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!
- Step01THE UNDERSTANDING YOU PHASE
Hang out at my studio, swap stories, laugh lots, and plan adventures together. Not in San Diego? Let's FaceTime or Zoom (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
- Step02THE 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
- Step03THE 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
- Step04THE 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
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’re 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 be 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.
Absolutely. Love is love! It hurts our hearts that you even had to ask. But we’re living through a time where human rights, particularly for the queer community, are under attack. So we understand your desire to stay safe and make sure you’re working with the right people. We’re huge supporters of marriage equality (some of us are queer, too!) and we’d be happy to introduce you to other awesome vendors that will appreciate how rad you are together, as well. Here’s our vender recommendation list. Nobody has paid to be on it or anything (it’s kinda gross that some companies do that, be wary), we just have had great experiences working with these teams and would love to help ensure your experience is great, too. And of course, if you’d like to see some inspo from our portfolio, check out some our favorite queer weddings and sessions here.
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 (as long as you’re vaccinated). 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, or hell, if it’s just more conveneient—let’s FaceTime or Zoom! 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!
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 you feel at ease with, plus you end up with a whole bunch of fantastic photos of yourselves. 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.
Not only do we do it, but we encourage it. It only takes about 15-20 minutes to do immediate family portraits most of the time (add 10-15 minutes if doing extended family groupings), and preserving the rare occurrence of all those people coming together at once is absolutely important (and something your parents and family members are totally eager for). But I also know it can easily become tedious. While we don’t feature too many of these in our portfolio as they can start feeling a little redundant on a blog post, we do consider them important to your loved ones and so worth the time. Especially after everything we’ve seen and learned from the pandemic—preserving these can be important. Ask your family if this is something they’re hoping for, and then make an informed decision on which groupings you’d like to prioritize.
With all we’ve learned in well over a decade doing this, here’s an article about our recommended groupings and approach to group photos to keep things efficient and stress-free for you on the big day. We include guidelines on how to simplify, best practices, and even include sample PDFs, but we’re also always here if you have questions.
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. That’s our secret to epic dance photos. We all up in there. Bonus: If your DJ plays Journey or Lizzo or both, Jasmine will bust out her most impressive air guitar or embarrassingly bad twerking, especially for you. And Susan’s literally a ballet dancer—she will dance to anything (but there’s a special place in her heart for 90s throwbacks). The photographs you get as a result of our ferosh moves are going to knock off the socks that you already danced through.
You’ll receive at least 75 edited, high-res images per hour that we shoot together, sometimes closer to 100. For a typical 8-hour wedding, you’d end up with over 700+ images. So basically, lots and lots. We don’t skimp, but we won’t overwhelm you, either. I know those numbers sound high if this is the first time you’re thinking about it, 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, and each formal moment, all the groupings, the details… let alone all the in-between and delightful moments of your day! It adds up fast. If you want to see some full wedding galleries to get a feel for what this all looks like, just let us know.
You bet we are, on all counts. If your venue needs to see proof of our 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 one month before the wedding (but preferably earlier) so that we have a sufficient amount of time to acquire the COI with the additionally-insured customization, and furnish it to the venue as needed. Last-minute requests can’t be guaranteed.
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 (we can handle any and all lighting situations), and an assortment of other gear come to every wedding with us—per person. Now, I know that’s enough info for many folks, but if you’re into photography and want even more details, not to worry, I gotchu. Here’s an article called What’s In My Bag, and should answer all your questions and then some!
Big picture: 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!
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 couple and group portraits 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 join your cocktail hour, party with your guests, and maximize 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 to consider!
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, where the timing makes more sense to do every formal grouping afterward. So it’s just up to your personal preference, and what your timeline can accomodate!
You matter to us. 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, adventure, 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. We also believe in science, that vaccinations work, and that hate is bullshit and has no place here. We believe that feeling heard, understood, and accepted is a fundamental human need, and we do our damnedest to make sure you feel seen, represented, and appreciated. You deserve our respect. You are worthy. We’re glad you’re here. For LOTS more information on our values, on where we donate 10% of our profits, and our general approach to ensuring you feel valued and ultimately have a great experience, check out What We Stand For.
Welp, here’s the thing… respectfully, I don’t really 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 fantastic 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 inexperienced points one their way (and maybe even makes them feel extra-awkward with weird or no direction). 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 fussy 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.
You might want to avoid joggers that say “juicy” on the behind, and by golly, don’t wear matching anything with the other people in your photos, unless your desire for the ’80s Sears catalog look is serious. You should wear whatever makes you feel comfortable—whatever you normally wear that you feel good in. Particularly anything you’ve been complimented on before. 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 very 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.
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 national and international 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.
Standard sessions are 60 minutes (with a little extra wiggle room), which gives us plenty of time to ease in and capture natural magic, but not so long that you get tuckered out. Some clients have bigger ideas for multiple locations or special adventures, and so some add an extra hour of coverage. Wedding coverage can be tailored to your needs, and as a guideline for start time, we usually capture the final 90ish minutes of the getting-ready period. Overall, we encourage couples to give themselves the gift of time as they think through their 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 ensure we don’t miss any priorities by too limited/tight of a coverage schedule, so 8-10 hours is most often the right amount of time (but once we chat we can give you some advice on what would fit you best). You get to stay relaxed and stress-free while we’re present for every fab 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 capturing all those quirky little in-between moments. Especially if they’re embarrassing and you can use them to blackmail your guests after the fact. ;P
You’ll have at least 20 (but probably more) highlights posted in a dedicated social media gallery 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 a download pin so you can easily nab all your high-res (for prints) and low-res (for screens) images. If you would prefer the images delivered in the mail via USB, just let us know and we’ll add that as an upgrade to your collection. We can also provide you 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.
We also offer print purchases directly through the gallery which I can guarantee color accuracy and quality—this can be super convenient for you, for family, or guests who want to nab a moment they loved.
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 fine art college in Montreal specializing in painting and drawing, and then from university in Toronto with a graphic design degree. She spent six years as a brand identity designer and strategist while shooting portraits on the side, before committing to photography 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—all across the country, and internationally. She’s an INFJ enneagram 1 which means she’s a perfectionist, cares about doing things well, serving others, and is driven by compassion. Susan’s got Jasmine beat, as she started her wedding photography business in 2004, serving both Southern and Northern California. She also happens to have a design background, does a ton of brand and editorial work as well, and brings a wealth of storytelling experience in helping to capture moments and magic. As an ENFP enneagram 4, she is acutely tuned into emotion as a driving force in reflecting the experience of a wedding day.
This is our full-time job, and you have our full focus. We’ve got you covered.
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 month-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’ve 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.
We know that while the threat has definitely simmered, this can still be a complicated time to be planning a wedding. We realize how nerve-wracking it is to have to worry about health and safety amidst everything else! So while I hope none of this information ends up necessary for you, we wrote up a helpful post all about factors to consider when facing pandemic issues, and how we are keeping you and your guests safe. Just in case. Hopefully you find it useful!