Posts tagged ocean beach
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!

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!

 

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