Anastacia & Garrison | Windansea Beach Engagement Session

AHHHHH, talk about a DREAM engagement session! When I suggested that Anastacia and Garrison get all dressed up to jump in the ocean, they were all for it! This gorgeous and adventurous couple braved the cold water to make make the most epic engagement session images ever! And it was indeed, quite cold. I love the laughter and shock on their faces when the waves finally reached them!

Garrison and Anastacia are two brilliantly fun and upbeat personalities who are both living the California dream! Garrison is an actor and a model and Anastacia is a dancer. I know, I know... how lucky am I to get to photograph such an incredible couple?!?! Windansea Beach in La Jolla was the perfect setting for this dreamy engagement session. Anastacia wore a gorgeous, flowy dress that caught the breeze beautifully, and Garrison was looking very Prince-Eric-esque is his blue pants and white button-up. Basically, everything was perfect. The weather was beautiful. The sunset was lovely. They were cuddly and cute. And I'm just a really, really, REALLY happy photographer!

Olivia & Oscar | Little Italy Engagement Session

Olivia and Oscar are hardworking, kindhearted, and stunningly beautiful! I had the pleasure of studying biology and chemistry alongside them at Point Loma Nazarene University, where their love story began. It's always so much fun for me to photograph couples I've known since the start of their relationship!

Oscar is the definition of dapperness and chivalry. There isn't a mean bone in his body. And this guy has style for days! Olivia exudes sweetness and elegance. Her smile and vibrant personality are so contagious. And how about that gorgeous gown? These two DRESSED. IT. UP. I really wasn't kidding when I said they are a stunningly beautiful couple! WOW!

We spent our evening meandering through Little Italy in downtown San Diego. It was the perfect setting for an elegant engagement session. I was definitely geeking out over their AMAZING outfit choices, adorable smiles, and affectionate personalities. It truly doesn't get any better than this. Enjoy!

Hamilton Cast Dance Portraits

If you've ever had a conversation with me for more than 5 seconds, you know that speechlessness is something I experience approximately never. But trying to put words to one of the most rewarding experiences of my photography career is not easy. Everything I write feels inhibited or overly professional, so I'll just say it like this; photographing dancers from the cast of Hamilton was REALLY, REALLY FREAKING AWESOME!

I have been a musical theatre nerd my entire life. I unabashedly belt show tunes in the shower (you're welcome to everyone who has ever lived with me) and have been performing since I was a young child. So when I got to see the national tour of Hamilton during its stop in San Diego, I was ecstatic! Unless you've been living under a rock for several years, you'll know that Hamilton is the talk of the town. The musical won 11 Tony Awards in 2016 and has been sold out for virtually every performance in its existence. I'll admit, I was nervous to see if the musical would live up to the hype, but after seeing the show, I can honestly say that you just can't hype it up enough. It's truly spectacular in every way.

However, the excitement of seeing the show pales in comparison to the excitement of actually collaborating with these incredibly talented performers in the photography studio. Besides being insanely talented and stunningly beautiful (seriously, is this a requirement for Hamilton casting?), these dancers were kind, gracious, and a dang good time to hang out with! While I'm not a gifted dancer myself, I have long believed dance to be the most beautiful and expressive of art forms. They say a picture is worth a thousand words, but I believe that dance is altogether beyond words. And so, creating together with these beautiful people was truly an experience that left me speechless.

Downtown San Diego Styled Shoot | The El Cortez Don Room

Hello, gorgeous!!!

This incredible styled shoot at the El Cortez Don Room features vibrant jewel tones and rich golden hues for a truly jaw-dropping, luxury wedding. The outdoor fireplace on the terrace was the perfect setting for a stunning lounge designed by Breezy Day Weddings with rentals from TBD San Diego. Breezy Day Florals created some of the most spectacular arrangements I have ever seen! I'm still reeling over the incredible bridal bouquet!

With dark wood floors and a real 24k gold ceiling, the Don Room is one of the most romantic venues in San Diego. We ran with the romance and the gold theme to create a sweetheart table for the ages! From the floral arrangements to the gold flatware, this table is full of delicious colors and is sure to give you all the warm fuzzies.

In short, this shoot is one for the books! Every single detail created by the incredible team of vendors is perfection! Be sure to check out the entire list of vendors below! Enjoy!

Photography: Weston Bennett Photography

Coordination: Breezy Day Weddings

Florals: Breezy Day Florals

Venue: El Cortez Don Room

Hair: Laura Claire

Rentals: To Be Designed, Tavolo Chaise & Lighting

Linens: Patty's Linens

Cake: Frost Me Gourmet

Calligraphy: Orange and Melrose

Megan & Matt | La Jolla Maternity Session

Like several of the wonderful couples I've had the joy of photographing, I first met Megan and Matt through music. Megan and I started working on a show together about a year ago. Little did I know that my lovely duet partner would soon become a wonderful friend! Several performances, holiday parties, and a shared birthday later, I am unbelievably happy to call Megan and her sweet husband, Matt, dear friends!

As I have gotten to know Megan and Matt over the last year, I have learned that they are two of the kindest souls you will ever meet. Their compassionate and generous hearts continually astound me. Megan and Matt are the type of people that would go to the ends of the earth and beyond for the people they love. That's why I am so excited to watch them become parents. I haven't the slightest doubt in my mind that they will make an incredible parenting team. They've got one very lucky little girl on the way!

The eucalyptus trees in La Jolla were the perfect backdrop for this Christmas-inspired maternity session. Of course, when I say Christmas, I mean the southern California version where the warm sunshine eases the sting of the bitter 60-degree cold. Nevertheless, their red and green outfits and warm sweaters sure got me in the holiday spirit! And if you're looking at these images from somewhere with "real" winter, Megan and Matt's sweet smiles are sure to warm you right up!

Joelle Pacifica | Newborn Session

I will never forget the nervous anxiety I felt in the hours leading up to my very first wedding. Josh and Audrie, dear friends from college, had asked me to photograph their big day. I was petrified. What if something went wrong? What if my camera malfunctioned? What if I missed an important moment? As if I wasn't stressed enough, I got in my car only to discover that it wouldn't start. Thank God for amazing roommates who let you borrow their car at the last minute!

Anxious and flustered, I arrived at the condo in Imperial Beach where Audrie and her bridesmaids were getting ready. Audrie and her mother greeted me with big smiles and outstretched arms, and as I hugged them, my nerves melted away. It was an instantaneous and monumental shift in my very core. I was overcome with peace and I began to enjoy the day. I witnessed beautiful moments between parents and children and watched two families come together. In those moments, I became abundantly aware that I was a part of something so very special.

Several years, one new car, and many weddings later, I still think of that day when my life changed so drastically. It truly was the beginning of a new and beautiful career and I am forever thankful to Josh and Audrie for giving me the opportunity. So it was the joy of joys when my very first wedding couple invited me to their home to photograph their newborn baby girl.

I had the privilege of snuggling and hanging out with precious Joelle earlier this week and my heart was bursting. Joelle is as perfect as they come. As I photographed this beautiful 6-day-old girl and her sweet parents, I was astounded at how happy and calm she was. She didn't fuss or cry once. It turns out that little Joelle already lives up to her middle name, Pacifica, which means peaceful. While spending time with this beautiful family of three, I thought back to that day when my nerves melted away and I, like sweet Joelle, felt happy and calm and peaceful. And, once again, I was abundantly aware that I was a part of something so very special.

Before our session ended, we made a quick trip to Imperial Beach just a few blocks from Josh and Audrie's home. And as we pulled into a parking spot, they pointed out the very condo where where my nerves melted away and my career as a wedding photographer began. How's that for full-circle?

Allyson & Shane | Wedding Album

Allyson and Shane's gorgeous wedding at Mt. Woodson Castle is officially printed in the most gorgeous blush wedding album! You can see more of their wedding here. I love, love, love these full-grain leather books. The images print directly over the center seam and bleed clear to the edges and the lay-flat design makes it easy to share around the coffee table with friends and family! I'm so excited to have this album delivered to these lovely clients just in time for the holidays!

Coco & Cam | Balboa & North Park Engagement Session

If you ask Coco, she'll joke that an extra glass of wine was responsible for her finally sending a Facebook message to her floppy-haired, guitar-playing crush from back in high school. She was planning a night out with friends and figured she would invite him along. Much to her surprise, Cam showed up, and they've been teammates ever since!

Coco and Cam had the same thing to say about the start of their relationship; they both knew right away. "It just clicked. When you can be the best version of yourself without having to try to be what they want, it's the most awesome feeling. We don't have to be anything other than our authentic selves."

Watching these two be their authentic selves has been a joy. We started Coco and Cam's engagement session at the Florida Canyon Preserve and their personalities shone through immediately. We then took a trip through Balboa Park and ended their session in their very own neighborhood of North Park. This session is full of crinkly-nosed smiles and sweet snuggles. I can't wait for their wedding next year! In the meantime, I'll just be hanging out and drinking wine with these two cuties!

FEATURED on The Black Tie Bride!

I'm absolutely THRILLED to announce that Jené and Nick's 1920s-inspired wedding at The Avalon Hollywood has been featured on The Black Tie Bride today! Cue happy dance! The Black Tie Bride is one of my absolute favorite bridal blogs because it celebrates classic elegance and vintage bridal inspiration (read heart-eye-emoji for days). I loved every second of Jené and Nick's gorgeous wedding and I'm so excited that their lovely images have been published! You can see the feature right here

Venue: Avalon Hollywood | Catering:Avalon Hollywood | Wedding Planner:Neighborly Events | Dress Brand:Maggie Sottero | Dress Point of Purchase: Karoza Bridal | Shoes Brand: Chase & Chloe | Shoes Point of Purchase: ModCloth | Flowers:It’s Me, Karley | Bridesmaid Dresses Brand: Erin Fetherston | Bridesmaid Dresses Point of Purchase:Rent the Runway | Hair: Chrissy Lynn | Make Up Stylist: Daniela Bernotas |  Make Up Salon & Products (including perfume): Besame Cosmetics | Rings: Blue Nile | Groom’s Attire Brand: Michael Kors | Groomsmen’s Attire Brand: Jean Yves | Groom’s/ Groomsmen’s Attire Point of Purchase: Friar Tux

Elly & Aaron | Shelter Island Engagement Session

Holy cuteness! Elly and Aaron are as sweet as can be, and their engagement session proves it!

Elly and Aaron are incredible musicians and I've had the pleasure of singing with both of them on many occasions. In fact, it was their mutual love of music that brought these two together! Elly and Aaron got to know each other while singing in San Diego's professional choir, SACRA/PROFANA. It has been such a joy to watch these two amazing people fall in love, and now, to get to share in the telling of their story!

Because San Diego has been such an integral part of their story, they wanted to include the skyline of America's Finest City in their engagement photos. So, we headed to Shelter Island for what would be one of my very favorite engagement sessions to date! Elly and Aaron are affection, kind, funny, and an absolute joy to spend time with. This made photographing their engagement session all kinds of fun!

Elly asked me if I had a favorite image from their session, and I honestly can't pick one! They're just too stinking cute! Maybe you can pick a favorite! Enjoy!