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Vow Renewal on Coronado | San Diego Photographer

Alyssa and Mark live in San Diego, but they stayed at the Hotel Del Coronado to celebrate their 15th wedding anniversary. As soon as Alyssa contacted me to explain her vision for the session, I knew I wanted to be their photographer! Listen to their fun story:

“Every five years my husband and I get married again. He says it’s to prevent the ‘seven year itch.’ I say it’s so when he gets mad at me for something I did I can say, ‘You knew it when you married me!’ So far, besides our real wedding, we’ve been married by a Cherokee Medicine Woman in Taos, New Mexico and we’ve said our vows on the back of our Harleys in The Little White Chapel in Vegas. Most recent was our beach wedding at The Del.” Here are the photos of Alyssa & Mark’s first three weddings:

Vow Renewals Through the Years

“With every wedding, we book a photographer to capture our experience and show how we’ve grown. We chose Amy because of the artistic quality of her work and her ability to capture the true emotion of the people she is photographing. For every wedding we choose one photo that truly represents who we are at that stage of life. In the past, the photo that was ‘The One’ was quick to see. This time it is especially hard because there were so many that show the true US. I am resisting wallpapering my house…”

Coronado Vow Renewal | San Diego Beach Photography
Reflection Shot | San Diego Elopement Vow RenewalCoronado Vow Renewal | San Diego Beach Photography
Coronado Vow Renewal | San Diego Beach Photography
Coronado Vow Renewal | San Diego Beach Photography
Coronado Vow Renewal | San Diego Beach Photography

My only concern going into the session was whether or not we would get any good pictures of both of us—typically it is only one of us that looks good. Also, that day the fog rolled in and we were a bit concerned about the way it would affect the photos. However, but the time of the photo session (the time Amy suggested), the sky was PERFECT!

Weddings and Vow Renewals San Diego
Weddings and Vow Renewals San Diego
Weddings and Vow Renewals San Diego
Reflection Shot | San Diego Elopement Vow Renewal
Reflection Shot | San Diego Elopement Vow Renewal

“My favorite memory of the photo session was how much fun we had. It seemed like we were laughing the whole time!”

Laughter | San Diego Elopement Vow Renewal
Laughter | San Diego Elopement Vow Renewal
Laughter | San Diego Elopement Vow Renewal
Laughter | San Diego Elopement Vow Renewal
Laughter | San Diego Elopement Vow Renewal
Reflection Shot | San Diego Elopement Vow Renewal

I think my favorite images from the session are the ones where we are sitting close together and laughing. There are three of them that stand out—they are all taken from the same short period of time and they truly capture how Mark and I interact and feel about each other. I smile every time I think about them.

Marriage Goals | San Diego Elopement Vow Renewal
Marriage Goals | San Diego Elopement Vow Renewal
Marriage Goals | San Diego Elopement Vow Renewal
Marriage Goals | San Diego Elopement Vow Renewal
Marriage Goals | San Diego Elopement Vow Renewal

One picture, the one that shows the two of us walking in the water and shows our reflection, will be printed on glass— this is another tradition. Since it is our crystal anniversary it will be printed on “crystal.” (The one from Taos was our wood anniversary, so it was printed on wood; our Vegas wedding was our tin anniversary, so it’s printed on metal). The three I love will be framed and hung in our bedroom.

Weddings and Vow Renewals San Diego

A Jolly Holiday for the Banks Family | San Diego Photography

Cassie and her family came to San Diego on a dual-purpose trip. She said, “I was taking continuing medical education, but we came out a few days early because San Diego is one of our most beloved vacation spots. This trip, we took in Legoland, Mission Beach, Coronado Island, and Balboa Park. We try and gift our children experiences rather than toys or games, so our time in Legoland was Nixon’s birthday gift this year. Our kids absolutely love the beach and would play in the sand and water all day if we let them. I’m sure they love the stark contrast to the plains of Nebraska.”

San Diego Photographer | Hotel del Coronado
San Diego Photographer | Hotel del Coronado
San Diego Photographer | Hotel del Coronado
San Diego Photographer | Hotel del Coronado
Decorating with Family Portraits
Decorating with Family Portraits

As a family, we love to travel. We’ve had many adventures together all over the world. When the opportunity presents, we love to have photos taken while traveling to capture those memories. We love having large canvases sprawling across the walls of our living space!

Photographers in San Diego
Photographers in San Diego
Photographers in San Diego
Photographers in San Diego
Photographers in San Diego

I planned our clothing weeks in advance of our shoot, I sewed the dresses for the girls using one of my favorite patterns. I picked the fabric for Hadley’s dress because of the variety of colors and then used it as a basis for planning the clothing for the rest of the family. I was still concerned that it wouldn’t look right all together, but in the end, everything came together.

How to Dress for Photo Sessions | San Diego Photography
How to Dress for Photo Sessions | San Diego Photography
How to Dress for Photo Sessions | San Diego Photography
How to Dress for Photo Sessions | San Diego Photography
How to Dress for Photo Sessions | San Diego Photography

Photos with a two-year-old are always challenging, and this session was no exception. We were especially concerned because Emmie fell off the chair at Panera just three hours before our session and bit through her bottom lip! Emmie was a sour patch kid nearly the entire session yet we were still able to capture amazing photos of all the kids!

Decorating with Family Portraits
Decorating with Family Portraits
Decorating with Family Portraits
Decorating with Family Portraits
Decorating with Family Portraits
Decorating with Family Portraits

Favorite memory?
We just loved spending time together, taking in the last hour of the day in a most beautiful location. We loved the sand between our toes and the cool water!

Beach Vacation Portraits San Diego
Beach Vacation Portraits San Diego
Beach Vacation Portraits San Diego
Beach Vacation Portraits San Diego
Beach Vacation Portraits San Diego
Beach Vacation Portraits San Diego
Beach Vacation Portraits San Diego
Childhood Photos on the Beach in San Diego
Childhood Photos on the Beach in San Diego
Childhood Photos on the Beach in San Diego
Childhood Photos on the Beach in San Diego
Childhood Photos on the Beach in San Diego
Childhood Photos on the Beach in San Diego
Childhood Photos on the Beach in San Diego

Our favorite image is the lifeguard tower image. The peek of backlit sunset, the contrasting blue and the amazing shot of our family . . . that shot is EVERYTHING!

Lifeguard Tower Photos in San Diego

Since it was portrait season during Cassie’s session, we were sure to get a few Christmas-themed shots:

Christmas Photos on the Beach
Christmas Photos on the Beach

Cassie said, “We will use this session for holiday cards. We are also ordering several canvases for our living room!”

Decorating with Family Portraits
Decorating with Family Portraits
Decorating with Family Portraits
Decorating with Family Portraits
Decorating with Family Portraits
Decorating with Family Portraits
Decorating with Family Portraits

Super Cute Baby at the Beach

Some Sunshine in Our Lives | San Diego Portraits

San Diego photos, for Jaelynn and Brett, were just one activity during their time visiting our city. The sweet parents of eight-month-old Jordan, they did a great job of planning their stay. They came for “some sunshine in our lives,” but honestly, they brought the sunshine with them in their baby daughter Jordan.

We had the best time visiting San Diego! We have family nearby and brought Grandma along with us so Brett and I could spend some baby-free time together. We actually left our eight-month-old with Grandma, woke up at 5am, and day-tripped to Disneyland!

Photographers in San Diego at Crystal Pier

We went to San Diego because we have family and friends there, and we wanted some sunshine in our lives (we live in Seattle!). Our daughter got to meet her cousins for the first time and even went trick-or-treating with them (in Dad’s arms). Granted, she didn’t get any candy, but I did sneak her some teething biscuits for that adorable little gummy smile.

Photographer San Diego Family
Photographer San Diego Family

I booked a photo session because we hadn’t taken any professional photos as a family since our daughter was born. Babies grow so fast, and I really wanted to be able to document “us” before she turns one. Photos are so important to me because while memories fade, photographs don’t. As a mom, I feel like I’m constantly taking pictures of my daughter and everyone else, but I really wanted to step on the other side of the lens and document our bond, too.

San Diego Beach Photographer
San Diego Beach Photographer
San Diego Beach Photographer
Silhouette Sunset | San Diego Photographer
San Diego Beach Photographer
San Diego Beach Photographer
San Diego Beach Photographer

Going into the session, I was so afraid that Jordan wouldn’t cooperate and would throw a tantrum. I even brought Grandma along to help keep her happy . . . but we didn’t need her!! I couldn’t believe it. She was actually sick and had an ear infection that was diagnosed two days after our photos, but she was still happy as a clam! Amy is so good with kids and Jordan was just the smiliest little girl for the whole session (and even kept her bow on for a bit!).

Professional Photographers San Diego
Professional Photographers San Diego
Professional Photographers San Diego
Professional Photographers San Diego
Professional Photographers San Diego

My husband isn’t the best at smiling on command, so we always worry we will get fake smiles in his photos. I don’t know what kind of pixie dust Amy sprinkled around our session, but he looks truly happy in all of his photos, especially of him and our daughter, and it makes my heart sing!

La Jolla Photographers of San Diego Families
La Jolla Photographers of San Diego Families
La Jolla Photographers of San Diego Families
La Jolla Photographers of San Diego Families

I was pleasantly surprised as to just how much I loved the photos of just my husband and I. When Amy asked us to take photos alone, I was skeptical because I wanted my daughter in everything! But once we got the photos back I was so happy that we did it! I’ve been so wrapped up in Jordan for the last year and a half with my pregnancy and having a new baby that it’s easy to forget how it all started. It’s so important to remember the love between husband/wife/mom/dad. Our love for our daughter is so strong because we first had (and still have) a strong love for each other. These helped remind me of that.  

Photographers in San Diego
Photographers in San Diego
Photographers in San Diego
Photographers in San Diego
Photographers in San Diego

Favorite Memory: Getting to put Jordan’s feet in the ocean water for the first time!! She loves the water during bath time, but this was her first trip to the beach and she got to get her toes wet! It was so fun to see her reaction to something new, and even better that she liked it and kept on smiling!

Baby Toes in the Water | Crystal Pier Hotel Family Photos
Baby Toes in the Water | Crystal Pier Hotel Family Photos
Baby Toes in the Water | Crystal Pier Hotel Family Photos

It is so hard to pick a favorite photo. Honestly, it’s hard to even pick a top 5 because I love all of the photos so much, but if I had to try and choose it would probably be the photo of my husband and I kissing our daughters cheeks under the pier! We love to sandwich kiss her all the time because it makes her giggle and now we have it documented. To me, the photo just beams love and that’s what I want to be reminded of every time I look at it. My second favorite is the 3 of us with our backs to the camera with the sun shining and about to set between us. It’s such a beautiful photo and to me signifies that the three of us are in it together. Our little family will come before all else and with the setting sun of each day, we finish it together, hand in hand.

Sandwich Kiss Baby | San Diego Photographer
Baby Toes in the Water | Crystal Pier Hotel Family Photos

I plan to revamp our home with new photos to display! The frames around our home are full of engagement and wedding photos, but it’s time to add in our most loved gift yet, Jordan! Grandmas and grandpas will be getting some photos of their first grandchild as well for Christmas, so thanks for making that an easy gift for us Amy!!

San Diego Family Photographer
San Diego Family Photographer
San Diego Family PhotographerSilhouette Sunset | San Diego Photographer

Balboa Park Family Session

Balboa Park San Diego Family Photos

I met Lisa and her family for the first time last year on Coronado beach, and theirs was one of my favorite sessions of the year. These are gorgeous kids and it was a beautiful evening, topped off with the girls’ pretty “spinning dresses.” You have to love a little girl spinning on the glassy shore! (Check out last year’s session here.)

I was thrilled when Lisa contacted me again this year for another session. She said that after last year’s beach photos, “We wanted our pictures to capture our beautiful city, San Diego, that wasn’t the beach. We wanted something different that would still share our city with our out-of-town families.”

San Diego Family Photography at Balboa Park Organ Pavilion
San Diego Family Photography at Balboa Park Organ Pavilion
San Diego Family Photography at Balboa Park Organ Pavilion
San Diego Family Photography at Balboa Park Organ Pavilion
San Diego Family Photography at Balboa Park Organ Pavilion
San Diego Family Photography at Balboa Park Organ Pavilion

We met at the Organ Pavilion in Balboa Park, and I loved seeing that Lisa had done another amazing job with the styling! A Balboa Park photo session is a “walking session,” where we go from spot to spot and get a number of different backgrounds. This is much like a beach session, but with even more variety.

San Diego Photographer at Balboa Park
San Diego Photographer at Balboa Park
San Diego Photographer at Balboa Park
San Diego Photographer at Balboa Park
San Diego Photographer at Balboa Park
San Diego Photographer at Balboa Park

One of Lisa’s favorite memories was her kids sharing their ideas for photos. Running, jumping, spinning . . . they had all the ideas!

San Diego Photographer at Balboa Park
San Diego Photographer at Balboa Park
San Diego Photographer at Balboa Park
San Diego Photographer at Balboa Park
San Diego Photographer at Balboa Park

Lisa says she loves all of the images, but one of her favorites is the family portrait by the water. “I love how the water added to the beautiful Balboa Park background. The reflection off the water is what I like the most about the beach pictures from last year, and I felt that pic was the best of both worlds: The beauty of Balboa Park with a water reflection bonus.

San Diego Photographer at Balboa Park

Lisa plans to make holiday cards and wall displays. The images will also be used to create Christmas gifts for family members who live out of town.

Christmas Photos at Balboa Park
Christmas Photos at Balboa Park
Christmas Photos at Balboa Park
Christmas Photos at Balboa Park
Christmas Photos at Balboa Park
Christmas Photos at Balboa Park
Christmas Photos at Balboa Park
Christmas Photos at Balboa Park
Christmas Photos at Balboa Park
Christmas Photos at Balboa Park
Christmas Photos at Balboa Park
Christmas Photos at Balboa Park
Christmas Photos at Balboa Park
Christmas Photos at Balboa Park
Christmas Photos at Balboa Park

Extended Family Granchild Photos

Extended Family at Coronado | San Diego Professional Photography

The Baldwin family is such a joy to photograph! This good-looking group knows just how to dress, and they listen so well that we got SO MANY great candid and posed portraits during their session — even though there was a 3-year-old in the mix! Bailey answered my questions about their session, and I loved hearing about it from her point of view:

“Our entire family of 17 were lucky enough to spend a week together in San Diego, thanks to the Nana and Papa of our family! We took the same trip three years ago, and it was such a wonderful time, I think we’d all be happy making it a life-long tradition! We stayed on Mission Beach and loved being able to walk to the water or down to the shops and eat. It was relaxing for the adults and perfect for the kids.”

Extended Family Photographer | San Diego Coronado
Extended Family Photographer | San Diego Coronado

During our trip 3 years ago, we had family pictures taken with Amy and they turned out beautifully. It’s not easy to photograph 17 people, 9 of which are kids from ages 13 to down 3! So we knew we would love taking pictures with her again… (and we did! 😊)

Grandchildren are Blessings | San Diego Beach Photos
Grandchildren are Blessings | San Diego Beach Photos
Grandchildren are Blessings | San Diego Beach Photos

We gals worried about EVERYTHING going into the session. Haha! We had spent a lot of time deciding what to wear, and it always feels stressful to take photos with kids. Plus it was a pretty windy evening! But Amy is warm, quick, and fun, and she has a way of coaxing smiles out of little ones by being silly but still stern enough to keep them in their spot. She also somehow made it look like the wind wasn’t blowing us away!

Grandchildren are Blessings | San Diego Beach Photos
Grandchildren are Blessings | San Diego Beach Photos
Kids on the Beach | Coronado Beach Photos
Kids on the Beach | Coronado Beach Photos
Kids on the Beach | Coronado Beach Photos
Kids on the Beach | Coronado Beach Photos
Kids on the Beach | Coronado Beach Photos
Kids on the Beach | Coronado Beach Photos
Kids on the Beach | Coronado Beach Photos

Favorite memory of the session? “Amy captured the personalities of each child individually and then as a group, and I know that they’ll treasure the pictures of themselves with their cousins forever.”

San Diego Photography | Coronado Beach Kids
San Diego Photography | Coronado Beach Kids
San Diego Photography | Coronado Beach Kids
San Diego Photography | Coronado Beach Kids
San Diego Photography | Coronado Beach Kids
San Diego Photography | Coronado Beach Kids
San Diego Photography | Coronado Beach Kids

My very favorite image from the session is of Larry and Vicki (Nana and Papa). They’re standing at the water’s edge walking toward the camera, Larry is looking at the camera with a completely genuine smile on his face and Vicki is smiling toward Larry. The sun is going down in the background and the lighting is gorgeous. It is so authentic. They just celebrated their 40th Anniversary and that photo beautifully captures LOVE.

Purely Love | 40 Year Anniversary Photo
San Diego Photographer | Coronado Beach Kids

The whole family is planning to use these images for their Christmas cards, as well as hanging them in their homes. One benefit of an extended family session is that we get all the great “big family” shots but also (especially with older, cooperative kids like these) plenty of nuclear family photos, candids, and children’s portraits, too. Here are a few more favorites from this session:

San Diego Photographer | Coronado Beach Kids
San Diego Photographer | Coronado Beach Kids
San Diego Photographer | Coronado Beach Kids
San Diego Photographer | Coronado Beach Kids
San Diego Photographer | Coronado Beach Kids
San Diego Photographer | Coronado Beach Kids
San Diego Photographer | Coronado Beach Kids
San Diego Photographer | Coronado Beach Kids
San Diego Photographer | Coronado Beach Kids
San Diego Photographer | Coronado Beach Kids
San Diego Photographer | Coronado Beach Kids
San Diego Photographer | Coronado Beach Kids
San Diego Photographer | Coronado Beach Kids
San Diego Photographer | Coronado Beach Kids
San Diego Photographer | Coronado Beach Kids
San Diego Photographer | Coronado Beach Kids
San Diego Photographer | Coronado Beach Kids
San Diego Photographer | Coronado Beach Kids
San Diego Photographer | Coronado Beach Kids
San Diego Photographer | Coronado Beach Kids
San Diego Photographer | Coronado Beach Kids
San Diego Photographer | Coronado Beach Kids
San Diego Photographer | Coronado Beach Kids
San Diego Photographer | Coronado Beach Kids
San Diego Photographer | Coronado Beach Kids
San Diego Photographer | Coronado Beach Kids
San Diego Photographer | Coronado Beach Kids
San Diego Photographer | Coronado Beach Kids
San Diego Photographer | Coronado Beach Kids
San Diego Photographer | Coronado Beach Kids

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