San Diego Vacation Photography


No one regrets taking the time for beautiful vacation portraits. Find out about our process and investment below.

This Is The Vacation Insurance
You Really Need

Stop looking at other people's vacation photos and telling yourself someday.

This is the year!
You’ve got your plane tickets and your hotel reservations and your passes to the San Diego Zoo. Beautiful vacation photography insures this trip will stay in your hearts forever.

Portrait Collections

The Petit


Begins 30 minutes before sunset
Beach, Field, or Park Locations Available
15 images of your choice
Option to upgrade for more
Perfect for proposals, engagements, seniors (2 outfits), and families of 5 or fewer

Available December through May

The Signature


Most Popular

Begins 50 minutes before sunset
Beach, Field, or Park Locations Available
Includes your entire gallery of edited images
Perfect for families, extended families, seniors and grads (up to 4 outfits), and elopements. Up to 15 people included. 

Available year-round

The Rustic


Thirty-minute session at a field location in East County.
15 images of your choice
Option to upgrade for more
Limited to groups of 5 or fewer

Available year-round

The Headshot


Outdoors or Indoors Studio-Style
Up-level your business or personal life with a new set of professional headshots.
Includes 5 retouched images of your choice with the option to upgrade for more.

Available year-round

How it works


Let me know when you’re coming and where you’re staying, and I can give you suggestions for time-of-day and location for your session.


I’ll send over an online proposal that will walk you through the whole process to reserve your date. When we’re all set, I’ll help you choose clothing for your session. (Don’t worry . . . it’s easy!)


Once you’re here in San Diego, I’ll send over specific instructions for our meeting place, including my favorite tips for parking and dinner after your session. Two weeks after your session, and you’ll have your beautiful gallery of edited images.



Bringing the whole crew to San Diego? I'm ready! Family sessions are my jam. We'll get everyone together and lots of smaller groupings, both posed and candid.


Graduating from high school or college this year? Let's celebrate with a session on the beach, on campus, in Little Italy (urban vibe) or at Balboa Park! Vacation senior photography is a fun activity when visiting San Diego! (Think mother-daughter get-away!)


Engaged already, or thinking of proposing at the Hotel del Coronado or La Jolla? Great idea! I have lots of experience with surprise proposals, and we can get your engagement session done the same evening with a little strategy.

the experience

what to expect from your session

prompt communication from the start. call, text, or email me anytime.
step-by-step instructions for choosing and purchasing clothing.
a really fun time at the session!
that’s a huge priority for me. i like fun.
a delightful surprise when you open your gallery and see how many beautiful images we got!
help with using your images in your home. purchase through my store, or use one of my trusted vendors.

ready to take the plunge?

Let's book your session today!


My favorite beaches are Coronado and Pacific Beach, and I love doing sessions at Balboa Park, Presidio Park, Steele Canyon Bridge, and the Iron Mountain Trailhead. Are there other places to shoot in San Diego? YES, but these are my favorites because of their topographical and/or architectural features, and I know them like the back of my hand. Trust me for great results at any of these locations. I can be flexible, but if you are not emotionally attached to a place not on this list and great results are your top priority, these are my highest recommendations.

The hour before sunset is called “golden hour,” and almost all of the images on my website were taken during that time. I understand that vacation schedules are busy and that children in timezones not their own can be cranky, but shooting in the right light is REALLY that important. Earlier in the day the wind is stronger, the sun is more glaring (resulting in squinting, “raccoon eyes,” and harsh shadows), and crowds are bigger. For my own family’s photos, I would reschedule dinner, prioritize naps, fudge on bedtime, add lollipops at strategic times . . . anything I could do to make sure the kids were happy when the sun was setting.

Don’t let a dinner reservation take priority over portrait session timing. Your investment in portraits is worth the hassle of changing the timeline to make sure we have the best light possible—especially on the beach, where the wind dies down at sunset, the crowds leave, and those last rays of light make everything magical.

The time and location of a photo session are two of the most critical ingredients. Just like we wouldn’t expect a cake made with rice flour and stevia to taste the same as a cake made of the traditional ingredients, we can’t expect a natural light beach portrait session to look like the images on the blog if it’s done at a different time of day or at a location without the key elements.

My portrait style has been characterized as ethereal, pastel, and peaceful. To achieve this look, I can only shoot on the shore during the last half of most sunny-day sessions, right at sunset when the light is optimal. The rest of your session will be spent using shade and backlight to add gorgeous variety to your portrait gallery. Often, we’ll start by a lifeguard tower, under a pier or tree, or behind some rocks. Don’t worry if it seems like we’re spending a lot of time NOT on the shore. We will get to that! In the meantime, we hang around the shady areas and enjoy their flattering, filtered light.

It is incredible on the beach in the summertime, and I like to fill my summer calendar with Signature Sessions, where I can do ALL the poses, run around for a full hour and deliver a big gallery of images to my clients. If you’d like a smaller option in the summer, I would suggest a Rustic Session, which takes place in a field a bit closer to home.

Maybe? Photoshop has magic powers. My Signature sessions are delivered fully edited, with background distractions and blemishes removed, heads swapped as far as possible to help everyone look their best, and exposure and color reflecting the “Amy Gray Photography” style. If you would like more specific edits such as liquify (the one that makes you thinner) and sky replacements, 10 complementary high-level edits are included in the Signature Session, and you can request those by filename. For Petit Sessions, I proof preliminary galleries without full edits so that you can choose your 15 images or let me know you’d like to upgrade. Please let me know about any specific requests when you choose your favorites. Not every edit is possible, but if there’s something that bugs you about an image you want to hang on your wall, I would sure like to know and try my best to adjust it. I want you to be thrilled with the results of your session!

The shoot was quick and seamless. I was amazed when I received the final photos.

- julia

Success Stories

family vacation session

I told my husband after the photos that I was so excited to have memories of a good day, not memories of a hectic day.

We owe that to Amy and her planning and knowledge around photography. Amy was an absolute joy to work with! She was professional, kind, calming, and knowledgeable of the shots to get making it an all around great experience. Lastly, the photos are amazing and we are so beyond happy with the whole experience! We will definitely be working with Amy again.

FAMILY vacation portraits

Wow!! I cannot say enough good things about Amy and her talent for timeless photography.

From initial email to final photos, every detail was thoughtful and thorough. I love that her specialty is family photography, and I felt confident that she would be able to capture our life stage well. Although it was too cold for her classic beach photography in December with a 2.5 yr old and a 6 month old, she was still able to offer many other favorite spots around San Diego. Amy is so warm and friendly, and has such a way with kiddos, that it was easy to feel calm in front of the camera. I will cherish our photos for years to come and would highly recommend anyone to book her!!

This could be you....

family portrait session

Amy’s work is amazing!! We love her talent, professionalism, ability to work great with kids, sweet personality, and everything in between.

We have used Amy twice for our family photos. We moved away from the area 2 years ago, but wanted her as our photographer again this year so we traveled back to San Diego to have her capture our daughters 1st year photos. And we will continue to come back for future photo sessions!! I would recommend her to anyone!! Thank you Amy for your work! I’m so happy I found you 3 years ago!!!

"I hoped the photographer I hired would be able to handle all the dynamics of a crowd that size."

I was referred to Amy Gray Photography for a family portrait of 20 persons raging in age from 73 years to 4 months. It was quite a bunch to corral, And I hoped that the photographer I hired would be able to handle all the dynamics of a crowd that size. Long story short, Amy had those skills. She was calm in her demeanor, clear in her directions, and made everyone comfortable. They did everything she asked, even the three year-olds. (How she pulled it off I don’t know!) She was efficient and technically adept. There was never a sense of being rushed, but rather a sense that we were in very competent hands. The resulting photos left nothing to be desired. Highly recommended.

- Bill Mittendorff

Long story short,
Amy had those skills

“I believe that consciously choosing to create such memories will stretch the experience of time.”



Book Your Session Today

My calendar fills up at the busiest times for San Diego travel, so let’s plan ahead. I don’t want to miss this opportunity to make enduring memories for you and your loved ones.
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