Posts tagged San Diego
Beach Photography | San Diego Portraits

La Jolla Beach Photography By San Diego Photographer

I would definitely say this San Diego Portrait Session is way overdue to be written about, but hey, better late than never! Being a San Diego Family Portrait Photographer, I take on these “Feel Beautiful” Sessions less often and I love every minute of it!

This time we found ourselves in La Jolla on the beach during this magical afternoon. Luckily, we had the beach mostly to ourselves in the middle of Winter and this fabulous young woman let go, and we captured some beautiful portraits!

We had 2 different looks and about 5 million Oscar-worthy photos. I don’t have models for these Sessions…they are just average ladies, like yourself, who want to have a memory of this time in their life! Cause I mean, we’re not getting any younger, are we? I only wish I could go back to my 17 year-old self and tell her how gorgeous she is and to stop thinking anything else! For these Portrait Sessions, I have a few tricks and prompts up my sleeve to get “normal” and some more artsy results from your Portrait Session.

The beach, anywhere is San Diego, tends to be my preferred spot as it always has one look. I never have to worry about grass and plants being in bloom or not and Sunset on the coast, is truly like no other, even on cloudy days.

Anywhere that you can find a long flat beach in San Diego, really is a great location because you are able to play with and/or in the water a little bit without being clobbered by the waves. It also gives you great options to be able take some great overhead shots on the beach as well! Torrey Pines is definitely my favorite area but does require a photography permit and an escort, so I really prefer to shoot at this location just South of there in La Jolla!

Take a look at a few of my favorite portraits from this Sunset Beach Portrait Session..

I honestly can’t decide which are my favorites! I love all of them for different reasons!

For More INFO on my “Feel Beautiful” Portrait Session, head here!

You can find this amazing young lady on IG: @_trace_sea

Well, until next time…

Love and Good Vibes,

Heather

Top Photography Locations | San Diego

Best Photography Locations in San Diego

1. Scripps Beach in La Jolla

2. Ocean Beach Tide Pools

3. Balboa Park

4. Sunset Cliffs

5. Torrey Pines

There are definitely several outdoor family and engagement locations in San Diego I would recommend for a Family Portrait Session and some others for an Engagement Photography Session. As I was thinking about this topic over a span of several weeks and how I would end up narrowing now locations for this post, I decided the best choice was to keep it simple.

Now, while I could name about 20 picture perfect locations off of the top of my head, I decided to choose these based on ease of access, the most background options for one location, lack of permits needed by photographers, and overall scenic value.

  1. Scripps Beach in La Jolla | This includes the Scripps Memorial Pier as well.

    A favorite location by many photographers and families, this location has a long, flat, and clean beach which makes it perfect for larger groups and super easy for children to run around and play. A paid parking lot is available during the weekends. During the week, parking can be found all the way up the hill and along the neighborhoods. If it’s super packed then you can park a little south at La Jolla Beach and walk along the water to the Pier (takes about 10 minutes at a medium pace). Since we have had so much rain this year, there are some gorgeous flowers along the parking lot that also make for a great photo op. If you’re lucky, you will see a few hummingbirds! There is a lifeguard station here as well.

    One of the great things about this location is that there are so many photo opportunities in one small area. You have the beach, the pier, a concrete wall, lots of rocks and usually some rad seaweed, and amazing cliffs that rival the South of France. One other thing I forgot to mention is that Caroline’s Seaside Cafe overlooks everything and is just a few steps from the sand. From here you can have lunch, grab a coffee, or get some ice water. The only thing that makes me sad is that it closes at 3pm. If they were open late, they would be packed!

The flat beach makes the perfect setup for getting plenty of easy waves to play with.

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2. The next place on the top of my list is Ocean Beach. There are several locations along the coast of Ocean Beach and Sunset Cliffs that make a perfect location for Portrait Sessions of any size. The diverse coast is what makes it so great. 

This location is perfect for couples and small families. There are tide pools, small cliffs, and tiny, private and personal beaches.

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3. Next up on my list is a little farther from the beach. Balboa Park is a few minutes from Downtown San Diego. Along with the architecture, the phenomenal museums, and the zoo, comes a nearly endless landscape of greenery and architecture. Beautiful fig and willow trees are amongst the the rose and cactus gardens. For more unique backdrops, you can pay a small fee to enter and photograph at the Japanese Friendship Garden.

This is one of my favorite locations for family and engagement sessions.

Here are some videos of great locations inside Balboa Park.. Video #1 and Video #2 ( Small Cactus Garden).

4. Sunset Cliffs is extremely close to location #2 Ocean Beach but offers another vibe all together. Currently, as of Summer 2019, extensive repairs are lending a new and improved landscape to Sunset Cliffs. However, there are still some exceptional views that can be found within a small hike. Seclusion is a bit hard to come by anywhere in San Diego, but there are still a few secret places that most don’t venture to or know about.

5. Torrey Pines is actually my favorite location and a special permit is required to photograph here. Luckily, I know a great place that is just as beautiful and falls just outside of special permitting but is nearby. Of course LNT practices should always be used no matter where you photograph, but especially in more sensitive habitats.

In this location are beautiful cliffs, the beach, and incredible slot canyons.

There are a few more locations that didn’t quite make the top 5 list but are still beautiful and great choices.

If you’re interested in something a bit more unique such as Lavender or Flower fields take a look here.

With lots of love and good vibes,

Heather

XOXO

Family Photography Session

San Diego Family Photographer

Family Portrait Session

While I love family photography at the beach! I also love exploring and heading off to adventurous locations and having your family portrait session in a place that fits your family. These lovely little humans with Mama and Papa are avid climbers and low-key ninjas that can travel straight up a cliff before I can even get my camera on!

For this Family Session we travelled to their natural habitat and took a combination of formal portraits and lifestyle photographs. I remember this day was extremely bright and also the sky was extremely gorgeous. It was the bluest of blues, and prompted me to tell them a story about how one day a couple years ago, I was driving along and noticed the sky was an incredible shade of deep blue. It reminded me of a story my Mother told me, about how blue the sky was when she was growing up and how different it looks now. Well, I was thinking this must be the blue she was talking about! So, I went on with my day and didn’t think anything else of it. A couple months later I happened onto an online article about a atmospheric storm that had happened over India a couple months back, and I found it really interesting. Several hours after I should have been asleep, I had found that what caused the extremely blue sky that day was the geomagnetic storm over India! WOW….How cool was that! Anyhow, I told them this story and about how we may be having a geomagnetic storm somewhere and then we kinda left it at that.

(I’ll get back to more on that later)

Before, I get anymore sidetracked, please take a look at these recent photos from our Family Portrait Session!

One of the best things about being a family photographer is that I get to hang out with kids all day! In the photo above, they found some fossils and told me all about them!

 

(back to the blue sky story)

So, a couple weeks after our family session, my curiosity got the best of me and I googled “recent geomagnetic storms” and sure enough there had been a huge burst that was heading our way from the Sun and had reached Earth early that morning before the Session! How amazing is that?

(…okay, I’ll get back to the family)

There are some family’s that you meet and you just can’t forget them! It’s like wonderful souls finding each other and you know that someone you’ll always stay connected. I hope I get to see them again next year for another family session!

The desert is definitely an interesting environment and one that you should definitely consider if you and your family likes to hike and travel to some truly amazing locations in the Southwest.

In the picture above, it was the only shade we could find to squeeze into. And, they still rocked it!

Whether you’re looking for a formal or lifestyle family session, I got you covered. If you only need Children’s Portraits, I got you covered there too! If you’re not looking to book yet, scroll all the way down and Subscribe to keep in touch!

Engagement Photography

San Diego Engagement Photography

Well I tried.. but I just couldn’t manage to let so many of these outdoor engagement portraits taken at La Jolla beach in San Diego, go without seeing the light of day!

Romantic and Lifestyle Engagement Portraits are my favorite thing right after we get all of the formals out of the way. I wanted to share a few more pictures from this Engagement Photography Session that I’m madly in love with that show lots of movement and make me lovesick just looking at them.

I love having plenty of formals and artsy formals to print and hang around the house but I also love to have some beautiful, natural, and raw moments that are captured in your favorite outdoor location, while the two of you are just being yourselves! These are moments that don’t have to make the family album if you don’t want to share them. They are goofy, funny, or sexy moments, that are typically shared just between the two of you!

When you look back at this time in your life, I want your Engagement Session to represent this time in your life and tell a story of who you were as a couple. I want to see your personality come across in each portrait. I want to see that young love come across to someone who’s never met you.

So with no further ado, Take a look at some more photos from this La Jolla Engagement Photography Session:

Of course, this wasn’t the only photography location. About 30 minutes before this beach session, we were at a wonderful and secret location that had so many wild flowers it was incredible! Here are some additional portraits with the flowers that I wanted to make sure you were able to see! They make me feel like I’m in France!

If you happened to miss the rest of this Engagement Session, check it out here.

In the meantime, if you’re thinking about hiring a photographer in or around San Diego, then you should definitely reach out and at least get on my email list to stay in touch, or add me on Instagram!

Until next time!

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

Courthouse Wedding in San Diego

San Diego Courthouse Weddings

Courthouse Wedding Photographer

This Small Courthouse Wedding turned into an Intimate Wedding with a few friends and family there to witness the joining of these love birds in holy matrimony! It’s definitely the way to go to celebrate an easy and fun Courthouse Wedding Day in Downtown San Diego!

“All you need is love” is so true! I’m constantly reminded, how important Love truly is, with each and every couple that I have the pleasure to meet. Somehow I have managed to meet the most beautiful and loving couples that are truly the best people. You know, those people you are referring to whenever you say, there are still good people out there? Not only did this couple show me what true love is but so did their amazing group of close family and friends!

These soon-to-be newlyweds met me over coffee and that’s when their story unfolded for the first time. Having been through so much in their lives, they found each other and knew pretty quickly that it was the real deal!

There are so many different ways to celebrate non-traditional marriages these days. How do you know which is right for you? The main thing that I believe it comes down to, is asking yourself, what is the most important thing to you on your Wedding Day? I’ll go more into that here..

Just because you may be having a quick wedding, doesn’t mean that you have to go solo at it (or should i say as a duet). And it definitely doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t have some beautiful wedding photography to remember your day by. It’s just as special as big wedding with 300 on the guest list! In fact, I believe it’s even the more special because it’s a day that’s literally just about the two of you!

An outdoor wedding for your San Diego Civil Marriage Ceremony at the San Diego County Administration Center with a Harbor front view is a beautiful location that is perfect for your family and friends to join in on.

You have two options: indoor or outdoor wedding. If I can stress one thing, do the outdoor ceremony. I don’t care if there is rain, June Gloom, snow, wind, or white walkers are on their way. The indoor location Doesn’t compare to the outdoor one, there is no question that crazy weather would be worth it. Your friends and family can stand together and watch the two of you officially start your lives together, the photographer is able to get some beautiful photos, and then you have time to have your first portraits together as a married couple in a beautiful and historical location!

One bit of advice: Don’t forget your marriage license!

Check out the photo story of their intimate elopement here:

Wedding Day Photography in San Diego by Heather Broomhall Photography
Wedding Photographer captures bride in San Diego Harbor
Bridal Portraits in San Diego Harbor
Wedding Photographer captures a bouquet in San Diego
Fine Art Wedding Photographer in San Diego

We had a nothing less than a perfect first look and portrait session at this beautiful location!

Wedding Photography in San Diego
Wedding Photographer captures a couple in San Diego
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Civil Wedding in San Diego

We had planned out this amazing photo op of the rest of their family running to join them after their first look but as you can see here one of the dogs decided to mark a column on the way..

Finally, they are on their way!

Wedding Photography in San Diego
Wedding Photography in San Diego

Here are some beautiful feet haha

Wedding Photographer captures details in San Diego

The County Building is a pretty shade of pink and couldn’t feel any less mid-century.

Courthouse Wedding in San Diego
San Diego Courthouse Weddings outdoors
San Diego Courthouse Wedding

You can’t be next to the Harbor without getting some beautiful pictures along the water!

San Diego Fine Art Photographer Weddings
San Diego Fine Art Photography

beautiful cocktails and a wonderful atmosphere at Coasterra furthered the celebration just after saying “i do”..

Fine Art Weddings in San Diego California
Fine Art Weddings in San Diego

He finally got cheeky and decided to run off with his bride!

Fine Art Weddings in San Diego
Fine Art Wedding Photographer in San Diego

Warmest Wishes and keep your wonderful fire alive!

To find out more information about how to obtain a Marriage License in San Diego head over to the San Diego County Clerk Administration.

For Marriage License Info in English go here. And in Espanol you’ll go here. And download an application here.

To make direct Appointment for your ceremony and/or marriage license, you can head here. You have the option to make an Appointment online for Marriage Licenses, Indoor or Outdoor Ceremonies.

For more information on the different locations, options, and hours you’ll need this link.

If you would like to request a Marriage License Keepsake issued by the County, here is where you will do it.

You can even have a friend or family member apply to be a Deputy Marriage Commissioner For A Day!

And, last but not least, here is what the city offers: Public Marriage Licenses, Confidential Marriage Licenses (does not require a witness), and Civil Marriage Ceremonies.

You can call or email the San Diego County County Clerk Office: Phone: (619) 236-3771 and E-mail: arcc.fgg@sdcounty.ca.gov

The address to the main office is: 1600 Pacific Highway, Suite 103, San Diego, CA 92101

Outdoor Family Photography | San Diego

San Diego Outdoor Family Photographer

Family Photography in San Diego is best taken advantage of in the beautiful outdoors! One of my favorite things that having so many years of experience behind the lens allows me to do, is go back and forth during the week between Weddings and Portraits. It’s so special to me to be able to follow my family’s from their engagement portraits to their wedding day on to their maternity, then their newborn lifestyle sessions, and then I get to see the families grow and the children get bigger and bigger.

We become a sort of family and I learn exactly how to make their experience better and get them what I know they will want. This wasn’t something I was able to do when I first started out all those years ago.

I think it’s pretty great that I’m able to experience everything from a first kiss as a married couple to baby’s first steps and before you know it, the babies are running around and I’m chasing them getting in some fun candid photos.  

Recently, I was able to find not only an amazing family that had so much love bursting at the seams but one that shared with me a wonderful experience in so many ways. Mama was raising some happy and truly awesome kids and we decided that their Family Portraits would be perfect on a farm. Not any farm...this farm had animals. It’s called Forever and Always Farm. Tucked away in the hills outside of Murrieta is a wonderful family that runs a wonderful farm. There were several new baby lambs due at the end of January and so we scheduled our day and crossed our fingers! There were six baby lambs that were just a couple of days old when we arrived and we were lucky enough to get a short break from the rain! Thank You sun Gods!

Not only were the baby lambs as precious as you can imagine, but there were some awesome Alpacas, plenty of chickens, mama lambs, and a loyal dog to keep them all in order. The kids had never met these animals before and it was so exciting to be able to pet them and watch them play together. Check out the Venue here.

Take a look at some of the fun we had at this farm outside of San Diego

I wanted to play around a little with this first portrait and add some film scratches. I think it turned out great! It reminds me of being back in the 90’s growing up.

Child Portrait with baby lamb in San Diego
Girl with Baby Lamb taking Family Portraits in San Diego
Two Baby Lambs at San Diego Farm
Forever and Always Farm Display

It turns out one of the baby lambs had white eyes which is rare!  You can see it pretty clearly in the first and second pictures - and in the following photo its the lamb on the right.

Family Portrait of Child in San Diego
Lifestyle Child Portrait with two baby lambs in San Diego

The cutest baby boy with rosy little cheeks!

Family Portrait Location in San Diego on a Farm
Child in Family Portraits in San Diego
Baby Lamb at Forever and Always Farm near San Diego
Family Portraits in San Diego
Childrens Portraits in San Diego
Child Photographer in San Diego

Definitely the cutest kids ever! Make sure to include suspenders if you can ;)

For Animal and Flower Farm Family Portrait Sessions, Spring is best but there are plenty of great opportunities to take advantage of year round. 

Check out Forever & Always Farm for Wedding and Family Portrait Bookings if you’re in Southern California!  

 
Wreck The Dress Photographer

San Diego Wedding Photographer

My San Diego Wreck The Dress Sessions have come to be my favorite part as a Wedding Photographer!

They take place well after all the stress of the Wedding Day is over but just before the Honeymoon Glow has faded. It gives you, the still excited former bride, the chance to throw that beautiful dress back on and have some fun with it! These Wreck The Dress Sessions are pure fun and excitement. By now, you are a pro in front of the lens and you are fully enjoying the moment, feeling silly in your wedding gown and dancing around like one of those music box ballerinas you had as a little child.

Being a photographer on the Coast in San Diego, tends to attract former brides to beach locations where we can slowly get that dress wet and jump around in the water like a 4 year-old! As the sun sets, we get some more creative shots and are able to roll around in the shallow water. During the Spring, we get lots of flowers in the area and during the Winter, we are able to head out to Mt. Laguna and get some fun pictures in the snow. 

This San Diego Wedding / Wreck The Dress was the very first one I did upon moving to San Diego. Actually, it was my very first professional beach photography session ever in California. I was slightly nervous at first but realized, it’s one of the easiest locations and best spent not using an on camera flash. Natural lighting in these following portraits, along with her beautiful-self, of course, is what made each and every part of this golden hour so magical! This is now my favorite shoot of all time! Have a look! 

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Wreck The Dress Portraits are a fun and great addition to your Wedding Albums and at least one Print should end up on your wall! 

What’s your dream location for your Wreck The Dress...anywhere in the World?  Let me know in the comments!

Lots of Love and Good Vibes,

Heather XOXO

 

 

Newborn Photography Questions

San Diego Lifestyle Newborn Photographer

Newborn Photography Sessions are a beautiful thing. Especially from a newborn lifestyle photographer.

Having a newborn baby is such a life-changing moment that it will make you realize your true capacity for love. Time is fleeting and they grow up so quickly. Naturally, recording those first few days entering this world is something you want, but how do you go about finding a photographer? How do you prepare for a Portrait Session with your newborn & family when the last thing you feel yourself, is pretty? Many of you have found this post because you are trying to find answers to some of the common and not so common questions you may have about your Newborn Picture needs. Here is some useful information that will hopefully answer most of your questions when you are considering hiring a photographer!

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Newborn Photography Sessions should be scheduled within the first 10 days of life. There are several reasons for this, so it’s important that unless you have unplanned circumstances involving the baby’s health that you schedule your Newborn Photos within that 10 day window. Newborn Sessions can be done after 10 days but many photographers may decline booking a Session after those 10 days, so if this is a possibility, you should definitely ask your photographer what their policy is.

Typically, there are two options for the actual photos. One option is a Studio Session where your baby will be posed. You can travel to a studio or many photographers will come to you and setup everything in your home. Babies are usually placed in an arranged setup that more often than not include a basket of some kind. You will also get shots of them posed on pillows. They may be wrapped or naked, but usually both. (Think Anne Geddes). The next option you have is a Lifestyle Session. This will be a Session held in your home and will include your family interacting with your new baby. 

One of the biggest concerns I hear from new Mama’s is that they are worried about someone coming over after their newborn has just come home and while their home is a mess and they aren’t feeling confident or pretty. If that is something that has crossed your mind, I want you to know that your photographer is not judging you. We have all been there and guess what? You just had a baby! You literally pushed a new human being into this world a few days ago. You are going to be tired, sleep deprived, you may have not even had a shower in days, your home might even smell like days-old trash! I promise you, these things are nothing to stress over and totally normal. No one expects you to be Super Woman at all times! No respectable photographer is going to go around telling stories about your messy home. You should be proud of your family and feel beautiful because I promise, you are beautiful, and you’re the only one that may not see that right now. Years down the road you will be so grateful you stopped worrying and took the photos.

Some photographers offer Portrait Packages that include Newborn Sessions. They may also offer Fresh 48 Sessions and Maternity Photography

Here are a few photos from a recent Newborn Photography Session here in San Diego in my preferred method - Lifestyle Photography!

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Details and skin imperfections can be fixed in Photoshop or be kept natural with minimal fixes to preserve the authentic story. One of my favorite things about Lifestyle Sessions is that they are raw and authentic. It portrays your family as you are and in a way that shows your love and careful attention to your new baby.

If you have any additional questions you would like to ask, leave them in the comment section below! 

Portrait Photography Session | San Diego

San Diego Portrait Photographer

Portrait Session in San Diego

Outdoor Portrait Photography Sessions like this are always so much fun! Everything is styled and perfectly planned (on my end), to help you achieve the best Portrait Sessions that you can! San Diego is also a great place for unique outdoor sessions all year long as well as great boutiques to find and style some great outfits. Prepping for the Session is half the fun! Before we dive straight into the amazing photos from the shoot, I want to share a little something…

I am writing today because I want to share a little secret with everyone. You are beautiful. Yes, you. We may not always feel like we are, but we are a dang miracle of beauty. For all of you adults out there, think about a newborn baby, (maybe even your baby) and how precious each little finger and toe is. Each part made up of tiny cells of carbon-based molecules. - those smiles, and those cute little sounds they make. *Sigh*. Then we grow up and our idea of beautiful changes, as does our bodies and skin, but here’s the secret, “We are still beautiful”.

Feeling beautiful can be quite a Journey for some and relatively easy for others. No matter where you are in life, there is something special about being pampered with a makeover, styling, and a having a fun day - just celebrating the beautiful, you.

Photography Portrait Session in San Diego

Here are a few photos from a recent Feel Beautiful Portrait Session. We decided on a new location in the San Diego Area as I am constantly on the lookout for something different and inspiring. We settled at a Park just East of Del Mar and La Jolla. It was beautiful and green due to the recent rains. It still had a bit of a Fall look though -we are after all still in the desert. I am working on some Portrait and Engagement Sessions around San Diego in the mountains and at the beach that I can’t wait to share in the coming weeks but for now, here are some beautiful pictures to look at. 

Artistic Portrait Photographer in San Diego
Outdoor Portraits in San Diego Location
San Diego Artistic Photography
San Diego Portrait and Branding Session
San Diego Portrait Session
Portrait Photography in San Diego
San Diego Portrait Photographer
Portrait Photography in San Diego

It turned out to be the perfect Valentine’s Day Gift! And a special thank you to @trace_sea for letting me share some of her beautiful pictures to hopefully inspire you to let go and find yourself in your own Portrait Photography Session!

If you could have a portrait session anywhere, where would it be? Tell me in the comments tab!

*Please keep in mind that all photos are copyrighted and need proper attributions for any sharing.*

With lots of love and good vibes,

Heather

XOXO

San Diego Dance Photographer

San Diego Portrait Photographer

Dance Photography Session in San Diego

When I was growing up, all I wanted to do was dance. Ballet was where it was at for me and I spent hours by myself twirling in a dress. At that time, I remember I was three and was sure that I was going to be a Dancer and an Olympic Gymnast. Fast forward a few years and here I am smiling and clicking my camera away as I get to watch dancers with perfect form, perform just for me and my camera.

Recently, I had the opportunity to work with a beautiful young woman who wasn’t afraid to be herself and revisit a part of her childhood that she hadn’t visited in years. This is exactly what I want for my “Feel Beautiful” Portrait Sessions. I was determined to do something different for this Portrait Session and rather than have a typical portrait session for dancers on the beach here in San Diego, I wanted a unique location that required a bit of a travel journey and could provide a gorgeous backdrop! Styling was fairly simple as Valentine’s Day was coming up and since it involved ballet, a tutu of some sort seemed mandatory. Hair and makeup was natural and easy to accomplish. Here are a few dance pictures from the afternoon.

Initially, I had a vision of a beautiful mountain top location with peaks and an amazing sunset in the background but after walking upon this field I knew that a hike to the top wasn’t going to be needed. When i first laid eyes on it, I knew the dead bushes and grass would be a fascinating paradox to a beautiful, bold, and lively ballerina. The brown tones were the backdrop that I knew would enhance her outfit and not distract from her beautiful ballet moves. I was lucky enough to be able to use this location just northeast of San Diego in Poway, California. 

It was amazing that she hadn’t practiced or done any of these ballet moves in quite sometime and yet she managed to look like a pro and reconnect with that part of her past. It was so inspiring to see and imagine this grown young woman as a child dancing around on a stage with all the confidence and strength a young girl can have.

 

What other locations would you like to see me take ballet portraits at? 

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!

Engagement Photography | San Diego

San Diego Engagement Photographer

Engagement Session

Magic doesn’t even begin to describe this Fairytale Engagement Photography Session. We took in this Sunrise above the cloud line about 45 minutes from Downtown San Diego

 

Let me start from the beginning..

I met the beautiful bride for coffee (mostly for the coffee ;) ) 2 months prior to this Engagement Session. She wanted engagement pictures for Save The Date and her Wedding Website but wasn’t quite ready. She was just at the beginning of her wedding planning journey and the venue had barely been booked. Adding another Photography Session to the experience may seem like a lot but it’s actually way more fun than stressful!

When we planned the Session, I actually already had a vision in mind. I wanted something outdoors in nature and something over the top beautiful. I didn’t want to have a long night of hiking in advance so I wanted something that we could easily drive to. The Groom loves hiking so I knew this outdoor environment would be perfect for everyone as I want Engagement Sessions to reflect the couples personality.

We woke up in the middle of the night to get ready, brew some coffee, hit the dry shampoo, and jump on the road. Luckily it was around 3am when I jumped, (or more like dragged myself to the car half asleep) and since it had been raining for the past two days, there were literally no other cars on the road! I made the drive up the mountain in the fog and complete dark, racing to beat the sunrise. The weather had just passed through earlier that night and we didn’t know it yet, but we were left with the most beautiful cloud coverage and fog.

As a photographer, my main concern was that I hadn’t visited the outdoor locations prior and since it was still dark, I wasn’t really able to plan the exact locations and therefore I couldn’t visually plan each photo out before arriving and meeting the couple. I was somewhat winging it and rushing against the Sunrise which changes by the second -which was an adventure in itself! I am a visual person so I definitely know what I want out of the Session before I start shooting. Sometimes, I have imagined a vague outline of the Portrait Session and sometimes it is extremely specific...honestly it just really depends on the clients’ personalities as some prefer to plan out details and make sure everything they want is captured, and others just leave it entirely up to me. If I think I will get more out of the Session by letting them be themselves, then that’s what I do! It feels so natural to me to not only get some important posed photos that the couple will value but I also want to document your natural raw relationship, so I’m often very go-with-the-flow.

Here are a few of the first photos above the cloud line: 

It turned out to be an amazing Engagement Session and overall the most fun and beautiful experience ever! I did definitely re-learn the value of having some familiarity with the location whenever you are on a time crunch, such as the lighting during sunset or sunrise. In addition to that, if everyone goes into the adventure knowing that you have no plan and are just hiking around looking for rad trees and views, then you will definitely be in the same head space and will be able to capture amazing photos. So that’s definitely something to discuss with your photographer!

 I always recommend Engagement Photos for a few reasons: 

  1. Why not? It’s fun! You will remember this day long after your wedding day and will have photos and albums to sit down to show your children and tell them about mom and dad and how they met! And you will be able to show them that yes, Mom and Dad were once super fun :)

  2. You can trial your makeup, hair, wardrobe, and learn how they work and look being photographed.

  3. It’s fun and getting married is a Journey. This is a great time to have fun with your Fiancé with less pressure as you will have on your Wedding Day.

  4. Many times this is the first Photography Session with your partner and getting comfortable in front of the camera doesn’t happen overnight. If you feel like you need to work on anything before your Wedding Day, this is your chance!

  5. Save The Dates and Wedding Website photos are the best way to announce your beautiful relationship to the world!

  6. For many, your Wedding Day can be stressful and this allows you to be fully present at your session and get those natural lifestyle pictures that truly show your personalities.

  7. It allows you to get comfortable with your photographer and see how your photos turn out!

  8. It lets your photographer learn how to best work with you for future Photography Sessions so that we can make it much easier for you and give you a better experience.

 

Here we moved down the mountain and got right into the cloud line! 

Below the cloud line we were able to capture some wonderful photos with less artistic lighting

I hope reading about this engagement has helped you learn a little more about Engagement Sessions and insights into what your photographer is thinking and how important it is for me to curate your entire experience for an amazing wedding journey. 

The whole day and location was a complete adventure for me and a San Diego engagement that I will always remember!

xoxo

heather

San Diego Photographer

Family Photographer in San Diego and Beyond

From The Beginning…

Hi! I’m so happy that you have found me and my beautiful Muses featured on my site. I started blogging back in 2007 while I was in fashion school in Italy. I wanted to share my journey of applying to a foreign school and how to do it to help others (it took over a year to do all of the paperwork!). The response was so great that I kept on writing and telling my story through my journey, and many adventures - along with the challenges of studying in a foreign language and completely changing my life. It helped me to get some Press when I was studying in London at Central Saint Martins and then after 9 years I gave it up to just focus on photography. Now I am back and ready to share your Story of Love in a complimentary format.

I want to fill in those gaps between the shots and help others know what to expect in their Photographic Journey. I literally wake up everyday because I want people to feel beautiful, (and also because espresso gets me going). Photography, isn't just about taking a photograph, it's about finding yourself as well - even though you may not realize it yet! It's a Journey...and it's like they say, a photograph can say a thousand words - and they will! I hope these Stories will inspire you and help you connect with other beautiful souls who have invited me into their lives. I am so happy that I get to create beautiful images and experiences every. single. day.


A little about me…

I have a shameful addiction to espresso and if I could do anything, it would be to travel and photograph the world -oh wait, I'm already doing that! ;) I love storytelling in any form and I can knit a blanket allllmost as fast as your Grandmother. I travel back and forth between San Diego and las vegas as i feel both are my home now. I wake up everyday to serve my couples and families because they become my extended family. Life is so beautiful and precious and I want you to feel that beauty and celebrate those connections. Location, planning, and lots of love - everything comes together and I live to create magic so that you everyone can celebrate their narratives for years to come!