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

Beautiful El Cortez Don Room Wedding Celebrates with Love, Adventure and Sparkle

What more could you want from a wedding than love, adventure and sparkle?! This happy and beautiful wedding at the El Cortez Hotel's Don Room in San Diego gives us everything we want and more! We especially love the way the florals [by Studio 2053] work with the bride's amazing sparkly gown to create an adventurous take on classically glamorous wedding style. 

Bride Mia tells us "We were mismatched from the get-go or so we thought based on looks/style alone, however, we could not be more alike. We met online and both went into the date thinking that it would go absolutely no where but decided to give it a go because we had nothing to lose. From there, it was adventure after adventure, with the two of us trying to best one another with the next big idea. I (Mia) used to be a nomad, and would hop on a plane to a mysterious destination without any convincing needed. Two months into dating, Curtis mentioned a downhill mountain biking race in Chile that he dreamed of attending, which was a mistake. Before he knew it I (Mia) had purchased tickets and they we jetting off on a trip that would either break or make them. Obviously things turned out just fine and we still share the same taste for adventure spending Christmas in a rundown trailer on the edge of Area 51 scouting for aliens, hopping around some of the most remote islands in the Philippines or in the center of a Luchadore ring wrestling with the locals. 

Mia and Curtis' favorite memories of the night are from every stage of the dancing.  Says Mia "for the father-daughter dance we started with an 40's jazz ensemble, then 30 seconds into it we came to a screeching halt and KC and the Sunshine Band's "Shake Your Booty" started and my 74-year-old father went nuts- people were laughing instead of crying which was absolutely our intention. This was my favorite song to sing and dance to as a toddler with my parents so it brought back so many great family memories. And when the official dancing kicked off, the dance floor was packed until the very end. I've never seen that happen before! Usually it takes people time to warm up but that was definitely not the case - not one person was sitting down. My 90-year-old grandmother got out of her wheelchair to get down to Too Short's Blow the Whistle and my mother even got low, low, low... oops, too low."  And Grandpa getting down with the Bride is something you will remember forever. We hope you enjoy looking at this wedding as much as we did!

Mia and Curtis added some fun wedding ideas like custom drinking games to loosen up the crowd including "Drink When…" which listed common things that happen at a wedding such as people tearing up, as well as things unique to the wedding party's personalities. Rather than a guest book, the couple used vintage postcards and asked guests to give their best road trip advice for their upcoming honeymoon which was a road trip through the South. There were major breaks with tradition with the groom's 5-year-old nephew serving as the best man and the bride's 90-year-old grandmother serving as the flower girl. The groom also took the bride's last name.

Wedding Vendor Credits: 

Wedding Photography: Cassy Smith Photography
Wedding Ceremony Venue: El Cortez Don Room and Terrace
Wedding Reception Venue: El Cortez Don Room and Terrace
Event Planner: Jessica Beiriger
Wedding Florals: Studio 2053
Wedding DJ: DJ Dan Peterson
Catering: Continental Catering
Cake: The Cupcake Store
Officiant: Pam Neidert
Hair and Makeup Bridal Beauty: Mirza Batanovic, Ammon Carver Studio NYC
Bridal Gown by: Parker Black
Bride's Second Dress: Marchesa Notte
Private Collection: Antique Snake Brooch, Antique Snake Comb

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.

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    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

    We Love a Vintage Hollywood Comes to San Diego County Outdoor Wedding!

    High school sweethearts, Victoria and Jacob have been together for over a decade of love, laughs and style. They started as high school sweethearts and have been best friends for more than half of their lives. Torrie [as she is known] and Jacob have a very tight knit group of friends and many family members that have been together for decades. Torrie's niece was the charming flower girl who stole everyone's heart when she walked down the aisle! This elegant and romantic wedding was a stunner and the bride looked straight out of a vintage Hollywood movie right in San Diego's beautiful, tree filled North County area! And it looks to us like a very good time was had by all! 

    Wedding Vendor Credits:

    Wedding Photographer: MKL Photography

    Wedding Venue: Twin Oaks Garden Estate

    Bridal Salon for Wedding Gown: The Dresser Bridal

    Groom's Tuxedo Fashion: Friar Tux

    Florals and Decor: Soiree Designs and Events

    Bridal Jewelry: BHLDN

    Two of our favorite things come together for a lovely wedding photo

    We love it when two of our favorite things come together to make such a beautiful finished product and Tim Otto Photography and the gorgeous La Valencia Hotel in La Jolla are two of our very favorite things and we think it's easy to see why.... 

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    La Valencia hotel overlooking the Pacific Ocean in La Jolla (known affectionately as the Pink Lady) offers some of the most beautiful wedding settings in Southern California. Tim Otto is one of the top wedding portrait, engagement and special event photographers and when these two come together well we're just in awe!