Loving the First Look Photo Fun of Melissa McClure, San Diego Wedding Photographer

We love when couples have fun with every single aspect of their wedding planning and, of course, on their wedding day! That's why we believe hiring the right personalities is one of the most important parts of creating your wedding line up of professionals. If you want a light hearted wedding day be sure to hire vendors who think and feel that way too! San Diego wedding photographer Melissa McClure loves to bring joy and her gift for photography to weddings.

And in case this adorable, ahem... 'first look' photo doesn't tell you everything you need to know about this lovely artist, watch this:

Downtown Engagement Session Shows Off San Diego's Cool Urban Side

Engagement session are so fun for showing off a couple's personal style!  As New York transplants, Ryan and Kelsey love the big city and wanted an urban setting for their engagement photos! San Diego wedding photographer Paul Douda decided to photograph their session in downtown San Diego. Ryan & Kelsey met through mutual friends 4 years ago in Atlantic City. Their chemistry was immediate and undeniable so they moved in together only 3 months later and then moved to California in 2016. One year later, while picnicking at Sunset Cliffs, Ryan proposed to Kelsey and she said yes! They plan on marrying in America's most cool and urban city....New York City! We love this shoot - who knew crossing the street could look so stylish and sweet?! 

Photographed by one of our favorites; Wedding Photographer Paul Douda, whose artist background really shows in the composition of these shots, in The San Diego Gaslamp.

South of the Border, Down Mexico Way, a Charming Ensenada Wine Country Vow Renewal Celebrates Love

The wine country in Mexico is nothing short of spectacular. The “Rita del Vino” was full of so many beautiful colors and landscapes making it the perfect setting for Jamie & Manny's vow renewal. After 13 years of marriage, Jamie & Manny wanted to get back to the basics and celebrate what was truly important between the two of them. They remember their original wedding day as kind of stressful and that style decisions were somewhat taken over by the opinions of their family members. This time around, Jamie & Manny wanted to be comfortable and have the celebration THEY wanted. So they headed south, leaving their 3 beautiful boys at home, and traveled across the boarder to the stunning Encuentro Guadalupe winery for a weekend escape to renew their vows. They had their ceremony on the balcony of their suite and enjoyed every minute of their celebration this time with just the 2 of them.

Photographer:  Paul Douda Photography//Dress Store:Prevue Bridal//Officiant:Blissfully Yours Weddings//Cake Designer: Mallow Mallow//Floral Designer:Teresa Huerta Flowers//Ceremony Location:Encuentro Guadalupe//

Tim Otto Photography brings Beauty and Drama to your Engagement Photos

We caught up with local wedding photographer Tim Otto to get a little insight into this talented artists' aesthetic and why so many couples rave about working with him for their engagement and wedding photography! 

Q: So Tim how would you define your style?
T: I like to blend a variety of styles when I photograph weddings: everything from a photojournalistic editorial approach to a contemporary fashion edge to classic romantic style.  I am comfortable photographing grand elegant celebrations at large venues and small intimate weddings on the beach. I can give direction to make sure everyone looks great and is in the best light but also can observe and make sure I'm in the right place to capture the spontaneous moments.

Q: Tim tell us a little about you.
T: I have been photographing for over 20 years but the last 15 have been devoted to weddings, engagement sessions and family portraits. I can’t imagine doing anything else. I truly love what I do and I aspire to produce the finest photography I am capable of without compromise. Creating photographs that you love is priceless. I was drawn to wedding photography and telling the story of the day by capturing the personalities, emotions and the desire to create amazing photographs!

Q: You are clearly a creative art photographer, why weddings?
T: I always enjoyed photographing people and capturing their individual spirits; I think this is what drew me to weddings. I love weddings! I love telling the story of the entire day by capturing the many personalities and emotions on display as the events unfold.  I want to capture not only what people look like, but show what they feel like.  I want to give my clients, dynamic and beautiful photographs that they will treasure for a lifetime! I want to create an amazing and fun experience by making my couples feel comfortable in front of the camera without interfering with the flow of the day. A wedding is a celebration of love with family and friends; truly an amazing event.  I am honored and privileged be part of your day.

Q: We know you love to travel, where have you shot? 
T: I have photographed weddings through out the United States and countries around the world including Dominican Republic, Italy and Mexico. 

Q: Anything special you like to do on days off?
T: I love deep sea fishing, camping in the High Sierras, watching the Chargers and Padres, cooking, music, wine, sushi, landscape photography, road trips and traveling to exotic locations... of course with my camera. 

Thanks Tim for these lovely engagement photos! See more of Tim's photographic talent on his website and galleries

A Beautiful Light Photography: the Artists Who LOVE what they do...Capturing your Wedding day!

When you find a photographer whose style is fun, casual, contemporary, artistic, unposed, non-obtrusive, stylish, story-telling... well you have found your dream artist to capture your love on your wedding day!

A Beautiful Light Photography loves what they do...as they say "words can not describe how much we truly love what we do, but we hope our images will! It is very important to us that you enjoy the day that you have been planning over the years. We strive to capture you with your friends and family in a very casual and unobtrusive way. As you connect with our images we think you will see that we love to document the real-life emotion and all of the details that so many times are overlooked on such a busy day."

Lead shooter Svetlana, of ABL Photography's newborn division, loves loves loves capturing the pure beauty of newborns!! She says, "Newborns are my passion and my absolute favorite subject to capture. I love every single bit of what makes each newborn special - from peeling skin to tiny toes, from pouty lips with milk blisters to wispy hair and squishy newborn rolls. My style is simple and classic; I love working with organic textures, wooden props and earthy tones. My goal is to focus on precise newborn posing to make sure that the baby looks relaxed and comfortable. I love it when my clients tell me they have been researching for weeks, but kept coming back to my website. It warms my heart and encourages me to continue working hard at what I love to do!"

A Beautiful Light Photography shoots mostly with natural light, and when they use a flash, they do so in creative and dramatic ways. Whether your wedding is during the daytime or evening, your photos will have the the "WOW" factor that will have guests impressed every time they open your albums. Their main goal is for you to be absolutely thrilled with the beauty, joy and emotion captured in your pictures. All we can think of is... do you have my date open?! 

Featured Artist: San Diego Wedding Photographer Jay Resh

Meet our featured Artist of the Day, San Diego Wedding Photographer Jay Resh. 

It is my goal, through my photography, to express the emotion of important moments, and tell life stories that will live vividly through time.
— Jay Resh

As a child, Jay spent as much time as he could exploring NYC’s MET (Metropolitan Museum of Art), Natural History Museum, and Hayden Planetarium. It was easy to see that his interests where deeply rooted in the arts and sciences. It was particularly at the MET where Jay fell in love with the idea of exploring his creative side.

The colors and contrasts of Romanticism painter, J.M.W. Turner, and the naturalism of form and detail in the sculptures of the great, Gian Lorenzo Bernini played a very large part in the formation of Jay’s interpretation of artistic styling.

Nothing seemed as inspiring to Jay as living within a world built upon, and surrounded by art. For Jay, photography was the artistic outlet he was looking for. It continues to provide him with the ability to be creative, and the mechanics and software processing involved with his photography also satisfies his love of sciences. It was the perfect combination.

Find more information on Jay Resh Photography on his website.

The Way of the Artist Photographer and Why You Really Want One for Your Wedding Day

The Way of the Artist Photographer and Why You Really Want One for Your Wedding Day

1. The Artist Photographer lives and works from their heart.
Think about it. Don't you want someone who lives from a passionate heart photographing one of the most loving, passionate days of your life? A day where you see your Dad cry? And your Aunt and Uncle who have been divorced for a decade laugh and dance together? And your sister's kid gurgling with giggles, eyes wide with wonder, toddling up to each guest as they try to make it down the aisle? That's a big, heartfelt yes. 

"If it's both terrifying and amazing, you should definitely pursue it." - anonymous

Photographic Artists Suzanne and Mike Ofeldt of Shewanders Photography make living their art and their play, they stay open to all experiences and inspiration and sometimes muse:

  • What would you be doing in an alternate reality? 
  • Who would you be? 
  • What would you create?

Suzanne and Mike say "Art and photography are our favorite ways to explore new realities. New realities within ourselves, others and the world around us. This month, we have been experimenting and recreating memories, dreams and other visions with portraits, groups and landscapes. We love being inspired with a wild perspective and making it come to life through photography."

2. The Artist Photographer is looking for beauty in, sometimes, the most unique places. As Suzanne told us "I entered into a photo contest with an entry called, 'The Town'. Our beginnings and endings, trials and errors, questions of identity and worth, dreams and risks can take place on any street. This is my collection of images and wishes that seeing beauty in a space might help others to see beauty in each other." We just love her!!!! 

    3. The Artist Photographer stays in the moment so they can capture your soul. Artists capture spontaneity and joy on one of the most [sometimes overly] planned days of your life. That's because they are staying in the moment, looking for the light and the love and the art in your day.  You must be in the moment to stay in touch with emotion and when that happens and you are a talented photographic artist like Shewanders...we think magic happens.

    mike and boy.jpg

    4. The Artist Photographer stays inspired ... because life is magical and there's always some new adventure around the corner.  "Suzanne and I meet to discuss a new chapter of The Artist's Way on a weekly basis. This process has changed who we are as artists and as a couple. There are questions at the end of each chapter with subjects that hit deep and get to the root of our inner child and artist. It's a safe place to explore and be really open with each other, sparking conversations that bring greater connection and vulnerability. It's hard for me to always be super emotional, but this book makes it simple to realize the art that is already inside of you. It reminds you and gives you the confidence to experiment." - Mike

    You may ask what about the tradition wedding shots we need? Of course the artist captures the photos you need like the wedding party, bride with family, groom with family, etc., but they also make sure to fly free to capture the spontaneity and the feels of your wedding so they can gift to you what they do best; images that will evoke the magic of your wedding day and inspire generations to come.   Thank you Suzanne and Mike for always inspiring us too!!  xo

    The Top 10 Wedding Photos You Just Can't Live Without!

    Epic, must-have Wedding photos! Everyone wants and needs them, but sometimes certain wedding day photos stand out above and beyond all the others... here San Diego wedding photographer Greg Nelson offers us his 10 wedding photos you just cannot live without!

    Thanks Greg for sharing your gift and these memorable essential photos from weddings with us! Check out our directory of amazing San Diego wedding photographers.

    This Joshua Tree Engagement Session is Just What We Needed Today!

    This stunning Joshua Tree engagement photography session with San Diego wedding and engagement photographer Paul Douda is just what we needed today! This shoot clearly went the extra mile [literally since Joshua Tree National Park is over 150 miles from San Diego!] resulting in breathtaking engagement photos, with lots of breathing room and nature's gifts of amazing light and views for miles... well done Paul! 

    Photographer:  Paul Douda Photography//Dress Designer:Abyss by Abby//Tuxedo and Mens Attire:Hugo Boss//Other Location:Joshua Tree National Park//

    One of our favorite Wedding photographer's favorite photographs from 2016

    Tim Otto is one of our favorite San Diego wedding photographers and it is easy to see why!

    Tim Otto Wedding 1.jpg

    Tim Otto [one of the nicest people you will ever meet!] is the kind of guy who at the end of the year can't wait to sit back and review all the weddings and engagements he photographed to reminisce about all the love, fun and memories he made with his couples. Here are Tim Otto's favorite wedding photos from 2016: they clearly show the heart and soul he puts into the weddings he photographs.  

    When you look at his work you can see that Tim likes to blend a variety of styles when he photographs people in love and weddings:  Tim works with everything from a photo-journalistic editorial approach, to a contemporary fashion edge, to classic romantic style.  Says Tim "I always enjoy photographing people and capturing their individual spirits; I think this is what drew me to weddings. I love weddings! I love telling the story of the entire day by capturing the many personalities and emotions on display as the events unfold.  I want to capture not only what people look like, but show what they feel like.  I want to give the bride and groom real, dynamic and beautiful photographs that they will treasure for a lifetime! I want to create an amazing and fun experience by making my couples feel comfortable in front of the camera without interfering with the flow of the day. A wedding is a celebration of love with family and friends; truly an amazing event.  I am honored and privileged be part of your day."  Yes Tim, we can tell! Please enjoy Tim Otto's favorite photos from 2016!

    Puppy Love: Engagement Photography Sessions Featuring Man's Best Friend

    Everyone knows the saying that dogs are man's best friend, and we couldn't agree more! So, today we want to focus on the newer trend of featuring your best friend in your engagement and/or wedding photoshoots! The idea couldn't be any more perfect: it's a photoshoot that already features two people so in love, that they chose to spend the rest of their lives together.  So, why not include the non-humans that have been there for you throughout all of your ups and downs?  The ones who have sat beside your bedside when you weren't feeling well. The ones who are always so excited when you walk in the door from work. The ones who are just as excited for your wedding day as you are. We are saps for a good love story here at SanDiegoWedding.com, and adding dogs to the mix just makes us melt. Check out our list of top San Diego wedding and engagement photographers who would be tail waggingly happy to do your engagement session with your best furry pals! 

    Photographer: MKL IMAGES

    Jewel Toned Temecula Elopement Photo Shoot Brings Rich Colors to Life

    Rich colors pop so beautifully in photography like this jewel toned elopement photo session in Temecula, California [a place both rich and beautiful in its own right!). We hope you enjoy this lovely shoot featuring real life couple Tiffany & Keith Jones (whose happy faces say it all!). We are crazy about the styling here especially the tablescapes with those rich florals, that outdoor fireplace mantle and those adorable individually styled little cakes! 

    Lorena of Rustic Vintage who generated the shoot says, "When I first started to plan the design for this styled shoot, I knew I needed to include one of my favorite colors,  Marsala.  This rich wine shade adds elegance to any surroundings and to rustic or vintage décor! To soften the color a bit, I incorporated blush pinks, ivory and pops of gold. This color combination is perfect for the brides wishing to have a fall or winter wedding! And for the furniture and prop selection I chose to bring in lots of wood textures mixed color fabrics and vintage décor."

    Photography: Kristina Adams Photography

    Planning + Design: Rustic Vintage Events 

    Venue: Great Oak Estates Temecula, California

    Florals: The Flower Story

    Videography: Classic Film Works

    Wedding dress: Adina’s Bridal

    Groom’s attire: Friar Tux Shop

    Makeup: Sheila’s Makeup Artistry

    Hair: Nancy Vestal Bridal Hair

    Cakes: Little Hunny Cakery

    Macarons: Pennys Custom Cookies  

    Stationery: Pirouette Paper 

    Specialty details: Jenn and Jules Designs  

    Wood signage: Wood If You Could

    Vintage china + farm tables: Rustic Vintage Events

    Specialty pink glassware: Touch of Glass Rentals

    Vintage props: CC Vintage Rentals  

    Real Couple Models: Tiffany & Keith Jones  

    6 really special wedding moments captured on camera prepare you for the feels!

    Weddings are all about emotions: sharing them, feeling them and celebrating them. Here are 6 amazing emotional wedding moments capturing people as they celebrate love and all the feels! Grab a hankie!

    #1 The Vow Feels. 
    This beautiful Bride became overwhelmed with emotions after her Groom said his vows to her. We love this very sweet moment of him kissing her on the shoulder since he couldn't quite yet give her a first kiss yet! 

    #2 The Maid of Honor Feels.
    That sweet moment during the Maid of Honor's speech where she can't catch her breath from crying as she shares her joy and happiness for her best friend. Cue the Bride wiping away the tears and hold her hand through the rest of the speech. 

    #3 The Groom First Look Feels.
    This love-filled Groom was speechless and broke down during the very first glimpse of his lovely Bride. 

    #4 The Wedding Surprise Feels.
    During their New Years Eve Rancho Santa Fe wedding, it was so cold outside that their wedding cake froze! When the Brides went to cut into it their knife handle broke off and their reactions were priceless! 

    #5 The Wedding Guest Feels
    Your friends and family are feeling the love too! A very sweet and loving moment captured of married guests at a wedding. Proof that guests are just as in love as the Bride and Groom! 

    #6 The Joyful Family Feels.
    This Mother of the Groom had a great time listening to the wedding party roast the Bride & Groom during their entrances. After all that emotion you really need a good laugh to celebrate such an amazing life event. 

    And speaking of the feels....a great big thank you to wedding photographer extraordinaire Paul Douda Photography for capturing all this love and emotion and sharing it with us! 

    Black and white portraits; still creating beautiful art after all these years

    There's something about black-and-white imagery that is so beautiful in portraits, allowing us to see a person's soul without getting distracted by color. Photographic artist and expert Stacy Childers of House of Style is well known as a top stylist and photographic artist for major brands, professional clients and wedding couples, she's been teaching other photographers the skill of capturing beauty with a camera for years. Stacy loves to work in black and white often and we can see why. 

    image.jpg

    Celebrating Two Years with Their Two Pups

    Becca and Jeff have an anniversary photo session every year, since they were married in 2012 [great idea right?!]. This was year 2 of many more to come and took place along the beautiful Del Mar Dog Beach! What a great way to commemorate a lifetime of love together! Check out all our outstanding photographers, and book your annual shoot - bet you get some deals for advance booking too! And as always...how about those doggies!?

    Photography by: Tracy vanDam Fotografie

    6 great tips for your first Boudoir Photography Shoot

    Coco Chanel said “Beauty Begins the moment you decide to be yourself."  Nothing could be more true when it comes to the art of Boudoir Photography! Boudoir Photographer Shadi Ameri offers 6 great tips for your first Boudoir session so you can end up with the photos you really want and will be proud of for years to come. Here are 6 Tips To Know Before Your First Boudoir Photography Shoot by a boudoir photography expert.

    all images in article by  Shadi Ameri Photography

    all images in article by Shadi Ameri Photography

    The photos you take during a boudoir photoshoot are intriguing, empowering, and sexy pictures that you can use to create a professional boudoir album for your partner and more importantly, for yourself. Even though it may seem intimidating for you, planning a boudoir photoshoot with your photographer is a wonderful experience that is well worth the preparation and primping.If you choose to do a boudoir session, you don’t need to spend months dieting or working out, nor do you need to spend oodles on a suitcase full of lingerie that you’ll rarely wear again. To help get you totally ready and excited for a boudoir photoshoot, we’ve gathered some must-have tips to know before you show it all off.

    You don’t have to wear lingerie

    Although lingerie is a symbol for boudoir photography, you certainly don’t have to wear the bare necessities for your shoot. Many women opt for more modest look with silky robes, playful dresses, or even men’s attire that is more covering (like a dress shirt or a jersey from his favorite pro sports team). After all, this photoshoot is about making you feel comfortable, so you have the freedom to strut your stuff in whatever outfit works for you.

    Find the right photographer

    A boudoir photoshoot is something that definitely requires having some trust and confidence with your photographer. Not many women are stoked on the idea of, let alone comfortable with, stripping down and letting someone they’ve only met a few times photograph them in an exposed, vulnerable state. However, photographers who do boudoir shoots understand the boudoir process, and are skilled at making sure you are comfortable and feel completely ready for the shoot. The photographer will give you helpful tips and guide you along the way.

    It’s a good idea to listen to them and follow their direction and try not to stay too much in your own head or overthink what you’re doing. By focusing on following their advice, you’re less likely to have any room in your thoughts for hesitation. On this note, take your time and find the right photographer for you. Check out the portfolio of their work and read past customer reviews so you can be sure you are choosing a photographer that has the right expertise and skills that you need.

    Choose a safe location that speaks to you. 

    Your bedroom, a hotel room, out in the nature in a private area
     So be creative!  Some of the sexiest boudoir photos I've ever seen were taken in a backyard pool. Some models in white t-shirts, and some in lingerie and heels. Yes, heels in a pool.  IT WAS HOT. That's all I have to say about that.

    Avoid tanning

    You may think it’s a good idea to add a spray tan or tanning salon session in your pre-photoshoot preparation regime – but think again. Boudoir photoshoots are very revealing and use lighting techniques that will capture the glow and hue of your skin. This means that any slight sunburns or orange streaks from tanning will show up in the pictures. So don’t worry if it’s been a long winter and your skin is on the pale side; a boudoir photoshoot is about capturing your natural beauty!

    Watch out for waxing

    If you plan on making an appointment for a bikini or body wax, make sure to book your visit about a week before the photoshoot. This will ensure that you won’t have any bumps or redness that may pop up and be visible for the photographs. If your skin is easily irritated, keep this in mind when shaving as well.

    Keeping good posture is key

    During your photoshoot, remember to keep your back straight, with your shoulders back and stomach in for the best angles in your pictures. Focusing on keeping good posture will flatter your physique, making you look taller, thinner, and more poised. It will also help you to feel more strong and confident

    Check out our directory of San Diego wedding photographers here...