Sweet Sixteen {Carlsbad Photographer – K1Speed}

Madelyn just had her “kinda”, “sorta” 16th birthday party in October! Her actual birthday is in April during spring break, and that’s when families travel or have other plans. So this year she wanted to have her birthday at the 1/2 year mark! Smart girl!

We headed to K1Speed in Carlsbad where she had a DJ, cupcakes, candy, and a trillion of her closest friends to help her celebrate! Unfortunately, no one wanted to race during the time I was there, but they did want to DANCE! That’s more my style!

Hope you had a great time at your party, Madelyn! Happy almost sweet 16th birthday to you!

Introducing Chief Petty Officer Heimuli {Coronado Family Photography}

I was a little more than thrilled when I was asked to photograph a pinning ceremony last month!  This recently promoted officer is one of the most humble men I’ve met, and it was a pure honor to document everything for him and his gorgeous family.  His wife told me about how at first he only wanted his immediate family there to pin him and celebrate his promotion, but when his parents, in-laws, and friends found out about it they immediately made plans to travel to San Diego!  I’m glad they didn’t let him play it down, and instead even went so far as to commission his own personal paparazzi!  I consider being able to be a part of these sort of life milestones as a giant perk of my job :)  Congratulations, Heimuli family!

At the Dogwash! {San Marcos Dogtopia}

What a way to cool off!  We just got back from Dogtopia who is holding their 3rd Annual Fundraiser towards Canine Companions for Independance! They are washing dogs until 2pm TODAY! The dog washes are $15 donation and 100% of the proceeds will go directly to CCI.

Stop by to join in on the silent auction and raffle – you can get a sneak peek of the giant dog smiles and goodies available below!   Sorry, I think I went a little overboard on my own dogs getting their baths!  You can see Roca peeking out from her washers near the end (I tried to hide so she wouldn’t bolt out of the tub when I was there), and Oreo stealing the spotlight at the very end!

Ask the Expert | Picking the Perfect Venue with Diana Romero!

We are so excited to announce our newest blog feature “Ask the Expert”!  Wedding coordinators are absolutely incredible and multi-talented, so we are asking them what it takes to make your Wedding Day go off without a hitch!  Every month we’ll be featuring a new wedding coordinator and a specific topic when it comes to planning a wedding.

This month we’re featuring Diana Romero of At Your Side PlanningDiana is not only an experienced coordinator, she is also an experienced bride who tied the knot in August!  We asked this recent bride & coordinator her secrets when picking a great venue that meets the couples style and budget. Here’s what she had to say:

1. Each wedding is so different, where do you look for inspiration in creating a unique style for your clients? 

- I look for inspiration everywhere. I find the most inspiration when traveling.

2. What was your inspiration for your wedding?

- My inspiration was traveling to Hawaii and seeing a perfect venue and a perfect sunset.

3. Once a bride and groom figure out their needs and style, how should they go about finding a venue?

- Finding the perfect venue takes time! The venue will really depend on the client’s taste and style. From that, I know how to refer to venues.

4. What type of questions should they ask when touring the space?

- There are many questions to ask while touring a site such as if the venue has multiple weddings per day, the amount of set up time, the service charge, extra fees such as cake cutting, if there is a room onsite for bride to get ready in, meal amount for kids and vendors, rules, noise ordinances, and many other questions that are vital to know for the wedding day.

5. How many spaces do you recommend your clients see before choosing the location?

- I recommend choosing to visit at least three. 

6. Do you have any pointers on narrowing down the right venue?

- Depending on what is important to a couple, that would be what to focus on. 

7. How did you pick yours?

- For me, the breath taking view and impeccable customer service of a high end venue were really important. I would rather spend more and feel assured and confident in the venue and staff than save money.

8. We know that for most brides and grooms the bulk of the budget goes to food, drink and reception. Do you have any tips on cutting costs at the venue?

- To cut the cost at the venue, I suggest limiting the amount of the bar hosted. I also suggest getting cake for less amount of guests…there is always cake left at the end of every reception!

9. Any suggestions on what the bride and groom should splurge on?

- I suggest if the couple is going to splurge, to splurge on the food itself!

Thank you Diana for your input on finding the perfect location!  We loved hearing from you!


Chantung 1st birthday

Another little monkey just turned 1 this month!  You might recognize this family from their gorgeous wedding and newborn images that I have done in the past years.  I love photographing couples’ weddings and then watching their family start and grow!

We had another ridiculously fun and lovely session with this little cherub with the many faces.  I just love love love all of her expressions!  Alana had so much fun playing with rocks, running around the park, and smashing her cupcake for us!  Dad pulled out his smart phone halfway through the session to show us how Alana LOVES to rock out to her favorite song “What I am” by Will I Am – Sesame Street (click the link! It is so catchy!). And how adorable is that pink teddy bear she was dancing with?

Happy First Birthday Alana!