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 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 (