Hedder and Reed’s One Year Wedding Anniversary Photos in the Woods and Fields of the Ortega Mountains, Outdoor Couple Portrait Photography

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Oh these two… this was such a fun photo shoot to celebrate their first wedding anniversary!

I’ve known Reed since he was in middle school… or maybe elementary school? Either way, it’s been awhile. It was a blast catching up with his wonderfully sweet wife, Hedder, and Reed on their first year of marriage and their new teaching jobs. They’re just about as genuine and real as you can get. And as a bonus, hysterically funny! I actually don’t know how any of these are in focus as they had me laughing the whole time… isn’t that part of my job?? Thanks for making it easy on me… Happy anniversary you two!

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A Pankratz Wedding: Matt and Amie’s Engagement Pictures in Orange Circle

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Amie’s first set of engagement photos with her wedding photographer had come out so good that I was extremely nervous in the weeks leading up to our shoot.

But I still had hoped to capture Amie and Matt as they are in the day to day, because even if you only spend a moment with them you can truly see the love they have for each other.

I had to take a break from editing these photos last month as I was inspired to write my Matron of Honor speech… I just had to talk about Amie’s “crinkle nose smile,” as its a smile I have loved for many years now but I have never seen her smile more than when she is with Matt. They truly are the sweetest couple.

Anyway, back to our photo shoot… not long after Amie met Matt, she bought a beach cruiser and biking down to the beach became a weekly activity for them and their friends so for years (literally) we have talked about taking their photos on bikes…

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I was pretty honored that Amie got this next photo printed HUGE (22×28 inches!!) to display at their wedding, definitely the biggest I’ve ever seen one of my photos printed.

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After we put the bikes away, we moved on deeper into Orange Circle—toward the fountain that Matt proposed in front of way back in December. But of course we had to take a pitstop at these stairs as the teal and red color scheme matches their kitchen to perfection!

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Standing in the exact spot where he proposed… so sweet…

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And now these two are Mr. and Mrs… oh man I can not wait to share [more] wedding photos! It was breathtakingly beautiful, from the bride to the decor, everything was just magical!

Crossfit Couple, Jarryd and Chelsea’s Engagement Portraits


I have been so excited to share this session with you!

Chelsea and I grew up together, our sisters were in girl scouts together and their family is very close to my best friend Amie’s. So when Chelsea contacted me about taking their engagement photos I jumped at the chance!

We met up at Jeffrey Open Trail, a small park just a mile away from their apartment. Jarryd and Chelsea are very athletic—he’s actually hoping and planning on opening his very own gym! And as you’ll see Jarryd is quite proud of his lady’s guns!

Enough jabbering… these are my absolute favorites from our day—a day where the sun kept teasing us with its presence! And as you will come to realize, I had a hard time narrowing them down!

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Congratulations again on your engagement, Jarryd and Chelsea! Happy wedding planning!

Photographing My Best Friend’s Proposal

When Matt sent me a text message on the Thursday before Christmas I just knew what it would entail. He was about to propose to my best friend. What started as a discussion on the where and when turned into the who and what as well. I would be starting Amie’s morning with breakfast and coffee with a walk down to the Orange Circle where her darling boyfriend would be awaiting her with a ring in hand.


Of course, several minute details of the day caused several mishaps like Matt falling asleep after his night shift and barely making it in time to propose and Amie having one of the many colds of the winter season. Those small “almost missed the moment” moments will add the depth every good proposal story needs.


I will always remember the day as the morning I cried on the phone with my mom as I drove to Orange County in the anticipation of the day.  The morning I drank too much coffee to stall the soon to be bride before the [so far] best moment of her life. The morning I got to witness, and photograph, when my best friend’s man of her dreams got down on one knee with their dog in tow. And the morning where she said yes.


Amie calling her family to spread the great news!

Thank you Matt for making my best friend of the happiest girls in the world. And thank you for allowing me to be a part of that oh so special morning in Orange.


P.S. In the craziness of the morning and a case of the common proposal nerves along with the urgency of keeping hidden until the last moment, Matt is disguised dressed like a homeless man. 😉 Everyone keeps asking that so I might as well say that here and now as well.

Lauren and Kellen’s Engagement Photos in the Woods, Menifee

Well the wedding came and went in a whirlwind of fun and laughter. Now Andy and I are in cloudy and cold Washington enjoying a much needed vacation while Kellen and Lauren are enjoying a sunny ocean filled honeymoon in Hawaii. Before too much more time has past, I wanted to share a few photos I took of the almost married couple for their wedding invitation.

We only needed one photo for the RSVP card so we were there and gone within 15 minutes if not less than that! Here’s the photo side of their RSVP card, I will share more of the invitation (and hopefully some wedding photos) next week too.

And here’s two more that didn’t make the cut for the RSVP card but I still just loooooove how they came out!

Ah! I seriously just adore them! Mr. & Mrs. Wagoner I mean… 🙂 Okay okay, I adore the way the photos came out too!

See ya next week!

Brittany and Eric’s Engagement Portraits, Costa Mesa, California

In December, one of my best friends—since second grade—got engaged! Brittany has been known as my laughing buddy because when we get together that’s all that happens! She just makes me laugh and her laugh is infectious in the best of ways. Her bubbly personality brings everyone in as if you’ve been friends forever. And that’s how she makes you feel, even strangers. And she sure knows how to have a good time! That’s a guarantee when spending time with my P*A (stands for pineapple, don’t ask).

Four years ago she met Eric. Eric in so many ways is Brittany’s perfect guy. After so many years of Brittany making all of us smile, now he makes Brittany laugh and smile—all the time. So if you know Brittany, and thought she was so happy before, wait until you see Mrs. Totah-to-be. You can’t help but smile—the whole time! Your cheeks will hurt! In a good way! ha! I am so so so excited for their wedding this November! I am so excited for all the dancing during the reception, but most excited to be stand up with Brittany as one of her bridesmaids as she becomes Eric’s wife! Ah!!

This is too much blabbing… on to the pictures! Within walking distance from Brittany’s apartment are two shopping and dining areas called The Camp and The Lab. They are the coolest centers I have ever seen. They have not left any space without any decoration. I coined the term modern industrial—at least I thought I did, is that a real thing? Anyway, I stopped by there on my way to Brittany’s and my mind was overflowing with ideas! I had such a blast wandering around and capturing their relationship… without further ado, the future Mr. and Mrs. Totah!

As I was testing the light for the following photo, these three men walked by us. I was not paying attention to them but after they were gone Eric said that the guy on the far right was Kurt Russel! What a surprise!

The Camp has succulents EVERYWHERE! I just adore them and had to take a ring shot in one of them!

These next two are my absolute favorites!!

Then we drove down to Newport Beach to savor the sunset.

Wishing you all the best this year! Ahh! So excited!! And Happy Valentine’s Day you two!

P.S. When we were talking about the shoot, Brittany asked for one photo of Eric with blue eyes so he’ll look Italian and her with green, just because she’s always wanted green eyes. So here’s a bonus photo for you!