Posts tagged best portrait photographer
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

Blue Hour Photography

San Diego Portrait Photographer

Blue Hour Photography for weddings, Engagements, and Family Portraits in San Diego

Somedays, I get to feel like Picasso and although, I wouldn’t compare myself to him and his Blue Period, I do love painting my subjects with the tiny sliver of time that begins just after Sunset. Blue Hour has been a favorite of mine for quite sometime. Right after the sun sets, nature instantly responds and the whole environment changes. The breeze picks up, trees start to whisper goodnight, birds seem to stop singing, and the tide lashes the shore a little harder. During this time, the bright reds and oranges begin to reverse on the spectrum and beautiful purples and blues begin to develop. This blue color, which isn’t visible to the human eye at any other time of the day, will begin to brighten up and glow across your skin. If taken properly with the camera, the results can be spectacular and a wonderful addition to your Sunset Portraits.

Do you remember watching the eclipse back in 2017? Blue Hour Photography is not quite as that dramatic but it does have a unique feel that can only be experienced once per day.

Two of my favorite places to do this is on the beach in La Jolla, Ca and also out in the desert. Blue Hour Photography is beginning to gain popularity and I have been seeing increased inquiries asking for some of this beautiful color to add to their wall art.

Here are a few pictures for you to look at and see what you think! Maybe you would like to add Blue Hour to your Sunset Session here in San Diego with me?! 

Blue Hour Portrait of a woman in black dress
Blue Hour Portrait of a woman in black dress looking into camera
Blue Hour Portrait of a woman in the desert standing in water
Blue Hour and Sunset Portrait of a woman in black dress in a dry lake bed
Sunset slash Blue Hour Portrait of a woman in black dress
Blue Hour Portrait of a woman in black dress from San Diego Photographer
Sunset Portrait of a young woman from San Diego Photographer
Blue Hour Photography Portrait of a young woman
Blue Hour Photography of a woman in black dress in the desert
Blue Hour Photographer

Okay…last one I promise…

Have you taken pictures in a remote place? What’s the craziest location, you have been in?

With lots of love and good vibes,

Heather

XOXO

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 Wedding

San Diego Wedding Photography

Recently, I was overjoyed to have been found by a wonderful couple from out of town. I knew as soon as I heard their voices over the phone that they would be awesome to work with! Destination Weddings are becoming more and more popular, especially here in San Diego and Southern California. For several years, soon-to-be newlyweds have been upping the game. Elopements are taking couples and wedding photographers to new locations and requiring adventurous journeys to get there.

The first time we met we both traveled to Palm Springs where we took beautiful engagement photos during an Engagement Session in the desert. It was really hot but we managed to get quite a bit of the Session finished before we hit 100 degrees and called it a day. A few months later, their wedding brought us back to the same location and we were able to explore something a bit more rocky and cooler in Palm Springs. This city is such an amazing place to be married and capture both engagement and wedding photos. Within a small area, you have desert, sand dunes, mountains, and meadows.

We started the day at a wonderful venue in a Catholic Church that was extremely accommodating. It was gorgeous and had Old Spanish Mission vibes. It is such a unique little church in the middle of downtown Palm Springs. After that, we packed into some cars and headed a few blocks to the couples portrait session location. We piled on some warm clothes, grabbed the Photography Permit for the top of Mt. San Jacinto and headed towards the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway. We had quite a bit of snow and the largest crowd ever to deal with so we only managed to grab a few photos in our time frame, but I will say, they were perfection and I can’t wait to get back to the mountain! Here are some photos from their wonderful, blessed day!

The reception was held a short drive away in a little town next Palm Springs. The Venue continued on with the old Spanish Vibes. If you’re looking for a great Wedding or Reception Venue, check out this beautiful spot in Indian Wells.

...and as you’ll learn, I’m definitely obsessed with wedding cake! Tell me your favorite kind of cake in the comments section!? Mine is this vanilla soaked cake from Freed’s Bakery in Las Vegas!

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

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