A Styled Vow Renewal

Last November I grabbed a few of my favorite wedding vendors and we created a beautiful styled vow renewal with the most incredible couple in love. It was so easy to get the shots we dreamed of when Keven and Kori are not only truly and deeply in love with each other, but they really like each other. I asked them to model because my times with them in the past always left me impressed with how much respect and love remained between them even after years of marriage and small kiddos. They are lovely in all the ways.

The idea was to style an event with a bit of a boho style while keeping it elegant and timeless at the same time. I’m so thankful for the incredible vendors that came together and made it happen with me. Here’s the team who contributed:

Photography: Kelli Avila

Styling: Erika Amalia

Videography: Cory Media Weddings

Calligraphy: The Scribble Shop

Florals: Picked Floristry

Rentals: Stockroom Picks

Hair: Vanessa Reyes

Makeup: Janelle Mashtal

Venue: Historic Seven Sycamores

Dress: Daughters of Simone

Accessories: Make Pie Not War

Mens Wear: Macy’s

Kara Maternity Boudoir | The Prettiest Baby Bump Ever!

Maternity photography is definitely one of my favorites, I do have 4 kiddos so baby mamas, are close to my heart ;) I love to celebrate our beautiful miracle making bodies with lovely photographs. Someday we will enjoy looking back on how incredible this season of life was and how truly amazing our bodies are. This is Kara and her mini Remy. Enjoy!

Kayla + Lance | Oyster Ridge Fall Wedding

So much love… so much laughing…. so much fun! These two, whenever I’m with them I giggle like a little kid and feel like I’m their oldest bestest friend! It was a joy to photograph their surprise engagement and especially their INCREDIBLE wedding. Styled perfectly according to Kayla’s impeccable taste and filled with wonderful people in the most beautiful setting… October 27th was a lovely day. Here is 203 (tooooo many!) images of one of my favorite weddings to date. Enjoy!

Venue: Oyster Ridge | Florals: Lori Boe Florals | Makeup: Kailee Akin | Hair: Rachel Goslinga | Dress: Custom by Regina Toste | Suit: Men’s Warehouse Shoes: Freebird  | Styling/Planning: Dana Matteson

Pismo Sand Dunes Maternity Session with Elisha & Jordon Long | My Favorite Love Story

These are my dear friends, the Longs. Soon they’ll be a party of three and I was so happy to celebrate that with a maternity session in the sand dunes on the Central Coast. It was the dreamiest shoot with loveliest of humans. If you’re in love with these images as much as I am, join me for another magical day at the dunes in February and again in April. Secure your session to capture your own dunes magic!

Harder Coast Session

This sweet family invited me to meet them during family vacation and we had soooo much fun! It was the perfect way to plan family photos. They wanted the session to be full of candid moments. Lot's of life happening and captured just as it went. So that's what we did. Hudson went through at least 3 outfits as you can see. My favorite moment was at the end when we attempted a more posed family portrait and Hudson was more interested in plowing through the sand with his truck. I love that they let him do his thing and I got to capture their family true to who they are. That's always the goal. I want to give you images that will remind you of these precious seasons of life, just as they happened. 

Beach sessions are available for June 29, Aug. 3 and 4. I'd love to meet you at the coast and capture your sweet family!

Love, Sex and Boudoir... | Visalia California Boudoir Photography

Now that I'm divorced, I have this interesting perspective on love, sex, relationship... You know what they say about hind sight... There's a clarity to how I see those things now. I guess that happens when the emotions of it all are far removed. When you're, married, sex often becomes a chore that you rarely have time or energy for. We're quick to assume that our husband's needs will be there tomorrow or the next day. Today is just not the day, babe. Maybe next week.  And it's easy to take for granted that they're locked in for the long haul with us so showing up our best is optional. This may not represent all of us. But I've done a lot of listening and this is the story for many of us. You married him as one person but he's now married to another version. 

Here's some of my theories. I think we show up in our marriages half of a person because we are so busy taking care of people, giving birth, making meals..... we excuse ourself from being our own person and caring for our own needs. We allow ourself to get lost. No one asked us to do that. We do that. And then years later, we wake up, look in the mirror and dislike what we see. If that's not you, don't read this. If there's some truth to this for you then hear me out?

No one asked you to loose yourself to make everyone else's world go 'round. You did that. Which is good news. You can fix it. I did this in my marriage. It didn't turn out well for me. Where ever you went, you can find your self again. I'm speaking from experience. There's no one like you so if you're not being you, then you're missing. 

Your husband loves you. Your husband needs you. Your husband wants you. Your "flaws" are not flaws to him. There just part of you. And I have a feeling you spend twenty thousand times more effort hating on and worrying about your body, your age, your wardrobe than he does... I think he might love your more than you love you. But, what if that changed? What would happen if that changed. Think about it. Stop reading this and think about what would change in your life... 

Now, what do you want to do about it? Do you want to put on some yoga pants and actually do yoga? Do you want to get a sitter and take your man on a date? Do you want to throw out every pair of worn undies you have and fill your drawers with pretty panties? Maybe buy a new bra from somewhere other than target and see how you feel. Do something to interrupt whatever isn't working. Loving yourself is loving your husband. Loving yourself is loving your kids. It is in no way selfish. If you got your hair done before you had kids. Why wouldn't you get your hair done after? I'm pretty sure your man goes to the barber still. 

I write all of this because I have been there and I believe there is something better for us. I believe that we can see ourself differently and change our relationships because of it. I believe that when our kids see us living in love, they thrive with joy and security. Maybe boudoir photography isn't the answer for you. Maybe it's a start. I can guarantee you this: A boudoir session with me will cause you to feel liberated, empowered and lovely. And I'm sure you already know how it will make your man feel. I think he'd feel cared for and considered. I think he'd feel loved and heard. I think it would jumpstart something really great in your marriage. Take some time and think about it. If you're intimidated by those extra 15 pounds, put your Nike's on and get to work. If you need a wax and a tan, I've got a girl. If you just need a friend with you, bring her. I'll bring the Champagne. Consider it. I'll be here when you're ready. 

Beauty is fleeting...

There's a conversation happening out there and I want to join to give my take. The topic is beauty and how every women is beautiful regardless of her body shape, size.... etc. I just don't think that's fully true. Before you blow a gasket and shame me, read on... 

Value and beauty are two very different things. I believe that every person holds value simply because they were created by a loving and intentional God. You held value even before you were conceived. I know this because God says He knew us before we were in our mother's womb. He took the time to know us and then give us a life and a family and a place in the world. That itself gives us value. We all posess it, even if we don't live according to it. Even if we live cheap. Even if we live low. We are of such great value that the price He paid for us was death. (I'm a Christian. This is my personal belief based on the Bible. You may see it otherwise. )

With that said, Beauty is different. I think there is the world's standard of beauty, there's the standard we make up in our head, and then there's true beauty. I'm not that interested in the world's standard. It's unrealistic, plastic, unattainable. And the one we make up in our head is usually influenced by the world and leads to comparison, highlighting all the ways we fall short of the photoshopped images we are inundated with. The beauty I'm interested in talking about is the truest one. The beauty that shines from the inside out. The beauty that is enhanced and radiates when we care for it, cherish it. I think the most beautiful people are the ones who are just as lovely inside as they are out. The ones who care for the body, mind and heart. The ones who smile with confidence and walk with grace. Those come in all shapes and sizes. What I don't think is beautiful is a girl who wants to feel lovely but doesn't want to love herself. The girl who envy's fit people but will not work out. The girl who feels insecure about herself but won't accept a compliment when it's given.

I love the current movement to empower women and celebrate beauty. But here's the thing; no garden tends to it's self. You're gonna have to care for your health to be and maintain beauty. It's a gift that isn't promised forever. It ages, it fades, it stretches... And when it does, what's left? 

So let's be honest. While there are sooooo many curvy beautiful women, soooo many 75 year old beautiful women, sooooo many dark skinned, light skinned, freckly skinned beautiful women out there, it's the women who take care of them self that shine. And like I said before, we all have value, but beauty is a gift that some of us care for and some of us don't. I want to celebrate the women who care and encourage the women who haven't figured out how to yet. Ultimately, loving our self is important. Where ever you rate your self on the beauty scale, just be sure to love your self. 

Senior Portraits | Madelyn

No one looks better in a field of purple flowers than this beauty! Also, she's about to be a Trojan!!! You've got a heart of gold and the loveliest spirit, Madelyn. Excited for the next season of life for you! Well done!

Senior Portraits | Bryce

She's going to UCLA! Not only is she STUNNING but she's super fun, hil-LARIOUS, and she's a smarty pants! I'm excited for the life Bryce is carving out for herself so far. Good work girl!

Congratulations ya' Bruin!