Mighty Love: Brooke’s Maternity Session

March 2nd, 2015

The experience of becoming a mother can be described, but never accurately. There is a love that is created that is beyond words, an expansion that seems uncontainable at times, a heart that feels as if it might burst. It is a love that is boundless, forever growing, without comparison. When a mother welcomes a second child into her body, it can be difficult to imagine how her heart can possibly grown large enough to contain such a love for two. Will she love her second child as much as her first? Will her first child be loved less to make room? And then she feels the first flutter of her baby, she sees the first image of her on the ultrasound screen, she gives her a name, and then she remembers. Love is not finite. It is limitless. A mother’s love is not only contained in her heart. It is in her blood, her cells, every fiber of her being, and beyond. Her love does not have to be shared because it knows no bounds.

I had the honor of photographing my friend Brooke and her family during this beautiful and brief moment of their lives. This family of three will soon welcome a new baby named Reece into their embrace, a sister for Quinn, another daughter for Brooke and Toon. Part joyful celebration and part tender connection, this session captures the limitless love that already surrounds Reece. Your family cannot wait to meet you, baby girl.

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Shelby & Kevin’s Best Day Ever at Bates Nut Farm

February 9th, 2015

A sign greeted their guest with a list of dates that marked the progression of their love story: “11/07–We Met,” “2/08–Fell in Love,” “1/03/15–Mr. & Mrs.”  What’s impossible to put on any list, though, is the moments in between, the smaller but equally important milestones that are difficult to sum up in a few words: Kevin becoming a part of Shelby’s family and like a son to Shelby’s father, Shelby’s support of Kevin on his journey to become a Navy Seal, Kevin being a rock of support for Shelby through family illnesses. It’s the long road they’ve traveled together, over seven years filled with many joys and a few struggles, that brought Shelby & Kevin to their wedding day at Bates Nut Farm.

Shelby and Kevin’s journey began when they met as high school students; they shared a love of the water and the outdoors in general. He drove a lifted truck, which Shelby’s protective older sisters weren’t too keen on. But when Shelby got Kevin a job where she and her sister also worked, Kevin started to prove himself as a loyal and dedicated young man. Shelby & Kevin both came from loving families but had very different stories. Kevin’s mother Tori was a single-mom for most of Kevin’s life, while Shelby’s parents Janie & Mike had been married for decades. Shelby’s dad took Kevin under his wing. They became like family.

Not all grooms allow themselves to become emotional during their wedding ceremony. In Kevin’s line of work as a Seal, where he is regularly tasked with great challenges under extreme stress, he no doubt has to hold back his emotions. But with Shelby, there is no holding back for Kevin. There is no holding back for either of them. The intensity and depth with which they love each other is evident in every moment, every touch, each gaze. Their bond runs deep. And now officially, they are family.

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Shelby & Kevin, thank you so much for allowing me to photograph the culmination of your love story, your wedding, your Best Day Ever. Shelby, it means so much to me to have been able to see you as a beautiful bride, so filled with love, excitement, and laughter. Kevin, I wish a safe deployment for you and your team. It was clear on your wedding day that that no one could treasure Shelby more than you. I know it will be a challenge for you both to be apart, but your special bond will keep your hearts connected even thousands of miles away. Best wishes to you both on a joyous and loving marriage.

Vendors:
Venue: Bates Nut Farm / Coordination: Tammy Coleman of Maggie Tyler Events / Hair & Makeup: King Cardoza Studio /Catering: New Life Culinary Creations / Flowers : Anna’s Flowers / Cake & Cupcakes: Jenns Cake Couture  / Videographer: Garvin Ha / Assistant Photographer: Sheri Berg

Chelsey & Brenden’s Warm Winter Wedding at Pine Hills Lodge

January 26th, 2015

I met Chelsey & Brenden two years ago when I had the pleasure of photographing their engagement session. Chelsey had recently applied to nursing school, and was anxiously waiting on her admission status so she and Brenden could begin to plan their wedding. They weren’t sure exactly when they would become husband and wife, but they knew they did indeed want to spend their lives together. Their engagement session holds a special place in my heart because it was the first session I photographed after the birth of my baby. Our original date had to be moved because the roads were blocked to Julian, the quaint town where both their engagement session and wedding took place. A new date was set and the planets must have all aligned that day because the roads were clear and a blanket of perfect white snow covered the town and surrounding landscape. I remember the playful exchanges between them, the way Brenden tenderly helped Chelsey through the icy streets, and the warm embraces amidst the chilly air.

Two years later, it was clear their bond had grown even deeper. It was in each interaction, each touch, each smile and gaze. It was in Brenden’s redirection of all attention to Chelsey; it was in Chelsey’s tears of joy as she saw him the first time in her wedding gown. It was the longing in their eyes during their ceremony and their eager anticipation to become husband and wife. In the speeches from their family and friends, there was laughter, life, delight, and so much raw emotion celebrating their love. It was clear to each wedding guest, Chelsey and Brenden fit together like a hand and glove.

They planned every detail of their wedding themselves and executed each one beautifully. They created a magical day for themselves, their family and friends in the woods of Julian at the gorgeous Pine Hills Lodge. And they did it all together. It was an intimate and tender celebration that represented them utterly and completely. It was perfect.

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Chelsey & Brenden, thank you for the honor of photographing the perfect celebration of your love and the start to your incredible marriage. I know as the days grown long and the years pass by, your bond will only deepen.   Cheers to a life of love, warmth, and winter adventures.

Vendors:
Venue: Pine Hills Lodge / DJ: ENV Productions, Inc. / Cake: Swedish Royal Bakery / Hair: Nicole Klemetsrud / Makeup Artist: Elizabeth Root / Dress: Allure Bridals / Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Ann Taylor Loft / Assistant Photographer: Sheri Berg

Just One Look: Shelby & Kevin at Bates Nut Farm

January 5th, 2015

This is a very special wedding, for so many reasons. One of which is that beautiful Shelby is my former student. I can’t wait to share her and Kevin’s story with you.

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See more previews on my Facebook page.

Aimee & Family’s Sweet & Tender Session

January 1st, 2015

One small consolation of the holidays coming to an end, is that I can now happily share some photos from this year’s holiday sessions. First up is one of my favorite San Diego photographers,  Aimee, and her beautiful family. You can find Aimee’s work over at The Hearts Haven. Besides being an extraordinary artist, Aimee is stylish to boot and a fellow mom. I loved spending time with her and watching her beautiful family interact. Here are some of my favorites.

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