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You’ve pictured your lives together and now you’re sharing that news with everyone special to you both. There’s nothing like engagement portraits to commemorate this epic moment in your lives. Seeing how most of us aren’t born camera ready, We wanted to share some easy tips to make your engagement portrait experience awesome and stress-free.

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1. Make an evening of it. Start with coffee or a drink before your session so the two of you to connect and unwind before getting in front of the camera. Then plan a great dinner date for after the session. You can take the occasion to celebrate your engagement in a way that’s special for the two of you. And heck, you’re dolled up and looking fabulous, time to hit the town together.couple drinking wine

 

2. Schedule hair and make up for your session. You can do anything from making an appointment at a makeup counter, a blow dry bar or hire a professional hair & makeup artist to do it all. Looking fresh and beautiful will give you confidence for your portraits and your images won’t need retouching if you have had a recent breakout or skin problem.bride being made up

 

3. Plan your outfits a few days in advance so you won’t feel rushed the day of the session. Take care of whatever dry cleaning, laundry or shopping that needs to be done. You can take the opportunity to buy a fabulous dress that you can use for a bridal shower, bachelorette party or honeymoon. Want something extra special for your shoot: use Rent the Runway, shop Amazon or Shein or borrow something fabulous from a friend.couple embraced

 

4. Chose clothes that fit well and flatter. Baggy and oversized clothing doesn’t photograph as well as clothes that fit a little closer. Chose flattering necklines since many of your photos will be shot close up. And go for outfits that compliment each other or coordinate instead of matching. The 90s fad of white shirts and denim are long, long gone.

 

5. Budget for prints, canvases and albums. What’s the point in hiring a professional photographer and to never print a single image? You’re hiring us for more than a facebook profile photo. We recommend creating an engagement album – it’s one of the best ways to showcase your favorite portraits from your session. There’s nothing better than holding prints in your hands and framed in your home. Photos are also a perfect gift for your parents or grandparents — it’s one thing they really want.

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6. It’s OK to be basic or to be extra: just be you! Don’t feel like you have to trek to the top of the mountain or run through the sand dunes if that’s not your thing. You can do your engagement portraits at your favorite bar, your neighborhood, your home or ask the photographer for suggestions of places they love or they’re dying to photograph.

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7. Trust your photographer. If you love their images, then you’ll love your images. They know most people aren’t comfortable in front of the camera, so their job is to set you at ease, to give you direction and to create something beautiful and fun from the connection you and your fiancé naturally share. It’s their job to make you look good and to create awesome portraits that celebrate the start of your family together.

Editorial and Photos: Allison Davis Photography

 

 

By: Bob Brichmann

Not everyone can jump right in and be a wedding photographer. There’s so much to it. Beware of the beginner. Anyone can create a cute, flash-filled, slick web site. Search for experience. Do you want to be the guinea pig bride for the newbie photographer?
Holly Ireland Photography
Pricing
Experience has a price. Experience, though, shows in the quality of your pictures. Your photos are your memories. They are the documentary of your biggest day. This is what your children and grandchildren will inherit and remember you by. You don’t want to cut back on this aspect of your wedding budget.
Pricing is really all over the map when it comes to professional wedding photography. Experts agree that you should raise an eyebrow to anyone charging $1000 or less for a full wedding package.
You can expect to pay more for multiple photographers and engagement sessions. Your end product will impact your budget. Do you simply want a disk of pictures or do you want the full blown, retouched coffee table photo album? Are you providing album gifts to both sets of parents?
Yes, you are paying for the photographer’s artistry the day of, but after the wedding they are putting in serious hours of post-production. There’s retouching and picture cropping. There’s the production and selection process revolving around your proofs. There’s the assembly of the album(s). Hours and hours of expertise go into making each client happy in the end.

Credentials
Professionals in most of the wedding fields always strive to stay current with their skills, their equipment, trends and their devotion to their craft. Photographers are no exception.
Membership in organizations such as PPA (Professional Photographers Association) and WPPI (Wedding Portrait Photographers International) validates many as professionals. It demonstrates ones commitment to excellence and continued education. These groups stage annual conferences that offer education on new technologies, techniques, advances in post-production practices and trends.
In other words, the true professional is constantly learning. They are committed to providing the best quality they can and that you deserve. Hobbyists or retired Uncle Bill with the new digital camera rarely show this kind of commitment. Why take the chance with an amateur with your wedding day pictures?
Don’t forget to check for membership in local organizations and the Better Business Bureau. What is their service record like in the community?
Check for a business license and proof of insurance. What is their back-up contingency plan? Are they a legitimate business? Ask them to give you a couple of references of past brides to check in with. Are you meeting them at a studio or a taco shop? Be wary of someone asking for a large deposit up front or a high-pressure sale pitch. If that happens we suggest you walk away. Also be aware of pricing that is too good to be true. The old saying goes, “you get what you pay for!”
Holly Ireland Photography
Event Variables
So much goes into shooting photography on the wedding day that we take much of it for granted. We think it’s just point and click. That’s the difference between you shooting a picture with your digital camera and the professional documenting the day.
Candids, camera angles, shadows, sunlight, lowlight conditions all of these factors weigh on the professional. They are trained to deal with these.
Photographers know you want a mostly photojournalistic approach to your day, but you still need some family formals. They know how to corral family efficiently and politely for those group photos. They know how to make the bride and her bridesmaids that much more comfortable to coax that extra emotion from them for that special photo.
They know when to capture that emotion from mom and dad as you say your wedding vows and dad clutches mom’s hand.
Amidst the sea of other shutterbugs flittering about your event, they can tactfully navigate around them and still get the shot! It’s what they’re trained to do.
Professionals will know the nuances of your ceremony site or facility. They know how to work with (not against) the other wedding vendors to make the event run that much more smoothly. They know how to follow a timeline.
Eisenhower Photography
Experience
The biggest difference between an amateur and professional photographer may lie in the continuity of their work. You know to expect the best when you hire a professional. There’s less uncertainty. You and your family have peace of mind.
“The biggest regret from my wedding was my photography. I was talked into using a family member who simply handed me a disk after the wedding. My photos sucked. It makes me so sad that I don’t have good wedding pictures,” admits recent bride Aubrey.
Don’t make the same mistake as Aubrey did. She may have been misguided into thinking she could save some money with one of the crucial areas of her wedding.
Family and friends remember the party. The professional photographer chronicles it for you with a keen eye, a grace and an ease in doing what they do best capturing moments that will make you smile every time you look at your pictures and reflect on the Big Day.
Your memories are worth the expense!

By: Bob Brichmann

Magical photographic moments do appear during the course of a wedding.

These moments may be spontaneous, artistic, semi-posed with a stunning sunset backdrop or may even happen by accident. More often than not, though, the artistic and experienced eye of your photographer is what is truly needed to find the “best shot.” It’s generally not just one shot, either. It could be a sequence of pre-ceremony shots of the bride primping and getting ready. It might be the capturing of the groom’s nervousness before the ceremony with his groomsmen trying to lighten the mood. Perhaps it’s several shots of the parents or grandparents embraced on the dance floor – lost in the moment. Maybe it’s the toss of the bouquet?
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“You can’t capture a connection, unless you have a connection,” professes photographer Betsy McCue of La Vida Creations. Engagement sessions can be a crucial tool to ensuring photographic success for a wedding. Each party gets to know each other and a relationship is built. The groom starts to lower the typical “I hate pictures” guard. The bride warms to the moment. “Getting to know them as people enables us to relate with them more easily. Comfort equals better pictures. We can capture the essence of who people really are, especially once they start to drop their guard,” adds McCue.

There are many incredibly beautiful locations around San Diego to shoot engagement sessions and/or wedding day pictures: the Hotel Del and its beaches, Luscomb’s Point at Sunset Cliffs, The Marston Houses’ gardens near Balboa Park, anywhere in Balboa Park, Wind-N-Sea beach, the Mission Bay areas around The Dana and The Paradise Point Resorts. Photographer Jen Bosma is also a definite fan of engagement sessions. She’ll try and meld to what the couple is looking for and strives to relate to her clients. “I want couples to be comfortable in front of the camera. I’ll encourage a groom to whisper in his bride-to-be’s ear and get her giggling. This warms them up. Maybe a cute little piggyback ride down the beach lightens the mood,” shares Bosma.
Amore Wedding Photography
Most people are slightly uncomfortable in front of a camera. It’s the photographer’s job to ease that angst. Compliments go a long ways. Relating to them on their level often does the trick as does speaking their lingo. The photographer is often a liaison on the day, especially early on, between the bride and groom. The groom has not seen the bride so he’s nervously asking how she looks or is feeling. The bride may ask how he looks in his tux or suit and they reassure her he looks really handsome. This gets both parties excited with anticipation and drops some of that photo guardedness. “My philosophy is don’t make it happen, let it happen. Every bride is beautiful in my eyes. Don’t be aware of me. Be aware of each other. Get the two close, let them interact and capture them,” offers photographer Joseph Guidi from The Studios of Joseph Guidi.

One key aspect in getting the best shot is allowing the professional to use creative lighting techniques. Shadows, natural lighting, unique angles…these are not necessarily new ideas, but perhaps with a more modern thought process. Use the twilight creatively. Everyone is used to sunset photos, but there are other periods of daylight that lend themselves to some creative shading. A professional photographer can coach you through this. Another benefit to hiring a pro to get the best shot is the overall expectation difference between bride and mom (or bride & groom vs. family).

“Mom has a totally different expectation. She needs the classic, full length, back of the dress shot. Brides want ‘photojournalism’ with minimal posing. We have to connect with both and capture both,” explains photographer Jared Bauman from Bauman Photographers.

Clarifying the volume of family shots expected versus candids ahead of time saves everyone a whole world of hassle. The best is generally a mix of both. Every bride is beautiful. Some may have some less than photogenic qualities. Your professional photographer can overcome this with their expertise and various techniques.

“Shooting down generally offers a more flattering angle if the nose is an issue. It hides into the face. Analyze the bride’s features and plan from there. Thicker arms…consider veiling them a bit,” says Guidi.
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Body positioning can be very important. Without over-posing, some simple instructions can create some memorable shots. Turn your foot this way. Lift your chin this way.

Make-up and hair are always an important issue. You can be the most beautiful girl in the world, but make-up is almost always needed to enhance the day – for photography’s sake. Ask your photographer for recommendations or look through San Diego Style Weddings Magazine for make-up professionals.

“Water based is generally the safest choice. There’s less chance of a reaction. Make sure they are a licensed esthetician and know what they are doing,” states Melanie Littlewood from Hair and Makeup Artistry by Melanie.

One of the other more important and understated factors to getting the best shot falls back on the eye of the professional. When all is said and done, they know what to shoot and when. They have that creative eye. You’ve seen this when you’ve interviewed them and their work. They may shoot you smiling with mom through an open side window of the church prior to the ceremony and you don’t even know they are there.

They might semi-pose you to bend a certain way so the twilight bounces off of you just the right way.

They might coach your interaction to a degree, but be yourself. Capturing the two of you in your own comfort zone is what will provide the best shots.

By: Jessica Weinberger

Holly Ireland Photography

We know that picking a photographer is one of the most difficult decisions to make when planning a wedding. So we asked our one-of-a-kind, San Diego Style Weddings photographers some of the most pressing questions that brides might have when searching for a photographer.  We also had a little Q&A with each photographer to get you a peek into the personality behind the camera.

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Shadowcatcher Imagery

Q: What is the best wedding photography advice you’ve ever gotten and given?
A: Our best advice that we always give to others comes from the very first wedding we ever did. We were at the rehearsal and the bride was having a conversation with the coordinator regarding the width of the aisle. After going back and forth for a bit, the coordinator said to the bride, “For God’s sake Anita, it’s not rocket science, it’s just your wedding.” Whoa! Skip and I looked at each other and said if we ever respond like that to a bride, it’s time  to be out of the business. Yes, it is rocket science, Anita. It’s the biggest day of your life!  We completely understand that and we will always do all we can to make those dreams for a perfect day come true, no matter how many times we have done it.

Q: What changes to the industry have you seen in the last three years?
A: We have seen the addition of drones at weddings which is pretty cool. We have seen a move away from DIY in photography, and a shift away from the overly “staged” images, and a return to more naturally styled images. We love this because it makes your wedding so much more all about you and those special moments that happen naturally.

Q: Why should a couple pick you as their wedding photographer?
A: Our reviews online say it all. We take our artistic style and combine that with your style for images that say WOW! We are all about you and capturing your wedding day with fun, style and flair!

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Brit Jaye Photography

Q: What is your favorite wedding moment to shoot?
A:There are so many great moments throughout a wedding day! It’s really hard to choose just one. The bride and groom’s first dance is particularly beautiful. A lot of times, the unique connection a couple has really reveals itself during the first dance. I love when they go into their own little world. Super romantic.

Q: What is your favorite time of day for you to capture your best work?
A: Any time when the sun is just above the horizon. I love first light, and crisp, foggy mornings. I also love the warm streaming light and colorful skies at sunset. Both times are epic and romantic in their own way.

Q: How would you describe your working style on the day of the wedding?
A: Photo-ninja! We love to stay in the background of your day, capturing all the magic, while you enjoy it! Real fun looks better than fake fun, so we let you do your thing, while we capture the moments. We also have a ‘control-your-own-destiny’ mentality when photographing. So, if we can make the shot even better, we will. If we see a cool shot, we take it. Carpe Diem

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Spotlight Studios

Q: What is your favorite wedding moment to shoot?
A: We absolutely love the sweet moments before the wedding with the bride and her parents. When she gets into her dress and they see her for the first time, there is always so much love in the room! And if the couple decides to do a first look, that is a priceless moment that is always full of raw emotion!

Q: What is the best wedding photography advice you’ve ever gotten and given?
A: To always listen to the client’s desires. This is the biggest day of their lives, and to be chosen to capture these moments is an absolute honor. Use their vision as inspiration, and then apply your expertise to capture their day in a stunning and stylistic way.

Q: Why should a couple pick you as their wedding photographer?
A: Here at Spotlight Studios, we always aim to provide an incredibly personalized experience. We want to get to know our clients’ preferences, styles and personalities so that their photos are a beautiful representation of them as a couple. We know that couples pour their hearts and souls into planning their wedding, and we want to be sure that that same dedication is placed into capturing it.

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Paul Barnett Photography

Q: What is the best wedding photography advice you’ve ever gotten and given? 
A: If you want your business to succeed, embrace competition, evolve with the years and never, ever stop moving forward.

Q: What changes to the industry have you seen in the last three years?
A: Since the end of the recession, large, complex and over-the-top weddings are back. Social media is not just a fun and entertaining platform, but rather, it’s a mandatory marketing tool.  Advances in digital technology have increased the speed and delivery of our images. What was once fast is now instantaneous.

HollyIrelandPhotography

Holly Ireland Photography

Q: What is the best wedding photography advice you’ve ever gotten and given?
A: Have a plan and and then go with the flow. I always go into a wedding or a shoot with a plan, but usually my favorite shots are the ones that aren’t planned, they happen organically.

Q: What changes to the industry have you seen in the last three years?
A: Brides and Grooms are expecting photography to be cutting edge. They want the traditional posed photos for their parents, but they really want stunning art pieces that are creative and unique for their home. So, as a photographer, I am always thinking outside of the box for a unique photo idea for each couple.

Q: How would you describe your working style on the day of the wedding?
A: We are a husband and wife team. We love to make the day fun so that the couple relaxes and knows that the photo portion of their wedding is still part of the amazing party they have spent so much time and money planning. They forget they are having their photo taken and are just having fun while getting amazing images.

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DA PhotoZ

Q: What is your favorite wedding moment to shoot? 
A: This is a tough one! If being forced to choose our absolute favorite we would have to say  that very moment that the bride turns the corner to walk down the aisle, and we get to catch that incredibly emotional and awestruck groom as he sees his bride walking towards him. This moment is also the reason why we are totally loving that “first looks” are becoming more and more popular. There is not a photo that says ‘Awwww’ more than a man in love!

Q: What changes to the industry have you seen in the last three years?
A: The most significant change in the wedding photo side of the industry has absolutely been the social medial aspect of today’s weddings. With how ingrained social networking has become in our generation, unless you opt for the unplugged wedding, you can guarantee that your first few wedding photos will be seen on your ‘Aunt Nancy’s’ Facebook, Instagram and Twitter before you can say I Do. More and more weddings are following the hashtag trend, and honestly, we are welcoming the change! Most of our social media and tech savvy couples opt for our Virtual Wedding album, which is the perfect way to showcase your Big Day in HD on all of your social media platforms.

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Mr. & Mrs. Wedding Duo

Q: What is your favorite wedding moment to shoot?
A: We adore the photo time with just the couple!  To us, those are the most important photos for the couple to have for a lifetime.  Those are the images that will be passed down through generations and hung on their walls.  We always take special consideration, time and effort into this time with our clients.

Q: What would you ask from a couple in order for you to capture the best photos? 
A: The best way for us to capture a couple’s true personality is for them to be themselves; have fun, relax, enjoy the day, laugh and forget we are even there!  We’ll help with posing when necessary, and we have our  tricks to help our brides and grooms relax and have fun in front of the camera.

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Equinox Photo

Q: What is your favorite wedding moment to shoot?
A: The moment the bride walks down the aisle! All the butterflies and stress just melt away the moment they see each other. It’s an honor to capture that! My husband and I always give each other a little hand sign that means “I love you” to celebrate our years together too!

Q: What is your favorite time of day for you to capture your best work?
A: Oh by far, the magic hour! That last 60 minutes before sunset when the light hits the trees and flowers in such a way no photoshop or filter could ever duplicate. It’s so beautiful it’s distracting!

Q: What would you ask from a couple in order for you to capture the best photos?
A: Couples usually choose us because of our use of natural light. The best thing they can do is look at sunset times and also work with us a bit on the timeline. No weddings at noon or 1 p.m. The shadows are incredibly harsh. We’ll make any timeline work, it’s just a matter of finding the right photo locations first.

Q: Why should a couple pick you as their wedding photographer?
A: We absolutely love what we do. We feel like it is such an honor to capture such an amazing day for our couples. On the day of the wedding, it’s not just about photography, it’s all about making sure the couple has an incredible day with their friends and family. We help with ties, fix makeup and, of course, boogie with you on the dance floor. We also believe in giving back. We live on a horse farm in wine country with two horses, three goats, a dog, six free-range chickens and a not so mini pig! A portion of our weddings go back to dog and horse rescues.

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Leah Marie Photography

Q: What is the best wedding photography advice you’ve ever gotten and given?
A: The best wedding advice that we have ever gotten and given is to plan your timeline and to always plan for worst-case scenarios.  Things happen throughout the day that are out of anyone’s control.  Traffic on the freeway, unforeseen construction, people running late and all of those things become way less stressful when you have planned for them to happen.

Q: What changes to the industry have you seen in the last three years?
A: The biggest change that we have seen is that Pinterest has really given couples a voice when it comes to what they want in regards to their wedding day.  From their hair and makeup to their design details and down to the kinds of poses and photography that they want. They are able to search through thousands of fun ideas and inspiration and incorporate any and all of those ideas into their wedding day.

Q: Why should a couple pick you as their wedding photographer?
A: Couples should pick us as their wedding photographer because of the experience and expertise that we can offer.  With ten years in the industry, we have literally seen it all.  There isn’t any lighting or timeline situation that we can’t handle.  We have perfected the art of being able to get couples to be themselves in front of the camera and know how to get a fun and natural emotion from them within the time constraints of a wedding day.  Plus, with being able to add professional styling to any session we have the ability to turn any location into looking like a set of a magazine.  Plus, we’re super fun and like to have a great time with our couples.

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Stegela Photography

Q: What is your favorite wedding moment to shoot?
A: Mother son and father daughter dance. Such special moments!

Q: What would you ask from a couple in order for you to capture the best photos?
A: We like to ask what the couple likes to do for their go-to dates and we love to hang out with them on double dates. We have gone with couples to dinners, bowling, comedy clubs, movies, etc. and we really get to know our couples so on the wedding day, we are just friends with big fancy cameras.

Q: Why should a couple pick you as their wedding photographer?
A: We not only capture fabulous photos, but really put a focus on telling a story. We don’t pose our couples, but we direct. We allow a story to unfold in our engagement sessions and prioritize being photojournalist on the wedding day. The natural smile, is the best smile!

SiegelThursdon

Siegel Thurston Photography

Q: What is your favorite wedding moment to shoot?
A: We love the moments just after the bride has gotten into her wedding dress and she sees herself all put together and ready for the first time.  The emotions and excitement from the bride and her ladies is amazing.  This is usually a great time for a few cherished photos with the bride and her parents.  It’s always emotional to see the father of the bride see his little girl in her wedding dress before she heads off to her ceremony.

Q: What is the best wedding photography advice you’ve ever gotten and given?
A: Your photographer is a professional and an artist, you have hired them because you like their style and their personality so step back give them the reigns and let them create something amazing.  It’s always ok to ask for a few specific images you just can’t live without, like a portrait in front of those wooden doors you fell in love with, but relax have fun and let them work their magic.

Q: What changes to the industry have you seen in the last three years?
A: Honestly we have seen a movement away from so much DIY.  Our couples are picking and choosing the important items they want to make themselves and they are finding quality crafters on Etsy to purchase wonderful products from or find venues that include all the vintage decorations they crave. Condor’s Nest Ranch is a great example of a Pinterest ready venue.  It can be easy to forget how long DIY can take, even with a team of bridesmaids.

Q: Why should a couple pick you as their wedding photographer?
A: We are a lot of fun to work with as well as excellent photographers.  It is incredibly important to us that we mesh well with our couples because a good relationship helps us get better photographs.  It is natural that nerves are going to be escalated on wedding day and it’s very important that our couples feel comfortable with us because, typically, you are going to see your photographers more than anyone else that day.  An advantage we have is that we are a husband and wife team.  For us this means that we always work weddings together and have been doing so for the past 8 years.  On wedding day we work seamlessly together always knowing where the other one will be and what shots they will be getting like a choreographed dance, this way nothing is overlooked.

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Bubba-Loo Photography

Q: What is your favorite time of day for you to capture your best work?
A: I am a natural light photographer, so two hours before sunset is ideal.

Q: What is the best wedding photography advice you’ve ever gotten and given?
A: Always make sure to get a photo shot list from your couples ahead of time. It will save you tons of time the day of and takes so much stress off the bride/groom trying to remember what shots they wanted because they have them all written down! Also, sharing a Pinterest page with your couples is a wonderful way to collaborate!

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Bob Hoffman Photography & Video

Q: What is your favorite time of day for you the capture your best work?
A: Like most photographers, I love to shoot late in the day in the hour or so before sunset whenever I can.  Realistically though, we don’t always have the luxury of choosing the time of day to shoot.  I also love the challenge of getting amazing results any time of day.  If there is beautiful natural light I will take advantage of it and if there isn’t, I will use reflectors and external flash to make the light beautiful.  No excuses, every couple deserves the best photographs I can create.

Q: What is the best wedding photography advice you’ve ever gotten and given? 
A: Give everyone your best.  Don’t compromise on quality.

Q: Why should a couple pick you as their wedding photographer?
A: With many, many years of experience in the industry, I have encountered almost every type of wedding situation out there. This experience is vital to knowing how best to capture those once in a lifetime shots while allowing you to enjoy your day!

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The Boudoir Divas

Q: What is your favorite part about shooting boudoir photography?
A: We love creating an experience that makes a bride feel sexy and gorgeous right before her wedding.

Q: What is the best photography advice you’ve ever gotten and given?
A: Don’t try too hard in photos.  The sillier and more relaxed you are, the better the picture.

Q: Why should a bride pick you for their boudoir shoot?
A: We pride ourselves in that we are the most professional boudoir experience you will find.  Our studio is gorgeous and our staff is so kind and talented.

Blessed

Blessed Wedding Inc.

Q: How would you describe your working style on the day of the wedding?
A: Blessed is a team. We pride ourselves on the fact that we not only offer wedding photography and videography, but we also allow brides to use our own Hair and Makeup artist.  This has changed the way our workflow is and slows us to focus on those candid moments that I enjoy so much.

Q: What would you ask from a couple in order for you to capture the best photos?
A: I always highly recommend getting a Day-of-Coordinator (this can be done through us or separate) as having a wedding that is some-what on schedule allows the wedding photographers to focus on the photography and assures the bride and groom that there will be time for all the photos they desire to be taken.

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Clifton Photography

Q: What is the best wedding photography advice you’ve ever gotten and give
A: The best advice was to LOVE what you do and your photos will reflect that.

Q: What changes to the industry have you seen in the last three years?
A: There have been a few changes in the industry. One of the changes has been that many photographers have gone back to film camera. It was really rare to hear of that 3 years ago, but is now grown a huge popularity.

Q: How would you describe your working style on the day of the wedding.
A: I would describe my working styles as looking for those in between moments. Those sweet romantic emotions that no one really sees, but I do! .

Q: What would you ask from a couple in order for you to capture the best photo?
A: I always ask that my clients to be themselves and to enjoy every moment of their day. Their love will showcase into the best photos!

By: Jessica Weinberger

Tim Otto Photography
A picture is worth a thousand words but a wedding album is meant to be a fairytale novel.  The only decision is choosing the right author to write it for you.  40 to 50 years after the big day, you are going to want to open your wedding album and relive every moment of the most important day of your life. It is every bride’s wish to preserve these memories for years and one of the biggest decisions you will make when planning a wedding, is choosing who will be with you on that day to capture those moments the way you will see them for years to come.

We sat down with some of the best wedding photographers in the San Diego area to give our readers a better insight into their businesses and their personal lives.  From love stories to tips and advice, our SDSW photographers give you a look into how they got their start and their words of wisdom for picking the best wedding photographer to write your fairytale.

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Holly Ireland Photography
760.715.0807
HollyIreland.com
Holly and Bruce Ireland

Holly and Bruce Ireland met and fell in love in what seems like a fairytale story.  Holly was dancing for Broadway in Tokyo when Bruce spotted her at a subway station and it was love at first sight. They bonded over their shared interest in photography and after six months of a long distance relationship, Holly moved to California and they got married a year later. Thus began Holly Ireland Photography. They started their business together photographing dancers and then found their love for wedding photography, which they have been doing for five years. Holly compares wedding photography to a Broadway show in that you are a telling a story of one of the most important days in a couple’s life. Holly and Bruce describe their photography style as both timeless and innovative.  They love taking classic photos that your parents will love and contemporary ones that you will love while striving to preserve the story of your day for you to relive every time you open your album. Holly and Bruce really strive to get to know their clients and what they really want.  They both meet the bride and groom in person for a consultation and engagement shoot. This way, by the time the big day comes, everyone is more like friends and the couple is more relaxed in front of the camera.  Their philosophy? Always make it fun. Holly and Bruce feel that the more fun and relaxed the photo shoots are, the better the couple looks in them and the easier it is to capture the couples true expressions and love for each other.

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Leah Marie Photography
888.958.3560
LeahMariePhotography.com
Leah Faddis and Marcella Caldwell

Leah and Marcella describe their photography style as fun, romantic and natural. As two pure romantics at heart, they admit that they are just two girls who fell in love with happily ever after and found a way to stay in its nostalgia everyday.  They have been shooting weddings together for almost eight years and they say their secret to success is treating every wedding like it is their first.  Approaching every scenario with the excitement and enthusiasm as they did when they first started out, makes it feel less like work and more of just doing exactly what they love to do. Leah and Marcella provide a unique service to their photography that they feel makes shoots more fun and brings out the personality of their clients.  Couples have the option to have their wedding day or engagement session professionally styled by professional Leah Marie Photography event designers. Couples can create unique scenes with furniture and props to use for their portrait sessions that take their shoots to the next level. Leah and Marcella have photographed pillow fight scenes, shot in open meadows and even dragged a piano out into a vineyard. They promise to create magazine style shoots tailored to the personality and character of each couple. One piece of advice that they can give to brides is to make sure you invest in a photographer that has the style and personality that you are looking for. Chose a photographer you feel you can trust because every photographer has a different style and if you do not trust them to do what they do, then it might not be the right fit.

TruePhotography

True Photography
858.345.1258
TruePhotographyWeddings.com
Aaron Feldman

Influenced by the work and advice of his grandfather, Peter Grant, a renowned World War II photographer, Aaron Feldman was encouraged to choose where he wanted to make a mark. Aaron decided to make an impact by telling conceptual stories through wedding photography. Even though he had multiple job offers lined up after graduating from Brooks Institute of Photography, he turned them down for his love of weddings and started True Photography 14 years ago and hasn’t looked back.  At True Photography you get the efficiency benefits of a large studio and the hands on personal connection of a small studio. True Photography has a group of talented and artistic people all specializing in what makes for a quality wedding album.  From enhancement and retouching to album design and finance, Aaron ensures that you will receive images that feel genuine and are “true” to who you are. True Photography also provides a website unlike any other.  They are the only wedding photography website that showcases over 1000 weddings and 100,000+ images so you know exactly what you’re getting.  Aaron says that when it comes to weddings, you have to produce amazing results every time, so they began posting every wedding on the website from the past 5 five years to prove that consistency. Aaron’s biggest advice to brides? Plan, plan, plan up to the big day, but when the big day comes, let go of everything and just embrace the day.  Remember why you are there, and that is because you found the one person that you are happy to spend the rest of your life with.  If you can just enjoy the day to the fullest, it will show up in your photographs and will be an everlasting memory.

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Eisenhower Photography
858.945.0180
EisenhowerPhotography.com
Tony and Julie Eisenhower (father/daughter team)

Tony Eisenhower and his daughter Julie grew in their passion for photography together. Tony, the self proclaimed photography enthusiast, started out photographing weddings for friends and family and taking studio portraits for local theaters before he decided to pursue photography full time in 2000.  Julie, who had been following in dad’s footsteps since she was eight years old, joined him in starting Eisenhower Photography in 2008. Since they both went through the age of film and print development, they both have a strong technical foundation in photography from old-fashioned dark room development to the ins and outs of Photoshop. With the technical aspects under her belt, Julie can really get into the part of wedding photography that she loves, the unique moments and special connections between people. Julie says that her passion is capturing the “feel” of the wedding with photo favorites like the bride’s mother helping her into her gown or the hint of tears in the grooms eyes as he watched his bride walk slowly down the aisle. When Julie later looks through the set of wedding photos and finds herself laughing and tearing up all over again, she knows that she has done a good job.  At Eisenhower Photography, you can feel good knowing that Tony and Julie will be with you every step of the way.  They don’t believe in 6-hour packages. They will arrive as early as you like and stay with you in as many locations as necessary until you are completely satisfied. Julie says that it’s not about an hourly rate for her and her dad.  It’s about you and only you and that isn’t something that should cost extra. Their advice for getting the most out of the photography element of the wedding is to communicate! Show the photographer other photos you love and describe why you love them. Tell them if you’re planning on having unique events like a choreographed dance. That way, the photographer can be in the best position to capture it. Be sure the photographer knows the venue. Julie says it is not inappropriate to ask the photographer to visit the venue before hand if they haven’t been there before.  Communication is key according to Eisenhower Photography, and the best way to make sure your happy with your photos is to make sure your photographer knows what makes you happy.

Christine-OBrien

Christina O’Brien Photography
269.598.2549
CobrienPhoto.com
Christina O’Brien

Christina began her career as a wedding photographer out of college when a local wedding photographer hired her after viewing her work in an art show. Christina provided a photojournalistic style that made her stand out the in crowd even in college and has been shooting weddings for 11 years since then. Christina loves being able to share in your special occasion and being able to help make that occasion memorable for you for years to come.  Christina likes to keep her shoots fun, relaxing, and centered around you and your personality.  Her philosophy is that it is your shoot, not hers.  Her shoots are never posed, but shot in a more fluid and organic way. She says this allows her to capture the candid moments and make them unique and personal to you. Christina promises to personally walk you through the whole experience and will be the one that you work with from start to finish. She will know you, your personality, your style and make sure that it is all reflected in what she creates for you.  With Christina O’Brien Photography, you also get the all in one package. With only one vendor, Christina offers photography, videography and a unique open-air style photo booth. Christina’s advice is when searching for a photographer look for style first and then price.  You want to find someone you get along with and that respects your ideas. She says that you want to find someone whose work speaks to you. This will be the person that you will be getting dressed in front of and the person you will be kissing in front of and it is so important to hire a person you would want to have along side you for the whole day.

Equinox-Photo

Equinox Photo
760.902.8265
EquinoxPhoto.net
Tricia Meteer

Tricia’s background is in fine art photography so she has a unique understanding of how to utilize light in photos. She began shooting weddings 15 years ago as a way that she could use her talent as a tool to tell a couple’s love story. Tricia loves getting to know her clients before shooting them.  “I want to know how they met, where they like to go on dates and what their “first dance” song will be,” she says. Who better to shoot your wedding than a couple that knows about romance first hand?  Tricia and her husband often shoot weddings together.  She says, “because the two of them are very much in love and have been married for so long, they really understand what the bride and groom are feeling on their big day.”  This understanding shines through in their photographs.  Tricia describes her style as very photo-journalistic. Her goal is to document a couple’s one of a kind love story by capturing each kiss, giggle and embrace.  The results are images that showcase each couple’s individual personalities ; with Equinox Photo, you’re not just getting a photographer. You’re getting your own personal “wedding concierge” for the day. You will have two photographers capturing every special moment, plus your own wedding stylist who will make sure you are taken care of all day. Tricia’s business partner has been a fashion and wedding stylist for over 10 years and they partner together on every shoot.  She consults with each couple on everything from wardrobe to photo shoot location to create editorial-worthy images. Tricia’s biggest piece of advice is to find a photographer you “click” with.  They will be with you all day and they should understand your personalities and desired outcome for the big day.

Mr-n-Mrs

Mr. & Mrs. – A Wedding Duo
888.560.5560
MrandMrsWeddingDuo.com
Peter and Shayna San Nicolas

The very own Mr. & Mrs. behind Mr. & Mrs. – A Video and Photography Duo are not only phenomenal artists, but also professional business owners.  Customer service has been their top priority for the past seven years and they know first hand what it is like to pay for a photographer that didn’t provide that for them.  This motivates Peter and Shayna to give every couple they shoot the very best experience they could have.  They say a wedding day is the most monumental day in a person’s life and it is an honor to them to be a part of it.  Over two decades ago, Peter and Shayna fell in love as mere 12 year olds and grew up together in a small rural town sharing in their love for Jesus and a passion for photography and cinema.  With three beautiful children, they are truly living their dream.  As a photographer and videographer team, they enjoy capturing and experiencing that dynamic that makes a couple so great together.  You wont see them posing you every five seconds but instead directing you to have fun and let loose with your loved ones. They say an engagement shoot is a must and is key to getting to know your photographer and videographer and getting more comfortable with each other before the wedding. To Peter and Shayna, each couple’s love story and personalities are different and they aim to express this and their true selves in their photographs and movies.

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Boudoir Divas
858.485.0443
TheBoudoirDivas.com
Marissa Boucher & Kimberlee W

With one of the biggest boudoir studios in the US and a team of fabulous women, The Boudoir Divas aim to give women an experience to not only look and feel beautiful, but also to feel empowered through gaining a newfound confidence. Marissa and her husband shot weddings starting in 2003 and Marissa shot boudoir sessions for her brides on the side. By 2007, the boudoir shoots were so popular that they needed to move into a larger studio to accommodate the demand. A few years later, Marissa stopped shooting weddings and started The Boudoir Divas with Kimberlee. Marissa’s team includes photographers, a hair & makeup artist, a studio manager, and a ‘production princess’ specializing in airbrushing photos. Being the only studio in San Diego to specialize only in boudoir photography, The Boudoir Divas offers a unique experience for clients to enter and entire Boudoir Divas world that is dedicated to helping women feel beautiful. They love giving brides the opportunity to surprise their groom with a gorgeous book filled with sexy and classy images of her. They also suggest talking with your wedding photographer to plan to capture the moment when your future husband opens his special groom’s gift. The reaction is priceless and definitely worth capturing. A day at The Boudoir Divas is more than just taking a pretty picture. It is an entire day where you get to step outside of your everyday life, feel pampered, get glammed-up, and then walk away with new confidence after seeing just how beautiful you are. They also provide a fun service for brides and her friends called “PinUp Parties” which is a perfect way to have a fun and unparalleled bachelorette party. The Boudoir Divas mission with every shoot is to help you “Reveal Your Sexy.” They say they truly believe that every woman is uniquely beautiful, and they want to provide and experience that helps you celebrate your beauty through a pampering, fun photo shoot.

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Bubba-Loo Photography
760.525.4929
Bubba-Loo.com
Kelly Willardson

Kelly has never been one to hide her passion for photography. “I do it because I love the art of taking photos.  It’s in my soul,” she says. Kelly developed an avid interest for photography early in her life when she watched her grandfather work magic developing photos in his garage that he converted into a Dark Room. Watching her grandfather sparked a fire in her belly for photography that lasted her whole life.  Kelly considers it an extreme honor when clients ask her to photograph their wedding.  When a couple invites her to not only capture their special day but also take part in it, it’s something she takes very seriously. She puts her heart and soul into capturing those special moments that could easily go unnoticed. When working with couples, her golden rule is simple.  Loosen up and have fun.  Kelly promises that this is the key to spectacular photos.  She also swears by the element of communication. She always requests that couples provide her with a shot list a few weeks before the wedding.  It not only gets the couple thinking about what shots are important to them on their big day but it is also a huge time saver.

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Cricket Estrada Studios
858.222.2196
CricketEstrada.com
Cricket Estrada

Cricket has been in the photography business for 15 years and got into wedding photography with his wife. Not only does he provide photography but Cricket also does motion film. Cricket says that he is the type of guy for those couples who want a highly personal and customizable wedding photographer.  He claims that his work is laid back, loose and a lot of fun for all.  Cricket describes his relationship with his clients to be like that of a team.  He is a great listener and loves trying out clients’ ideas as well as some of his own. Cricket also doesn’t limit himself to the wedding location. He also photographs or films all wedding related events such as fittings, tastings, rehearsals and everything in between. He believes in covering and telling the story of your entire wedding experience, not just your wedding day. His special advice is to use your vendors and just have fun.  It’s a long day, but it flies by.

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Muse & Creator
951.234.5079
MuseandCreator.com
Geoff Rowe and Mary Jo O’Neal

Geoff comes from a 10-year background in fashion and commercial work in the UK, Europe and Arizona. He had planned on entering the world of wedding photography for a number of years and when he moved to Southern California two and a half years ago and met a ton of wonderful and talented wedding vendors, he thought it was the perfect time to begin the transition. There is a technical side to Geoff’s work, which was born in the fashion photography industry along with a very distinctive British accent and a sense of humor. Working in the fashion industry also greatly influenced his photography style.  He describes his style has fashion forward, somewhat editorial and a little journalistic. But none of his work could be done with out Mary Jo, the studio manager of Muse & Creator. Geoff actually met Mary Jo on Match.com! One day he had a “wink” in his inbox and they met up.  They met for lunch that turned into dinner on Mother’s Day in 2007 and the story began. It was a perfect match! Geoff’s key to perfect photos is to listen to his clients.  He says if you have something you really want to shoot, he will want to hear it and he will incorporate that into your day but with his unique style. Engagement sessions are also very important in Geoff’s eyes. It is an opportunity to really push boundaries and get the couple to tell a story that is personal to them. Geoff’s two photography tips for clients: Give us time and give us light. To make beautiful images that you see in the magazines takes time. Time to get to that perfect location, to get you in place, to the perfect angle. It takes a lot to get those magnificent photos. As for light, Geoff says you might think that modern equipment is so good that it alone can pull of miracles but you still have to get the fundamentals right to get those great images.Clifton-Photography-SDWS-profile-photo

Clifton Photography
909.376.8595
CliftonPhotography.net
Rita Clifton

Rita has had a camera attached to her hip since she was given her first one at nine years old.  She loved capturing the memories of her life and at the age of 20, she was asked by friends and family to capture the memories of their lives too.  She started out with family portraits, maternity and engagement shoots and sometimes weddings. Shooting her very first wedding was the most heart touching moment for Rita. At that moment, she decided that one day she wanted to be a full time wedding photographer.  She has been a professional wedding photographer for five years now. Her goal as a photographer is to give her couples a day to remember. With a style that is timeless, romantic and intimate, she wants her clients to look back at her work 5, 10 and 20 years from now and feel as if it was just yesterday. She also takes it upon herself as a wedding photographer to keep her couples happy and on time with their day.  With every wedding, there is an engagement shoot and Rita’s gift to her clients is a 10×10 album of their favorite 20 photos.  “Do everything with love,” is Rita’s working philosophy, and it is clear that plenty of love is put into her photographs.  She edits every photo so it is ready for print and also gives clients a full resolution downloadable link and an online gallery.  Rita’s advice to brides in picking a photographer is not only to have a connection with the photographs you see on a website, but to have a connection with the photographer.  When you have that special connection, you will have the right photographer for you.

Bob-Hoffman

Bob Hoffman Video & Photography
858.576.0046
HoffmanWeddings.com
Bob & Tara Hoffman

Bob and Tara have been running their family business since 1983.  Over 30 years!  The college sweethearts fell in love at UC Santa Cruz and got married. They now run Bob Hoffman Video & Photography together and have a son and daughter.  As a family run business, they aim for the idea of family to run through with their clients.  Bob and Tara want their clients to feel like they can communicate with them on a personal level and trust them with all of their photography needs. They understand that clients have needs and they like to get to know and understand those needs and what the couple is looking for on their special day.  Bob admits that a lot of companies offer great photography, but what sets Bob Hoffman Video & Photography apart is that they offer the security that comes with experience. Bob’s first love is photography and he has spent three decades building a strong and creative team dedicated to giving clients the best quality.  They have been through a variety of wedding situations in San Diego and that gives Bob the confidence that he can capture any wedding successfully.  Bob and Tara piece of advice is to lock in the schedule and trust that it is going to work. Having a strong plan and someone you can trust to get all the little jobs done is going to give you the most ease. “You’re going to look beautiful in your dress or handsome in your tux,” says Bob, “so being present with one another and focusing on what that day means to both of you is going to be the most important thing. That love is what you will want to transfer through your photos.”

Stegela

Stegela Photography
858.333.1534
Stegela.com
Stephen and Angela Dela Cruz

Stephen and Angela only shoot weddings for one reason. They love, LOVE! To Stephen and Angela every couple has their own story and they love being a part of every couple’s special day to capture the emotions and celebration of love. With a beautiful love story of their own, it is a no brainer where they get their motivation. Stephen and Angela met in college both studying music with the same piano professor. Angela needed help with a musical piece and asked Stephen to sing to accompany her playing. Two years later, Stephen proposed to Angela in the exact piano lab with five gallons of rose petals and candles filling the room. They then started shooting weddings together in college at age 18. They shot 44 weddings in their first year thanks to college friends getting proposed to and hiring them. Now they only take a limited amount of weddings per year to give special attention to each couple. It is very common that the photography duo go to comedy clubs or dinners with their clients in order to get to know them on a more personal level. The style of Stegela Photography is described as candid, comfortable and classy.  They focus on the photojournalistic style of wedding photography. They capture photos of the event as it happens with raw emotions, unscripted and undirected. They aim to have each client feel comfortable with them to the point that they show up on their wedding day as good friends with big fancy cameras. They also edit your photos, capture your photos and handle your photos with the future generation in mind. They would hate to have your future kids look at your photos and say, “Mom, this is so 2015!” Their philosophy when working is to have a ton of fun. If you are not having fun and being relaxed, then they say they are not doing their job. Anyone can pick up a camera with the right settings and lens but it is the person behind the camera that makes or breaks the final product. Stephen and Angela know that there are tons of outstanding photographers in the San Diego area and they most likely know the other photographers you are considering. Stegela Photography admits that they are not for everyone, but they are for someone. They are a husband and wife team that enjoys fine dining, musical theater, luxury hotels, karaoke, mani/pedi’s, shopping, comedy clubs, Las Vega, movies, the beach and relaxing massages. If you can relate somehow with any of these items, then Stephen and Angela think they may be a good fit for you.

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Siegel Thurston Photography
858.454.1383
SiegelThurston.com
Brett & Elizabeth Siegel

Brett and Elizabeth began shooting weddings in 2006 when a dear friend asked if they would photograph their wedding in Sedona, Arizona.  At the time, they were both working on their Bachelor of Arts degrees at Brooks Institute and they barely knew what it took to successfully cover a wedding.  Somehow they pulled it off beautifully and as they continued to finish their degrees, more and more people started to enquire about using them for their wedding photographers.  Soon after they graduated, they decided to start a full-fledged wedding photography business.  Brett and Elizabeth met in college through a mutual friend and have been inseparable ever since and they love every minute they get to spend together.  Brett and Elizabeth say that running a business together has been one great adventure they are so fortunate to be able to share with each other. The first thing they like to do with clients is spend time with them before the wedding day.  Whether they are sharing a glass of wine, craft beer or great coffee, it allows them to know the clients better and understand their desires.  They also love to do walk throughs with their clients at their wedding location prior to the wedding day.  This allows them to step into their client’s shoes for a moment and find out exactly what they love about their venue and how to properly document the day.  When you work with Siegel Thurston Photography, you get two professionally trained photographers.  Elizabeth’s degree is a concentration in advertising photography.  Her skills will be able to capture all those details that you have spent so many months agonizing over in all their glory.  Brett’s degree is in commercial photography focusing on portraits and editorials.  With his skills you will be directed and posed with the eyes and technique of a trained professional that will ensure you look your best.

TimOtto

Tim Otto Photography
858.273.5889
TimOtto.com
Tim Otto

Tim grew up in Pasadena, CA and moved to San Diego to earn his degree in photography and graphic arts. He has been photographing weddings for over 10 years and can’t imagine doing anything else. Tim loves what he does and aspires to create photographs that you will truly love from your big day. His goal is to tell the story of the wedding by capturing personalities, events and important moments in an artistic and unobtrusive way. Tim is always honored and humbled to play such an important part in someone’s special day.

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David Santos Photography
619.957.4616
DavidSantosPhotography.com
David Santos

With a bachelor’s degree in fine arts David specializes in both color and black and white photography. He has a stylistic and unobtrusive approach but still pays close attention to your traditional needs. He has been shooting weddings for 16 years and with his experience, David Santos photography will combine classic portraiture with a photojournalistic edge for any wedding.

AshleyBee

Ashley Bee Photography
951.216.2196
AshleyBee.net
Ashley Edmonds

Ashley Bee loves weddings and is extremely passionate about what she does. Her favorite moment when shooting a wedding is after all the mayhem ends and she takes the bride and groom aside to capture pictures of the new couple. She says its the moment where they go, “OMG we’re married!” and it is so amazing to capture those moments that they can never get back. Ashley has been shooting weddings for nearly 7 years now and approaches each wedding with a timeless flare and an editorial style while playing off of each couples energy. Ashley tries to make each of her brides feel as glamorous as possible on their special day and is always excited with the end result.

San Diego Style Weddings is always looking for the area’s best wedding vendors and we love to showcase the new companies in our illustrious network that can help your every need. Below is a rundown of the newest installation of what you can find in the SDSW network of professionals.

Spotlight Studios

A Day of Elegance
At a day of elegance they pride themselves in turning visions into reality. They understand that each event is as unique as you are, therefore, we customize each package to fit your every need. Let them take the stress away and help you plan your day so you can enjoy your fairytale wedding.

Above & Beyond Real Estate Group
Creating a happy customer has always been one of their most important standards of professionalism. But representing their clients’ best interests is even more important. The process of buying or selling Real Estate can be very risky. Above & Beyond Real Estate Group brings the experience and advice necessary to protect you throughout the process.
ArenLace
Arenlace bridal boutique creates romantic French inspired, handmade wedding & special occasion apparel.  Their creations include personalized wedding party robes, “His and Hers” shirt sets, Bride shirts, Bachlorette tanks, Grooms gear and Flower girl essentials. Their shop items are hand selected, custom designed & embellished in rhinestone or vinyl. At Arenlace they know how important your wedding is, and are always there to help you find your perfect engagement and wedding apparel for your big day.

Blessed Wedding Photography
Blessed Wedding Photography is a team of talented Photographers, Videographers, and Makeup/Hair artists. They produce the finest wedding photographs without compromise to assure that your memories will be captured with care and quality.
Their eye for detail, sense of light and color will result in a beautiful custom wedding album that is not only fashionable, but will provide an exquisite way to preserve those special memories.

Bridal & Veil
Bridal & Veil is a full service Bridal Salon. Located in San Diego California in the heart of Mission Valley,  the store has been established since 1941. By far the  largest designer showroom in San Diego with over 2,000 dresses on the floor from top name designers. Their full service salon caters to the bride, mother of the bride, bridesmaids, and the flower girls, with experienced consultants who can assist you with your every need.

County of San Diego
Embrace the outdoors and plan your special day at a San Diego County Park. From lush gardens and historic sites to rustic knolls and quaint gazebos, there is an option to fit every budget and every style. Their venues are available throughout the year, and with the right combination of fun, creativity, and timeless elegance, your celebration can be customized to transform your special day into lasting memories.

Eco Caters
Eco Caters is dedicated to providing the highest quality catering with handcrafted foods made 100% from scratch while minimizing our impact on the environment. They do so primarily by using local organic food bought from farms and ranches that raise produce and animals in a sustainable and humane way. Working directly with the farms to guarantee a very high quality and fresh product that is sourced right here in Southern California. They maintain the highest level of service at every event to ensure that your guests can enjoy the food and company and let us take care of all the details. Also offering a full service event and wedding coordinators to help you plan your entire event from start to finish.

Flawed Perfection
Flawed Perfection loves to work with brides to create something special for their special days. Whether you want a neutral design or design(s) in wedding colors, they can make it happen! The designs are transitional and can go beyond “the big day.” Additionally, they love to create designs for bridesmaid gifts, mothers of the bride and groom, thank you gifts, and rehearsal jewelry. Every wedding deserves a bit of extra sparkle!
Flour Power Cakery
Awarded “Best of 2014 Wedding Cakes” as voted by the people of San Diego. Serving San Diego for over 30 years with quality cakes and affordable prices. Specializing in up to date Buttercream, Whipped Cream & Fondant designs. They will match any photo that catches your eye. Creative, unique and out of the box, they love to be inspired!

Frost Me
Frost Me Gourmet is San Diego’s premier cake and cupcake bakery specializing in hand crafted, one of a kind cupcakes. Frost Me prides itself on beautifully decorated, and delicious cupcakes and cakes for any occasion. You can catch them at one of the many community events throughout the year, come visit their shop at the beautiful San Diego Harbor in Seaport Village or UTC Mall. Frost Me Gourmet is San Diego’s newest Food Network Cupcake Wars champions taking the award for the Breeder’s Cup Episode on Season 9. With many flavors to choose from, including gluten free options, you’re sure to find the perfect treat for your sweet tooth!

Jenny Wenny Cakes
Learning from an early age in her mother’s kitchen in England, Jenny has always loved to bake treats, and after moving to the United States she was missing a taste from home and looking for a creative outlet, so started creating delicious cakes for her friends. After learning pastry arts from a well known culinary professor, Jenny quickly found cakes were a passion. Her goal is always to create cakes that hopefully taste as great as they looked. Jenny Wenny Cakes is fully committed to making cakes from scratch with the best ingredients available.

Karl Strauss
Karl Strauss offers two unique venues for your special day, Karl Strauss Brewery Gardens, Sorrento Mesa and Karl Strauss Brewing Company, Carlsbad. Their wedding packages include professional banquet service staff, all linens, tables, chairs, china, and  our wedding cake provided by one of San Diego’s leading bakeries. They are pleased to provide assistance for your wedding with custom menus to make your day as perfect as you imagined.
La Reine des Macarons
French macarons towers are the new cake at weddings, and with French macaron platters, the uncontested gourmet beauties at any dessert table. And what about your own Favors & Flavors? Yes, unique macaron favors designed by you to express your very own style! Personalize your wedding macarons to match your wedding colors and pair them with any flavor. Your wedding French macarons can be round or heart shaped with gold/silver/pearl shimmer at no additional charge.

Lafayette Hotel
The Lafayette Hotel is a premier location for your wedding. The conservatory is a truly unique space for your ceremony, located adjacent to the fabulous Weissmuller Pool, featuring high ceilings, natural lighting, and a whimsical garden-like ambiance. The vintage Mississippi Ballroom has played host to legendary San Diego parties, featuring the famous clam shell from 1946. A great backdrop for bands, toasts, or your head table. This great event space adds old Hollywood glam to your special day.

Ponte Family Estates
Ponte Family Estate is the Wine Country wedding site you have been looking for.   They  specialize in creating a “Perfect Day in the Country” for couples and guests. They offer two ceremony sites in which both are surrounded by lush vineyards.  The charming Barrel Room and banquet room sites offer indoor options as well.   Award-winning Ponte Vineyard Inn is steps from everything, allowing couples and their guests a luxurious place to stay before and after the big day.   Ponte Family Estate can accommodate weddings of up to 300 guests and offers full-service banquet facilities.

Renee Manor
Renee Manor is a perfect dream location for any event.  Whether it be a simple get away, wine retreat, wedding, company event or family reunion this facility will meet all of your customary needs.  With picturesque landscaping and mountain views right in the heart of wine country in Temecula,  which makes this secluded estate a prime location for any event.  JK Productions event planning has over 20 years of experience and the special touch this family brings helps make any event perfect for your family. Charming and private a real benefit to hosting your wedding at Renee Manor.

Wedding Details by Samantha
In the process of planning a wedding, we sometimes forget about the excitement of the other big day, the day the question is popped. She believes the proposal is page one of your new story together. Whether it be a private or extravagant event, they will make your idea come to life with the perfect proposal. They understand each couple has their own unique taste and style so we want to create the perfect scene that is fitting for you. Their goal is to personalize this magical moment while capturing it all on film, so that your proposal will be unforgettable!  Their services not only include the proposal planning but the wedding planning as well. They truly believe, it’s all in the details at Wedding Details by Samantha.

Shadowridge Estate
Your premier destination in North County (San Diego) for ceremonies, receptions, business meetings and private events. The Shadowridge Estate sits on a hillside making it an intimate setting for all events. San Diego’s newest venue with lush landscapes, affordably priced with so much to offer.

Simply Classic Events
Simply Classic Events is your quintessential coordination and design boutique, whether you are planning an intimate gathering for family and friends or an elaborate event for all to attend. They will design you an affair of excellent quality, leaving you with memories to last a lifetime! Large or small, your event will have your guests talking about it for years to come!
SoirÉes & Showers Stationery
Soirées & Showers custom invitations and stylish stationery are unique and thoughtful ways to convey your special event to your friends and family. Soirées & Showers takes pride in helping to make your special event one that will be remembered for years to come. Serving San Diego, North County, and Temecula areas.

Somsi Couture
At Somsi’s design studio they are passionate about working with the bride to be, creating for her an exclusive one of a kind wedding gown she will treasure forever.
They custom design and create unique couture gown, made to order, for our private clients, drawing inspiration from our brides and the latest designs of high end fashion. They work closely with each bride and it is important to us to capture the vision of each client and express through their gown, to ensure our client radiates her personal style on her wedding day with a sense of confidence elegance and sophistication.
Each gown is individually hand crafted in the USA using exquisite fabrics, outstanding design, fit, and craftsmanship.
Spotlight Studios
Spotlight Studios
Spotlight Studios has brought together San Diego’s most talented photographers. Their  goal is to make your photographic experience fun and carefree memories that will last a lifetime.

Taylor Grace Designs
Taylor Grace Designs custom floral studio has a proven history in top notch service and attention to detail, their team of designers will consult with you to create a look that reflects your taste and style, whether it’s for an intimate affair or large scale event. Having designed florals for more than 500 weddings and events in San Diego, they are pleased to have excellent working relationships with many local venues. Their intimate knowledge of these settings and their consultative approach to floral design help them create just the right look to make your special day perfect.

Unveiled Brides
At Unveiled, they make it their mission to provide superior customer service. When looking for your perfect dress, the process is not unlike the one experienced when searching for your soul-mate. They know you have to have options! Their Bridal Professionals will take the time to listen to your needs, and allow you the ability to try on every stunning gown, in order to grasp an idea of the exact dress you desire. Their boutique provides one-on-one consultations for each and every customer.