What’s better than one engagement session?! TWO! But we’ll get the that in a minute. Let me start off by saying that these photos hold a special place in my heart. Hannah and Zach are one of those couples that you can just tell are meant to be. They share the same values and sense of humor, and both enjoy the thrill of living on the edge…(They both choose to NOT have a case on their phones???) But in all seriousness, Hannah is one of my very best friends, and when Mitch and I get married, she’ll be my sister. And Zach is simply the man of her dreams. I remember the summer before she met Zach, we were both single and she was describing her perfect man. She described someone with a kind heart, a friendly demeanor and love for all people (like Jimmy Fallon), and someone she could be adventurous with. Little did she know that she was perfectly describing her future husband, who she would meet in just a few short months. And Zach met his perfect match too, because when you see them together, it’s impossible not to notice how much he adores her. These two are family to me, and I am so happy to be apart of their journey.
Back to the photos.. As I mentioned earlier, we were lucky enough to get to do two engagement sessions! As a family, we spent the whole weekend up in Tahoe in Zach’s family’s beautiful cabin. The first day, we took all of the photos just around the beautiful property surrounding the cabin. It was gloomy and stormy weather, but that didn’t stop us from getting some beautiful shots. (They were real troopers for staying out with me, it was freezing!) Two days later, it was a nice sunny day and we all went to check out their wedding venue. Luckily I convinced them to do another photoshoot there because it was so beautiful! Between the two shoots we got a nice variety of photos, due the outfits and scenery, as well as the weather! Altogether it was a lovely weekend, and I just can’t wait for these two to get hitched in August!
What a beautiful day this was! I got to spend this gorgeous, sunny March afternoon with one of my oldest and best friends, as well as a new friend that I got to meet that day. Mandy and Dani are two great friends rapidly approaching their graduation day in May, where they will both be awarded with Master’s Degrees from Chapman University. Talk about an accomplishment! When I got my Bachelor’s Degree, I was so burnt out on school that I could hardly imagine CHOOSING to go back for more. I have serious respect for these two for having the perseverance and dedication to accomplish such a huge achievement!
Like I said, Mandy is a friend I’ve had since elementary school. She is one of the kindest, smartest, bubbliest people I know and a true beauty. I was honored to photograph my stunning friend and make her feel as pretty as the rest of the world sees her. Mandy’s retro fashion and timeless beauty looked AMAZING in front of the camera. I was also lucky enough to photograph Dani, another gorgeous lady and a natural behind the camera. Although I had just met Dani that day, she was such a fun and welcoming person that the photoshoot ended up being a total blast. Also, Dani’s natural icy blue eyes could make your jaw drop! These two have been working so hard, and this little outing consisting of a stroll around Chapman, a pit-stop at the Orange Circle, some cap-tossing, and finally splashing around in the iconic (and apparently very COLD) fountain, were JUST what the doctor ordered! It was a great day for me too! Shooting at golden hour in a pretty place with not ONE but TWO knock-out beauties?! What more could a photographer ask for?!
What can I say about Alaina & Nick’s intimate sunset wedding? It was pretty much.. perfect. Small weddings are my jam and this day was too beautiful for anything to go wrong. The Corona Del Mar beach and a gorgeous sunset were stunning enough, but when you pair it with a model-worthy couple and incredible florals, it was a photographer’s paradise! This wedding was extra special for me because Alaina is a friend of mine and I wanted to make sure the photos of her big day were perfect. I was a little worried about the beach in the Fall, but California’s reputation of perfect weather came in clutch and it turned out to be a beautiful day. I actually ended up loving the unique twist of having fall-colored florals for an October wedding on the beach. Once the sun went down and we got those gorgeous pinks and peach colors in the sky, it paired amazingly with the peach and burgundy in Alaina’s bouquet to create some seriously stunning images. On top of how pretty everything looked, it was such a pleasure to experience Nick and Alaina’s pure joy in every moment. They loved to goof around and anyone could tell that they each truly married their best friend. It was a treat for me that they were both so easy-going and fun-loving, because it allowed me to convince them to get in the water to get some really awesome shots! I even got in the water too to get that perfect shot (you can’t say I’m not committed)! All in all, it was a wonderful day and I feel so honored that this sweet couple chose me to be a part of the magic that day. I could do photoshoots just like this every day and never tire of it! (Next time I just need to bring a more water-friendly outfit!)
It’s widely believed that the best relationships start out as good friendships, and I’m sure Christian and Kaylee would agree. They met in college and remained friends for two years before they started dating. And as is the foundation for all great relationships–they made fun of each other constantly. This is one fun-loving, competitive couple, so when Christian took Kaylee to an epic mini-golf match for their first date, it was sure to make for a great night. Since then, their typical date nights consist of Dave & Busters, board games, and anything else that gives each of them a chance to beat the other. They’re so competitive, in fact, that they keep a running tab of who is winning. Currently, Kaylee is in the lead, and I’m eager to find out who will be winning by their wedding next month!
Kaylee has always loved Christian for his ability to make her laugh. When she makes a sarcastic comment, he counters it with some witty remark! He knew he wanted to marry Kaylee at the exact moment he saw her at his boot camp graduation.
Christian proposed at one of their favorite places, the LA Zoo. He planned ahead and arranged for one of the employees to ask to take their photo in front of the giraffes, and he was ready to get down on one knee and propose right when they snapped the photo!
Fast forward to their engagement photoshoot that we took at Santiago Oaks Regional Park. It has been a long and hot summer, and yet we had a sudden downpour of rain during their session! We joked that of course there was not a drop of rain before or after we arrived, but it was non-stop while we were there! At first we were a little afraid that the rain would ruin our session, but after we got in the groove of things and made the most of it, we really got some great shots! I’m in love with the dreamy, romantic shots we were able to get out of the pouring rain, and now I can’t wait for more rainy day shoots! Oh, and I’m so glad that they decided to bring their adorable little 3-month-old pup, Cooper. He definitely tried his best to steal the show!
We are all SO looking forward to their wedding… October 8th can’t come soon enough! On top of the rustic vibes and pretty fall atmosphere that are right up my alley, they are going to serve some home-style Southern BBQ for dinner, which we all can’t wait for!
This weekend, I was fortunate enough to shoot some adorable maternity photos for two of my close friends! Janelle and Taylor got married in January, and are now expecting their first child! It’s crazy how fast time flies! I’ve been friends with Janelle since 7th grade, about 11 years now! In the last year I’ve watched her get married, finish nursing school, pass her boards, get hired as a nurse (while pregnant..impressive!), and next month I’ll get to meet her adorable baby girl! And all the while she’s had a wonderful, loving husband by her side, supporting her in everything she does. I’m so happy for this sweet little family and I can’t wait to meet Baby Engel!
Great pictures Janelle’ and Taylor . Your good Kayla Michelle ! Do you do this professionally ? Can I referred you to some clients needing photography ? … Delia Guan
Kayla these are beautiful shots! Every time I see your pics, I think you are a more amazing photographer.
🌹How sweet are these photos and this adorable couple! Kayla you’ve captured their love and anticipation of their sweet baby so beautifully. I’ve known Janelle since she was in middle school. She was a sweet girl then and now she is a lovely young woman, wife and mother!🌹
In April I was fortunate enough to participate in my very first Styled Photoshoot! Styled shoots are photoshoots that are put together by many vendors including photographers, florists, clothing companies, hair & make-up artists, etc. to use for advertising for their businesses. We had this shoot in Wildomar in the middle of the blooming poppies, and it ended up being such a beautiful day. It was nice to get away from Orange County and explore some natural beauty in the hills at golden hour. Our sweet couple modeling for us had a knack for romantic posing and their sweet interactions made everyone feel all the feels!
I had so much fun at this photoshoot and loved meeting all of the other photographers who came. Thank you to our amazing vendors!
Organized & Styled by: Camarie McBride
Florals: Studio La Fleur
Hair & Make-Up: Kasie Kane Hair
Suit: Friar Tux
Love this Style Shoot! What a fantastic job.
Wow! This has been one HOT summer! Last weekend, we decided to beat the Orange County heat and escape to Big Bear for some mountain breeze. Mitch recently got a new (old) Jeep and couldn’t wait to go off-roading with his dad, who also has a Jeep. The 6 of us (Mitch, me, his parents, and our pups) headed up to the mountains, leaving the blistering 109º weather for the much nicer 79ºish. That was one rough ride, let me tell you! As Mitch and his dad insist, the ONLY way to drive a jeep is with no top and windows down. Well, that’s fine and all but my incredibly-easily-tangled hair is not so sure. So, I always wrap a scarf around my whole head to avoid later having to shave it because of all the tangles. Mitch thinks it’s embarrassing and loves to make fun of my but hey, it gets the job done. However, it’s not so fun when it’s over 100º outside, so the cool mountain air could not come soon enough!
As soon as we got up the mountain, we took a doggy potty break, and Mitch and his family ran into their old neighbors & his childhood friends! They have since moved away and haven’t seen each other in years, so this was a super unexpected and pleasant surprise!
The rest of the day was pure enjoyment. The weather ended up being a little stormy and overcast, and it even started raining while we were sitting outside a cute little cafe having lunch. It was still not too cold outside and we were (mostly) covered by an umbrella, so we took it as a adventure more than an inconvenience. After this, we spent some time by the lake. I recently bought a Groupon for one of those 3-panel canvasses and I really wanted to get a good shot up in Big Bear to use for that purpose. As a photographer, this was the perfect day, with beautiful overcast skies preventing any harsh mid-day shadows. Also, I just love gloomy days like this anyway because it reminds me of Fall & Halloween, my favorite time of year!
As the day continued, we went along on our off-road trail and Mitch loved breaking in his new jeep. I kept taking shots along the way, as I love this style of lifestyle, “in the moment” photography. I even got some Father-Son photos that I think the family will cherish for a long time. Overall, it was an amazing day and a perfect getaway from this summer heat.
Great photos Kayla!
For this year’s Independence Day, my family decided to go for a laid-back BBQ at home with just the immediate family and our sweet neighbors. (We also wanted to stay away from all of the craziness of Fireworks, as our dogs are TERRIFIED of them!) So, we spent the day in my parents’ beautiful backyard living space (designed by my dad!). I swear, my parents were built for hosting. My dad makes the food and my mom makes the drinks. And by food, I mean AMAZING Cooking-Show-Worthy homemade grub… and by drinks, I mean Over-The-Top, Picturesque cocktails garnished with fruit, decorations, and more.
It was a hot day, but we cooled off with some Pinterest-inspired Sangria. I got this adorable “Sparkling Red, White and Blue Sangria” recipe from Ali at Gimme Some Oven and it definitely did not disappoint! So easy, refreshing, and festive! I love shooting lifestyle photos like these, but I’m new to blogging and always end up forgetting something! I spent so much time photographing the drinks, that I didn’t even think about capturing my Dad cooking! (FAIL #1) He made bratwurst sausage hotdogs on pretzel buns, corn on the cob, and zucchini (made with his brand new spiralizer) and I got ZERO photos of it. But it looked and tasted great, I assure you. (Luckily, my sister is a real blogger and I’m sure she got some photos on her phone that you’ll be able to see soon enough on her website, too). After dinner, we made room for some delicious s’mores toasted on our fire pit. (Yay, I remembered pictures of this!)
One thing I really wanted to remember this year was to take some fun pictures with Sparklers! I bought some last year that I never used and saved them to use this time. However, everyone was tired and ready to go home before it even got dark, so the lighting was not ideal for cool sparkler photos. (Also, it’s probably my fault for using year-old sparklers. Who knows how long those things are supposed to last). So, FAIL #2! But it was still fun! Overall, it was a very relaxed, beautiful day spent with great company, both in people and pups!
Yay! You captured the day perfectly. love your blog. So much fun. Beautiful photos!!!
On March 24, 2017, I was lucky enough to capture a sweet proposal between two of my dear friends. Ryan knew he wanted to propose to Erin for a long time, but he wanted to wait until he could make the proposal as nice as he thought she deserved. Ryan is Mitch’s best friend and roommate, so the three of us worked for a few weeks to plan out a thoughtful, fun, and romantic proposal. Ryan knew that Erin loved scavenger hunts and all things sentimental, so he came up with the sweet idea to make her a scavenger hunt full of sweet little notes leading her up to him, where he would be waiting with a homemade scrapbook he made encompassing all of their best memories. When deciding on a location, Ryan chose to make it in the same place where he realized he loved her on a birthday hike in Laguna Beach a few years before. Now, the tricky part was getting Erin there. Since I’m a professional photographer, our sneaky plan was to tell Erin that I needed models to use to create new content for my website. Being the great friend that Erin is, she agreed and even got her hair and nails done for the occasion (which was perfect!) The location was so beautiful, a lush green hike in the hills that also lead you down through a tunnel and onto the beach. On the day of the proposal, Mitch and I spent all day with Ryan, helping him map out the scavenger hunt, and mostly give him moral support because he was so dang nervous! (Which was very endearing!) Once Erin arrived, we spent about 30 minutes taking photos “for my website” until she stumbled upon her first clue. From then on, I was able to capture the whole experience of her finding her way to Ryan, him walking her through the scrapbook, and eventually proposing. And of course, she said “YES!” After that, we decided to have a little congratulatory double date at the Beach Comber down the road. I had so much fun capturing this beautiful day and giving this sweet couple some memorable keepsakes that will last a lifetime.
We recently went to sunny Palm Springs for a little girl’s trip celebrating my sister’s 30th birthday. Kariann is a lifestyle blogger and when word got out that she was putting together a fun & colorful Palm Springs party, companies couldn’t wait to get in on the action. She had so many donations from rum and champagne, to swizzle sticks, and even cute little party hats. We all had a blast putting the whole thing together, even in the +100º weather! Kariann LOVES planning and had every last detail figured out, from the perfect vacation rental home, to brunch and drinks, and she even made custom little goodie bags as a “thank you” to all of the guests. I loved being a part of it and celebrating this sweet girl, as well as getting to photograph this magazine-worthy home!
Huge thank you for our donations!