How we help support, guide, and celebrate your union to make sure you and your guests have the biggest blast

Throwing a wedding is a big deal. And as you start planning yours, it can begin feeling like a bit of a rabbit hole out there. So many websites and blogs telling you contradicting things, giving you checklists, stressing you about your must-dos. So many Pinterest and Instagram ideas and inspiration that it all starts blending together. It can be hard not getting caught in the spiral and staying true to your priorities!

We’re here to help you keep things simple and manage all the photography elements from planning to session to wedding to well past the confetti settling, so that you have an effortless, relaxed, and super-fun time together. We’re here for you as guides to simplify planning great adventures and decision-making on what matters most on your big day. We’re all about making sure you stay fully immersed in your experience so that your wedding isn’t a performance… just a blast of a party you get to enjoy with all your favorite people.

We are experienced, thorough, and have enormously high standards to ensure that not only is it a stress-free celebration, but that you adore the results. Here’s some information so you have a better feel for how all this works!

It's easy like Sunday Morning…
  • Step
    01
    THE UNDERSTANDING YOU PHASE

    Hang out at my studio, swap stories, laugh lots, and plan adventures together. Not in San Diego? Let's FaceTime or Skype (or any other modern digital magic)! Then you'll settle on what collection works best for you, I'll shoot you a digital contract, you shoot me your retainer, and we're all set.

    Chat & Chuckle
  • Step
    02
    THE ADVENTURE PHASE

    Once we settle on a session that suits you to a T, we'll paint the town, forest, café, cabin, garden, treehouse, orchard, backyard, or mountaintop red. Hang out doing something you like doing, somewhere you like going. I’ll follow along and capture all the magic.

    Experience & Explore
  • Step
    03
    THE OMG, OMG PHASE

    Go gaga for your photographs. High fives, laughs, and tears doled out. Feel them feelings! Get your highlights in a week, and your full gallery within one month for sessions and two months for weddings.

    SEE & SWOON
  • Step
    04
    THE I DO, AND I DO, TOO PHASE

    Do it all again, only this time, you get hitched. Woohoo! We check in with planning worksheets at the two-months-til-I-dos mark and hop on the phone if we need any further clarity. We'll send you any additional planning documents we've created to streamline the day. Then enjoy your day fully while we take all kinds of good care of you!

    RINSE & REPEAT

Our Style

What makes our work so different, and why you'll dig our approach

Occasionally clients will ask me to describe our style. A simple aesthetic answer is that our work is buoyant and joyful, silly and energetic, adventurous and fun, full of rich and soulful color and texture. But instead of what our work looks like, I think what they’re really asking is what defines our work. We capture honest, authentic reflections of what it felt like to be present on your wedding day, telling inspired and compelling stories about your experience and that of your guests. That way, when you revisit your photos a year from now or ten, they’ll help take you right back into the memories and joy of the experience. We are emotion-driven photographers, so we reflect what it felt like, not just what it looked like.

We are adamantly NOT Hollywood drama and glamour director types. So we seek to photograph you as you were and the experience as it was, no contrived fakery necessary. That means if you and your guests bring wild and wacky energy, that will shine through in these images. If you bring chic creativity and quirky ideas, it will have that feel. If you’re rocking that tender and tearful energy, that’s going to the vibe. Your wedding photographs will be honest and authentic, while still carefully crafted to highlight every part of the day with intention and artistry. We don’t ‘spray and pray’ hoping that some images will be ‘good enough.’ We give our 100% every time, and every image you receive will be a worthy one that capture some spirit of the event, some slice of the experience that will trigger true emotional connection within you.

Questions?

Get your answers below, or reach out anytime!
Do you photograph same-sex weddings?

Absolutely. Love is love! It hurts our hearts that you even had to ask. We’re huge supporter of marriage equality and we’d be happy to introduce you to other awesome vendors that will appreciate how rad you are together, too. Here’s our vender recommendation list. Nobody has paid to be on it or anything (it’s kinda gross that some companies do that), we just have had great experiences working with these teams and would love to help ensure your experience is great, too.

How do we know if you're a good match for us?

Let’s take the plunge and make a date! I’d love to have you by our studio in Normal Heights [that’s in San Diego] so we can get to know you, find out what’s important to you, gush about the awesome things you’re planning, and get all your questions answered. We’re all geeks in some way or another and we’d love to hear what you love to geek out over. Drop by, swap stories, check out heirloom albums, and get to know what we’re all about. If you aren’t in San Diego—let’s FaceTime or Skype (or whatever other modern videochat suits you)! While we don’t take ourselves too seriously, we care an awful lot about helping you tell the most love-filled, intimate, joyful and you-est story we can. Let’s hang out and laugh—contact us here and we’ll set it up!

Do I really need an engagement session?

When you start thinking about investing in photography, of course your priority is to preserve the magic of your wedding day. But are you sure you want that to be the very first time we point a big lens your way? Working together in advance can be a wonderful way to get used to being photographed, and to how we work, putting you totally at ease come the big day. That way, we’re already members of your community. We’ve also found that your swoony, dazzling wedding may be a dream, but it won’t represent the sweet, fulfilling normalcy of your daily life. Regular, old, casual you, in an environment that speaks to who you are, and what you care about. You will almost certainly love the results of a pre-wedding shoot and benefit from the experience. Check out some samples of awesome engagement adventures here.

What about traditional family photos at the wedding? Do you do that?

Not only do we do it, but we encourage it. It only takes about 15-20 minutes to do formal family portraits most of the time. Quick story: as a pretty nontraditional person, I decided to forgo family formal photos at my own wedding. A few months after all the dust settled, my mom wistfully said, “It’s so sad how we didn’t take any posed family photos at the wedding.” It broke my heart a little, as I hadn’t considered just how important those would be to her, and it would’ve been so easy to do. So this, my friends, is a lesson I pass on to you.

While we don’t feature too many of these in our portfolio as these can start feeling a little redundant, we do consider them important and so worth the time. Ask your family if this is something they’re hoping for, and then make an informed decision on what you’d like to prioritize. If you worry this will feel tedious, the best thing you can do is simplify your list of groupings. Limit it to immediate family, and we’ll help guide you with best practices for keeping things efficient.

What's this about you being a dance maniac at weddings?

Uh-oh. Secret’s out. Our cover is blown. We might just have moves like Jagger. Yes, let it be known here and now: we will dance with you, we will dance with your guests, we will be a menace on the dance floor, all the while shooting up a storm. Bonus: If your DJ plays Journey, Jasmine will bust out her most impressive air guitar especially for you. If your DJ plays a variety of 90’s hip hop, Julie will not only dance but also rap along. And the photographs you get as a result are going to knock off the socks that you already danced through. ;)

How many images will you be giving us?

You’ll receive a minimum of 50 edited, high-res images per hour that we shoot together, averaging at about 75/hour, sometimes closer to 100. For a typical 8-hour wedding, you’d end up with around 700-800 images. So basically, lots and lots. We don’t skimp, but we won’t overwhelm you, either. I know those numbers sound high, but when it comes to all the different parts of your day and all the different people you’ve brought together, just documenting each guest can easily be a huge part of your photos, let alone all the rest of the aspects of your day!

Are you Insured? Registered? Legit?

You bet we are, on all counts. If your venue needs to see proof of our spiffy million-dollar liability policy, just say the word. If your venue needs to be additionally insured, we can also accommodate that. Please be sure to make this request at least two months before the wedding so that we have a sufficient amount of time to acquire the COI.

Do you have back-up gear? Do you back up our photos?

You bet we do! No less than three different pro camera bodies (that back your photos up in-camera on two cards), six different lenses (prime L-series lenses, so basically, the bestest), four different flashes (I can handle any and all lighting situations), and an assortment of other gear come to every wedding with us—per person. We’re ultra-prepared for everything this world can throw at us. We have redundant server storage at our office and we back everything up offsite as well. Your photographs are safe with us!

What is a first look? Should we have one?

In the simplest sense, it’s a private chance to see your almost-spouse in advance of the wedding ceremony. It’s romantic and it’s just the two of you (plus us to document it). In a practical sense, it opens up your timeline and sets you free of FOMO—if we do a first look, it means we can shoot some or even all of your group photos in advance of your ceremony (at a much more relaxed pace), meaning post-ceremony you have far fewer formalities left, or if all completed, you can just go ahead and party with your guests, maximizing your time with them on the day. It can also dramatically help to calm the nerves of those having stress/anxiety in the lead-up to your celebration. Plus, it just gives you all the more time together with your future spouse on your best-day-ever. So we think it’s a pretty fantastic option!

You can find out a lot more about first looks, and many examples of them, right here. Of course, we know they’re not always the right fit for everyone. Traditionalists often look forward to sharing the reveal moment with all their guests as they’re walking down the aisle. And for those with a very early ceremony (often common with Catholic weddings), you may have tons of time afterward to schedule portraits. So it’s just up to your personal preference!

What are your values?

Okay, nobody’s actually ever asked it this way quite precisely, but we do get asked about what matters to this business, as well as where we donate, and who can feel welcomed here. Above all, we want you to feel safe with us, supported by us, empathized with by us, and heard by us.

So let’s just be all kinds of clear. While connection, emotion, and community drive what we do and how we do it, at our core, we believe that love is love, black lives matter, all bodies are good bodies, no human is illegal, women’s rights are human rights, trans women are women, and trans men are men. The organizations we support regularly are the ACLU, the NAACP Legal Defense FundPlanned Parenthood, the LGBTQ Freedom Fund, and the IRC. We also believe that feeling understood and accepted is a fundamental human need, and we do our damnedest to make sure you feel seen and appreciated. You deserve our respect. You are worthy. We’re glad you’re here.

I'm not photogenic—will you still be able to make lovely photographs?

Welp, here’s the thing… I don’t believe you. You might be surprised to hear that the vast majority of our clients aren’t very comfortable in front of the camera. We hear this from tons of clients, and we love showing them how gorgeous they really are. Mostly, people simply don’t know what to do with themselves in front of the camera, and end up feeling awkward when someone points one their way. Stiff arms and an uncomfortable smile show up. And that’s what they’re used to seeing—photos of themselves feeling awkward. Our number one goal is to make you comfortable, no performance necessary. The more you engage with and enjoy the person you love, the more the images will shine. We consider it our job to not only capture moments and create inspired photographs, but to make sure it’s a great day, a great adventure, and a great experience that lets you be you.

What should we wear to our portrait session?

You might want to avoid jogging pants that say “juicy” on the behind, and by golly, don’t wear matching anything, unless your desire for the Sears catalog look is serious. You should wear whatever makes you feel comfortable—whatever you normally wear that you feel good in. We have a whole article full of tips about this HERE. Don’t try and be someone you’re not—that makes for an uncomfortable you and awkward photos. Choose something fun and you. Unless something you is a superhero costume, that would be a terrib—WAIT, THAT IS A SPECTACULAR IDEA. Forget we said anything. Carry on.

Do you travel for events?

YES. Yes, yes, yes. It might just be our favorite thing to do! We travel all over—check out the adventure engine’s maps section to see some of the places we’ve shot couples and events. We’d be delighted to travel to collaborate together with you on an amazing day! Ping us for a custom travel quote.

How long is your coverage?

Sessions go for about 60 minutes, which gives us plenty of time to ease in and capture natural magic, and is usually the point at which clients get tuckered out. Wedding coverage can be tailored to your needs, and as a guideline for start time, we usually capture the final 60-90 minutes of the getting ready period. Overall, we encourage couples to give themselves the gift of time as you think through your day’s schedule. Whatever amount of time you think something will take frequently ends up doubling on the big day. Stressing and rushing is SO NOT the best way to spend your wedding!

Our preference is to be present from start to finish, and 8-10 hours is most often the right amount of time. You get to stay relaxed and stress-free while we’re present for every awesome part of the experience. Plus, the most genuinely special, tender things often happen when you least expect them to. Missing those would be a total drag! We really value telling the entirety of your story and capturing all those quirky little in-between moments. Especially if they’re embarrassing and we can use them to blackmail you later. We kid, we kid! Don’t be silly, you can use them to blackmail each other!

When will our photos be ready?

You’ll have about 20 highlights posted in a dedicated social media album within one week (so you can have immediate profile photos and sharing content) and an online proofing gallery of all fully-edited photos posted within two months. You’ll receive an awesome keepsake USB drive of all high-res images with a print release to print to your hearts’ content wherever you like. Just don’t sell or use the images commercially, and we’ll be totally square.

How long have you been doing this? What’s your background?

We’ve been storytellers all our lives and our team is a diverse collection of talented humans with lots of experience! As for our leads: Jasmine graduated from art college specializing in painting and drawing, and then from university with a design degree (with electives in photography). She then spent six years as a brand identity designer and strategist while shooting portraits on the side before committing to the dream full-time. She started shooting professionally in 2008, and has shot in backyards and at prestigious historic venues, as well as elopements with one witness or 400-guest bashes. Julie’s been photographing professionally for nearly as long, both in the Midwest and here on the west coast, so she brings a diverse perspective and wealth of experience to the table. Susan’s got us both beat with 15 years as a wedding photographer in both Southern and Northern California.

This is our full-time job, and you have our full focus. We’ve got you covered.

What about creating timelines? We're not even sure where to start!

Y’all, I hear you. planning a wedding is like having to become an expert at ten different subject matters all at once just to secure your team of collaborators and ensure your day is what you want it to be. Add a timeline on top of that and it can be hard to know what you need if you don’t have a planner to guide you. While I highly recommend securing the help of a planning team with at least a day-of-planner in order to keep your stressies at bay, I know that’s not always feasible or even the right choice for everyone. So I have developed a couple of different sample timelines as a resource and start point for you to build with if you’re DIYing your approach to your day. Here’s a sample timeline PDF featuring some tips and two different timeline examples (with and without first looks). If you want to hop on the phone to discuss timeline planning, I am always here for you.