San Diego Skyline



I spent the afternoon of Day 2 in San Diego at  a beach, sitting, sleeping, and writing things in the sand.  Oh, how I would love to be on the beach right now!  Jealous seemed like the correct word to write :)  I first tried writing them with my toe, but the water kept beating me to it and washing the words away.  So I walked and walked and walked looking for a big stick.  And I couldn't find one anywhere!  Then Justin suggested a lightstand - turns out camera equipment has multiple purposes!




It was perfect :)





And the working part of the day - corporate photos.  Jeremy's business partner, Nate, flew in that morning so he could join us for photoshoot #2.  Nate has spent the last year or so traveling around the country - a couple weeks here, a couple weeks there (California, Colorado, Utah, Florida and a few other places) and has finally settled back in San Diego with a permanent address.  Most of the work they do is online anyway, or traveling to meet with clients in other states, so being able to move around without interrupting the business is pretty cool.  I love the perspective both of these guys have on life and people, though.  They make a huge effort to understand people and it shows in the relationships they have, even while not staying in one place for very long.  You can still connect with people and make a difference.  Everyone travels for different reasons, and I've loved the experiences I've been able to have traveling recently - new people, new places, new experiences.  I've gone out of the state at least once every month since November, and this will continue for almost a whole year.  I'm excited to see the connections I can make as this continues!



Nate and Jeremy run two businesses together, SpireWave and Mind Breakthrough.  (The SpireWave website is about to be relaunched, but until then, you can read a little bit about it on Jeremy's website here)










I loved the view of this skyline with the water.  For you photographers interested in the specs on this one below, I had one speedlight on my camera, two behind them for backlight, and one from the front right with a soft box. I used pocketwizards to trigger, and shot it at 1/15 sec, f/3.2, ISO 640.  Most importantly, though, I called ahead to make sure they'd turn all the lights on for the office buildings in the background ;)




And I hopped in one at the end - thanks Justin for taking the picture!





San Diego

  ...more from the California trip!  Justin and I arrived in San Diego and had a couple hours to kill before the photo shoot was scheduled, so we went to  Point Loma, some kind of cool historical overlook.  I found a lighthouse, which for some reason is always exciting to me.  I'm never quite sure what I'll do with photos like this, but at least it's pretttty :)



On our way back down, we were trying to find access to a beach somewhere and figured we'd turn left at the next spot since the water was... somewhere over in that direction.  (I discovered I've been really spoiled with Utah's directions... you can always see the mountains and know that that's East.  From there I can figure it out, but in California I was getting really turned around!)  Back to the story though, apparently the next left turn was into some Naval base!  I was "greeted" by a suspicious and heavily armed Navy guard wanting to know exactly why we were turning in there and what we wanted.  I tried to assure him that we were just tourists looking for the beach!  But it took a little while before he was convinced.  Maybe it was all the camera gear that made him nervous, I'm not sure, but I sure was intimidated!  After that, we gave up on trying to find a beach and found a very small park to sit and wait instead.






And then Jeremy showed up, the man that made this trip happen.  I met Jeremy back in December on the cruise with Jasmine.  Just for kicks, here he is wiping out on the simulated surfing back then:




Jeremy had 2 reasons for the photos in California.  The first was head shots of him: personal, approachable, and authentic.  Sure, he wanted a new Facebook profile (who doesn't?) but primarily, he wanted these for his efforts in the cause for childhood cancer.  Jeremy spends a lot of his time working with kids with cancer and I've loved the opportunity to see that perspective of learning about and giving time to a community and a cause.  I get so caught up in my own life, sometimes I forget how many people out there could use some help - or even just a smile.  Thanks Jeremy for that example!  You can read about what this means to him and look through the rest of his website here:  The second reason for the photos was business, and you can see those photos (with the San Diego skyline) tomorrow!  But for now, here's Jeremy.



Jeremy grew up in Denver, but has lived in San Diego for several years.  He chose all the locations for the photos on this trip, and I was impressed!  Today was at Sunset Cliffs.







The photo to the right here is what we call the "Jasmine" pose (named for my older sister).  Because she was there when I met Jeremy, we wanted to give a tribute to her.  She's always been more confident posing for the camera and she just has fun with it!  I would much prefer to be taking the pictures than to be in them, and Jeremy was also learning the art of being himself during the photoshoot.  It's always a challenge!  We often teach kids to smile and say "cheeeeeese" which turns into photos with cheesy smiles and shows very little of their personality, I prefer to see people laugh or find a genuine smile.  I'm glad we could take a que from Jasmine and have some fun with it.


(This is a flashback from 2010 to give you an idea of just how much fun she has...)



And back to Sunset Cliffs-


Jeremy always wears his "sTAY strong" bracelet, and he wrote a blog post about the story behind it here:






Young'ins in San Francisco: Family Photography

  Thomas and I went over to San Francisco three weeks ago for our third wedding anniversary and for some much-needed vacation time.  It was a great experience, and we did actually end up doing just this one shoot while we were out there.  The Youngs recently moved out to the area, and they are some of the coolest people ever.  Danny took a job with Google, and actually showed us around the campus a bit- talk about your nerd paradise!  Full-sized T-rex bones, slides going from one floor to another, nap pods and free food everywhere.... it was a very neat place.


So one of the days we went into the City and met up to some family portraits.  We went to Fisherman's Wharf, Chinatown, the Exploratorium, and finished out near the Oakland Bay Bridge (the Golden Gate bridge was completely fogged out.  I mean, just-one-big-grey-smudge-nothing-to-be-seen-at-all kind of fogged out.  San Francisco is crazy like that sometimes).




I've known the Youngs for a long time, and I think we've captured their essence here below.  It's just fun.  :D







Thanks for being such great hosts guys, and for showing us around your new hometown!  Check out the first half of their photos, and the rest as they become available, here.








Erin and Cole- Newport Beach

First time to Newport Beach for a wedding.  It was gorgeous, and so was the couple!  We got to Newport after driving for two days down the west coast from Portland, OR.  I shot a wedding there the week before, and we took the scenic route.  We took the 101 for part of it to see the redwoods.  And yes, they are as tall as your middle school textbook claimed.  The trip was awesome!  We rented a car for the drive (we had weddings Thursday and Friday in Utah, and so we flew out Saturday morning for the Portland wedding- CRAZINESS!), and the car we ended up getting sort-of-by-accident was this "premium car".  Thomas made the rental car reservations, and the coupon code we found online gave us a "free upgrade."  Ok, we were going to be driving 1100 miles, so he figured "premium" meant a nice comfy Cadillac or something.  We ended up getting a Mercury Grand Marquis, and it was powder blue.  Really...  Total land yacht, and we felt like we should be about 80 years old driving that thing. It was comfy to drive though.  Especially with that big bench front seat- I curled up and napped most of the way down... Good way to recover from three days of weddings.

**Note: I had heard of other photographers doing several weddings right in a row, even multiple on the same day.  Figured I could do 3 in a row as I thought I was superwoman... but alas, I discovered otherwise.  The weddings were AMAZING, but the recovery was not.  Don't try this at home, kids.

Erin is a newscaster by profession, and she is such a friendly, outgoing, and bubbly person.  She was so happy, just look at that perfect smile!  She was beaming.

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Evidently when they built the Newport Beach temple, they had to work with the city to make sure it kind of blended in with the rest of the landscape.  So they ended up using this gorgeous stone that had almost a sandstone look to it.  The architecture was also very Southern California- almost spanish mission-esque.  I loved how unique it was!

After the luncheon, we were able to go over to the marina in Laguna Niguel and wheedle our way down onto the docks... Now, I have a confession to make.  I'm a little bit obsessed with sailboats.  We had a 2 man boat growing up and I actually cried when my dad sold it.  Now as a photographer, I cannot imagine a better location than on a dock.  I loved all the boats and the texture of the masts in the background.  Two really nice guys let us use their boat for the photoshoot when they noticed we were taking pictures (People always give me stuff when I have a bride and groom following me.  Something about weddings make even the tough guys sentimental).  And as you can see, Erin and Cole's wedding day was "Just Dandy."

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Talk about an amazing backyard!

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Erin and Cole, thank you so much for letting me be part of your day!  Everything was spectacular, and ya'll are amazing!


I'm finally getting to the blog post for Allison and Darron Fors' wedding in Los Angeles. ... Aaaaand ignore the fact that I posted the pre-wedding formal session two months ago. Let's just keep moving, shall we?
Sunshine. Traffic. Palm trees. Crepes. Sparklers.
P.S. We also made it to Universal Studios that week. It was awesome.

^ The fact that Darron's dad is grinning dead straight at the camera, and he is the ONLY one to do so, kind of cracks me up. I don't know why.

See Allison and Darron's complete wedding, start to finish and everything in between, here.

California: Sandals and Satin

If a picture is worth a thousand words, I have an entire library headed your way from this beautiful wedding.

Confession: I believe palm trees automatically make a photo 117% better. It's science.

Anyone else reminded of Peter Pan and his shadow when you look at the above photo?

Cutest. "Cake" toppers. EVER.

Take a look at Jessica and Casey's entire wedding, beginning to end, here.

Allison and Darron: Pre-wedding day formals at Santa Monica Pier

I'm originally from Austin, Texas, which I once thought to be a fairly big city. I live now in Lehi, Utah, which is definitely NOT a big city. Neither location really educated me on what "bad traffic" can really mean. I was actually pretty naive when it came to such things, and didn't really understand how horrendous a traffic situation can really be. NO LONGER!

We met up with Allison and Darron at the Los Angeles LDS Temple to shoot some bride and groom photos the day before their wedding (bridals/groomals/pre-wedding-vanity-shoot, call it whatever you like :), and when we finished, we headed on over to the Santa Monica Pier to finish the rest of the evening. It's only a hair over 5 miles from the Temple to the Pier, and I figured even with "bad" traffic we'd get there in about 30 minutes. ...About an hour and a half later we pull into the parking garage a block away from the Pier, and I am ready to pull out my hair.

This was fairly representative of the traffic situation during our trip down there. We fought with "Jeeves" our friendly GPS unit the whole way about whether or not we dared get onto a freeway while we were down there. It seemed like "rush hour" was actually from about 8am-11:30am and then again from 12:00pm-8pm.

Anyways, once we got to the Pier everything was great. Allison was completely gorgeous in her dress (even after close to two hours in the car getting there), and we ended up getting some really fun images. There were THOUSANDS of people around the Pier and the beach, which made Allison and Darron feel a little out of place in their wedding clothes, but they were awesome! Seriously, if I were on the other side of the camera I would have died. We even had an audience that spontaneously started cheering when they did their first kiss for the camera. Darron was so cute about the process- once he realized that we were going to have an audience for the remainder of the evening, he made the joke that he would just tell people that they were models just doing their job. So the whole time, he just said over and over under his breath "It's ok, I'm a model." It made for a fun running joke, and anytime we needed a genuine smile I just had to remind him to give his model face. "Ok, now BLUE STEEL!"

^ Insert cheering here. Yaaaaay....

As I've mentioned before, I am addicted to color, and so I think this ferris wheel below is amazing.

This next one on the left is definitely where Darron the Model shines...

Take a look at the complete set of the formals at Santa Monica here.

My Niece and Nephew

Becky and Michael, California children photography
During our trip to California to shoot Kelsey and Alec's wedding, we were fortunate enough to time it in a way to be able to spend Thanksgiving with Thomas' family. The food was fabulous, and it was great to relax with family in the warm weather. While I was down there, I couldn't resist the impulse to take a few photos of the in-laws, especially my adorable niece Rebekah and my nephew Michael. Becky is not quite 3 and Michael, despite being the hulking specimen of emerging toddlerdom that he is, isn't even 10 months. They got a little dressed up, and here are a few photos I especially enjoyed.
Becky and Michael, California children photography
Becky and Michael, California children photography
Becky and Michael, California children photography
Becky and Michael, California children photography
Becky and Michael, California children photography
Becky and Michael, California children photography
Becky and Michael, California children photography

Pratt Wedding

Redlands temple wedding photography, California
After some great engagements, bridals, and a really fun bride and groom shoot on the beach, I was definitely looking forward to shooting Kelsey and Alec's wedding day. They got married in the Redlands Temple in Orange County, California, and it was a beautiful afternoon. I love to travel, love photography, and when I get to combine the two it makes for a very happy time. It was fabulously warm (especially compared to the weather we left back in Utah), the flowers and the colors the wedding couple chose were gorgeous, and the photo session went off without a hitch.
Redlands temple wedding photography, California
Redlands temple wedding photography, California
Redlands temple wedding photography, California
Redlands temple wedding photography, California
Redlands temple wedding photography, California
Redlands temple wedding photography, California
Redlands temple wedding photography, California
Redlands temple wedding photography, California
To see more of Kelsey and Alec's wedding, including groups and newlywed photos, click here.
Redlands temple wedding photography, California