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Extended Family Photography in San Diego

Once upon a time, when I was a total newbie at photography, I saw beautiful images by Heather Starr Photography and fell in love with her work. She was the photographer I looked up to and wanted to emulate through my first several years in the business, and we got to be good friends through a small Facebook group and “photographer playdates” when we would meet up to photograph each other’s kids. More than anything, Heather’s beach photography helped me understand what was possible in that location.

Heather moved away from San Diego a few years ago, and since then she has sent me clients and referrals, but when she texted me before Christmas to see if I was available to photographer her own extended family, I just about fell off my chair. I was so honored to get to photograph Heather’s family up in Murrieta, where her mom lives.

San Diego Professional Photographer
San Diego Professional Photographer
San Diego Professional Photographer
San Diego Professional Photographer
San Diego Professional Photographer
San Diego Professional Photographer
San Diego Professional Photographer
San Diego Photography
San Diego Photography
San Diego Photography
Photographer in San Diego
Photographer in San Diego
Photographer in San Diego
Photographer in San Diego
Photographer in San Diego
Photographer in San Diego
Photographer in San Diego
Family Photos in San Diego
Family Photos in San Diego
Family Photos in San Diego
Family Photos in San Diego
Family Photos in San Diego

Family Photos at Scripps Pier | San Diego Photographer

San Diego photographers are quarantined just like the rest of the country, and Ashley’s was the very last vacationing family whose memories I got to capture on the beach last month. Brynlee turned five on their trip, and the extended family was trying to stay a day ahead of the shutdown, visiting favorite San Diego locations and eating at restaurants that were closed for dining the very next day. We were dodging raindrops earlier that day, too, but it turned out to be beautiful on the beach at sunset. I’m a sucker for grandkid/grandparent photos, and this shutdown and the upcoming Easters without extended family gatherings make them even more important.

San Diego Photographer
Extended family photos in La Jolla
Extended family photos in La Jolla
Spinning dress on the beach
Grandmother kissing granddaughter
Father and daughter photos
San Diego Family Photographer
San Diego Family Photographers
Family Photos in San Diego
Family Photos in San Diego
Family Photos in San Diego
San DIego Photos
San DIego Photos
Adults Daughter and Father
Adults Daughter and Father
La Jolla Family Phots
Grandpa and child on the beach
Grandparents and child on the beach
Walking on the beach
Little girl turning five | San Diego Photographer
Mother Daughter Photos
Father and Daughter
Grandparents Under Scripps Pier Photography
Mother and Daughter Snuggles and Fun
Mother and Daughter Snuggles and Fun

San Diego Senior Portrait Photographer

Senior Photos San Diego | Balboa Park Photography

So glad we slipped this senior portrait session in before the quarantine hit last month. With all of the sad news and cancelations in 2020, at least Audrey got to celebrate her senior year at Patrick Henry with this fun and colorful shoot at Balboa Park. Here are a few of our favorites:

Photographers in San Diego

Senior Photographers in San Diego
Senior Photographers in San Diego
Family Photography San Diego
Family Photography San Diego
San Diego Photography in Balboa Park
San Diego Photography in Balboa Park
Professional Photographers San Diego
Professional Photographers San Diego
Professional Photographers San Diego
Headshots San Diego
Amy Gray Photography
Senior Photos San Diego
Senior Photos San Diego
Photos of High School Seniors in San Diego
Photos of High School Seniors in San Diego
Coronado Photographer
Coronado Photographer
Coronado Photographer
Headshots San Diego
Headshots San Diego
Photography in San Diego
Photography in San Diego
Photography in San Diego
Balboa Park Senior Photo Session
Balboa Park Senior Photo Session
Balboa Park Senior Photo Session
San Diego Professional Photographers
San Diego Professional Photographers
Photoshoots in Balboa Park
Photoshoots in Balboa Park

This friendly squirrel was a fun surprise during our session.

Squirrel
Senior Photos Patrick Henry High School
Photos of High School Seniors in San Diego

A Sandcastle for Sandy | Hotel del Coronado Proposal Photography

Back when social distancing and the Coronavirus were not even blips are our collective radar, James called me to set up a stealth proposal session for Valentine’s Day.

He and Sandy were planning a trip San Diego to get away from the hustle and bustle for a relaxing getaway. Unbeknownst to Sandy, James had a special surprise in mind.

More than anything, James wanted to capture an incredibly romantic moment in the history of their relationship — one neither of them would ever forget. At the hotel concierge’s suggestion, he contacted Bill Pavlacka, Coronado’s legendary Sandcastle Man, to send this proposal into absolute WOW territory.

James, Bill, and I went back and forth, exchanging maps of the beach, and deciding on the perfect location for the castle. When I arrived at the designated spot on Valentine’s Day, Bill was there to keep an eye on his creation.

The Sandcastle Man Hotel del Coronado

The castle was the subject of quite a bit of attention from passersby, and when Bill put me in charge of it so that he could check on another castle, I made sure to let the young men who stopped to admire it know, “This is how it’s done, guys.” 😂

San Diego Proposal Photographer

Right on schedule, James showed up with Sandy. She was surprised and delighted by the castle, and by James’s sweet proposal.

San Diego Proposal Photographer
San Diego Proposal Photographer

Bill and I congratulated the happy couple, and Bill offered to write Sandy’s answer in the sand.

The Sandcastle Man San Diego Coronado
The Sandcastle Man San Diego Coronado
The Sandcastle Man San Diego Coronado

From there, we set off to enjoy golden hour on the beach, making some beautiful sunset portraits that James and Sandy plan to use for their engagement photos, to frame for display, and to create save-the-dates and wedding invitations. They chose a few favorites for me to post, while keeping others private for their wedding guests to enjoy.

Photographers in San Diego
Photographers in San DiegoThe Sandcastle Man San Diego Coronado
Photographers in San Diego
Photographer in San Diego | Proposal on the Beach
Photographer in San Diego | Proposal on the Beach

For James and Sandy, a favorite memory of the evening was sitting in the sand as the sun went down, enjoying one another’s company and watching the waves crash on the shore.

Photography in San Diego

James said his favorite shot was this image with the castle and hotel in the background.

Beach Photoshoot San Diego
Proposal Portraits San Diego

Reflection Shot Walking on the Beach

Family Is Everything | San Diego Beach Photography

There’s nothing like a global pandemic to show us what’s important in life.

Before any of this coronavirus craziness was even a thought, Thersa’s family gathered in San Diego for a wonderful week at the beach, staying at a vacation property in Carlsbad.

She told me, “As the family grows it is tough to get all eleven of us together for a time away from daily life. The week consisted of long walks on the beach, the kids playing in the sand box on our private beach, cooking meals together, and just loads of family time.”

Thersa’s daughters arranged the photo session, carefully choosing their coordinating outfits. Extended family styling can be tricky, and they did an amazing job. Although the day was rainy early on, the sky cleared just enough to give us a perfect sunset.Cousins on the Beach in San Diego
San Diego Photography
Grandparents on the Beach
Grandparents on the Beach
Maternity Photos San Diego
Maternity Photos San Diego
San Diego Photography
San Diego Photography | Carlsbad CA
Mother and Child | Beach Photoshoot San Diego
San Diego PhotographersSailing a Boat on the Beach
San Diego Family Photographer
Okay, I love this one. How adorable is that??
Toddler on the Beach | Mirror Reflection

Baby cousin’s turn with the boat! We had a little trouble getting in position. 🙂

Caught by a Wave
Photographers in San DiegoSailing a Boat | Toddler Photo on the Beach
Grandma with Toddler on the Beach
Extended Family Reflection Photo on the Beach
Family Reflection Beach Photo
Walking on the Beach Reflection Shot
Walking on the Beach Reflection Shot
Beach Portraits San Diego

"Like a Mermaid who Grew Legs"
San Diego Portraits | Headshots in Coronado

Beach Portraits San Diego
Family Beach Photography
Coronado Beach Photographer
Mother and Child
Mother and Child
Kissing at Sunset on the Beach
Family at Sunset on the Beach Silhouette

I’m a fan of this dude. Very cool grandpa.

Grandpa on the Lifeguard Tower in Oceanside San Diego

One of Thersa’s favorites.

Silhouette Photos San Diego Beach

Professional Photographer Hotel Del Coronado

College Senior Beach Photos | Hotel del Coronado Photographer

Brooke’s vision for her senior year at Point Loma Nazarene University included a photo session on the beach, and I’m so glad she chose me for that adventure! I loved her style, from her outfit choices to the cute hat that added some flair to the session!

Here’s what Brooke had to say about her college senior session:

Q. What was your favorite memory from your session?
A. I think my favorite memory was the freedom of just going in the water and playing around without worrying about my clothes. On a normal day, I would NEVER let my clothes get wet; the feeling of wet, sandy clothes sticking to me I don’t like. But this session gave me the ability to just get in and not worry about it-just having fun in the beautiful water was such a gift!

Photographers in San Diego
Photographers in San Diego
Professional Photography in San Digo
Professional Photography in San Digo
Professional Photography in San Digo
San Diego Photographers
San Diego Photographers

Q. Going into your session, did you have any concerns?
A. I was definitely worried about my hair. With my curls, the beach usually doesn’t make them look too crazy but it can certainly frizz out my hair! But the photos turned out great, hair included!

Headshots San Diego
Headshots San Diego
Senior Photos San Diego
Senior Photos San Diego

Q. Did you have any favorite images?
A. I love the photos on and underneath the lifeguard tower. The light behind me and the flowy-ness of my skirt just blow me away! I love the genuine joy of these photos.

Lifeguard Tower Photos in San Diego
Lifeguard Tower Photos in San Diego
Lifeguard Tower Photos in San Diego
Professional Photographer in Coronado
Professional Photographer in Coronado

Q. What is your plan for these images?
A. I will definitely print them and give them to family members as a memory of my senior year of college and graduation. My mom also wants to print them out and use them as wall art in our house. 😊

Coronado Photography | Hotel del Coronado
Coronado Photography | Hotel del Coronado
Coronado Photography | Hotel del Coronado
Photography in San Diego CA
Photography in San Diego CA
Photography in San Diego CA

Family Reunion in San Diego | Coronado Photographer

Anjali’s extended family session on a bright, sunny day in late December was one of the biggest I’ve done, so I asked my sister Melanie to give me a hand. Between the two of us, we shot as many images as we might have for a full-day wedding. Twenty-four people is about twice the number of people in a typical extended family session, so we were both busy, running all over the beach and working hard to get all of our combinations and poses. Scroll down for Melanie’s behind-the-scenes shot of me shooting one of the largest groupings.

Photographers in San Diego
Photographers in San Diego
Photographers in San Diego
Photographers in San Diego
Extended Family Photography San Diego
Extended Family Photography San Diego
Extended Family Photography San Diego
Professional Photography in San Diego
Professional Photography in San Diego
Professional Photography in San Diego
San Diego Photographer
San Diego Photographer
Family Photographer San Diego
Family Photographer San Diego
Family Photographer San Diego
Portraits San Diego
Portraits San Diego
Portraits San Diego
Coronado Photographer
Coronado Photographer
Coronado Photographer

Behind the scenes:

Behind the Scenes | Amy Gray Photography

Coronado Photographer
Beach Photoshoot San Diego
Beach Photoshoot San Diego
Beach Photoshoot San Diego
Beach Photoshoot San Diego
Beach Photoshoot San Diego
Beach Photoshoot San Diego

San Diego Family Photographer

Morning Light on Coronado | San Diego Beach Photos

We were still enjoying Christmas festivities on December 25 when Jerad’s inquiry landed in my inbox: “At risk of sounding ridiculous, I have surprised my family with a trip to San Diego. By any chance would you have any times available for family photos?” You can tell a lot from an inquiry, and I was all over this and so excited to meet this fun and spontaneous family! I was booked up for evening sessions, but Jerad’s family was up for a morning session. I met them three days later, bright and early, and we scored some incredible light. As cold and borderline miserable as winter morning sessions can sometimes be, they are sure PRETTY.

Beach Photoshoot San Diego | Coronado Mornings
Morning Beach Photo Session | Family Photos
Morning Beach Photo Session | Family Photos
Morning Beach Photo Session | Family Photos

The thing about a morning session is that all of my usual routines where light is concerned are turned on their heads. The sun is rising instead of setting, so the photo session has to be done in reverse from what I’m used to. It really keeps me on my toes! Instead of watching the sun as it dips to the horizon, making sure to get in all of the important shots before it’s gone and it’s too dark to shoot, I’m watching the sun as it clears the buildings to the east, trying to take all the important portraits before it pops out of hiding.

Photography San Diego | Family Vacation Coronado
Photography San Diego | Family Vacation Coronado
Family Photography San Diego
Family Photography San Diego
Little Girl Headshot on the Beach
Teen on the Beach
Little Girl on the Beach

This is what it looks like to go in very cold water on a very cold morning.

Walking in the Water at the Beach
Mother and Daughter on the Beach in San Diego
Senior Portrait on the Beach | Reflection
Headshots at the Beach | Professional Photographer
Father Daughter Father Son
San Diego Teen Photos and Seniors
Siblings Walking on the Beach | Coronado Photographer
Child Splashing in the Waves | Coronado Photos
Boy on the Beach | Photos of Children in San Diego
Lifeguard Tower on Coronado | Amy Gray Photography
Running on the Shore | San Diego Photographer
Under the Lifeguard Tower | San Diego PhotographerLittle Girl on the Beach in Pretty Morning Light
Family Hugs at the Hotel del Coronado
Walking on the Beach Hand in Hand
Little Girl on the Beach in Pretty Morning LightWalking on the Beach Hand in Hand

By the end, the cold got the best of Little Miss, but the blanket helped, and so did climbing up on the lifeguard tower. I think everyone got hot chocolate that morning. I know I, for one, went straight to Starbucks. 😊🥶

Photography San Diego | Family Vacation Coronado

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