Laguna Beach Maternity Session at Thousand Steps Beach

LAGUNA BEACH MATERNITY SESSION AT THOUSAND STEPS BEACH

Can I tell you a little secret? It's kind of embarrassing. Okay, here goes... I used to be scared to shoot maternity sessions and I would turn them down. Just saying that out loud sounds crazy! I hadn't done many of them, so I was nervous that I would drop the ball. I recently took on a few maternity sessions, and realized what I've been missing out on. They are so sweet and fun!

When Desiree contacted me to capture her Laguna Beach maternity session, I got the same nervous feeling in my stomach, but knew it was something I wanted to do. And I'm so glad I did! Desiree and Blake are the sweetest couple expecting their first baby boy, Cooper, in about 2 weeks. Desiree only had one request, that her maternity session be in Laguna Beach, and I immediately knew that Thousand Steps Beach would be the perfect location. But first I had to make sure this pregnant mama would be okay with all the stairs. I expected some pushback, but sweet Desiree was a champ, "The stairs are no problem! I could use the workout." How cute is that?! I knew I was going to love her. 

We arrived a little bit early so that we could find the perfect spot on the beach, and we couldn't believe how beautiful and golden the light was. Even though it had been chilly earlier in the week, the water was surprisingly warm as it lapped at our ankles. I am so happy with how romantic and beautiful this session turned out, and I think it may have even changed the way I feel about maternity sessions. I'm so very excited for Desiree and Blake on their growing family. Congratulations you two! 

Couple walking on beach during Laguna Beach maternity session at Thousand Steps Beach with photographer Lovisa Photo.
Pregnant mom holds her belly during Laguna Beach maternity session at Thousand Steps Beach with photographer Lovisa Photo.
Pregnant mom holds her belly during Laguna Beach maternity session at Thousand Steps Beach with photographer Lovisa Photo.
Couple walking towards ocean during Laguna Beach maternity session at Thousand Steps Beach with photographer Lovisa Photo.

If you would like to book a maternity session for yourself or someone you love, send me an email for details!

xx Erin

Bride Guide: 12 Things to do after you get engaged

12 Things to do after you get engaged:

Things to do after you get engaged by Long Beach Wedding Photographer Lovisa Photo.

Right after my husband, Grant, proposed to me I remember the feeling. "Holy cow! I'm engaged!". That moment had finally come. But after the initial shock wore off, and I'd told the story of how he asked 1,000 times, that feeling was quickly followed up by the overwhelming question of "where do I begin?". Engagement is an exciting and crazy time in your life. But before getting overwhelmed with wedding planning, make sure to check out this list that I've put together for you- 12 things to do after you get engaged. 


1. Announce your engagement to your family and friends

This one is a no-brainer! If you happened to have a photographer capture the special moment, ask if they would be willing to send you a few of the sneak peeks right away to use in your announcement! 

2. Celebrate!

Pop some bubbly and celebrate with your friends and family! An engagement party is a great opportunity for everyone to congratulate you in person and see your new ring! 

3. Take some time before you start wedding planning

Your life is about to go through some new and exciting changes, so take some time to relish in the moment before the wedding planning starts. We made a point to not start wedding planning for the first month of our engagement and I'm so glad we did. 

4. Have a date Night

Enjoy your first date together as fiancés! Trust me, it's really fun to say. Let the restaurant know you're celebrating your engagement and they may take extra special care of you!  

5.Come up with a wedding hashtag

Start thinking about your wedding hashtag. This is a great way to let your friends and family see all of the photos from the proposal, engagement party, bridal shower, and eventually your wedding day! If you need some help coming up with a wedding hashtag, check out Wedding Wire's Hashtag Generator or ask your closest friends to help you come up with some ideas!

6. Start an inspiration board

It's time to start day dreaming about your big day! Pinterest is a great place to find inspiration and help you narrow in on your theme and color palette. Hey Wedding Lady has some amazing boards to help you decide on your wedding color palette.

12 things to do after you get engaged by Long Beach wedding photographer Lovisa Photo. 

7. Choose a season

Look back at your wedding inspiration boards and you may see a trend. If you are falling in love with pastels, you may be leaning towards a spring wedding. Bright splashy colors? You may want to consider a summer wedding. Jewel tones are a beautiful choice for a Fall wedding. You'll also want to consider what the weather will be like during that time of year. 

8. Set a budget

Set a budget and stick to it! Money conversations can be difficult, but just remember what is important at the end of the day is that you'll be married to the love of your life. My husband and I chose our top 2-3 things that were the most important to us and the rest we decided to be open minded about. For example, our wedding photographer was important to us. So in order to be able to afford the wedding photographer we wanted, we made room in the budget by not doing wedding favors, having our wedding on a Friday, etc. 

9. book your venue

Start looking around for wedding venues that fit your budget and style. There are so many styles of wedding venues out there, The Wedding Spot is a great resource to find the wedding venue of your dreams!

10. Set a date

This one goes simultaneously with booking your venue. You may choose to set the date before you choose your venue, but it will limit your options. Your dream venue may not end up being available on your wedding date. 

11. Open a joint bank account

Each couple is different, and this may not be for everyone. But this the first of many small steps for my (now) husband and I towards building our life together. It was exciting, and it really helped us get on the same page with managing our finances during the final stages of wedding planning. 

12. Get your ring insured

Trust me. Just do it. Hopefully you'll never have to file a claim, but if you do at least you can have peace of mind during a stressful time. 

Bride Guide: 6 Reasons to do an Engagement Session

6 Reasons to do an Engagement Session

Reasons to do an Engagement Session by Long Beach Wedding Photographer Lovisa Photo.

Hi friends!

Today I want to share 6 Reasons to do an engagement session with you! I frequently hear couples say that they don't "need" an engagement session and see it as an opportunity to save money. There is nothing wrong with saving money or sticking to a budget. But if you merely see an engagement session as just photos, I'm here to tell you there are SO many uses for them other than sharing them on Facebook. I actually printed more of my engagement photos than my wedding photos and have them hanging throughout our place. I see them as a better reflection of who we are in regular every day life and I LOVE that our photographer was able to capture that side of us! So read on, you may look at engagement photos in a whole new way...


1. You'll get beautiful photos

This sounds like a no-brainer, but seriously, when was the last time you had professional photos taken? Engagement sessions capture all the joy and excitement of this season of life with memories that will last a lifetime. Personally, I really loved having photos that I could hang around our new home that captured our "everyday" life together, and not just our wedding day. 

2. Your engagement photos have many uses

Aside from hanging the photos throughout your new home, you can use your engagement session photos for your save-the-dates, guest sign-in book, and invitations. Not to mention, you can display them around your wedding and bridal shower. I'm planning to do another post that talks about all the different ways you can use your engagement photos so stay tuned!

3. Practice for the big day!

Chances are you haven't spent a lot of time in front of professional cameras. It can be intimidating having several cameras pointed at you, but the engagement session is a great opportunity for you to get comfortable in front of the cameras so you can relax and be yourselves on the big day. 

4. let your photographer get to know you

As a wedding photographer, one of my favorite parts throughout the wedding process is shooting the engagement session. It really gives me a chance to get to know each couple as they are. Each couple is so different and through getting to know them I am able to truly capture their story on their wedding day. 

5. Better control over the light and location

Wedding days can be stressful. You have to follow a strict timeline, and have limited time to take photos. In addition, your timeline may not allow for photos during the best daylight. Also, the location for photos must be within a close radius of your venue. Your engagement session is much less pressure (there's no timeline), and you're able to take the photos whenever and wherever you want- in the mountains, the desert, or that gorgeous field you've been driving past on your way home from work. We'll also make sure to time it perfectly so you can get some gorgeous sunset photos with the most flattering light. 

6. While you're at it, plan a date night

I love to advise all of my brides to schedule their hair and makeup trials for the same day as the engagement session. While you're all dressed up and looking your best, you might as well have a date night afterwards!

New Year's Eve Elopement in Las Vegas

JR & Leann's New Year's Eve Elopement in Las Vegas

I wish that every one of my couples could elope. Don't get me wrong, I absolutely love shooting big weddings, but there is something so sweet and special about an intimate elopement. 

JR & Leann's New Year's Eve elopement in Las Vegas was nothing short of perfection. The bride and groom flew out from Alabama to tie the knot in a way that was so very "them". They got ready at their hotel room in the Aria Sky Tower, which had a magnificent view of the strip, and enjoyed a relaxing morning getting ready together. The bride says, "with the big day being on New Years Eve and in Las Vegas, I just knew my dress did not need to be a traditional white wedding gown....I needed SEQUINS and SPARKLE. I asked that my groom wear a tux since it was NYE as well."

Bridal details at the Aria Hotel in Las Vegas, Nevada with elopement photographer Lovisa Photo.
Bride's blue shoes at the Aria Hotel in Las Vegas, Nevada with elopement photographer Lovisa Photo.
Bride getting ready at the Aria Hotel in Las Vegas, Nevada with elopement photographer Lovisa Photo.
Bride and groom getting ready at the Aria Hotel in Las Vegas, Nevada with elopement photographer Lovisa Photo.

The couple headed for Graceland Wedding Chapel, where Bon Jovi once wed, and tied the knot in front of seven of their closest friends, and of course Elvis. Long Beach wedding photographer Lovisa Photo flew in to photograph the elopement, and ventured into Red Rock Canyon with the couple for photos. The couple's evening wear attire was the perfect contrast against the vibrant red hills. JR and Leann were so much fun and up for anything- including popping a bottle of champagne to celebrate their Las Vegas elopement!  

Bride and groom elope at little wedding chapel in Las Vegas, Nevada with elopement photographer Lovisa Photo.
Bride and groom elope at little wedding chapel in Las Vegas, Nevada with elopement photographer Lovisa Photo.

From the bride: "My fiancé (now husband) and I both wanted to elope on New Years Eve, rather than have a traditional wedding with numerous guests. We researched several locations to elope (Caribbean Islands, Mexico, etc) and kept coming back to Las Vegas as an option.  We both love to laugh and keep things light and fun, so an Elvis / Vegas chapel elopement was the option we just couldn't take off of our list, and eventually we decided to go with Vegas. Now, knowing that a Vegas wedding chapel may not be the classiest of places, I envisioned us making it as classy and glitzy as possible, in order to still make the day special and awesome for us both."

Bride and groom cheers champagne during New Year's Eve elopement in Las Vegas, Nevada with elopement photographer Lovisa Photo.

Photography: Lovisa Photo 
Hair and Makeup: Perfect Hair and Makeup
Groom's Attire: Jos. A. Bank
Wedding Dress: Bella's Bridal
Bride's Shoes: Badgley Mischka
Getting Ready Venue: Aria Resort and Casino
Wedding Ceremony Venue: Graceland Wedding Chapel

  

San Juan Capistrano Engagement Session at Los Rios District

Matt & Jori's San Juan Capistrano Engagement Session at Los Rios District

Hey guys!

I am SO excited to share Matt & Jori's San Juan Capistrano Engagement Session with you today! I have a special place in my heart for these two because I have been friends with Jori for a few years now. In 2014 we met working at a restaurant and hit it off so well that we decided to spontaneously plan a girls trip to Europe together! Crazy, I know! We traveled (ahem, *ate) our way around France, Italy, and Romania together making memories that I will always treasure.

Shortly after we returned home to the States, Jori was invited to a party to casually meet a blind date. But instead of hitting it off with her blind date, she ended up meeting Matt and hitting it off while she was waiting for the other guy to show up. Over the next couple of months, they kept running into each other through friends. Then one night, Matt helped Jori fix her flat tire and followed her home to make sure she made it safely. Major points Matt! It was then that he finally asked her out for their first date, and Jori gladly said yes.

After two years of dating, Matt finally popped the question at a beautiful dinner in Arizona, where Jori was least expecting it. And he did GOOD, check out her stunning ring!

I finally got to meet Matt at their engagement session and he truly is the gentleman she always described him as and it was no secret that they are crazy about each other! Besides, they make the most beautiful couple! Matt and Jori, you truly are amazing together and I’m so glad that you’ve found one another. I can’t wait to capture your wedding at the Ranch at Laguna Beach in November. It’s going to be a very special day celebrating two very beautiful people.   

xx Erin

5 Year Anniversary- Punta Cana Excursions

5 Year Anniversary- Punta Cana Excursions

Hey guys! 

I am back to share with you about all the fun excursions we did in Punta Cana! I had so much to tell you about our stay at The Level at Melia Caribe that I figured I would make a separate post to talk about these fun excursions! 

In my previous post I mentioned that we stayed at an all-inclusive resort which has everything you could think of, you don’t even need to leave the resort! But for those of you that like to experience the culture and have a sense of adventure, I would highly recommend going on a few excursions! You can book these right at the resort, or you can have your travel agent arrange it for you.

While we were in Punta Cana, we decided on two different excursions: a dune buggy adventure, and horseback riding on the beach. These ended up being some of our favorite memories from this trip! 

The dune buggy adventure was so much more fun than I expected it to be! We started at a dune buggy camp, and rode through the Dominican Republic countryside to three different locations before heading back. First, we rode to a local plantation where we got to see how the locals make local coffee, Mama Juana (the local alcohol of choice), and cigars. Then we moved on to the second location where we cliff jumped into a natural cave! It was 25 feet deep and icy cold, which felt really good in the 90-degree heat! Lastly, we stopped at Macaow Beach which is one of the undeveloped “virgin” beaches in the Dominican Republic. It was one of the most beautiful beaches I had ever seen! The water was so bright and gorgeous. Then we drove back to the dune buggy camp. The drive was so bumpy and we got so muddy, it was truly an adventure. One of the things Grant and I kept saying was that we really liked that this excursion gave us a great overview of some things that are exclusive to the Dominican Republic. 

Our second adventure was horseback riding on the beach. I used to take lessons as a kid, so I was so excited for this one. Grant had never been horseback riding, so I was even more excited to experience it with him. We took a short shuttle trip to Bavaro Beach and were introduced to our horses, Margarita and Coca-Cola. I guess they like beverages for names! We had so much fun and the view was amazing. At one point, they let us go full speed gallop down the beach! I was certainly in my happy place, and I was surprised that Grant handled the gallop so well for a first time rider! We kept saying that we couldn’t wait to go do something like that again.

So make sure to save a little room in your budget to go on an excursion or two during your trip! It will not disappoint!

xx Erin

Our 5 Year Anniversary- Level at Melia Caribe in Punta Cana

Our 5 Year Anniversary- Level at Melia Caribe in Punta Cana

Anniversary at the Level at Melia Caribe Punta Cana by Lovisa Photo

Wow! What a wild Summer it has been! We’ve had so much going on and I am excited to share with you one of the travel adventures we were able to take in August! This (first) edition of Travel Diaries is about our Punta Cana anniversary trip at The Level at Melia Caribe, which would be a perfect place for any of you planning your honeymoon! The timing of this trip couldn’t have been more perfect because my husband, Grant, and I were celebrating our 5-year wedding anniversary in August, and I knew I was about to launch Sweet Moon! I mean, why not do some “research” while we’re at it? And you should know, many pina coladas were thoroughly “tested” for research purposes.

So, first things first, we stayed at The Level at Melia Caribe which is basically a hotel within a hotel. It was the upgraded and adults-only portion of the resort and I wouldn’t recommend staying at this resort any other way.

When we arrived at the Level, we were greeted by the friendliest staff and welcomed into a VIP lounge for check-in. They brought us cold towels and refreshing tropical cocktails for us to enjoy while we waited for them to finish checking us in. I kept thinking, this would be the perfect way to start a honeymoon, and instantly knew we were going to love the rest of our anniversary trip here. 

The Level has four restaurants and three bars that are exclusive to Level members, so they were nicer and less crowded. It also has a private pool, and did I mention adults-only?  ;)  We had a blast at the pool and swim up bar and made several friends down there. But the white sand and turquoise water of the Punta Cana beach called our names too so we spent most of our days hopping back and forth. 

One of the things I loved most was of course that this was an all-inclusive resort! That means that food, beverage, alcohol, entertainment, etc... it was all included! A lot of people get nervous about the food at all-inclusive resorts, but we loved it! Everything was fresh and delicious. There were 11 restaurants, 2 buffets, and 14 bars, so we never got tired of the selection! I'm pretty sure I ate my weight in fresh fruit, how gorgeous is this fruit plate?! 

We had so much fun on this trip. You guys, if you've never stayed at an all-inclusive resort, it is something you MUST do! It is such an amazing experience to be able to get away for several days and not have to worry about currency conversion or budgeting out your meals. The best thing are there are different types of all-inclusive resorts based on your needs: adults-only, adventurous, romantic, luxurious, etc. The Level at Melia Caribe was an amazing experience and I would recommend it to anyone looking to plan a romantic honeymoon at an all-inclusive resort. 

Bride Guide: 4 REASONS TO DO A FIRST LOOK

"Should we do a first look?"... This is a question that gets brought up a LOT! First looks are a special intimate moment set up for the bride and groom to see each other before the ceremony. Typically, your wedding photographer chooses a location (on site) away from family and friends to give the couple privacy and to make that moment special just for them. Of course, this goes against the age old tradition of the groom not being allowed to see the bride before she walks down the aisle. But times are changing! And the first look is now just as common as not seeing each other before the ceremony. As a photographer, I fully support the idea and I’ve gone ahead and put together 4 reasons to do a first look. 

1.     More time for photos

This right here is huge! I love when couples choose to do a first look because we can take care of the majority of the family and bridal party photos before the ceremony begins, leaving more time for romantic couples’ portraits after the ceremony. And who wouldn’t want that?!

2.     More intimate and it eases the nerves

On my wedding day, anxiety was high and my stomach was churning right before I walked down the aisle. The idea of having all eyes on me was overwhelming. Oh how I wish I had chosen to do a first look! It would have been so nice to share that moment together, just us, before we said our vows in front of everyone we knew. I can’t tell you how many couples say they are so happy they took the time to have a quiet intimate moment together before the ceremony. It is a sacred moment that will never be forgotten and it helps ease many couples’ nerves before the ceremony.

3.     Daylight/Best Lighting

Unfortunately, the lighting is not always ideal at a ceremony space; sometimes the light is harsh, uneven, or sometimes it’s even too dark (after daylight savings). First looks allow the photographer to place the couple in the most ideal light/location so that they can capture the best possible photos of that special moment.

4.     Attending Cocktail Hour/Spend more time with guests

For the couples that love to party, need I say more? With more time after the ceremony, some couples opt to use this time to mingle with their guests during the cocktail hour. Cheers!

There you have it! 4 reasons to do a first look! Hopefully this will help you to decide whether a first look is right for you! If you have any questions, as always, feel free to comment below!

xx Erin

Bride Guide: WHAT TO WEAR TO YOUR ENGAGEMENT SESSION

What to Wear to Your Engagement Session by Los Angeles Wedding Photographer Lovisa Photo
What to Wear to Your Engagement Session by Los Angeles Wedding Photographer Lovisa Photo

We've all seen good AND bad engagement photos. But it doesn't come down to just picking the right photographer, you've gotta look good too! I get asked ALL the time what couples should wear to their engagement session. I've answered some of the most frequently asked questions, along with some of my best tips, to help you plan what to wear to your engagement session. If you have any other questions or tips of your own, feel free to comment!

 

Dress Comfortably

My first piece of advice is to dress comfortably. If you are uncomfortable it will most likely show through in your photos. Make sure everything fits correctly and works well with the setting. You wouldn’t wear heels to the beach, or a scarf and sweater on a summer day, so don’t attempt to pull that off on the day of your engagement session.

Something Old and Something New

I always love to recommend that couples wear one outfit or item that they already own, and another that they bought new for the engagement session. Wearing something you already own is a good idea because it is tried and true and so very YOU. You know that it fits well and you will feel confident in that. Buying a new outfit or item for the session is fun because it gives you a chance to feel extra special during the session. I know I always feel great when I put on a brand new dress. If the item is new shoes, try to wear them around the house to break them in before the session. Nothing is worse than a blister!

Is it okay to wear prints?

I personally love prints, and think they bring a fun element to photos. Don’t be afraid to get playful with prints. Just make sure they don’t clash with one another and aren’t too distracting.

What colors should I wear?

There’s nothing I love more than a light color palette filled with cream, blush, tan, grey and white. I think it really helps create light and airy photos. But a pop of color can be fun too! Just be intentional about it. Maybe choose a bright lipstick, scarf, or pants and keep the rest of the palette toned down.

Should we match?

Okay, we’ve all seen it. The awful photo of a family of 5 all wearing white shirts and light blue denim. There’s nothing worse than being too matchy matchy. That being said, I do believe couples should coordinate their outfits to work well together. Play off of each other’s outfits to find a color palette and prints that work well together. If you’re going for a fall color palette, maybe find a plaid scarf that has a hint of color in it that matches his shirt. Or if he is wearing bright red pants, maybe wear bright red lipstick to tie the look together. It’s a subtle way to create a look that comes together flawlessly.

Casual or Dressy?

This comes down to a personal decision. Ultimately, the engagement session is meant to capture who you are as a couple! If you love to dress up, go for it! But if you are a more casual couple, there is nothing wrong with wearing a more every day look. I know some days, I feel just as confident in Converse and blue jeans as I would in a dress. Some couples like to bring one dressy and one casual outfit, but the choice is up to you.

How many outfits should we bring?

When it comes to this, I believe that less is more. I always recommend that couples limit themselves to two outfits, or even wear one outfit but bring a jacket or change of top to switch up the look easily. You won’t want to waste precious time during your session trying to find a restroom to change in.

Any extra advice?

Yes! If you are able to, I would suggest getting your hair and make up done professionally. You've spent good money on these photos, so don't cut corners when it comes to looking your best! Professionals know how to apply your makeup in a way that photographs well and lasts. If you have hired a hair and makeup artist for the big day, then why not schedule your trial appointment for the day of the engagement session? Or go get a blow out for under $40! Treat yo'self girl! I promise you will love your photos even more. Don't forget to have your nails freshly painted. There's nothing worse than a gorgeous photo but you have chipped nail polish in it!

 

xx Erin

 

JOSHUA TREE ELOPEMENT

Cole & Marie's Joshua Tree Elopement

Cole & Marie's Joshua Tree Elopement was nothing short of romantic. It was a celebration of deep love and you could tell by sheer joy on their faces throughout the day. The couple met both working in art galleries and met while they were both working at the Contemporary Art Museum in St. Louis. They lived in New York for a few years while Marie was going to grad school, and now Cole works at a gallery in Brooklyn, while Marie works at a non-profit space in St. Louis. Their love truly has what it takes to persevere long distance! 

Cole & Marie's wedding was held at an adorable Mid-Century home close to Joshua Tree National Park that they found through AirBnb. The home was decorated perfectly to reflect Cole & Marie's fun, tasteful aesthetic and love of good music. The two eloped with only four of their close friends, and the officiant present and followed up the day by sending out announcements to family and friends back home. The Rolling Stones' "Gimme Shelter" played from the vintage record player in the house while the two exchanged vows. 

Afterwards, we headed into Joshua Tree National Park to catch the most gorgeous golden sunset. Cole and Marie's Joshua Tree Elopement was truly romantic, in every sense of the word.

This wedding was featured on 100 Layer Cake! See more here!

Photographer: Lovisa Photo / Venue: Larkspur House (AirBnb) / Floral Design: Cactus Flower Florist / Invitations: Nicholas Jacobs / Officiant: The Vow Keeper / Wedding Dress: Reformation / Shoes: Maiyet / Jeweler: Anna Sheffield / Groom’s Suit: Acne Studios / Shirt: Steven Alan / Shoes: Common Projects / Socks: Huf / Tie: Armani / Handkerchief: Muji / Barber: David at Made Man

Romantic Temecula Wine Country Engagement Session

Romantic Temecula Wine Country Engagement Session

I knew Zane & Olivia's romantic Temecula Wine Country Engagement Session would be extra beautiful when they called me and let me know he would be bringing his Dad's 1958 vintage Corvette. The car is so special to Zane's family. His dad bought the car when he was just 20 years old and it has been in the family ever since. Zane has special memories of helping his grandfather restore the car. I couldn't think of a more sentimental item to include in their engagement session. We drove out to Temecula Wine Country, where Zane & Olivia love to go wine tasting on their days off, and the rolling hills served as a breathtaking backdrop at sunset. 

And how gorgeous is Olivia's ring?! The center stone was Zane's mother's diamond, and the ring was custom designed by Zane and made by her uncle! I love that! Good job Zane. 

Jeweler: La Cache

ROMANTIC LOS WILLOWS WEDDING

ROMANTIC LOS WILLOWS WEDDING In Fallbrook, Ca

Sometimes couples come along that just completely inspire me in my own relationship. Andrea & Devin are friends of mine from middle school and I can remember that even back then, they were the perfect fit. Yes, they've been together for 14 years and still madly in love. Their romantic Los Willows wedding was truly a party- a celebration of love and friendship and the start of the rest of their life together. Today is their wedding anniversary and I couldn't think of a better way to celebrate than by sharing their beautiful wedding with you all!

Photography: Lovisa Photo // Venue: Los Willows // Florals: Blooming Grace  // Officiant: SoCal Wedding Pastor // Wedding Dress: Juliet by Waters purchased at The Lovely Bride // Cake: Elegance on Display // Invitations: Angelique Ink

REFERRAL PROGRAM

Referral Program

Now announcing a new referral program!

As I’m sure you know, growing a business takes time. Personally, I love to run my business on word of mouth and referrals (who pays attention to advertisements anyways?). This means that I rely heavily on my amazing clients and friends!! The highest compliment I could ever receive from you is your referral. I would LOVE to meet your friends! 

I've now implemented a new referral program offering a complimentary 30-minute session every time you refer a couple that books a wedding package with Lovisa Photo! You can choose to use this session however you like... engagement, family, you name it! Just make sure they mention that you referred them when they inquire.

                                        xx Erin 

P.S. Don’t forget to tell your friends to take advantage of the 2016 travel special! No additional travel fees for destination weddings!

BRIDE GUIDE // Questions to Ask When Hiring a Wedding Photographer

QUESTIONS TO ASK WHEN HIRING A WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHER

Questions to Ask When Hiring a Wedding Photographer by Long Beach wedding photographer, Lovisa Photo.

Today the wedding industry is teeming with wedding photographers. It seems that all the time, someone I know has decided to try their hand at it. This is an amazing thing! I love watching others pursue their dreams. However, as a bride, it can be overwhelming when it comes time to choose the right photographer for you and your wedding! Believe me, I know the industry as a photographer, but I've also experienced it from a bride's perspective when I planned my own wedding. So... how do you pick one? I've put together a list of questions to ask when hiring a wedding photographer. Ask them...

 

WHAT KIND OF EXPERIENCE DO THEY HAVE?

Now don't get me wrong, I don't think experience alone should be a deal breaker. However, I do believe it is an important question to ask when hiring a wedding photographer. Ask your photographer how long they have been shooting, specifically how long they have been shooting weddings. Someone whose specialty is taking senior portraits may not be able to give you the best service that a wedding photographer can. Has your photographer had a lot of experience shooting your type of wedding (outdoor, indoor, cultural ceremony, etc.)? A photographer with more experience knows what to expect in different situations and how to be ready for anything (weather, lighting, unexpected events, etc.). 

WHAT DOES THEIR FEE INCLUDE?

Something I want to seriously drive home here is that all photographers are NOT created equal. In fact, there is nothing more disheartening to a photographer than hearing a potential client say, "Well this photographer said they could give us the same package for less. Why can't you give me the same price?". As photographers, we consider ourselves artists, and comparing photographers and their packages is like comparing apples to oranges, since their work is so different. What I mean by asking what their fee includes is to make sure you know everything that is included in the price so that there are no surprises later. Does the number you were quoted include the digital files? Sales tax? Prints? Ask all of your questions up front so that you know exactly what to expect later. 

WHAT IS THEIR DELIVERY TIMELINE?

Most photographers will quote you delivery of your files between 6 to 8 weeks from your wedding day. I know that I always aim to over-quote and deliver them much sooner. Nothing is better than surprising a bride with early delivery of her photos. So don't necessarily get bummed out when you see that you may not get your photos for a month and a half. That quote is usually what it is to protect the photographer in case of an emergency.   

DOES THEIR STYLE MATCH MINE?

This is HUGE! I hate to see brides settle. Of course I am a bit biased, but I feel that your photographer should be one of the top priorities for your wedding budget. Don't wait until the last minute to hire your photographer or you will be working with the leftover portion of your budget! Unfortunately when this happens, brides usually can't afford the photographer that they want and are forced to settle for a photographer with a different style. If you don't love the photographer's style now, you probably won't love their style in 10 years. Photos will be the lasting memories of your special day, treat them with priority!

ARE WE A GOOD MATCH?

This is the most important tip I can give every bride. Make sure you and your photographer are a good match. You will be spending many hours together on your wedding day in close proximity. Your photographer should make you feel special, beautiful, honored, and be someone you can trust. When your photographer's services are tailored to fit you and your needs, you will feel confident on your big day knowing that you are in good hands. Likewise, I always want to make sure that brides have the best match for them. If I feel that someone can serve them better, I will always be honest with them. 

 

Hopefully this list of questions can help you navigate this important decision. If you have any questions at all, I am always happy to help; and if you are on the hunt for your perfect wedding photographer, I would love to chat and see if we are a good match! 

xx Erin

 

WEDDING INSPIRATION- PANTONE COLOR OF THE YEAR

Every year, in early December, Pantone announces the new Pantone Color of the Year. Pantone recently announced the 2016 palette and I am SO in love with this year's selection: Rose Quartz and Serenity! It is soft, feminine, and oh so dreamy. I think it would make a beautiful color palette for a wedding! Here is an inspiration board I put together inspired by the Pantone Color of the Year! Hope you love it as much as I do! 

xx Erin

Photo Credit: YesDress // WantThatWedding // Sarah Box Photography // Isabelle Selby // Tenth and Grace // Maraluce // Natalie Franke // Melanie Duerkopp // Brabbu

HELLO!... A LITTLE INTRODUCTION

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Hi friends!

It feels so good to be back in the blogging world! I took a little break and it was so great. Sometimes taking a break from things can be so good for the soul. You know? But I am back, and my creative juices are flowing more than ever before! So hopefully I can come up with some good content for you all. In October, I decided to give my site a much needed facelift. In the process, I failed to back up and carry over my blog posts from the past 5 years. Major Grrrrr! It is very annoying, but I decided to look at it as an opportunity to start fresh instead of getting upset. So, I'll be starting from scratch here with some new content for you all. For those of you who are new to my site, Welcome!!! I thought now would be the perfect opportunity to introduce myself...

My name is Erin Muller and I'm a 28 year old living the good life in California! I married my sweetheart Grant in 2011 and it's only gotten better since. We LOVE to travel and take our pit-boxer pup Harlow (#harlowthedog on Instagram) everywhere with us. Our favorite getaway is Palm Springs, it has become our home away from home. I was born and raised in Southern California and I've always had the itch to experience living outside of the state.

I love to travel, cook, hike with Harlow, and binge-watch Scandal, Grey's Anatomy, and Blacklist. Okay, and I'm obsessed with the Bachelor too (guilty pleasure).

I love to cook healthy, but I can't resist BBQ kettle chips. I am a total foodie and LOVE trying new foods. A good happy hour always makes me happy (duh! Isn't that why they call it Happy Hour?). And I love wine. Wine makes everything better. No really it does.

I started Lovisa Photo in 2009 and through it I have been able to meet some of the most incredible people and visit the most amazing places. I see the world through my camera lens and I am inspired by the everyday little things: loose change, fresh flowers, gold details, beautiful light, and modern home decor. My hope is to capture the moments and things that inspire me and document them here in this blog and hopefully make some new friends along the way!

I'd love to get to know you! If you have any other questions for me, feel free to ask! I hope you enjoy and thanks for reading!

xx Erin