The Seaside Calls

One girl's mission to escape monotony

At Last: Jonna + Gary, Married! | San Diego Wedding Photographer


Who: Gary + Jonna

When: June 10th, 2017

Where: Oak Creek Barn, in San Diego


I want you to think about the most romantic story you’ve ever heard. Got it? Great. Now forget it completely because the story I’m about to tell you is going to blow it out of the water.

Gary met Jonna in fourth grade when their class put on a production of South Pacific, in which their characters held hands during the song, “Dites-Moi”. And just like that, it was love. At least, that’s how Gary tells the story.

When they were a bit older, they started dating until Jonna moved to California. They wrote each other romantic letters for three years, until Jonna wrote him a “Dear Gary” letter. There was still love between them, but they were worlds away, and now that they were in high school, neither of them were in a position to bridge that distance.

Fast forward a few decades- Jonna and Gary had both married other people, and had each had three children. Following his divorce, Gary mustered up the courage to reach out to his first love. He didn’t know her current last name, so he found her mom on Facebook and sent her a message inquiring about Jonna’s whereabouts. He got no response. Not until two years later, that is. When Jonna’s mother realized she had somehow managed to overlook his attempt to contact her, she promptly got them in contact.

And that brings us here, just a couple years later, to their wedding day. On June 10th, 2017, Jonna and Gary made a vow to spend the rest of their lives together, at long last.

It was the perfect day for a rustic summer wedding, with birds chirping in the trees. I arrived to the venue a little early with my amazing second shooter, Ryan (who took a few of the photos I’ve included), so we could capture some detail shots before the ceremony. When Jonna arrived, she was in a bit of a tizzy, understandably. Once her daughters came to help her get ready, though, the fear and anxiety started to melt away, and the joy began to sink in. Meanwhile, Gary was incredibly excited. Can you guess what song they had playing as the guests arrived? That’s right, “Dites-Moi”.

The ceremony went off without a hitch, and Gary’s vows were the most beautiful I’ve ever heard, saying that he never stopped loving her and that every night since they were kids he would silently wish her goodnight and tell her he loved her. My heart melted.

What followed the ceremony was a night of delicious cake, dancing, and some good ol’-fashioned partying!

Congratulations, Gary & Jonna! xoxo

Featured Bridal Looks



Independence Day-themed pinup shoot with Lexington

Happy Independence Day! It’s a great day for celebrating our rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of sassiness. To display her love of ‘Murica, Lexington organized this whole shoot, and I was happy to oblige, camera in-hand. After all, this meant I got to spend the hot San Diego day by the pool, playing with sparklers, and laughing at Lexington as she struggled to stay on top of a giant blow-up swan (whose name, by the way, is Swanly). I’ll keep the description short and sweet so you can see for yourself how it turned out.


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Boudoir With Viktoriya | Tehachapi, CA

If you’re reading this blog post, you’re probably well aware that my life revolves around two things: visiting new places, and photographing boudoir. So you can imagine how stoked I was when I had the opportunity to visit my sister in Tehachapi, CA to photograph her… Okay, I know it’s Tehachapi and not Paris, but it was a new experience for me, and that’s exciting.

After leaving San Diego, Viktoriya spent some time living in Seattle and eventually moved to Tehachapi a few years ago shortly after she gave birth to an adorable little boy (whom I will someday clone).

Needless to say, being a mom can put a hold on your budding modeling career. I’m not a parent (thankfully), but I recognize and appreciate the fact that mothering a child is a full-time job, and it’s not always the sexiest of careers. Being a full-time mom often means trading your business attire for T shirts and yoga pants, and your stiletto heels for fuzzy bunny slippers. This can take a serious blow to a woman’s self-esteem, especially if she doesn’t have the means to treat herself to a night on the town every now and then. But that’s the beauty of boudoir- it gives all women, including moms, the opportunity to transform into models.

I’d say about half of the women who come to me for boudoir photos are mommies who are looking to reclaim their sexiness. This warms my heart so much. Sometimes being a mom can become a woman’s entire identity, and she may forget that she is a beautiful, unique person who deserves to feel good about herself and about her body.

The whole goth style has really lost popularity in recent years, but Viktoriya is still pulling it off. Not just for this shoot, but during her everyday life. And you know what defines her as a true goth? One of her hobbies is taxidermy.

One of the reasons I got into the boudoir business in the first place is because I wanted to promote body positivity, and to show women that they don’t need to be Photoshopped to be beautiful. Now, upon request, I will sometimes do some light & natural-looking retouching in Photoshop, but Viktoriya specifically asked me not to mess with her tiger stripes, and that makes me so happy. I love it when women embrace their body’s natural changes, even the ones society tells us are “flaws”.

This is easily one of my favorite shoots out of all that I’ve done. The funny thing is, I strayed from my usual style (I’m crazy about color, so I NEVER edit my photos to be black & white) which I was hesitant about at first, but I think it ended up working so well.

You can follow Viktoriya Rae’s modeling career through her new Facebook page, or through her Model Mayhem. For inquiries, or to book a session with me, please contact me through my Facebook page.

Until next time… xoxo

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We did a bath bomb boudoir shoot- here’s what happened

If you’re a photographer, or an avid Pinterest-er, you’ve probably been made aware of the milk bath trend. Milk baths have become popular, not only because they are incredibly relaxing and leave your skin silky-smooth, but also because they are very photogenic. There’s something very etherial and dream-like about the human body submerged in creamy water, and while some photographers have used them for boudoir shoots, it has become especially trendy to do maternity photos in these milk baths. Here are some examples of what other photographers have done:

So, being the kind of person who always likes to put my own spin on things, I thought it would be fun to do a similar kind of shoot, but using bath bombs instead of milk! My lovely friend, Kalani, creates and sells bath bombs for a living, and she had mentioned to me her interest in doing a boudoir shoot, so when I presented her with the idea of doing a bath bomb boudoir shoot, she loved it.

We started with a white bath bomb, just to compare its results to that of a milk bath. It created a nice, thick layer of lovely creaminess.

…But that quickly dissolved. This was a little unexpected, but the results were still nice.

BUT THEN we tried out her newest bath bomb, which she hadn’t even tested yet. The results were GORGEOUS!

I haven’t stumbled across any other boudoir shoots that took place in colored water, and I don’t know why because I love the way the photos came out! The dark blue-ish/purple-ish water still has that lovely creamy effect, but the contrast of the dark, opaque water against her light skin really helps define her curves, and in the end, isn’t that what boudoir photography is all about? Yes. Yes, it is.

How to get the look:

 If you are a photographer:

1. Choose the right flowers. Not all flowers are created equal! Some are floaters, and some will sink. I used carnations, but roses, peonies, plumerias and marigolds are great alternatives.

2. Get your hands on a good bath bomb. If you’ve already got a stash of bath bombs waiting to be used, that’s awesome! But if not, Kalani’s can be purchased here. You may want to test whichever bath bombs you use before the shoot, to make sure they don’t create any nasty buildup on the side of the tub, and to make sure they won’t stain your client’s lingerie.

3. I edited all of these photos using my Faux Film photoshop actions, which can be purchased for only $10! If you like what you see, you can save yourself all the effort of trying to recreate my look and you can instantly edit your photos with the click of a button. Trust me, it will save you hours of editing time.
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If you’re a lovely lady:

1. Communicate with your photographer. You’re the client, and that means you’re in charge! Be clear about your vision, and feel free to show them these photos or other examples of what you have in mind so they can prepare. It’s also important to find a photographer you trust. Boudoir photography is a very intimate experience, so make sure you’re comfortable with whoever you’re asking to take photos of you in your lingerie. If you’re in San Diego, or Southern California, I’m always taking new clients, so feel free to contact me!

2. Makeup goes a long way. When I shoot boudoir, I usually require that my clients have their makeup professionally done. If that’s out of your budget, however, you can consult my guide for doing your own photo-ready makeup.
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So, what do you think? Are you team milk bath, or team bath bomb? Leave me a comment with your thoughts!