One of my favorite moments about a wedding day is watching the flower girl as she sits among the big girls… watching, wondering and feeling a sense of awe as the bride gets ready for her big day.
One of my favorite moments about a wedding day is watching the flower girl as she sits among the big girls… watching, wondering and feeling a sense of awe as the bride gets ready for her big day.
I had so much fun photographing this family in Tempe a few weeks ago. It was probably around 110 degrees, but it didn’t bother them one bit. They definitely know how to have a good time!
There’s something about desert light and life that really captivates me, especially towards sunset when the colors transition from soft pastel colors to deeper shades of red, orange and pink. Absolutely beautiful.
I was dead set on photographing them next to a saguaro…
She is a gorgeous expecting mommy
Last April, the girls and I met up with a few of our very good friends in Savannah, Georgia. Why Savannah, you may ask? Well, Savannah happens to be the birth place of the first girl scout member, Juliette Lowe, and we all met through girl scouts.
Savannah has a certain charm that I fell in love with…from the architecture, to the history, the incredibly polite and engaging people, the soulful music that filled the streets to the delicious southern food! I’ve never eaten so much fried food in my life (okay, maybe when I was a kid I did), but we totally indulged. We walked up and down the streets, seeing, tasting and discovering the heart of this amazing city.
The first day, the girls were obsessed with the moss. I mean obsessed!
Southern California has no traces of Autumn. It’s a sad fact. So when the the girls saw this pile of leaves, there was only one thing to do…jump on it and destroy it! Then repeat.
…and make leaf angels
Remember Forest Gump? Love that movie! I was super stoked to find the spot where Forest is sitting on a bench and says “Life is like a box of chocolate. You never know what you’re gonna get.”
Amy and Sophia. Friends since kindergarten. These two always end up in giggles.
LOVED all of Spanish moss!
The kids loved them too. Maybe too much.
Forsyth Park was beautiful.
My kid…not a day of yoga in her life and she decides to start in this finely decorated restroom.
That’s Sam. We sang “lean on me” together and chatted about his life in Savannah. Sweetest man I’ve met on the trip.
I drank nothing but sweet tea. Sweet tea all day. Because that’s what you do in the south, right?
Love these little goofballs.
Doesn’t these train tracks remind you of the scenes leading up to Terminus from the Walking Dead?
We visited the very First African Baptist Church in the United States. It was amazing to hear about the history of this church, that had visitors like Martin Luther King, Jr. and housed runaway slaves underneath the floors during the Underground Railroad days. You can see in the image below the holes in the floor that enabled them to breathe when they were hiding out.
I met up with this rad family at one of my favorite spots in San Diego. This was a fun session. The boys got to roam free and I just had to keep up. Loved it.
My camera may have taken a liking to Evan with his beautiful red hair and blue eyes.
His big brother, Isaac, has a pretty adorable smile.
These boys were so cute and so much fun!
Several times a year, I head home to Central California to visit family and my closest childhood friend, Apple. this September, she’s getting married to her sweetheart and lucky me I get to be the maid-of-honor!
Love this family!
Much love to you, my friends.
love, love, love when I can watch a family grow! how did I get so lucky?
I first met lilly and jose a couple of years ago for their engagement session…and now they have the sweetest boy!
we met at sunset cliffs, one of my favorite spots of all of san diego.
you three are the sweetest!
Danyelle Wolf. 2016 female boxing Olympic hopeful.
This girl is such an inspiration. She is completely devoted to her goals all while being a positive role model for women everywhere. So fortunate to have gotten to know her better.
She asked me to photograph behind-the-scenes during her video shoot with Elinn Media.
Okay, how perfect are their smiles? Seriously, these smiles were non-stop throughout the entire session. Now that’s not always the case when you’re photographing little ones. Sometimes, they’re moody, distracted or just plain silly, but these kids were all smiles and it was infectious. Children have this amazing ability to befriend someone within minutes of meeting them. I’ve watched my daughters do it countless times. They want to play, smile and laugh with you. And in these situations, if you can just shed being an adult for just a second, you’ll find that underneath is that kid in you that’s waiting to break free.
We met up at one of my favorite spots in San Diego and did some exploring. I feel kids are the happiest when they’re free to just be…a kid.
This is Liam. He won me over when he asked to play with me at my house after taking photos. Ha!
Ruby. Such a sweet soul.
Love seeing parents teach their kids about the world around them. Children are very curious. They have an insatiable appetite for knowledge.
During family sessions, I like to make some time for just mom and dad. Because after all, they are the foundation of their family. It began with just the two of them.
Enzo. Such a fun-spirited fellow.
Jeremy and Melissa are friends of mine and I couldn’t be happier that they were blessed with this beautiful baby boy! I’m so happy that I could document this very special time in their lives.
Meet Curren. Cool name, right? Jeremy is a competitive surf coach and an avid surfer, so of course he had to name his little guy after his favorite surfing legend, Tom Curren.
Only about three weeks old here and already trying to lift his head up.
Melissa, you are such a beautiful, loving mama. Curren sure is lucky.
So happy for you guys! Lots of love to you three!
I think most of us grow up with this story that we tell ourselves, a fairytale we’ve imagined and weaved throughout the years. That life was supposed to be a certain way. That we’d live happily ever after. But you grow up and realize that hey, stuff is gonna happen and it’s not gonna be pretty. But if you take a moment, a step back and look at the whole picture, there is much more in store for you, something bigger. At least I hope so.
If you know me, you know that it’s hard for me to open up. In fact, I’m not that comfortable talking about myself, especially about personal details. Why, you may ask? That’s something I’ve wondered myself but haven’t really taken the time to dissect. So, here I am, about one year later after separating from a man that I spent the last 10 years with, the father of my two beautiful girls, shedding light on something that I’ve hidden in the dark. As much as I knew we were slowly dissipating, growing further apart, I held onto the hope that we could make it work. But the months leading up to the separation, were almost as if someone handed me a cloth and I was able to wipe away the dust and see clearly for the first time. This was not gonna work. The following months after were filled with self-pity and despair, but I’m so good at hiding it, you probably couldn’t tell. I put on my mask and my smile was painted on there to perfection.
I’m slowly learning that it’s okay to share bits and pieces of my personal life, no matter how vulnerable it makes me feel. I don’t think I would’ve made it without those few friends who showed me love when I needed it the most, who pulled me out of deep waters when I felt like I was drowning.
I don’t like feeling weak and sorry for myself. So after I allowed myself time to grieve for what was, I asked myself, now what? This was unknown territory for me. I was ready to begin anew (And if you’re wondering, well, what about your daughters? I’ll get to them later). I was determined to do the things that I’ve wanted to do, but never could or had the time to. So here are the things that I’ve been able to experience this past year and that helped me in more ways than one…
Softball. Yes, I’ve been wanting to play again. I played first base when I was a kid and LOVED it. So, as luck would happen, a person I know asked if anyone wanted to join a softball team and I jumped at the opportunity. I wanted to feel what it was like to wear a glove on my hand, to throw and hit a ball and just be apart of a team again. This was a wedding industry team, but we never talked about work. It was all about playing ball and goofing off while doing it. We laughed a lot…and that was so good for my soul.
Church. I struggled with my faith growing up. I was never raised in a church, but the person I adored the most, my grandmother, was the only person who attended church every Sunday. And so I went every so often with her. Even though we didn’t talk about God in our home, I believed in Him. I prayed when times got tough, not knowing if I was doing it right. I would just look up at the night sky, hoping someone was listening. And then when we had Sophia, we both agreed that we wanted to start going to church. And so we went on Sundays, but it wasn’t continuous and I almost felt like something was missing. I believed I was lacking that connection or glow you see on Christians’ faces when they speak. But I wanted it so badly. A week after we separated, I went to my friend, Becky’s church (Barabbas Road Church), wanting to try something new. Her husband, Matt, is the pastor there. His sermons are so full of depth and substance, that I’m learning and gaining so much from every message. I will be the first to admit that I am not perfect. Far from it. But being apart of this church and forming the friendships that I have gives me hope and makes me want to be better.
Volunteer. I have been wanting to give back my time freely for as long as I can remember. I had watched a documentary that February called “Inocente” and it moved me beyond words. If you haven’t seen it, please watch it. It deals with poverty and the ability to overcome your circumanstances through art. And so I spent a quarter volunteering at the non-profit organization ARTS (A Reason to Survive) that provides the space, supplies and arts education for disadvantaged youth. As someone who relied on art (whether writing, painting, sketching, singing or playing music) to get me through some challenging times growing up, I felt deeply connected to ARTS and their purpose. Just the smile on these kids faces made me realize that that’s what really matters. If I could make these little ones happy and proud that they created something that they can call their own, then I did my job. It was a very rewarding experience.
Martial Arts. I have never been much of a fighter. My sister was the fighter growing up and I was the peacemaker. We all had our roles. But then there’s the tomboy in me that just wants to beat something up or at least be equipped to if trapped in a dark alley with a robber. And so, I signed up at a local MMA (mixed martial arts) gym and took kickboxing/muay thai classes. I felt like I was having a heart attack and on the verge of fainting after that first class. Weird thing was, I liked it! So I continued going for the next few months. Those latter months were spent discovering what all the hype was about jiu jitsu (which is awesome!). Loved my time there.
Skydive. It’s always been on my bucket list. As long as I can remember, I’ve always tried to prove that I can do anything anyone (especially boys) can do, no matter how scary and challenging it looked. And so I was approaching 30 and I had to figure what I was going to do to celebrate. Skydiving immediately came to mind. I found a willing friend and we reserved our jump. It was THE scariest and most thrilling that I have ever done! I have to say the scariest part is the plane ride up to 13,000 feet knowing that any second they were going to pull up that door and I was going to jump out of a perfectly functioning plane. I may have been a little dramatic when I gave my girls a huge hug that morning and prayed like crazy that I would survive to see their smiles when I got home. But I did it! And I wanted to do it again almost right away. But I soon realized it’s not cheap, so I had to wait another two more months before I could jump again. And the second one was 10 times better than the first! I still struggle with the fact that I’m a mommy with two little girls who need me and that weighs heavy on me. Should I be taking these risks? Is it selfish? It’ll probably never be easy for me, but skydiving is gonna be something that I’ll continue to indulge in every now and then. I want my girls to know that they should do what they love (as long as no harm is done to themselves or others) even when others tell them that it’s wrong. If you haven’t skydived, please don’t miss out! And if you need a jumping partner, I’m so there! It’s the best natural high you’ll ever have.
Throughout that year, I learned more about myself and also what it feels like to be alone. Yes, I still have my mommy duties, but I have to admit, it was weird being placed in the “single” category. I spent most of my childhood being raised by a single mother and I know how hard it was for her. It scared me at first. But once I got over that initial hump, I learned that I’m kinda loving it. I’m discovering and experiencing things on my own and it’s a pretty liberating feeling.
Throughout this phase, we have both held steadfast to our dedication to Sophia and Gianna and our relationship as parents to them. We look back and have both agreed that maybe we weren’t meant to be together forever, but maybe we were meant to be parents to these two wonderful girls. That’s something that will always bond us. I don’t feel like they have missed even an ounce of love from either one of us. If anything, we’ve grown even more committed to them and their happiness and well-being. We still managed to go on “family” trips and outings together. We get along a lot better now and are working on just being friends. Our girls are happy and that’s really all the matters.
And so below, is our annual video from 2013. I will continue to make these videos every year because I want our girls to know that no matter what life will bring, mommy and daddy will always be there for them, to watch and help guide them as they grow every step of the way.
I hope you enjoy watching our journey this past year…
Thank you for reading these words that were so hard to write and watching this video that is so very important to me.
Much love to you all.
Oh to be young, carefree and in love.
I had such a fun time with these two! Ocean Beach is Kevin’s favorite place to surf, so they were super stoked to have their session there.
It makes it so much easier to photograph a couple in love…all you have to say is “look at each other” and the rest is downhill from there.
You guys are super adorable!!
Love. You see it in their eyes, the way they look at each other. It’s refreshing and wonderful to see.
I am blessed to have spent time with these two as we explored some of ocean beach’s beauty.
Here are just a few of my favorite images…
This past summer, I dreamt of all the places I wanted to drive to and among those was Big Sur. I had heard great things about this beautiful place on the Central Coast. I wasn’t able to make it up there this Summer. But by some divine plan, I received an email from a girl asking me to shoot her wedding in Big Sur in November! After talking with Lisa on the phone, I was giddy and excited! I met Andy and their dog Norton for their engagement session, and was even more stoked to be apart of their day!
The beauty of this place had me in awe…
The ladies below are like two little schoolgirls. When they get together it’s nothing but giggles and good times. I was lucky enough to have photographed both Taylor’s family and Gemma’s wedding (one of my favorites), which made this wedding even more fun!
Lisa and the girls finished getting ready in a really cool wooden yurt at a private private estate nestled right above the Pacific Ocean.
Lisa, getting ready for the first look…
Gotta love these girls.
This wedding was beyond rad for many reasons. One being the gigantic, colorful pinata hanging from that tree.
Second being this amazingly crazy wedding party!
I must add, that in the midst of all this beautiful picture taking, we noticed we were surrounded by poison oak. Ha! But being the outdoorsy people that we are, we stayed calm and finished the pictures…then got the heck out of there!
Best groom gifts ever? The camping, nature loving girl in me is jealous.
The dance floor was off the chain (can I say that?) the ENTIRE night!
Andy and Lisa are huge Michael Jackson fans. Thriller came on and everyone went wild!
And what better way to end the night then with s’mores?
Thank you both for being amazing, real and so much fun!!
Lots of love to you both (and Norton too)!
Location: Big Sur, California
Photographer: Daisy Varley
Coordinator: Big Sur Weddings and Elegant Events
DJ: Sound in Motion
Flowers: Fleurs du Soleil
Catering: Feel Good Foods Fine Organic Catering
A family of artists.
I so enjoyed photographing this family. Can I just say how impressed I was with these kids? Because I was. I believe children should be given the space to explore, imagine and create and I feel that Cheyenne and Karl have done an amazing job as parents. You can see the wonder and imagination at play when you look at their faces.
In addition to this awesome family, I want to mention the main reason for this shoot was to help a friend out. My dear friend, Cybil Nichols, has fallen in love with photography. I was super stoked because it’s just another thing that we can share and both be passionate about. She wanted to see how I photograph a family. Hopefully, I didn’t come off as some crazy girl who sometimes says random, absurd things in a slightly demanding, humorous way. She is crazy talented and one of the sweetest people I know. Go give her a looksy —> www.cybilnichols.com
Now, onto this family that will fill you with giddy happiness and make you want to do cartwheels in a field of dandelions.
This is Cheyenne. She’s pretty, right? Aside from her gorgeous, hair and infectious smile, she’s also an amazing graphic designer [www.driftingsky.com].
This is Winter. She’s like a cross between Elle Fanning and Ariana Richards.And how cool is that name? Oh and her siblings names are Fox, Lane and Roux. Yeah…
In the beginning, we tried to get little Roux to stand next to his family, but then I remembered…oh yeah, he’s a toddler. We left him to roam, hoping that he was somewhere in the frame.
Roux is so lucky to have two big sisters and a brother who are protective, playful and crazy about him. Makes my heart happy.
They love their mama.
Have I mentioned how much I love her hair? If I could pull off short hair, I would. Last time I attempted was in the 2nd grade and it was disastrous. So now, I just look with envy when I see a gorgeous do like Cheyenne’s.
Winter loves photography. She also loves New Girl and appreciates Brad Pitt in Legends of the Fall. Maybe we were best friends in another life?
Lane and I talked about cheerleading, something she loves to do. She is the flyer, the girl who is tossed in the air. I asked her if she ever gets scared being thrown in the air. She said no. Fearless and sweet.
This series of jumping shots were taken after we “ended” the session. These kids never stopped playing and pushing the boundaries of their imagination. It was really hard putting the camera away because I had fun watching them and remembering what it was like to be a kid…to have that freedom that anything was possible.
Thank you, wonderful Geiger Family, for a late afternoon romp through the fields!
Here’s a little sneak peak from Lisa + Andy’s AMAZING wedding in Big Sur this weekend…
Can’t wait to share more images from this wedding!
I had been to Oahu a couple of times before and as much as I appreciated the island, I wanted to explore an island that was less populated with people but abundant with natural beauty. Kauai was just that.
Last April, we packed our heavy duty kayaks, my camera, some swimsuits, our girls and headed to “Hawaii’s Island of Discovery.”
But before I go on, I must say that probably half the images in the post were taken from my iphone. Sadly enough on the first day, my camera malfunctioned! Supposedly, moisture got inside when I was changing my lenses. So, although my camera could take a few images/videos, it would quickly read ‘error’.. As a photographer, I was completely heartbroken. My vacation was off to a shaky start, but the iphone ended up being a blessing in disguise. It freed me up to just enjoy the trip, be present and not spend so much time looking through a viewfinder.
So with all that said, here are some of my favorite images from our trip…
These little guys were cute at first, but then I pulled out my sandwich for lunch…let’s just say I didn’t think they were that cute after that.
We found some monkeys hanging around.
Hanalei was gorgeous.
This is long overdue. One of my favorite couples had a sweet baby girl, Annabelle, earlier this year and I was so very happy that they asked me to photograph the three of them at their home in Ramona. What a perfect place to raise your child, out in the mountains, away from the sounds of the city.
Lucy and Say-ho are two of the most genuine, sweetest people. I hope by looking through the images below, you can feel the love they have for their little girl.
An awesome couple + incredibly happy, energetic dog + mexican art + pacific ocean = a good time. Although, it did take a little bit of time for them to get used to being in front of the camera (as most couples do), they were totally relaxed by the end of it, minus chasing Norton, their dog, around who has a crazy amount of energy!
We started out in Little Italy…
We then headed to shelter island.
I kinda love the next few images. Oh Norton…
Thanks, guys! Can’t wait for your wedding in November!
Have I mentioned how much I love video? Because I really do! Cinematically, I’m able to capture movement and emotion better and it gives me more room to play around in areas that photography may not.
I hope you enjoy this little film from Leticia and James’ wedding last month. It was an beautiful celebration at the La Valencia Hotel in La Jolla with their closest family and friends.
Big thanks to Amy, who did a wonderful job making sure the day went smoothly.
So much has happened this year. Too much to tell. Things change. People change…hopefully for the better. This year, I vowed to try the things I’ve always wanted to do, to see the places I’ve wanted to see and to be the person I want to be [still a work in progress]. I am one of those people, who felt like to really seek adventure, I had to hop on a plane and fly somewhere, but so much beauty, history and life exists within a three-hour radius from my home. So, this Summer has been all about road trips. Hopping in the car, packing a ton of water, snacks and my camera and exploring what is essentially my backyard.
Truthfully, I didn’t have much interest in Joshua Tree. The first time I had heard about it was from a few friends who liked bouldering there and of course the U2 album. And it wasn’t until recently that I realized how much I loved being in the desert. It’s vast, quiet with so much beauty. I find it amazing that there’s so much life out there. That they’re able to withstand the harsh conditions. But they’ve adapted and survived even in the worst of situations. I feel at peace when I’m there.
We discovered some petroglyphs during our hike at Barker Dam.
On the drive here, we noticed a billow of smoke from a wildfire at San Jacinto Mountain, which turned the sky an orange, pinkish hue.
Joshua Tree exceeded my expectations.
Looking forward to exploring more of the park.
Originally, I was undecided about whether to post this video, much less put the work into it. But recently, I realized people that I know are going through a tough time in their lives right now, either from the loss of a loved one, heartbreak or just emotionally distraught by words or actions that have effected them. When someone I care about is hurting, I hurt too. And so, I felt motivated to make this short film. I hope if you are one of those people that you have some sort of outlet…some way of relieving the stress and burden that you may be carrying. For me, I’ve always felt at peace being in nature, taking things slow, noticing the little details that make this life of ours so very special and fragile. So, if you’re still reading this, I hope that you feel some sort of calm while watching this film and really take the time to be still, pray and heal.
I first met Jessica a couple of years ago when our daughters were first graders in the same school. We became good friends. I was stoked when she asked me to photograph her sweet family!
Lots of love,
Interested in booking a session? Awesome!
You can shoot me an email –> info@daisyvarley
Give me a ring –> 619.405.4780
At least once a year, I try to get away to clear my mind, reconnect with who I am…all the while having a fun time with whichever of my friends is crazy enough to embark on an adventure with me.
A few months ago, my very good friend and fellow photog extraordinaire, Lynn Dao, and I drove to Sedona to spend some quality girl time hiking through a trail of gorgeous Fall leaves, sipping wine outside as we gaze up at the stars, conversing with random Japanese Harley-riding brothers via our iPhone translating apps, waking up at the crack of dawn to watch the most beautiful Arizona sunsrise and delving deep in conversation and realizing so much about our friendship and of ourselves. It was a thoroughly wonderful time and we only took about a thousand photos…each! Ha!
Hope you are making time for yourself (especially if you are one of those amazing people who are constantly putting others before yourself)…even if it’s for an hour, a day or a weekend.
It’s the first day of March and another day closer to my favorite season…Spring! Bring on the beautiful weather!
Last November, I had the pleasure of photographing T’s second birthday celebration in beautiful Coronado. I was there to document his first birthday, so I was happy to be invited back this year. T has grown so much and is just a sweet, incredibly intelligent boy.
This was such a fun party! His parents really did a wonderful job with all of the details, which they found inspiration from sites like etsy and pinterest. All of the kids looked super adorable in their farmer clothes! This was the perfect farm-themed birthday party.
Throughout the years as a wedding photographer, I have met many different people, a few of whom I call good friends. Gabby [Gabrielle Fox] is one of them. We have so much fun hanging out and shooting together! We often laugh about how we both LOVE to dance and it’s always so hard not dancing during a wedding reception when the dj is playing some great music! It was not only nice to see her let loose on the dance floor at her own wedding, but just to be apart of her day, which was filled with so many beautiful details, gorgeous light and just a good group of people who clearly adore Ryan and Gabby.
Oh, and if you’ve noticed in past blog posts, the only videos I post are mainly personal. This was extra special because it was my first experience filming a wedding…so please go easy on me. My goal was really just to film their wedding day and the little moments in between that really made it beautiful.
Ryan and Gabby, hope you like your video…
<<< wedding vendors >>>
Coordinator: Love is in the Details
Photographer: Justin Lee Photography
Flowers: Isari Flowers Studio
Videographer: Daisy Varley
I have known Taylor for a couple of years and she always brings a lot fun and energy wherever she goes! Taylor loves to dance and sing. I have seen her perform a few times, and the girl is good, really good. I was ecstatic when her mom asked me to photograph her.
Oh, and in case you’re wondering who the other kid is…it’s her big brother Skyler. Couldn’t go without including him in the session too!
Can’t wait to see what the future holds for this bright, burgeoning star.
Hope you all are having a great new year so far! Does it seem like last year went by in a blur? It seems like every year goes by faster than the last.
Throughout the year, I try to document my family as much as possible. 2012 was full of new and familiar experiences.
Sophia continues to blow my mind. She’s a pretty amazing kid, in my humble opinion. She got her green belt in Kung Fu, she played in her second season of softball, she learned to play the piano, she was in a ballet recital and she is now a brownie in girl scouts. She turned 7 and started second grade at a Chinese Mandarin magnet school. As a parent it is SO much fun to be able to watch her grow into this beautiful person.
Gianna is a rambunctious, silly, daring, creative, intelligent little girl. I love her to pieces. She started ballet this year and got to see her first ballet, the Nutcracker. She also got her first big girl bike. She loves to sing, dance and hum when she’s happy. I often struggle with my need to discipline her and my natural urge to laugh at all the silly things that she says and does. She is quite the exceptional kid.
I hope you get a glimpse of my family..who we are, what we’ve done and where we’ve been. Enjoy!
Happy New Year!
What an amazing session full of beautiful light, a great location and lots of love and laughter. One of the great qualities about this group is how solid they are as family. They support and truly care for each other.
On this particular day, the weather forecast predicted rain. I told Becky [the gorgeous mama you'll see in the photos below] to trust me. On days like this, more often than not the lighting and clouds will be gorgeous. So happy with how the day turned out.
This was the biggest group I have photographed. Yes, I was unsure of how it would go, but I have to be honest, I had SO much fun with them! They have this incredible energy and seemed at total ease with each other.
Matt is an incredible dad. He is also the pastor at Barabbas Roach Church in San Diego.
I met Becky when our oldest daughters went to preschool together. We’ve been friends ever since.
Personally, I think one of the most important things you can have in a relationship is laughter. Lots of it. It’s a must.
She’s cute even when pouting.
You’re probably wondering “why is there a sock monkey in this picture?” My answer “why not.”
I want to share my thoughts on Becky.. she is a beautiful person both inside and out, in every sense of the word. She is a loyal and devoted wife, mother and Christian. She has the most infectious laugh and is truly one of the most genuinely sweet and caring individuals with the purest of hearts that I am fortunate to know. After spending some time with her family, I can see now why she is always smiling from ear to ear. She is surrounded by a lot of love.
Thank you Smiths + Handysides!
[a san diego maternity session]
I adore these two! I feel incredibly blessed to not only have photographed them as an engaged couple, but on their wedding day and now during this very exciting phase in their lives! They are expecting a GIRL [whoohoo!] and I couldn’t be any more happier for them!!!
Lots of love,
10 years ago, I called a little town out in the middle of California home. Looking back, I remember anxiously awaiting the day I would graduate so I can escape the cows, the gossip, the endless fields, horrid heat, boredom and lack of so much more…or so I thought. Now traveling back, which I find myself doing more, I realize I took it for granted. What I really could’ve said to summarize my experience growing up there was “simple.” The town thrived on mom and pop shops and restaurants, where everyone knew everyone by name. Although it wasn’t the coziest of occasions between folks, it was comfortable and familiar. As a kid, your backyard was a gigantic field to build forts, run, wander and explore. Every summer we spent at the river. Jumping from trees, floating on tubes, swimming and barbeques. We had very little, yet we had more than we realized.
Walking through downtown today almost seems eery. Many of the businesses have closed down and new modern chains have taken its place. My favorite restaurants are struggling but that doesn’t hinder me from returning to them time and time again to relish my favorite meals and remember what it was like way back when. The only difference now is we have little ones with us. It makes me smile every time knowing we get to share our memories with them while their making some of their own.
When I returned last August, I did the usual…visit family, friends and eat! Lots of eating! My family is made up of women who make the yummiest Filipino food. I watched my aunt cook, remembering the countless times I would watch my grandmother cook in that same kitchen. She would always tell me to measure not with a measuring cup but by your hands. So simple. After she would prepare the most delicious meals, she would sit at the table and watch us eat, which I realize I tend to do too. Like many cultures, cooking is a social event among women. You cook, you talk, and eat and talk some more. It’s one of my favorite things to do.
I love my home in San Diego. In my mind, there’s nothing that compares to it. But there will always be a special place in my heart for the little town I once called home.
Like any kid, you want a pet of your own. To hold and cuddle with, to play fetch and run with til your tummy hurts from fits of giggles. Before we even met Timmy, we knew exactly what we wanted and we couldn’t have asked for a better dog to love and call our own.
Last year, John bought a puppy training book for the girls. They loved looking through the pages, ooohing and ahhing over the adorable faces looking back at them. We went back and forth between breeds, which was a bit overwhelming with all of the choices. We even went to the local shelter to visit the dogs there, but didn’t find a connection with any of them. Then, one day, John mentioned a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel. The minute the girls saw a photo of one, they fell in love. “That’s the one!” Sophia yelled. But then the months went by and we put it on hold.
Two months ago, John attended a seminar in North Carolina. Not only did he discover how beautiful and peaceful it was there, but he also discovered something else. Turns out the host of the seminar is actually a breeder of…can you guess? Yup! Cavalier King Charles Spaniels. John walked into the pen of puppies and was bombarded by a whole slew of them. He met and interacted with each of them, but only one stood out. Timmy was the most affectionate and eager one of them all. Without question, he was the one for us. And before I knew it, John was flying home with a new puppy and the girls had no idea. As you’ll see in the video below, they were completely taken by surprise. I had told them that daddy was bringing home a gift for them, but they had no clue as to what it was.
I knew that the girls would love him immediately, but what I didn’t know was how he would affect our lives in a completely different way. He’s opened us up to this whole new world, one of dog owners and admirers! I cannot walk for 5 minutes without someone stopping to pet Timmy or rave how great a dog he is or how adorable he is. I’ve spoken to all different types of people in the last two months than I think I have in the last year. Usually, I won’t strike up a conversation with just anybody, but it’s freed me of any inhibitions I’ve had in that respect. Neighbors that I had never spoken to, I now know by first name. Aside from all of that, he’s just a wonderful dog. He’s full of personality, affection and a little bit of feistiness. Yes, we’re learning about crate and potty training, tricks and commands and all of the oh so wonderful aspects of having a new pup. Yeah, I especially love the potty training part…it’s a work in progress.
Like with anything new, it takes some time to adjust. I’ve quickly grown to not only love the little guy, but appreciate how he makes the girls feel. I love when Sophia wakes up, the first thing she asks for is TImmy. I love that every time I drop Sophia off at school, Timmy sticks his head out the window and wags his tail like crazy. I love when Gianna plays fetch with Timmy, often running with the toy in her hand, laughing uncontrollably as he chases after her. Laughter. There’s so much of it in the house.
The following images below were taken the first 2 weeks after he arrived.
As cliche as it may sound, he truly completes our family.
We love you, Timmy Maximilian!
8 a.m. portrait session with an awesome family at La Jolla Cove, one of the most beautiful spots in San Diego. Yes, it was early and I’m not usually a morning person, but it was definitely worth it.
There’s something about being near the ocean in the morning (or any time of the day for that matter) that simply takes your breath way. While walking along, I noticed the amount of paddle boarders, swimmers, scuba divers and kayakers. Simply awesome. I hope to one day get back out in the ocean and continue one of my loves, swimming.
Rhyan was so fascinated with the birds perched above.
I first met Josh, Taylor and Rhyan at Gem + Lake’s wedding last year! Taylor was a glowing preggo mama, who’s smile totally lit up the room. So stoked she asked me to photograph her beautiful family!
The kids were far more interested in exploring and running around, especially Noah.
Thank you, Buchholz family for being so fun so early in the morning!
I had a moment in the car the other day when the girls were talking about a trip we took almost two years ago to Hawaii. They smiled and laughed while watching the video of our vacation, reliving it all over again. I realized then that I often document on “special” occasions such as vacations, holidays, birthdays, recitals and games. But what about the days in between? The ordinary days?
I watched a video by Katrina Kenison’s called “The Gift of an Ordinary Day” recently. In it, she reads a poem she wrote about her two children growing up. She recounts all the worries, countless changes, and sweet little moments…and of course, I can’t help but get a little emotional while watching it. Her words struck a chord with me – “It has taken awhile, but I certainly do know it now – the most wonderful gift I had, the gift I finally learned to cherish above all else, was the gift of all those perfectly ordinary days.”
I wish I could slow things down a bit. There are so many fuzzy, fleeting memories of funny phrases randomly said, silly faces, cute dances and conversations that happen on an ordinary day. Some last longer than others and you can hold tight and savor it for just a little bit more, but then eventually one moment blurs into the next and they become indecipherable. I try really hard to document as much of my girls’ lives as possible. I don’t want to end up one day regretting the fact that I didn’t know my child very well or I don’t quite remember the little characteristics that made them unique. I don’t want to be waving goodbye as my daughter goes off to college and look back on a shelf of trophies and awards and remember mostly what she accomplished. I want to remember the details of her life. I want to remember who she was. When I watch videos of my girls or look through photos of them, I want to remember what is was like to love and be loved by them.
I made it a goal to document the girls regularly and not just on days deemed exceptional. I have learned that in an ordinary day, there are extraordinary moments.
I hope this video brings a smile to your face. Here are my daughters, Sophia and Gianna, on an ordinary day.
Tuesday, July 31, 2012.
Never say never.
When Mark and Patricia met a few years ago at an ugly sweater party, Mark had told her he never wanted to marry. Isn’t it funny how life takes you on different, unplanned paths? You have your whole life carved out in your mind and then certain people enter your life and everything changes. After meeting these two, you know they were meant to be. I’m so happy I got to be there to document their day.
I always say that the guys have it a lot easier than the girls. The images above proves just that. And yes, there was a pillow fight in the guys’ room.
Here’s Jacob, Patricia’s precocious and incredibly lovable son, telling a joke while the guys “patiently” listen.
The above sequence of images was special and a moment that I won’t forget. As Patricia’s sister was putting on some lipgloss, Patricia tells us that her sister did her make-up for her prom. And here she is helping Patricia with her make-up on her wedding day. All I could think about was how fortunate I am to be able to witness such beautiful moments like these.
Mark and Patricia almost missed the mariachi band, but they so generously played one more song for them.
Never have I seen a kid give a speech during the toasts. He had everyone laughing and smiling! Jacob, you are an awesome kid.
Loved their choreographed first dance!
To read more about Mark and Patricia’s story, you can take a look at their article in the New York Times wedding/celebrations page.
Lots of love and happiness to you both!
getting ready location: Westlake Village Inn
wedding location: Calamigos Ranch in Malibu, California
wedding coordinator: Intertwined Events
photographer: Daisy Varley
videographer: Click 54
dj: Red Shoe
florist: Heavenly Blooms Designs
hair and make-up: Susie Cee
photobooth: Flashback Booth
cake: Rosebud Cakes
classical music: Seaside Strings
On a day where the desert welcomed us with dry heat and beautiful surroundings, two very warm and genuine people wed in the backyard of the gorgeous Galvan Estate with their closest friends and family.
Usually when I meet a couple for the first time on the day of their wedding, I’m mixed with a little bit of butterflies and curiosity. Anna and Ryan are incredibly humble and so hilarious! It was fun watching them interact and just be…themselves. I hope you get a sense of who they are by looking at these photos…because frankly, I think these two are awesome!
We started off at the Riviera Hotel. The interior is filled with gorgeous decor and furniture.
Next to each plate setting, was a picture of either Anna or Ryan with each person at the wedding. So thoughtful.
Nothing like a few sparklers to end the night.
Wishing you both much love, happiness and many more adventures together!
I [heart] these two and I can not wait to show more images from their crazy, fun, beautiful wedding!
Earlier this month, I traveled to Phoenix to hang out with my good friend, Lynn, and shoot her promo video for Boudoir in Bloom. I was pretty stoked to document this boudoir session through video . Aside from my love of photography, I have grown to really love the art of cinematography as well. There’s something so magical about it . I’ve always been drawn to light and motion and to truly capture that through still and motion photography, makes me super happy!
I hope you enjoy this little video short that I created…
I met up with Patricia and Mark at their lovely home near Culver City last month. I enjoyed getting to know these two. Patricia’s son, Jacob, joined in for a few of the photos. Such a fun family!
This one flower decided to bloom that day.
A little basketball…
We had fun exploring a little corner of Culver City, which was full of amazing art!
They never thought this day would come.
Why? Because he can.
So looking forward to seeing you three again in July!
I had SO much fun photographing and hanging out with my photog friend, Gabrielle, her fiance, Ryan, and their adorable [super energetic] dog, Rocky!!! Check back later for more photos from this session…
Hope everyone had a wonderful [and safe] Thanksgiving!
Have I mentioned how much I [heart] this family? Because I do…I really, really do
Last week in San Diego, it rained everyday, causing many floods. For some it’s inconvenient, but for me it’s…wonderful! I love wearing my rain boots, opening the windows to bring in the fresh air and hearing the sound of the rain dropping on the pavement, running down the drains, or watching the ripples in the mud water. I think I value it even more because it doesn’t rain very often here in So Cal, so when it does, I totally appreciate it. And besides, who doesn’t love green grass?
The video above was taken with my 5D MKII. *Please excuse my amateurish editing*
Happy New Year, friends!
I can’t help but think what a great year 2010 was. It almost seems as though it went by within a blink of an eye. So many memories… I wish I could slow time for just a bit. I’m trying to document more, mostly with photographs, but with more and more videos.
I’ve compiled a collection of video clips taken throughout last year. I hope you enjoy watching it.
I hope 2011 brings you many great opportunities, amazing adventures and lots of happy moments with your loved ones.
[The videos above were taken with my Canon 5DMkII]
I spent a week in paradise and I cannot wait to share more images with you…
[image above photographed by my wonderful husband. <3]
Waikiki Beach. Sunrise…
John and I hiked to Manoa Falls. Beautiful! Totally looks like scenes right out of the show LOST.
We went to a luau and got Polynesian tattoos.
We also went cage diving with Galapagos sharks!!!
The above image was taken with John’s Olympus point + shoot at the North Shore. I love the grainy film feeling of this image.
We hiked with our friends the Coalsons to Maunawili Falls. Absolutely breathtaking. One of the most memorable moments was during the hike back when it started pouring rain. It was really muddy, so were slipping and sliding a lot. It was perfect. An experience I’ll never forget.
I think I filmed more footage from our trip than I photographed. I’m falling more and more in love with my camera and it’s video capabilities…so much fun!
I hope you enjoy!
[some of the footage was filmed with an olympus point + shoot]
I am not afraid to admit that I’m not a huge fan of V-day. I’m not into the flowers, although the chocolates aren’t bad…I think love should be celebrated everyday!
There are many things I claim to “love,” but here are two things I truly love —->
Last Sunday, my sister, Christina and I traveled up to one of my favorite wedding venues in Southern California, The Condor’s Nest Ranch [Thank you Lisa + Bob for being great hosts!].
We ate, we mingled, we wandered around and ate some more! So much fun!
We have fun whenever I bring my camera, so we took this opportunity to take a few photos at this beautiful location. Isn’t she a natural? And notice the bump? She’s 18 weeks preggo
One of the best parts of my “job” is getting to meet incredible people, such as these two. I am naturally curious about people, so getting this opportunity to get to know them was wonderful. We talked about their love of writing, comedies and life. I chimed in with my love for Jack Black [the guy has me laughing til my belly aches].
Erica really wanted to shoot in a place with cool architecture, so Balboa Park was a natural choice.
Doesn’t she sort of resemble a certain 80s actress?
These two are so adorable and I am super stoked to be photographing their wedding in September!
I love the fact that these two drove all the way from Tempe, Arizona for their engagement session, a perfect time to get to know each other before their big day. I am excited for their wedding at the Darlington House this Summer!
This dog was really cool.
A couple of weeks ago, we took a trip up to our family cabin in Big Bear. This was a special trip because this was the first time that the girls truly bonded. They were inseparable the whole weekend. Running, laughing, playing games. It was so so wonderful to watch.
Having two sisters, I know no matter which direction life leads us, we’ll always be there for each other… even when we’re at a rocky point in our relationship, frustrated because your sister knows how to push your buttons better than anyone else or even just giving each other the silent treatment, we’ll always drop whatever we’re doing to be there, especially when we need each other the most.
I look back on my childhood with fond memories. Growing up in a primarily rural area, I spent ninety-percent of my time outdoors. Wading in the rivers, climbing trees, playing cowboys and indians, walking through fields, building forts and so on. My best friend was my imagination.
The series of images below reminds me so vividly [and I'm sure so many of you can relate] of what it is like to be filled with a hunger for adventure, to be carefree, happy …to just be a kid.
Having daughters, I get to relive that precious time in my life all over again. It’s amazing.
I learned a lot about these two including they both love romantic comedies, he loves to cook and she likes to eat what he cooks AND he massages her feet. I was a little distracted during the session because we laughed a lot. Now looking through these images, I noticed how lovingly Dan looks at Nicole. They are incredibly sweet together.
To say that I’m a lucky girl is an understatement.
Gem + Lake are a great reminder of why I love my job. Two individuals in love, who make each other laugh til their bellies ache, are both passionate about life and who truly care about each other.
We had SO much fun during their engagement session! These two earned major points by:
1. laughing at my corny jokes/statements [Jack Black, you better watch out]
2. Looking super cool while shadow fighting [that's no easy task]
3. Sharing a love of antiques, thrift stores and treasures in the alleyway
4. Hiring a band to perform at their wedding
5. Riding ponies to school
6. Speaking a really cool foreign accent [and attempting an American accent]
7. and lots more…
And so it begins…
These two are shadow ninjas! I tried to make sure my shadow didn’t interfere in this fierce battle.
I hope everyone had a wonderful Easter, whether it was attending church, decorating eggs and hunting for them, eating peeps and other chocolate goodness or just hanging out with friends and loved ones. Hope your day was joyous!
This was a fun Easter because Gianna was finally old enough to go egg hunting. I love my little bunnies.
Their Nana brought some awesome goodies like this magnifying glass.
What an amazing experience to watch Prince William and Kate say their vows in front of their family, friends and many people across the globe. Their wedding ceremony was at the Westminster Abbey, a beautiful church in London, England.
On a sentimental note, I remember watching Prince William and Prince Henry with their mother Princess Diana when they were just little boys. Like many people, I’ve seen them grow into amazing, respectable men. It makes me so happy to see the oldest take this next step in his life. I’d like to think that Princess Diana is looking down from heaven, gleaming with pure love for her son and his new wife. As a mother, you hope for only the best for your children and I couldn’t be happier for the Prince and his new wife.
Here’s a recap video of their marriage vows earlier this morning:
I love anything handmade. And so, I was on the hunt for some cool cd sleeves. Then the thought came to me, “why not make them myself?” So I did. I chose to use one my favorite material, burlap. Each disc(s) will be packaged with love, attention and detail. It does take a bit of time, but I think it’s so worth it! Hope you like them.
Gianna turned 2 last week so we decided to throw her a party with her 2 favorite characters, Dora and Diego. And well, because we love Mexican food and we all love a good time, we decided to make it a Fiesta! We had banners, maracas, fun latin music, a pinata, sombreros and mini mustaches!
Okay…maybe I got a little carried away with the sombreros and mustaches. But look how CUTE these kids are!
Look at the expression on her face – MAJOR concentration!
A gigantor Dora pinata!
I loved playing sports growing up. In junior high, I got to play first base in softball. My nickname back then was “Legs” – go figure! As soon as we heard they were having sign-ups for softball, I asked Sophia if she wanted to give it a shot and she said yes! Woot! I was thrilled. She had so.much. FUN! Not only did she learn the awesome game of softball, she also learned how to work together and play like a team. She made friends with some amazing girls! And of course I just had to take a “few” photos and videos.
Go Pink Panthers!
p.s. Coach Jamie – you ROCK!
These two are unique and special in so many ways….and their wedding was a total reflection of who they are. Can’t wait to share more images from this beautiful wedding…
We’ve known the Ghoellers for a couple of years now. They’ve become good friends of ours. When they told me they were expecting their 3rd child, I was ecstatic! Three adorable girls…they are truly blessed.
Meet the Ghoeller girls —–>
Gracie [one month]
Where do I begin? I got an email from a girl, wondering if I could photograph her wedding, which happened to land on my birthday. Initially, I said no, but her following email really struck a cord with me. Her warmth and kind-hearted nature had shown right through her words. I knew I had to say yes. Gem and Lake are two of the sweetest [and hilarious] people I have been lucky enough to meet and now know.
Their wedding was full of beauty, charm and so much personality! They had games such as Gumboot Throw and Croquet, which was a perfect tribute to the guests who traveled from the UK and New Zealand, a place Gem used to call home.
Gem and Lake felt something immediate the first moment they laid eyes on each other. And you can feel the love that they have for each other every time you’re in their presence. I believe that every person at their wedding can attest to that. They are incredibly special.
Yes, that is a mustache on her face [below]. Gem and Lake placed mustaches on each of the guests’ chair to wear right after the ceremony. Awesome? I think so!
You two make me giggle…
A photobooth with props and an instax camera! Love it!
A gorgeous cake made out of Gem’s favorite…cheese!
As if the toasts weren’t touching enough…
…they had to go and surprise me and Gem’s dad [we both share the same birthday] with a cake, a present AND a happy birthday song! It was incredibly thoughtful, kind and emotionally moving, for me at least. Even though I dread tearing up in front of others, I couldn’t help it. This was their big day and yet, they took time out to celebrate our birthdays. That says SO much about Gem and Lake and the kind of people that they are. Thank you both so much! It meant a lot…
The California Honeydrops – amazing!
——>>>> To see more images from Gemma and Lake’s wedding, please CLICK HERE FOR THE SLIDESHOW!
[[ Wedding Vendors ]]
Wedding Venue: The Condor’s Nest Ranch
Coordinator: Lisa Doherty of the Condor’s Nest Ranch
DJ: Jake of the Condor’s Nest Ranch
Florist: Rae Florae
Photographer: Daisy Varley
I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again…you two are simply amazing.
Much love to you both!
Ever come across two people you just know were meant for each other? Who challenge, comfort and make each other want to be a better person? Meeting Nicole and Dan, you just know…
These two are incredible. I have such a great amount of respect and adoration for Nicole and Dan. Hearing their story made me realize that good things come from bad experiences. They met during a dark time in their lives and are now stronger than ever.
Their ceremony was a testament to their love for each other and the journey that they experienced together. It was one of the most thoughtful ceremonies I have been lucky enough to witness. They thanked so many individuals who have been a major part of their lives. They included a tree and asked the guests prior to their wedding to donate soil from their own gardens so that they may add all the soil together to help build the foundation for their future. As the ceremony went on,the rings were passed around to the guests, who each prayed and sent well wishes in silence. It was unique and very special.
And to top it off, the wedding was held in the gorgeous community of St. Malo in Oceanside. Some of the most beautiful homes reside here and it was super fun to explore a few of them throughout the day. I hope you enjoy these images…
Nicole, you are stunning.
I loved her long veil!
——>>>> To see more images from Nicole and Dan’s wedding, please CLICK HERE FOR THE SLIDESHOW!
[[ Wedding Vendors ]]
Wedding Venue: St. Malo Beach, Oceanside
Coordinator: Melissa Barrad of I Do…Weddings!
DJ: Tony Slater
Videographer: Joey Aguilera
Florist: Passion Flower Studios
Cake: Extraordinary Desserts
Catering: The Abbey Catering
Photobooth: Mobile Photobooth
Photographer: Daisy Varley
Nicole and Dan, at the end of the night I said to you that you two are perfect for each other and I truly meant it. I don’t say that very often. After getting to know you, I really feel like you were meant to find each other. Thank you for letting me be apart of your special day!
Much love and happiness to you both!
Today, I will be saying goodbye to San Diego and hopping on a plane to New York. It’s my first trip to the Big Apple and I’m beyond excited!
In other fun news, this past week, we said hello to the newest little baby girl of the Smith family, Gwenevere. She looks so much like her big sisters. So adorable!
I love it when they smile in their sleep.
We’ve had so much fun hanging out with Becky and her girls! Her husband, Matt, is the pastor at Barabbas Road Church in San Diego.
So happy to meet you, baby G! Looking forward to seeing you grow throughout the years…
I had been eagerly anticipating the day I would see NYC in person. This was my first real vacation away from my family and work in a long time. Yes, I was a little uneasy about saying goodbye, but I think we all need a little break, ya know? A couple of weeks before my trip I watched educational shows like Sex & the City and lots of movies that were filmed in NYC. And so after educating myself, I compiled a “little” list. Here are a few items of which I had to see or do:
Hear/watch live jazz music [check!]
Hear a real NY accent [check!]
Eat a NY hot dog and a slice of pizza [LOTS of checks! lol!]
Go see a broadway musical [check!]
And a real weird one…see a NY rat [check!] We saw one down in the subway. Why was this on my list? I couldn’t tell ya.
The list went on and on, but the cool thing was all of the unexpected little adventures that we had, which really made it a memorable trip.
My good friend, Cybil, was able to join me [yay!] and off we went! Here are the photos I took while walking throughout this wonderful, bustling city on our first day.
I heard great things about the High Line, so I knew I had to check it out. Looooved it!
In the photo above to the right, you’ll notice where the old tracks used to be. I love that they didn’t waste this precious property and really turned it into something beautiful, a place where people can come to relax.
After leaving the High Line, we walked by this park where kids can run through this tunnel-like structure that sprayed water. I’m not sure if you’ve ever been to the city during the summer, but it was HOT! My first thought while seeing water was LET’S RUN THROUGH IT!! And so we did. We were all soaking wet and let me just say, it was wonderful!
After all that walking and running, we got a little hungry so we headed to Chelsea Market.
We had finally gotten dry and just our luck it started pouring down rain. Once again…wonderful and very unexpected! I loved it!
We headed to Cybil’s friend, Anny’s apartment to get dry. Her place is just as adorable as she is.
We walked through Washington Park. Made me all kinds of happy to see kids splashing around in the fountain. Isn’t this what summer is all about?
The 5-year-old vs. the older dude. I’m betting on the one to the left.
Bikes everywhere! Hmmm…wonder if they bought this nifty cover on etsy?
The Brooklyn Bridge.
Ground Zero. So sad to think that this is where that horrific event took place almost 10 years ago. I can’t even begin to comprehend what these people went through on that day.
This was only day one. I have many more photos from my trip, so please stay tuned.
“You may say I’m a dreamer
But I’m not the only one
I hope someday you’ll join us
And the world will be as one”
I have had these lyrics in my head since I left NYC. Our second day of our trip was memorable not only because we got to visit such popular sites such as the Statue of Liberty, Central Park and MOMA, but that day I realized that this city is full of talented, amazing artists from singers, musicians to painters. I was blown away…
We picked up some lunch at Whole Foods and brought it to Central Park for a little picnic.
I’m not usually a hot dog person, but for some reason I couldn’t get enough of them here.
Central Park is just what you’ve always imagined and more. I love that there’s so much to discover here. Playgrounds, pools, ponds, so many birds and beautiful trees that tower over you, people bathing in the sun…love.it.here.
The musicians above were performing “Imagine” by the Beatles. Beautiful…
Sheep Meadow. Perfect place for a picnic…and some singing.
Anny has the loveliest voice.
Anny’s friend, Greg sang and played for us as well. I loved watching and hearing them sing together. This was an afternoon I will never forget.
It started pouring down rain, but luckily we had MOMA to keep us dry and amused.
Check back later for photos from Day 3.
9:30 p.m. on July 11, 2011, I received a call from my brother-in-law saying my sister, Christina, was in labor with my niece. Without hesitation, I raced to the hospital where I saw my sleeping nephew, Christian, in the corner and Jason beside Christina’s bed. I made it in time!
This is not the first birth that I photographed, Christina actually asked me three years ago to photograph Christian’s birth, which I will never forget. I am extremely blessed that my sister allowed me to witness the birth of her children. It’s very magical…the moments leading up to the pushing and when the baby finally makes its way out and let’s out its first cry. Magical.
Jason holding Christian in his arms. He loves his daddy so much.
Giving mommy lots of love and encouragement.
Oxygen for mommy = more oxygen for baby.
I was surprised to see Donna there! She is sophia’s good friend’s mom. I had known that she was a mid-wife, but I had no idea that she would be delivering my sister’s baby that night. So nice to see her smiling face there.
Welcome little Natalia!
Cutting the umbilical cord.
Such a proud smile from daddy.
Eyes wide open.
Christian’s first time meeting Natalia. He was so curious about her.
This was a night…or shall I say morning, that I will always remember and look back on with smile. Natalia, I know I barely know you, but I love you so much! Can’t wait to see you grow and be the wonderful person I know you will be!
Let me preface this post by saying we had an amazing time the night before. We went to Greenwich Village [I believe] to a fun little jazz/blues club. I had a couple of mai tais and we danced and sang along to Miss Georgia Brown, the boisterous and soulful singer of the night. I felt like I was in an episode of Cheers! So much FUN! Unfortunately, that fun didn’t carry onto the next day as I woke up not feeling so…chipper. Nevertheless, Day 3 was wonderful!
We woke up, grabbed a cup of coffee and headed to Nolita, otherwise known as Little Italy. We met up with a group of people for the Nolita Food and Culture Walking Tour. For three house, we visited about 7 different yummy restaurants and learned a lot of fun info about Little Italy.
At this point, I say Ciao to my friends and head towards Times Square.
With a couple of hours to spare, I dip into Grand Central Station. Have you heard of it?
New York Public Library. My, you are beautiful.
Jersey Boys! Ah-MAZING!!!
The Naked Cowgirl. The fellas seem to really like her…
Right before midnight, Cybil and I met at the Rockefeller Center. The view at the Top of the Rock is breathtaking!
I am excited to share this video with all of you! I had such a great time in NYC. This is my interpretation of how I saw this city. Enjoy!
Thank you to:
My beautiful friend, Cybil, for being my travel buddy/roomie
Sylvia, for meeting me across the country for a picnic in the park
and Anny for bringing sunshine and smiles wherever you go
Charming location, adorable couple, lovely details…all made for a beautiful day!
I loved her dress!
The girls got their dresses from Anthropologie.
The maid of honor going over her speech on her iPad.
The pretty, smiling lady above is Shelley, Karen’s mom. She was Sophia’s AMAZING kindergarten teacher!
Location: Darlington House
Caterer: Girard Gourmet
Photographer: Daisy Varley
Karen and Matt, thank you so much for allowing me to document and be apart of your day! I had so much fun…so many laughs all around.
Wishing you both lots of love and happiness together!
Last month, my family and I packed up our tent, sleeping bags, flashlights, bear spray [for me - I'm so paranoid], hiking boots and traveled back up to one of our favorite places in the world…Yosemite. It seems like every trip there is different and unexpected. This was our first time there in July. The water was plentiful and the animals were more present than ever. The water cascading over the falls and the river flowing alongside our campsite was stronger and more powerful. AND this was my first time actually seeing a bear in the wild! Eeeek! I was beyond excited!
Yosemite to me is this grand, untamed natural piece of earth that continues to amaze me with its beauty. I’ve been drawn to this place ever since 6th grade camp. After that experience, I knew I had to come back. Fast forward 6 years and it’s time to plan for Senior Prom. To be honest, back then I dreaded getting dressed up. I am a total jeans and shirt kinda gal and I still am, except I’ve grown to love summer dresses. So…I decided instead of going to Prom, I would go camping in Yosemite. And from that point, I just kept coming back and back. You know how some people have their “favorite spot”, that place that makes them feel alive and exhilarated. For me, it’s Yosemite.
Our good friends, The Yeums, met up with us. This was their first time there! I feel like a giddy kid when I’m traveling with friends who are experiencing Yosemite for the first time.
The Yeum girls were brave enough to swim in this freezing water. After about 5 minutes, it feels amazing! Seriously, there’s no other feeling like it. It almost feels like the water is rushing right through you and you feel SO rejuvenated.
Oh, Half Dome, you take my breath away.
Glacier Point has the best view of the valley.
The morning light was beautiful.
I love LOVE when the sunlight filters through the trees!
This girl cracks me up.
A couple of weeks prior, a tragic accident happened at the top of Vernal Falls. 3 hikers fell into the river and over the waterfall. They have yet to be found. On the day that we decided to hike up Vernal Falls, they had closed the Mist Trail for search and rescue efforts. Makes me sad when I hear stories like this.
The trail eventually opened, so we headed on up.
The falls were gorgeous! Everyone was completely soaking wet, hence the name “Mist Trail.” At one point, I had to hide my camera under my shirt to protect it from all the water pouring on us [No, I didn't bring adequate protection for it] It was crazy!
On the way back down, we noticed a rainbow, which never ceases to amaze me.
Until next year…
It was about 100 degrees in San Diego that day. That was also the day we had a power outage all over So Cal and parts of Arizona and across the Mexican border. Craziness!
Thankfully, I had some fun visitors, including Baby Gwenevere. Isn’t she sweet?
September 12, 2011
In Junior High, I discovered this little band of brothers who inspired me to play music [among other things]. I remember that moment, sitting in my living room, watching MTV and “Where’s the Love” came on. I was smitten. It wasn’t just a hormonal pre-teen crush, but a real eye opener. Throughout the following months, I learned every bit of info on Hanson and through this learning process, it hit me…I want to play music. And not just play it, but write and sing my own music. Thanks to school, I learned to play percussion and with the help of my best friend at the time, I learned to play guitar. Composing my own music gave the greatest thrill and joy. And I have Hanson to thank for that.
My first H concert going experience was fun, but this was completely different. Watching them live after all of these years was enjoyable. I could sit back [without screaming my head off] and just take it all in. I’m grateful for my pre-teen/teen years and wouldn’t take back my “teeny bopper” phase [even as obnoxious as I probably was to my mom] for anything. I’m happy that I can now look at Hanson and listen to their music with a whole new mind frame. And that goes the same for all my favorite artists and life in general. I love where I am now.
To all of my fellow H fans [both past + present], these photos are for you
MEIKO. This girl is just as adorable as her music!
I love how close these brothers are.
At the end of the show, Zac jumped off his bass drum. An unexpected, pleasant surprise.
This is a random photo, but I loved ALL of the art on the walls and the ceiling.
Venue: House of Blues, San Diego
This was an AMAZING Day!
More to come soon…
This wedding was amazing in every sense. From the location in the midst of a walnut grove to the fun details to the incredibly vibrant bridal party and guests!
The moment I stepped into the Villa, where the girls were getting ready, I was blown away by Erica’s beauty. That girl is a stunner! And have I mentioned how much I love her red hair? Because I do.
Bridal Party of the Corn.
I smile every time I think of their ceremony. Sam and Erica are both talented writers. I had no doubt that their vows would be well written, witty and meaningful…but we were all surprised by Sam’s vow delivery. When he started singing his version of “Home,” it seemed as if everyone was beaming. I don’t think there was a dry eye in the crowd, including me. What was really cool was when the groomsmen jumped in and started singing too! It was one of the most touching things I have been fortunate enough to witness.
——>>>> To see more images from Sam + Erica’s wedding, please click on their SLIDESHOW below.
[[ Wedding Vendors ]]
Wedding Venue: Walnut Grove at Tierra Rejada Ranch
Coordinator: Michelle Spring of Mia Bella Weddings and Events
Pre-Ceremony Music: Subito Strings
Flip book Photobooth: A Little Scene Flip Books
DJ: Senor Amor
Videographers: Mada Weddings
Photographer: Daisy Varley
Sam + Erica…thank you for trusting me with documenting your beautiful day. I’ve really enjoyed getting to know you both! I think you two are incredibly special…
Much love and happiness to you both!
As a kid, you’re anxious for this time of year when you can pick out your costume for Halloween. You talk amongst friends and share your costume choices and talk about how much sugary goodness your going to collect while trick or treating. The sun has set. You walk and yell out “trick or treat!” until you’ve exhausted your feet to the point of numbness. I remember those days fondly. One of the many awesome aspects of being a parent is being able to relive so many childhood experiences through our child[ren]. I looooove seeing the smile on my girls’ giddy faces, all dressed up in their princess attire [surprise, surprise] with one mission: candy!
I hope you all had a fun and safe Halloween!
Last month, Sophia and I traveled to our first Girl Scouts camping trip at Whispering Oaks in Julian. We LOVE to camp so this weekend trip was a must. Aside from the crafty activities and endless amounts of hot cocoa and s’mores…this was valuable time with my daughter.
The raising and lowering of the flag at dawn and at dusk.
We hiked up to Inspiration Point and took a minute to appreciate nature.
The folks here call this shack “Mister Mister”.
Everyone slept in bunk beds!
What fun would eating s’mores be if it didn’t get all over your face?
I made this little fella. Cute, huh?
I think one of the most valuable things you can expose your children to is art. Allowing them to think, create and play with their imaginations is important beyond belief.
As a child, I was constantly creating in some form. As a wee little kindergartner, I won my first coloring contest. In the years that followed, I often drew imperfect portraits of my friends and family. I started a novella which never saw the light of day. I remember going to the dollar store and buying $1 disposable cameras. As a teenager, I fell in love with music [composing/writing]. And during my last couple of years in high school, I discovered what would become an ongoing, ever evolving love and appreciation for photography. With all that in mind, it’s no surprise that I enjoy creating with my little ones. With an empty canvas and paint brush in hand, anything is possible.
Last month, I took the girls to the opening exhibit of TRASH at one of our favorite places, The New Children’s Museum. I love how this museum allows us to think about bigger issues from an artists’ viewpoint.
Words from their website [ www.thinkplaycreate.org ] —>
“The artists in TRASH each with differing prerogatives and intentions, share the common desire to draw attention to an invisible issue that increasingly dominates our lives. Did you know that in the United States, annual production of waste has tripled since 1960? That the average American produces 4.5 pounds of trash every day? In this exhibition, our mission is to change how we see trash, and changing perspective starts by asking more questions.”
I can only speak for myself when I say that art played a vital role in my development, growth, the way I perceive the world and I how I choose to live my life.
I know of so many schools who are getting rid of their Art programs and it makes me very sad to think that future students of those schools won’t be exposed to art on a regular basis.
Here’s a LINK to a video stating some reasons why art is important for kids.
A couple of weeks ago, I got the pleasure of photographing baby T’s first birthday. It was a mini celebration filled with colorful balloons, singing, bubbles and happy tots!
Happy Birthday, Baby T!
Last weekend, I traveled to my hometown in Central California to visit family and photograph old friends of mine and their brood.
It was fun seeing Erica again…we go way back to Junior High. Erica and I played the same sports, shared the same friends…and even the same boyfriends. Hehe. Next year will be our 10 year High School reunion! Where does the time go?
I met her adorable 3 daughters and her hubby at her house. The light was beautiful that day.
Kristen was another one of my good friends from Junior High. She was one of the most genuine, happy girls that I knew…and still is! Before her family session, I hadn’t seen her in 10 years! As soon as we got out of our cars, we squealed with delight! It’s as if time hadn’t passed. She’s still the same as I remember her…with a few little ones in tow. I had so much fun getting to know her family. She is so loved.
And last, but not least in my hometown family sessions is Apple and her two sons. She was my closest friend in Junior High. Even as awkward as that time was, I have so many great memories hanging out with this girl. Whether we were playing basketball, track, volleyball or softball together, playing flute in the school band, combing our hair in the girls bathroom, walking around in our Cowboys jackets, gossiping about boys during recess or sleeping over at each others’ houses, we always seemed to have a great time!
Fast forward a few years, and she is still the same confident, independent, “slightly” opinionated, smiley Apple. Her two sons, Julius and Blake, LOVE her and I couldn’t be happier for my friend.
Apple is an AMAZING mother! I’ve never seen a woman so involved – she never misses any of Julius’s games/practices and is unbelievably proud of him. Love.
Julius knows how to make his little brother laugh.
This little guy is so loved.
Thank you, Apple, for letting me hang out with you and your adorable little fellas!
Lots of love,
This year was full of new adventures, friends and LOTS of quality family time.
As a mom and a photographer, I try to document my family as much as possible. Childhood is so fleeting. I don’t want to miss one moment of theirs. I hope you get a glimpse of how truly special my family is!
Happy New Years, friends!
In November, I traveled back to my home town in central California. I always joke that I can smell my way into town. There’s a distinct smell when you’re passing all the dairy farms. It makes me cringe yet smile with a bit of giddiness knowing I’m going back to the place I once called home.
I enjoy spending time with my family – I feel like they bring out my inner dork the best. But one of the wonderful things I’ve been discovering is how beautiful this place actually is…especially in the Fall. Growing up in one place makes you almost blind to what’s in front of you. You’re always desiring to escape to far off places. I know I did. And this is why I appreciate this place, this little town in the middle of nowhere so much more.
On my way to a family shoot, I parked my car by a fence on a dirt road. The clouds were that gorgeous puffy white, swirly types [cumulus] – the kind that as a kid, you would point up and guess which animal shapes or objects they formed. Those clouds that make you stare in wander. I pointed my camera, not just at the sky but at the cows that wandered about in the field. I never took the time to notice them before, but I couldn’t help but watch them. I’m sure the other drivers that I was a bit crazy or odd for taking photos of cows that they pass by everyday, but today was a new day for me.
This is my niece, Destiny. She is beautiful.
White Top. One of the last few mom and pop restaurants in a sea of fast food chain drive-thrus.
Every time I’m in town, I go here.
As a kid, my mom would bring me, my sisters and my brother here for a shrimp basket and a banana split. An older German couple owned this restaurant for many years. Every time we came in, which was quite often, they would greet us with a smile and always asked to see how we were doing. That kind of genuine care and attention is so rare these days.
We stopped in with our little ones and it made my heart (and my tummy) happy.
Awww…it seemed like just yesterday we were running amok in this place and driving our mom crazy.
The next morning, as we were waking up, I captured a few frames of my family.
I first met Amber and Kellen on their wedding day more than 3 years ago. They are are incredibly sweet together and I couldn’t be happier for this next phase in their lives.
I met them at their home in Carlsbad.
We then headed over to Batiquitos Lagoon.
I met these two in Old Town last week for the first time. These two are so adorable together. The first thing I noticed is that Jose has this calm way of making Lilly feel at ease. She was giggling throughout the session, which was fun to watch and capture on camera.
They chose the perfect place for their engagement session, considering their wedding will be filled with lots of traditional Mexican decor.
On March 1, 2012, the two ladies of Bash, Please threw one heck of a party for brides + grooms and curious seekers alike and I wasn’t going to miss it! The Cream Event was not your ordinary bridal fair. This was a wedding soiree filled with intricate, fun details, delicious food, amazing music, intimate lighting, cool people with an eye for design and so much more.
In Paige’s + Kelly’s words they wanted this to be a “reception style party that has energy, style, thoughtfulness, and FUN. All the elements for a rad wedding.”
Here are some images from the night.
Spring is in the air! My favorite time of the year.
This year, I’ve decided to hold [mini] photo sessions!
Please check out the details below…
If you’re interested in booking a session, please contact me below for availability + more info.