A thing that you see in my pictures is that I was not afraid to fall in love with these people.
Hello there, and thanks for letting me tell you a little bit about myself and what I do! (Well, to keep it real... it's kind of a novel... so grab a snack and put your feet up, yeah?)
I’ve been shooting for over 25 years, since I was 12, after being inspired by my grandma's photo albums that lined the shelves. I just loved sitting and thumbing through and being able to see our whole family history from before my dad was born. I was gifted my first Canon 35mm film camera in 1995, and I started keeping my own printed albums & photo-journals of the family shenanigans, all throughout high school and beyond. I switched to digital around 2007 with the advent of Facebook, and I studied digital photography and processing at CSUSM, but I still make printed photo books for my kids (I have two kids, Louie, 11, and Ophelia, 4). There's just something special about getting to sit down and turn the pages of your life and see your history in your hands, as opposed to just scrolling through it on a little phone screen - although I do also love slideshows for that!
Ophelia's First Year
I started my licensed, insured, full-time photography business in October 2017, when my daughter was 8 months old. I've shot over 100 weddings and hundreds of sessions as a pro. I'm not "cheap," but I am affordable. I've always kept my prices low, relative to other pros in the industry who have similar (or often, less) experience. Every one says I don't charge enough, but the thing is, I just love my down-to-earth clients who want their real memories captured instead of everything being staged and posed all day. And I just don't see the point - for me - of charging over $3k, when I'm just capturing what's unfolding in front of me from the best angles for light and composition, with just enough guidance and direction to provide my clients with images that are altogether authentic, artistic and beautiful from start to finish.
Granted, we all need those traditional, posed portraits for the wall, and in the interest of both authenticity and artistry, I invite my clients to collaborate and bring their own ideas (Pinterest is great for that) - but overall, posing isn't what the day is about, to me, or to my clients. For us, it's the moments - the memories - that matter most. And capturing every moment is easier than ever before, with today's digital cameras and high, silent shutter speeds. I take an average of 1,000 images per hour on two pro full-frame Canon d-SLR cameras with 4 Canon L-series lenses and 2 Canon 600 EX-RT speedlites, providing my clients with hundreds of professionally captured and edited images from their wedding and/or session with no watermarks for high res download from an online gallery (and plenty of add-ons to choose from - flash drives, prints, albums, slideshows, a second shooter, and/or all unedited images captured).
Summer & Matt's Wedding Highlights
I moved with my family to Northern California in 2016 from Fallbrook (San Diego county, where I lived for most of my life) to Pollock Pines so I could raise my kids alongside my sister April. I quickly fell in love with Gold Country - Lake Tahoe, Hope Valley, Carson Pass, the El Dorado National Forest, the American River, Apple Hill, Hangtown, Coloma, Old Folsom, Old Sacramento and Tower Bridge - all the way to the Bay Area and Yosemite. There are so many beautiful areas up here, with such rich history. I was in large part inspired by Gold Country to start my business here and fulfill my lifelong dream! So, for my sessions here, I love to make it an adventure exploring one of these areas, whether it's just 30 minutes in Apple Hill (perfect for a family with kids), an hour before sunset through sunset anywhere (perfect for an engagement session), or 3 hours in Yosemite (perfect for an engagement proposal or elopement).
Ashley & Shawn's Engagement
Fitzgerald Family at the Pumpkin Patch
Overall, I feel so incredibly blessed to have a career that's all about love. I love my family, I love what I do, I love my clients, and I love where I live. It just doesn't get any better than that!
If you think you'd love for me to capture your love, whether near or far, I'd love to chat!
With Love (because you can never have too much),