hopes it will be a comfort to those going through the same thing. It’s been hard for me to actually put this up and share it, not due to fear, but the reality that is this post. It’s real. It’s raw. It’s what happens often and is completely tabled, so women continue to go through their grief thinking that they are alone. Let me shut that down right now. It kills me that this is something we’re not alone in, although not being alone means someone to talk to about it. Being together in this means working through our grief with another. For a healthier life. To continue living, not once being over it, but learning how to continue living despite our heart-ache. These Mommies, who have decided to share their hearts with the world, are here for you. I’m here for you. So please reach out via comment or email with your struggle. Maybe we know something that will help you, maybe we can only say you’re a wonderful Mom and we’re here for you. But we’re here. Below is Ilse’s story. Her life, shared with you regarding the loss of her sweet son, Axel. If you’re going through it, or family of someone who is, or even if you can’t relate yet, I hope you’ll read through to better understand, to find something that would be helpful, or to be a helping hand.

Note* Ilse has to wake up every day. She has to show up for her eldest son, for her husband. She has to still be a teacher, and play, and do all the Mom things, without a part of her. She’s one of the strongest women I’ve met and quite inspirational. Please follow her on Insta @ilsemunson

Baby boy was how old, how big and how long when born?

Axel was 24 weeks and 6 days old. He was 2lbs 2oz, and he was 14in.

Tell me a little bit about your pregnancy prior delivering, were there any off symptoms? Please share your story with us.

My pregnancy was hard and rocky from the beginning. I had a few scares that put me in the ER. I pretty much had bleeding my entire pregnancy and my doctor suggested to take time off working out to take it easy.

After a few weeks of mild bed rest I was able to go back to work as a fitness instructor but just had to take it easy. One day after class I went to hang out at the mall with a friend and our kids. I began to feel very sharp pains in my belly that would come and go. They started getting closer together and started to get stronger. I remember thinking to myself that it was not normal to get these types of pains this early on. I was only 24 weeks pregnant. as we were walking to the car, there was a moment where I had to stop because the pain became so unbearable and just like that my water broke. It was the scariest moment of my life because I knew that it was way to soon. My friend immediately called 911, and the ambulance got there 20 minutes after that. The hardest part during those 20 minutes was seeing my 2 year old son sitting next to me looking worried asking me if I was ok. I felt helpless and all I could do was look at him, try to be as calm as possible and tell him that it was all going to be ok. I was then taken to the hospital in the ambulance and was rushed to the OR for an emergency csection, We had 5 days in the hospital with our baby boy. Five days where I would walk down to the NICU as much as I could and just sit with him. I would say that even though those five days were the hardest my family has ever had to go through they were also a blessing. A blessing because I got FIVE days! Five days where we could see our baby, touch our baby, feed our baby, even if it was just with a q-tip, and five days where I was able to change his teeny tiny diaper. Five days where we were able to tell him just how much we love him and will always love him. I call it a blessing because I know that some moms don't even get that time. And after five days, he went to Heaven.

When were you able to hold him for the first time, what did that feel like?

I was finally able to hold him the day that we had to say goodbye to him, so after 5 days of being born. It felt, so many emotions going on at the same time. It felt amazing holding my little teeny tiny baby but it felt devastating at the same time because I know it would be the last time I would be holding him. It also felt right, I was his mama and he needed me to hold him close and tell him that I loved him.

When did you go home? What was that like?

We went home 5 days after giving birth to our son. It felt very strange and I felt empty like something was missing. Like this was not how it was supposed to be.

How was the process at home after being in the hospital and not coming home with your second child?

It was very strange, I was still taking care of myself because I had just had major surgery but unlike my first pregnancy there was no baby to take care of. It still is hard to this day, especially when I see friends with their babies who are around the same age that my son would have been.

Thankfully my husband took almost 2 weeks off after coming home from the hospital and we had my mother in law who stayed and helped for almost 2 weeks as well.

How were things with you and your husband during this time?

They were good, we stayed strong and tried to cope with it as much as we could. After a couple of weeks things got hard and there was a lot of fighting going on because our communication had stopped. We finally talked about it and talked about what each of us was feeling and we started communicating and our relationship got better.

What would have been helpful during this process and even when at home? How could people help? I want to educate others - family and friends on how to help.

For us, we honestly were so blessed by all the support we got in and out of the hospital. We received meal trains for almost 2 months. Flowers, texts messages, gifts, random acts of kindness and love. I would say just show up! be there even if you aren't asked to.

What were the things you told yourself to love yourself, give yourself grace and lift yourself up during this hard time when you could be really hard on yourself?

I just had to keep telling myself and still do to this day that it was not my fault, not anyone's fault. What honestly keeps me going is knowing that our baby boy is in a much better place that he could ever be. A place where he does not suffer or feel pain. I tell myself that God does everything for a reason and that even in our worst trials He always has something good come out of them.

How do you keep Axel’s memory alive today?

I try and talk about him when I can and I always talk about him with our 3 year old even though I don't think he remembers him. We have a wall in our house that has a big wooden bible verse on it and underneath it is his full name in a frame. Next to that we have Axels and our 3 year old Williams hands done in clay. I also have a couple pieces of jewelry that I always wear that have his name engraved on them.

What hospital did you deliver at? What hospital did you reside at? Do you recommend it? Any favorite doctors or nurses to recommend? What insurance? Sharp or Scripps etc?

Delivered and stayed at Sharp Mary Birch. I highly recommend this hospital, they were great, very sweet and most importantly very understanding. We had a couple of nurses who were so amazing and went above and beyond with some of the things they did. Two of them made us cards, took pictures of our baby, made beautiful signs with his name and picture on it and different stats. We still have all of that. Rose Bloomberg, Sharps family counselor, was also amazing and so helpful. One of the nurses name was Marcy Vanwagone. Our insurance was United Health care.

Anything else to share?

"Very truly I tell you, you will weep and mourn while the world rejoices. You will grieve, but your grief will turn to joy." John 16:20

San Diego Fall Mini's | Beach, Park, Downtown, Christmas Tree & Promos!

Happy Almost Fall!!

So many good things coming up, my Friends! There's Fall Minis at the Park, Beach and Christmas Tree Mini's and most importantly National Chocolate Milkshake Day, haha, I mean for REAL!! Friends, these sessions are not limited to families! Couples and individuals are WELcome to take up these promotions! READ ON for the Early Booking Promo goodness & Referral Gifts! 

I have a few exciting things for you to take advantage of this Month! First off, I, for the first time ever, am offering an Early Booking Promo for Fall Minis! These are 30 Minutes instead of 20, including two extra digitals and $30 off when you book by September 16, priced at $199! You can select your date post securing the promotion! {After the 16th they are 20 min, and 5 digitals for $189}.

I will have Fall Mini's in the Park, Beach, Downtown as well as at the Christmas Tree Farm! Availability is listed below. {I have more availability mid week in the AM as well. PM me if you're interested!} These book FAST, so don't hesitate to secure your Session!

Saturday Sept 15, 2018: 8:30AM, 8:50AM, 9:30AM, 9:50AM, 10:10AM, 10:40AM, 11:00AM @ MARIAN BEAR PARK
Sunday Sept 16, 2018: 10;00AM, 10:20AM, 10:40AM, 11:00AM
 @ HOTEL DEL
Saturday Oct 20, 2018: 8:30AM, 8:50AM, 10:10AM, 10:20AM, 10:40AM @ BALBOA PARK
Sunday Oct 21, 2018: 8:30AM, 8:50AM, 9:30AM, 9:50AM
WINDANDSEA BEACH
Saturday Oct 27, 2018: 8:30AM, 10:15AM, 10:40AM @ TBD
Sunday Oct 28, 2018: 8:30AM, 8:50AM, 9:15AM, 9:40AM, 10:00AM @ BLOCK SURROUNDING DOWNTOWN LIBRARY

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Here are the dates for the Christmas Tree Farm, it would be SO great if you were to plan on getting your Tree during the session making it that much more genuine! {4 day turnaround on these!}

Sunday Dec 1, 2018: 8AM, 8:45AM, 9:30AM & 10:15AM
Saturday Dec 2, 2018: 8AM, 8:45AM, 9:30AM & 10:15AM

{ALL SESSIONS ARE GUARANTEED A 4-7 DAY TURNAROUND!} 

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Random Tid Bits....

  1. If you know someone who's gone through it to get pregnant or has had a journey to motherhood that would share to hopefully help others in the trail, please let me know as I have an on-going project regarding! 
  2. WHO DOESN'T LIKE TO SAVE?! - I rarely do promotions but there are always a few ways you're able to save in Booking your Session! If you don't book but REFERa friend, they use your name, and Book a Session with me using your name, you will get a $15 Starbucks Card as a thank you! If you SCHEDULE ON A TUESDAY, you will get 10% off. If you're active MILITARY, you always get 15% off, I'm so thankful for your service. If you refer a WEDDING that books, you will get a Gift from me, from Parcel and Bloom, if you don't want a percentage off your future Session! 
  3. If you want to drive to Big Bear for a Session, I have availibility October 13 at Sunset and October 14 in the earlier AM! 
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I am SUUUPPER excited for another Fall/Winter Season in Sunny San Diego! As you know, I photograph Weddings throughout the year, but will never stop making time for my Families! You are VERY important to me, I appreciate you!

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If you have any questions regarding dates, times, promotions or simply just want to drop me a note, please contact me, I would love to hear from you! 

Love & Light, 

 Photo of our Family by the Beautiful Brianne Bell Photography in Bellingham Washington! 

Photo of our Family by the Beautiful Brianne Bell Photography in Bellingham Washington! 

Coffee Shop Family Session | The Grounds Bean Bar

Ummmm can we do more of these Sessions!? I often give the clients freedom to choose the location of their session....I LOVED doing this at The Grounds Bean Bar! It was a NORmal place you could take your kids. It was a NORmal experience that caused NATural reactions. Going to a coffee shop is a treat, so the kids were extra excited :) Dogs often come in and there are so many fun things to watch, so you get all different characteristics captured, and it was just the BEST! Seriously, who else wants to do this?! Or the Children's Museum?! Or on a Boat?! Let's switch it up friends, you'll be SO happy you did! 

The Venue at Eastlake | Art & Kiu Highlights

So THIS couple! They love hard, the are crafty & HAPPY. They compliment one another. It's been such a fun journey capturing their Wedding Story from their civil ceremony to their wedding on Saturday! I met Kiu through my husband, as they shared a class at Mesa! SO fun to finally work with someone who knows my Mr :) He's quite introverted, so this was special! Their day was flawless, and full of joy, which made my heart so happy as that was my prayer for them! I hope you enjoy this little teaser!

Balboa Park Engagement | Garrett & Ashli

"I'm awkward in front of the camera." 

"I'm going to need help and direction." 

"Help, what should I wear?!" 

"We hate photos, so we're going to need help!" 

HIII GUYS! I'm Katherine, and I am HERE for you :) I get this from about 90% of my clients and I am SOO happy to say it's my speciality to work with those who are less comfortable in front of the camera. I've also worked in retail as a stylist, so even though my style is less than fashionable I'm able to assist when you're totally at a loss of what to wear for your special occasion! Doing this for 15 years plus, I'm very aware at the need of verbal direction, so I guide you every step of the way. The lifestyle poses are set up to then become natural, if that makes sense! Garrett and Ashli were some of those that said they aren't the most natural in front of the camera but GUYS!!! LOOK at them! They are SO beautiful and I think they look so visibly in love. If there are every any questions or hesitations, I think it's so important to talk to your potential Wedding Photographer on the phone to see if you connect. Ask about experience. Ask what you're really unsure of, and they should be happy to answer or it will be a good indication to find someone else. I'm already booking for 2019, so contact me if you're still on the hunt for a Wedding Photographer! I'd love to work with you if we seem like we're a good fit! 

Goodbye House | Personal | Saying Goodbye and Starting Anew

There’s something about leaving a home when you’ve experienced loss within it. This place. This little 400 plus square foot apartment has become such a safe haven. A place where I hold my most intimate moments. A place where I’ve become more introverted than I ever thought possible. A place where I’ve found comfort and rest. A place of mourning and a place for celebration. We said goodbye to our second baby in this home. And we welcomed our third (first living) here as well. We faced the reality of loosing our third for just shy of 4 months, here. Right on the couch which is where I stayed, day and occasional night, praying she would grow just one more day. Just me more often than not, me and this place, and all my thoughts. It’s a time I still don’t think I’ve come to grips with. I don’t know if I ever will. This place. We’ve turned it into a home. Even though it’s just a tiny building and not worth what we’ve paid, Ive loved picking things out for it, putting it together, making it comfortable and quaint. The perfect mix of cottage eclectic and costal. Here we are with our almost 10 month old, ready for more space and I’m struggling to say goodbye. So silly, I know but this place we truly made a home unlike any place, since WA, 10 years ago. Praying there will not be a hat trick of losses in the next place and hopeful for nothing but more happy moments of raising our daughter together, and friends and family visiting. Goodbye sweet home. May you bless the ones who enter you in the future as you have us.

Balboa Engagement Session | Grant and Melissa

These two! Working with them has been a dream. Their engagement session was PRIStine at beautiful Balboa Park, during Sunset! There is no denying their love for one-another! I can't wait to show you their Wedding Highlights and Video from their videographer! SO much goodness! Oh and did you check out Melissa's ring?! WAY to go Grant :) 

Camp Pendleton Military Homecoming | Dylan & Lauren

This military homecoming was a very special honor for me to photograph! I've asked Lauren to share a little bit their story, this is one you don't want to skip over. It also touches on the the deployment life. So kick back and have a read! My beautiful Blog guest, Lauren, thank you for sharing with us! 

Dylan and I met on instagram - yep, you read that right! We spent a few weeks talking before I reluctantly agreed to dinner (can ya blame a girl?). I stood waiting at the restaurant we’d agreed to & the moment I heard the door close behind me, I turned around and I swear time stopped. I know, super cliche but so true. I knew that night that I was going to fall in love with this man. 

Fast forward and before we could believe it, deployment was upon us. I can’t speak for Dylan’s side of the experience, and the sacrifices our service members make are truly heroic. For me, though, deployment was a lot like holding my breath underwater. Deployments are scary, and knowing that he was in a combat zone amplified those fears tenfold. The moment he turned away from me and got on the bus to leave, I took a deep breath in, and it felt like I didn’t let it out for 211 days. You are constantly on edge, constantly worrying, constantly praying, hoping and wishing that he is safe and protected and okay, physically and emotionally. Sleep was hard, and my phone was glued to my side 24/7. I won’t bore you with the details, but time becomes a funny thing, both your enemy and your best friend - each minute that passes pulls you one minute further from the last time you saw your person and yet one minute closer to reuniting with them again.  

After seven long months, homecoming was upon us. I knew I wanted a photographer there so that I didn’t have to worry about capturing the moment myself, and after a few emails back and forth, I knew Katherine was our girl. She so patiently waited with me at the homecoming site for what seemed like FOREVER (thank you again for your patience, Katherine!). When the buses finally turned the corner, every fear and emotion I’d been holding back for 7 months came flooding through - I took a really deep breath, and finally let it out. 

There aren’t words to describe the first moment you see your person after so long apart, but I finally felt complete. My whole heart was back again, the pieces fell into place and the moments that I spent months dreaming about were, in reality, more than I ever could have imagined. And we will never, ever take a single moment together for granted.

San Diego Newborn Session | Nolan Peter

This Family. A special place in my heart. I captured Matt and Cynthia's Wedding last year and months ago their Newborn Session! What an absolute wonder. I just love capturing my clients from milestone to milestone no matter how joyous or difficult, it's quite the honor. This Session was real and relatable as I had just had my babe so we were exchanging thoughts on this rocker vs that one, or sympathizing how much sleep we don't get, or talking about the struggle that is nursing or keeping an outfit clean...ha. A very different session then the ones before, but so much more fun! I can't wait to watch this little grow up in such a love filled family! Here are just some of my favorites, I hope you enjoy! 

San Diego Mission Wedding | David and Naylynn

This beautiful couple! I met with them it seems forever ago! Then life took a different turn, they had to put their lives on hold to care for a family member. The most kind sacrifice. So when they contacted me again to capture their small ceremony I was overjoyed to do so! I'm not strict to 6 hour collections and above! Not everyone's wedding Is alike, so I love to cater to your day if I'm able! The ceremony, family, bride and groom captures were the most important to David and Naylynn so that's what I was there to capture! The first wedding of the year and it was beautiful, in a venue I've longed to photograph in! It was an overcast day but that didn't take away from the love and joy exchanged between these two! I hope you enjoy some of my favorite images from this intimate wedding! 

It’s Your Wedding Day. Treat Yourself. | Vendor Reccomendation

So you just got engaged! First of all, huge congrats, it’s a super exciting time. Second, I’m sure you are a tad bit stressed. There’s a lot ot plan and do for sure, but since you are reading this, you probably want to mitigate some of that stress. Smart. We’ve got your back for sure!

By this point, you have probably thought about where you want to get married, have booked a photographer, and a planner. Next things on your list? Hopefully hair and makeup, because to be honest this is wayyyyy more important than I think you realize. It’s the foundation for your day and can help set the mood. It’s worth the price to hire a professional for a sleuth of reasons.

Saves you time

I know you do your makeup everyday and you know your face, but makeup on your wedding day is an entirely different look. Having your hair and makeup done by a professional saves you time to do more important things, like create unforgettable memories with your gals while getting ready. Or to sip on that pineapple mimosa that you most definitely deserve. Having your hair and makeup done on your wedding day is totally worth it, since even though you know how to do your own makeup, the professional is going to be a lot faster. Your time is valuable, plus it’s not something you should worry about.

No stress allowed

Oh yeah, aside from having your hair and makeup professionally done saving you time, it also saves you stress. You don’t have to worry about if your makeup will look good in the photos or on your timing. You know that this is already taken care of and can just enjoy the experience as you should.

Flawless in every photo

Probably the most important part of getting your hair and makeup done professionally is knowing you will look flawless in every photo. Let’s be honest, you are spending a good portion of your wedding budget in the photography. With professionally done hair and makeup that are matched to you, you are actually setting yourself up for the best possible photos. You will feel so confident in yourself and that will show, I promise you. Plus, with good hair and makeup, your photographer won’t have to edit or photoshop, so let money spent by you!

You are worth it

I know that getting your hair and makeup professionally done is a luxury, but it’s your wedding day. You deserve to feel pampered. You deserve to have the best day of your life. You deserve to look back on these photos and remember every unforgettable moment in the best possible way. Trust me, you are worth it.

Xo,

Katelyn

P.S. If you need any help at all, please don’t hesitate to reach out! That’s what we do and girl we will hook you up. I promise you that.

Chula Vista Newborn Session | Baby Luca

Another throwback to last Fall! Due to my bedrest last year I was unable to capture Mary Beth's Maternity Session, but my associate Erin did in my stead! I was OVERjoyed when I was recovered enough post birth to capture sweet Luca's Newborn Session! The connections between these four were just precious. Sweet Elli was just smitten with her new baby brother, and even though it was too early for smiles, I could see him soaking up her cuddles! Mary Beth is one of the most amazing independent business owners, CEO and Founder of Workable Wealth! Her other hats are Wife and Mother, and boy from an outsiders perspective, she's killing it at all three! I loved this sweet in-home session, and I've been wanting to share for a while, so here are some of my favorites! I hope you enjoy and contact me if you're expecting and interested in one for your self! 

Windandsea Engagement Session | Chris and Jordan

Ok! I know I'm seriously behind and I photographed this AMAZing couple last year in the Winter but I just HAD to share it with you! Meet Chris and Jordan! Jordan, oh you guys, she's pretty much the most amazing human, the kind you want to be your friend forever and ever :) We met working at Anthropologie 6 or 7 years ago?! We hit it off and have stayed in touch over the years! We live a couple blocks from each-other and don't get together NEARLy enough, ha! When I had the absolute privilege of meeting Chris he was at my door as we carpooled, with a bunny in hand, for out new little girl :) That 20 minute drive was enough to know he is the absolute perfect fit for my friend! AH! Their sunset couldn't have been more perfect. It was SO fun. Photographing your friends is truly the BEST. I cannot wait to capture their Wedding in the Fall! AHH! OK! It's hard to narrow my favorites but here are just a few! Be sure to scroll to the end to se my FAVORite, FAVORite! Enjoy! 

San Diego Wedding Vendor Recommendations | Breezy Day Florals

Friends! 

As you saw in my last post I am featuring the Breezy Day Wedding Sisters, Courtney of Breezy Day Weddings, and now Heather of Breezy Day Florals! I mentioned in the post prior how incredible these women are not only in personality but in talent! If you're about to be wed or know someone who is, please pass these posts along! Who doesn't want a dream team present on their wedding day? Now you get to meet Heather, of Breezy Day Florals! I asked her some questions that I'm excited to share with you! 

When did you become a florist? 

I was looking for a way to make Breezy Day Weddings more than just coordination. I knew I wanted to be involved in the wedding industry in some way but after years in management I wanted a change in direction for my life. I had put together some small flower arrangements in mason jars for our first Bridal Bazaar and after brides kept coming up to us, asking us if we were florists, the bug was in my head. I knew nothing about flowers but I knew I enjoyed the experience of working with them, so I decided to spend some serious money to take a legitimate design course where I learned all of the ins and outs of floral design. After the first class I knew I was obsessed and went home and ordered a set of business cards, knowing this is what I was something I was going to persue.

What is your favorite part about being a Florist? 

I love that it’s more than just being creative. I get to use my extensive background in business and customer service. I love quiet time when it’s just me in the studio, hours slip away like they’re nothing when I’m designing. I love delivering the flowers to the event and hearing the oohs and awwws of the bride.

What are three reasons why future marrieds should hire a Florist? 

1.) flowers make people happy. You don’t need a ton of them, even if it’s just your bouquet, they really do have a way of giving the wedding more meaning. 2.) rely on professionals on your wedding day. The last thing anyone should be worried about on the wedding Day is who is doing what and fretting how things look. Trust a florist to bring your vision to life. People don’t understand how time consuming it can be to make a single bouquet, especially when you’ve never made one before. 3.) a good florist will help you pick the right flowers for your wedding. They should be able to tell you not only what is in season but what flowers work best in different scenarios, what need water, what are heartier, etc.

What have you found that people don't understand about the importance of a Florist? 

Florists can bring your wedding vision to life. Whether it be through flowers or candles or other decor. We add that extra umph to the wedding, even if it’s just some sprigs of greenery placed strategically throughout the room.

I know a lot of couples are very uninformed on how flowers are or can be an investment. How do you cater to budgets and or educate your clients on how flowers and beautiful arrangements at that, can very easily fit into their budget? 

Sticker shock is real. It’s usually the first time people buy large quantities of flowers in their life. First of all I never turn people away because of a small budget. I do have minimums for what I refer to as full service weddings but I don’t like the idea of turning someone away if they can’t afford $1800 when flowers aren’t their main priority. So we work together to create something that is still special but that will fit into their desired budget. It only gets difficult when people aren’t willing to make sacrifices but I believe there is always a way to have beautiful centerpieces without going broke.

What is your favorite thing about working with your sister? 

I truly believe she is the best coordination in the industry. She cares so much and works so hard, she treats every single person from the afterhour janitors to the bride with the utmost respect and genuine kindness. She is never not working or watching her couple to make sure they are happy. Its so pleasant to work with someone who has such a great attitude. I love watching her in charge of a room. I also love that we’re always there for each other. I can step in and help with coordination if needed and she can make deliveries for me if I need the extra help. It’s nice to have someone who you can trust 100% and know is just as invested as you are.

What is a random fun fact about you, you might not share much online? 

Hmmm.... I feel like I can be so boring but let’s see... I love baseball, the Beatles and going to Kenny Chesney concerts. I play trivia every week with my friends. I also love to travel but haven’t gotten to do much of it in recent years. And my dog, Rigby is my whole world.

What's been your favorite venue to work with in the greater San Diego area? 

Ohh that’s a tie between the Prado and the Thursday Club.

Is there anything else you want to share? 

I think at the end of the day, I just like making people happy and flowers are a great way to do that!!