Posts in Tips
What To Wear: San Diego Beach Photography

Summer Beach Photography Tips

What will photograph best with your professional photographer on the beach can be slightly different from your own Summer Selfies. Here is a short list of style tips for you to consider, whether you are having professional portraits taken or you do them yourself!

Summer can be narrowed down to a few choice words like Freedom, Sun, and Fun! This is the time to show that wanderlusting carefree Americana spirit! Here are a few styles and props that I find work best and can easily be incorporated into your Summer Photos:

  • Bikini or 1 Piece? This completely depends on your body type. Wear what feels the most comfortable and looks great on you. Feel like you have wide hips? Well, I promise, you’re the only one who cares about that but choose something that compliments that part of your body! Body jewelry adds dimension and interest to your photographs and is also v IG/Snap worthy.

  • Cover-ups can be used in your photos and also taken off. Adding accessories like hats, sunnies, statement earrings, and things like lollipops compliment your swimsuit well!

  • Your shoes will be getting wet and dirty at some point this Summer but don’t give up on them! Nice sandals as opposed to flip-flops can polish off any look!

  • Pick your accessories wisely! Too much can be well, too much! Pool Floaties, Beach Balls, Snow Cones, Pineapples, Coconuts, Mojitos, Sea Shells, and so many other things can be included and will give a great variety of shots!

At the end of the day, your don’t want to be overwhelmed, so just choose a few items that you love, and hit the beach with your friends or your pro beach photographer and soak up that Vitamin Sea!

What To Wear for Your Summer Beach Photography

If you want more ideas on what to wear for non-body exposing Portrait Session or photo shoot, head on over to my Summer Style Guide.

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This Summer Fashion Session had lots of well placed accessories!

Poolside or Beachside, inquire about “Feel Beautiful” Portrait Sessions for you or your Brand!

What To Wear: San Diego Family Portraits

San Diego Portrait and Family Photographer

Summer + Fall Family Photography

It’s humid. It’s hot outside. Like Death Valley hot when you don’t have an A/C in San Diego. Yes, I’m being a little dramatic. And if this Summer is anything like last Summer here in SoCal then I deserve to whine about it just a little bit. Other times it gets chilly in the mornings and evenings, so what then?

But photography-wise, fear not! Here are some cool wardrobe tips for you and your family in order to make sure your Summer Portrait Session is lit, er, I mean, ice cold:

  • Try to wear light-weight fabrics that let your body breath, but still look polished. It’s definitely okay to show some skin, too. Shorts work for those blessed in the leg department and thin maxi wraps are a favorite of mine. Linen will wrinkle and doesn’t travel well, so try to avoid it!

  • Ride the Summer accessory wave. I’m talking sunnies and hats for you ladies and gents and personal fans are nothing to be embarrassed about.

  • Bring summer-appropriate props. You can even use them to compliment your wardrobe. Summer is a time to let loose and have fun! Maybe it’s a beach ball, a pool floatie, a lollipop, a popsicle, or messy ice cream cone. The colder, the better.

  • Select shoes that are comfy and give Summer vibes. Flip flops are my personal fave but open-toed anything, and even barefoot on the beach is the best!

Here are a few ideas for hot Summers and cooler Falls on individual outfits that coordinate well together!

First, I’ll start with Mama, as I recommend beginning by selecting a choice and color that feels the most comfortable and building the rest of the outfits from there.

What To Wear Ideas for Mom | San Diego, CA

Here are a few What To Wear options for Dad too: I know it’s hot in the Summer and nice shorts and a button up will look perfect! Great Fitting Jeans and button up Dress Shirts in the Fall are what I recommend the most!

What To Wear for the masculine gender and non-genders in your Family Photos!

Next up, let’s take a look at how to dress your boys: You can go as easy or as complex as you like here, as toddlers look super cute in overalls or suspenders and bowties! If we are planning a Session on the Beach, barefoot is the way to go!

What To Wear for Family Photos for the Boys!

Last but not least, let’s consider the little girls in your life: Feel free to add fun stuff for them in layers. Such as a tutu and fairy wings over their main outfit!

What To Wear for girls in your family photos on the beach or inland!

These styles can all be mixed and matched and your color pallette can be nearly anything! They shouldn’t be too matchy matchy, they just need to go together. I never suggest prints right away but they can be done if worn properly! You might be wondering, why no prints? Large prints actually make you look larger in your photos. Small prints can also cause too much distraction against the landscape if not planned properly on my end.

Apart from clashing with the landscape they can also distract from your faces and your emotions that come through when your interacting with one another. But what if I love prints and have my heart set on a floral dress? We can make it work! Text over the choices you’re considering and I will find a way to make sure you look the best you can!

Here are some Summer related tips to consider when planning your Session, here.

I hope this helps! And until next time….

With Love and Light,

Heather

Tips: Summer Family Portraits

San Diego Family Photographer

After relocating from 5 plus years in the Desert, I’m always prepared for Summer, but are you? Here are ten tips to help make sure your Summer Portrait Session goes off without a hitch.

1. Dress appropriately. Summer means hot and humid weather, which can lead to sticky hair, sticky clothes, and sticky bodies. Choose breathable, lightweight fabrics that don't weigh you down. Breezy dresses work well for any location. As for shoes, sandals are a great option.

2. Think about head to toe details. If you are planning to be on the beach, you will be barefoot most of the time. When showing your toes, you’ll want to have manicured feet. They don’t have to be perfect, but a little attention to your toes, goes a long way. If it's a windy day, a hat or scarf can really keep things under control.

3. Extra consideration for your hair. If you or a family member's hair reacts to humidity in a negative way, go for a hairstyle that doesn’t leave you feeling insecure throughout the shoot. A simple braid can help keep your curls intact until we begin shooting. You can wear a headscarf as well to help keep frizz away as well. As the Session progresses, hair will eventually become the last of your worries, and we will get great shots even if it’s super windy or your hair goes fro.

4. Pack necessities. When packing for your Session, I recommend bringing the following: Plenty of water (more water than you think you need), a healthy snack such as almonds, a scarf to cover your shoulders and face, an umbrella or hat if needed for shade, face powder and lipstick for touch up. Please avoid sunscreen and any SPF products as they reflect light and will affect your photos. You won’t want to burn during your Session either, so your scarf or umbrella will help with this and we will take as many breaks as we can in the shade.

5. Be creative. Summer has so many seasonal activities that lend themselves to create fun and interesting photo sessions. For example, there's the San Diego County Fair, Summer markets, San Diego Zoo, festivals, outdoor events, farmers markets, San Diego Night Market, and plenty more. I’m more than excited to create your photos in front of the ferris wheel, riding a carousel, or browsing the farmers market.

6. Don't Overheat. If this year is anything like last year, we are in for a heat wave. Sometimes it's hard to move a muscle when the sun is scorching outside, but no matter what mother nature throws our way, we're going to have an amazing shoot. We'll spend all the time we can in the shade, dash into some A/C when possible, and I will never push it. A hand spray bottle that has a fan can work miracles on a hot day. Throw some ice in it and it is truly amazing.

I once had a two hour Session near Palm Springs in 124 degree weather and that didn’t include humidity which was extremely high. We took breaks every two minutes and ice water was our best friend. I’ve been through extreme weather and will help you prepare for any condition.

7. Incorporate Props. The outdoors during the Summer is not only the time to soak up that Vitamin D, it also works for enjoying a few Summertime props into your shoot. Visually striking treats and goodies such as lollipops, ice cream cones, cotton candy, hot dogs, funnel cakes, ice pops, sparklers, and, well you get the picture. These delicious treats can be used towards the end of the shoot, so that are more free to mess up your makeup and wardrobe a little bit.

8. Consider the Crowds. Summertime, especially in San Diego, lends to large Summer crowds at the beach and around town. More remote beaches work wonderfully to avoid a huge crowd. Also some neighborhoods and parks have markets and festivals, that draw in huge crowds. Don’t worry too much though because your photographer will be able to help you navigate and find your best options to consider.

9. Book Early. Personally, I get many families who book their Summer Sessions 3-6 or even 12 months in advance. Weekends go first and so do Sunset Sessions. If you plan early enough, you can get your ideal location and time and even have time to plan out more fun and adventurous sessions. More and more National Parks are requiring permit lotteries and longer wait times. So, with proper planning, you won’t be let down when a permit can no longer be attained.

And last but not least…

10. Try to Avoid Weekends. Weekends are the busiest. It usually isn’t as fun doing a Session on the weekend because parking can be a pain in the you know what and the crowds are at their peak. Even inland, people are out and about everywhere. Last year, the lines never seemed to let up! Now, while Summer is great for Mojitos on the rooftop patio, it isn’t ideal for carrying a heavy child on your hip and keeping your eyeliner in place while fighting the crowds. Weekdays are ideal for your Session and more areas will be accessible as opposed to special events on the weekends. What if it can’t be avoided? That’s okay, we’ll make it work!

Now that you know what to wear, let's look at coordinating suggestions here.

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I hope this helps with your next Photography Session here in San Diego or anywhere in the heat for that matter!

With lots of love and good vibes,

Heather

XOXO

Choosing a Location | San Diego Family Portraits

San Diego Family Photographer

I’m constantly changing from one scene to the next to get those perfect portraits with my clients. So I know that in a city like San Diego it can be pretty overwhelming to decide on that “perfect” location. Well, here comes the best news, you’ve heard in awhile, well, at least in the last 5 minutes… It’s actually so much easier to narrow down that perfect photography location than you might think!

Imagine this...It’s almost time for your session. You’re trying to decide on a location. Beach, park, mountains, desert, urban spaces, indoor studio? What do you do? Luckily, I’m here to help you narrow down your choices pretty quickly. I do this every day, so I’m able to help you pick a location you won’t regret, and we go from there. But what if you don’t have me to help guide you? This quick post, should help give you some insight on how to find that perfect option.

My personal photography style follows natural light, during the day its bright and light. During that time, we can get those bright and airy photos, some of you are looking for. Closer to Sunset, I get that beautiful golden color melt all over you, like a chocolate-dipped strawberry (yumm). And just after Sunset, I take advantage of the lingering light to tell a story that feels like we’re letting everyone in on a little secret.

There are so many options in San Diego and Southern California. Here are some things you’ll want to think about:

1. Keep in mind the décor of your home.

Your home is sacred space. It’s where you feel comfortable and safe. In the end, it represents you. Your style. Your tastes. You would probably never get dressed, let alone have a photoshoot, in colors or style that you hate. The same goes for location and wardrobe.

Ask yourself, in the end, would you want a canvas on your wall of a family you barely recognize? Probably not. So you’ll want to make sure your outfits and locations match the décor/style of your home because, and here’s the thing, you want your portraits to represent you but you will also need to coordinate the colors with the walls and style of your house so that they don’t clash.

Concerned as to what the heck I’m talking about here? That’s ok! I help break down your options and steer you in the right direction!

2. Don’t forget about Studio Portraits.

They typically look better in modern homes unless you put them in vintage style frames to make them fit in more. More often than not, Studios are passed over for outdoor portraits as we are located in a beautiful city with great weather all year-round. But the takeaway here is, if you have a more modern home, studio photos may be your best option.

3. Having a Lifestyle Session done inside your home.

Lifestyle Sessions with Newborns in particular, tend to be the ideal situation for most new Mothers. I mean, you just had a baby for crying out loud and I’m betting you haven’t washed your hair in a week. Am I right? Travelling with a Newborn is hard enough, let alone getting yourself to the car. So what if you don’t have a Newborn? This Session is still extremely popular not only for the convenience, but also because when you look back on your photos, the story it tells is about this time in your life - which includes your beautiful home.

I will come to your house and take photos of your family in your own natural environment. These are beautiful and will look great in your house because, well, they match perfectly! I get to capture your family being themselves in the comfort of your home. How easy is that? Naturally you’re able to show your personalities much easier and we will choose locations that you spend the most time in.


I hope this helps you to consider how important location choice is for your next Photography Session in San Diego. I have plenty of tips and ideas to help you narrow down potential choices so that you won’t feel overwhelmed!

Take a quick look at some videos I made for photography locations around San Diego.

With lots of love and good vibes,

Heather

XOXO

MAKEUP Tips To Be Photo Ready

Makeup Tips From a Photographer

With so many Youtube Tutorials these days, many are opting to do their own makeup for their Photography Session. For some, hair and makeup can be easy. While for others, you may be currently suffering from anxiety at even the thought of this kind of responsibility. The following lists and advice will help you to be photo ready for any Type of Photography Session.

For your typical Portrait, Wedding, Family, or Engagement Session, you will want to have a natural look. Save the glitter, gloss, and special colors for Fashion Sessions. Even a smoky eye can be a bit too much for most Portrait Sessions, however, your photographer is there to help advise you. Here are a few tips that I wanted to share to help put you at ease to do your own makeup or make the decision to hire a MakeUp Artist, aka MUA. 

First of all, I’ll begin with the biggest things that could go wrong and how you can avoid it:

1. Your Foundation doesn’t match your skin color. This can be easily discovered by asking a friend. Have your friend take a look outside in the daylight. If you need advanced help, go into a friendly place like Sephora or MAC and ask for their advice. You can even get a foundation sample to make sure you like it. If you decide to hire an experienced MUA they will be able to match your skin perfectly but this is also something that you may be already doing well or can easily fix with a little effort.

2. Not being prepared for Flash Photography. When your photographer may be using artificial light, there are a couple things that you want to be prepared for. Avoid using light reflecting products such as SPF products, including moisturizers, highlighters, and other products with glitter. These products reflect light and in the case of using moisturizer and foundations with SPF, it can and will make your face appear shades lighter than the rest of your body. 

3. Contouring. Kim Kardashian made this famous for a reason. It does make you look better in photos. When done properly, this will definitely enhance your natural beauty and the look of your photos. If you don’t feel comfortable with this technique, there are many tutorials on YouTube that will assist you in the technique that best fits your face shape. There isn’t a particular way for this to particularly go wrong when it comes to editing, post-session, except when it isn’t applied to enhance your natural features properly. If you need one-on-one help with this, there are free makeup lessons available at Sephora on contouring. You can also get makeup lessons from MakeUp Artists, if you would like to learn how to do this for the long-term. 

Now that you know a few of the most important things to be aware of, let’s discuss general information and options to have your makeup perfect for your typical photography session.  

1. Your makeup should be HEAVY. Natural but HEAVY. If you think it’s heavy enough, it’s probably not. Despite, popular belief, it takes a lot of time post-session to Photoshop out imperfections on your skin. One single photo can typically take up to an hour. So, to have your makeup heavy (thick) is actually at the top of my list of importance. Think about how heavy makeup is on stage for plays or on TV sets. *Keep it natural but heavy*

2. Bold lips. If you decide on a bold lip and you should definitely bring this up to your photographer, make sure that it is lined perfectly. If it doesn’t have a sharp edge, it will be noticeable in your pictures.  

3. Have your makeup fit your wardrobe. If you have a bold wardrobe then you’ll want a more simple look and the same goes for a bold makeup look. You’ll want a wardrobe that fits and doesn’t look like it was “too much”.  

When you break it down, these tips are actually pretty easy to follow but are also important so that you have the best results during your Portrait Session. If this seems to be too much for you and you have the budget to hire a MUA, then you have a couple options for that as well.

1. Ask your photographer for recommendations. Typically an experienced photographer knows how to spot an experienced MUA and can provide you the best options for your particular style and the style of your Session.  

2. You can book a MakeUp Artist at a department store, Sephora, or MAC. This will give you free options as well as options for free with a makeup purchase.

3. Book a Makeup Artist from a Salon or a Freelance Artist. They may do hair as well or work closely with someone who does.  

4. Your photographer may include the service with certain sessions, so make sure to ask.  

Well, there you have it! These are the biggest makeup tips that I think you should consider before your Session. If you have ever booked a Photography Session with me here in San Diego or Las Vegas, then you will have received my Style Guide which outlines all of these tips and more. In all honesty, you can roll out of bed with no makeup and hair and I can still make you look good, so don’t stress over this. When I began in the fashion industry, hours and hours were invested into photo shoots before the camera was even turned on. Now, while your Session isn’t quite as involved as a huge marketing campaign, the more effort you put into your shoot, the better the outcome!

 

How To: Best Wedding Photos

Wedding Photo Tips From A Photographer

Yesterday, I was on the search for a specific photo in my archives. As I was navigating through my hard drive (I need to seriously clean it up btw), I couldn’t help but go through and see some of my photos that I took at a lovely wedding from almost a year ago.

As with most weddings, there’s usually one person in the wedding party that just can’t seem to keep their eyes open or look at the camera while everyone else is, despite all of the photographer tricks you pull out. This wedding in particular, happened to have a particular bridesmaid that was literally off in la la land the entire time (take me with you next time please). As I’m scrolling through each, one (forehead smack) by one (forehead smack) by one (ow that hurt) I realize that she literally has zero clue where to look. I understand that this can be quite confusing to people - as a photographer is getting the important photos, so is everyone else, which can lead to confusion. That’s when I decided I should write a post about how to up your Wedding Photo Game. Wedding pictures aren’t just for the bride (mostly though), but their wedding party and guests should be to create some great photos for them and look good while doing it (:

Here’s a list of tips to be the raddest wedding guest or wedding party member and to get the best photos possible throughout the day: 

1. I know it’s all about the bride, but make sure your outfit, makeup, and hair look great. It’s not everyday you get all dressed up and have a professional photographer around. Take advantage of it -and also, it’s fun!

2. If you can, try to get some decent video for the bride and groom so that they can share it right away on social media. Having some snaps and stories to see of themselves the next morning is half the fun! (Make sure they look good before you post!) The official camera crew has their hands full with the expensive cameras that yield the best results, so don’t be afraid to get some epic footage to send to the Couple right away!

3. When the photographer is in front of you snapping photos, give them your best looks that you’ve been practicing with all those selfies you’ve been taking. Practicing in the mirror (guilty here) is nothing to be ashamed of. Turning an ordinary moment into a fashion shoot is never looked down upon by a photographer - We love it! and you’re going to love the results!

4. If it’s super important for Uncle Joe -the designated family photographer (you know who I’m talking about) to get a photo with everyone looking at his camera, he will say “hold up” whenever the photographer finishes up, so don’t worry too much about it and focus on the expensive camera for the first few moments and then someone will let you know when to turn to Uncle Joe.

5. Sip at the open bar. If you want to go full on Burning Man, wait until after the newly-wedded couples first dance. Buzzed eyes will definitely show in photos and you’ll want to look your best for the bulk of the formal photos. So, wait to go heavy on the booze until later in the night!

6. Last but not least, don’t be afraid to go big when the photographer is around. You won’t look like an idiot taking the electric slide to the next level, you will look like you were having fun! Epic shots show how much fun everyone had during the reception. Don’t worry about what other people might think. As long as you’re not photo-bombing every single picture, just go for it!

Well, there you have it. These are a few of my best tips on how to be an awesome wedding guest! If you have any more thoughts or tips from a wedding you’ve attended, leave them in the comments section!