• Your Wedding is about one thing…

    documenting priceless moments in yours and your families lives, that years from now will remind everyone of the most important thing in this world...... LOVE

I have to admit, Mike and Aly’s Mt. Woodson castle wedding offered a wonderful romantic simplicity to the day. The happy couple’s love shown for one another throughout the entire day; and despite a few minor wedding day hiccups, the couple proved the day was about the marriage, and not just the wedding. Even the slight chill in the air wasn’t enough to diminish the positive energy bursting from friends, family, and the happy couple.

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The two initially met one another through the dating website Plenty of Fish. Mike waited until Aly’s 28th birthday to pop the question; planning the entire event out in advance with the staff. While at the Del Mar races, along with plenty of her friends; Mike convinced the group the event coordinator wanted to take a picture of everyone in the paddock. Then amongst their friends and various spectators for the races, he presented her with an empty box of Cheerio’s (an inside joke for the couple). Aly turned around to thank him and was shocked to find him down on bended knee.

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Doing their best to follow their own wedding planning advice, Mike and Aly worked hard to enjoy every detail of the planning together; from the delicious desserts provided by the couple to the amazing floral arrangements by Marie Despres. The flowing strapless bridal gown fit Aly like a glove, and the Mt. Woodson castle offered the ideal backdrop. Keeping with the more laidback vibe; the groom, best man, and groomsmen opted to go without jackets.

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Mt. Woodson castle was the perfect location for their wedding. It offered a romantic backdrop with close to a hundred years of history. The 12,000 square foot home was created by the artistic visionary Amy Strong.

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As Aly made her way up the cobblestone path to the front of the immaculate home, the moment of her dreams finally came true as the bride and groom recounted their vows and declarations of love to one another.

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Aly & Mike, You are a magical couple whose love shows to all those around you. Thank you for the amazing opportunity to document your first moments as husband and wife and I hope you continue to live life to the fullest.

  • Abigail Cox - Beautiful beautiful beautiful!!ReplyCancel

  • Amber - What beautiful pictures. I love the fact that you put the couples story along with them. It makes them more personal and special.ReplyCancel

  • Jane - Wow wow wow! These pictures are magical! I’ll be contacting you soon for my wedding coming up. You’re so talented!ReplyCancel

  • Kerry - Such beautiful pictures!! I think the ones with the little girls are my favorite. They are adorable and the one with the little girl helping the bride put her shoe on is so precious!ReplyCancel

  • Tiffany - You have such a great talent! Gorgeous pictures!! I’m sure they were quite happy with the results!ReplyCancel

  • Angela - Love the mix of black and white along with the color. The pictures have such great backgrounds, what a magical place to get married!ReplyCancel

prepare for your engagement photos San Diego Wedding Photographer San Diego Engagement Photographer09

Engagement photos are meant to commemorate the start of a new chapter in a couple’s lives; and to get a chance to get comfortable in front of the camera (and your photographer) before your wedding day. The images are to showcase the love and chemistry the couple has for one another. After all, when you think about it, it is the reason they are getting married. Before you start stressing yourself out on what to do and how to prepare, keep these 6 helpful tips in mind to ensure a great engagement session.

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1.  Plan Your Outfits Ahead

Always prepare what you want to wear in advance. This will help to prevent you from clashing with your partner on the day of the shoot. If you feel unsure about what to wear, talk with your photographer. Wedding photographers are great at knowing what outfits will work for a specific location.

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2.  Educate Yourself                                                

You don’t have to be a full on expert about engagement photos on the day of your shoot. However, you should have some idea of what type of photos you prefer. Although I will be there to help you out, make sure to mention any styles or poses you want completed in your engagement session. (If you need any inspiration, check out a few engagement photo sessions from my blog.)

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3.  Wear Something Comfortable

Although you want to look nice in your photos, NEVER wear something that doesn’t portray who you are. Otherwise, you will feel awkward and uncomfortable; and in turn, it will show in your photos. What you wear can also limit what type of restrictions you will have in your photos. For example, if you’re dress or skirt is short, it can limit entire sections of poses where you are required to sit down.

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4.  Talk with Your Wedding Photographer

Always make sure both you and your wedding photographer (hopefully me) are on the same page BEFORE the day of your engagement photo shoot. Poses don’t have to be predetermined, but locations and styles can impact the way your photos will turn out. If you have a certain vision in mind, discuss it. However, once the actual engagement photo shoot begins, you need to switch roles; let your photographer work their magic, and just relax, sit back, and let them take the reins.

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5.  Don’t Be Afraid to Say No

It doesn’t matter if it is to your partner or your photographer; if you don’t like something, or if an idea makes you uncomfortable, speak up. Always make sure you do what you want done in your photos. However, it is also important to try and keep an open mind; sometimes when you are willing to push out of your usual comfort zone, you can create an amazing image you wouldn’t have had otherwise.

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6.  Be Yourself!

I cannot stress this enough. The only way to truly capture the unique bond a couple has together is when you ignore the camera. Although you still need to take directions from your photographer, you can still add your own personal touches to everything from poses to what’s going on around you.

 

Engagement photography shoots are meant to be an enjoyable experience. Unfortunately, it can be hard when you’re not prepared (or if you’re not used to being in front of the camera); but by utilizing these 6 helpful tips, you can help de-stress your day and create memories that will last a lifetime. No matter where your location is or what type of style you choose; remember the most important thing to keep in mind is to HAVE FUN.

With its amazing scenery and fun atmosphere; in my opinion, their special day couldn’t have had a better location (or weather). Although the two met through Jack’s sister, and almost nine years later Jack proposed to Crystal while tailgating at a baseball game; it was only natural for the two to choose a beach style wedding with the happy couple both being big fans of the ocean. The intimate ceremony took place in Carlsbad, CA and followed with a reception at Levyland Estate.

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With the bride in white, the groom in shorts, and a colorful rose arrangement; the ocean views offered a romantic setting to rival their laid back inspired wedding. The beautiful lacy dress was found at The White Flower dress boutique, and Crystal knew right away it was the perfect dress for her. Not only was the material ideal for her outdoor wedding, but it fit like a glove.

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Jack and Crystal married under a floral and tulle decorated canopy with plenty of close friends and family. Although pictures were taken throughout both the ceremony and at the reception, it didn’t end there. The newlyweds also arranged for a photography session to coincide the coastlines and flower fields, with an incredible sunset backdrop, to create the perfect romantic ambiance.

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San Diego Wedding Photographer salvation mountain brandonheathphotoPregnancy is an amazing time; and whether you are having your first or your fifth child, capturing this amazing journey on film is a great way to keep the memory alive forever. Therefore, it probably comes as no surprise I was delighted when Christian and Sergio Villegas asked me to participate in their once-in-lifetime photo opportunity.

 

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Although the dad-to-be plays an important role, mommy and her baby bump tend to be the real stars of the photoshoot. Christian and Sergio were in their 25th week of pregnancy when their photo session was held at Salvation Mountain. They couldn’t have picked a more perfect time for taking their maternity photos. I personally recommend having your maternity shoot sometime between 24 and 29 weeks. This is due to mommy not being too far along to where she is constantly feeling uncomfortable; but yet still far enough along to show off a great baby bump.

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Christian and Sergio used the occasion to showcase how blessed they feel to be on their amazing parenthood journey, but they were also able to use their apparel to reveal their baby’s gender. Their carefree attitude was easy to catch; you can see how much they were just taking it all in and enjoying the moment. The entire session was filled with love, laughter, and plenty of great pictures; and I couldn’t have asked for a better day.

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Like many others, Christian and Sergio chose to customize their maternity shoot with a few great props. To further their baby boy blue themed shoot, they topped off the photoshoot with an adorable pair of blue crocheted baby converse sneakers and baby blocks. However, there are plenty of ways to make your photos one of a kind.

From a remarkable location to amazing props, what did you use to make your maternity photos unique?