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California Photographer

Age is just a number | Special Moments

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Age is just a number | Special Moments

The wonderful thing about photography is that it is timeless. We capture fractions of a second for you to cherish throughout your life. What’s even better is that there is no age limit on who can be photographed, no matter what the occasion. Here at Pacific Dream Photography, we have photographed as young as newborn children to great grandparents.

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We believe that life should be cherished and special moments can be captured throughout one’s life through the lens of a photographer. In Laguna Beach, we have photographed a child’s first steps on the sand and first time touching the Pacific Ocean water. We’ve also had the pleasure of photographing milestone anniversaries, engagements, and Weddings here in Laguna Beach.

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To make your photo session as memorable as possible, we recommend considering to bring a few things to make it extra special. It’s common to see customized shirts being made for your vacation. Especially with large groups, this adds a fun element into your photos when looking back at them later on. The second, if you’re celebrating a birthday or engagement, is to bring balloons or other props to make your session unique to you! If you’re celebrating a baby-moon and expecting, you can bring your ultrasound and baby shoes as props for a maternity shoot. Whatever you think will make your photography session more memorable, please let your photographers know! It’s our passion to document these important moments of your life.

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So whether you’re celebrating your first anniversary or your 50th, the whole family is there together, or you are by yourself, we see no limits on your photography session and are here to capture memories for you.

Written by Alesha D. (Pacific Dream Photography at the Montage Laguna Beach)

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Baby Moons  |  Why Pictures are Important

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Baby Moons | Why Pictures are Important

Honey, the baby’s coming! Grab the camera.
Baby moons are the new honeymoon and as photographers, we love the idea! These vacations allow us to capture maternity photos in an exquisite location while you create memories before your babys arrival.

You may be wondering why you should have an entire photo session during your baby moon? Well, we can think of too many reasons to count!

When your beautiful baby arrives you will be busy, to say the least, and the idea of dressing up and taking photos will be far from your mind. Don’t worry, having a photo session with Pacific Dream Photography is as easy as enjoying the scenery at The Ritz-Carlton Laguna Niguel.

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We take care of everything from scheduling, locations, posing and sometimes we even have props. All you have to do is show up at your designated time and place, dressed and ready to smile! And when it comes to attire, for maternity sessions: long dresses, and tight clothing work best.

*Photographers Tip; If you want your baby bump really show, wear a bright color that contrasts with the other people in the photo.

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Your baby moon is the perfect time to step outside of your comfort zone and have some fun with activities. Even though the photo session is to ultimately have great photos in the end, this should be considered a stress free and fun activity. We’ve noticed the more you have fun at the photo session, the more amazing the photographs come out.

If you’re deciding whether or not to take a baby moon, we say go for it. Most importantly don’t forget to allow Pacific Dream Photography to assist in creating beautiful memories. Remember, capturing the sweet moments of your baby in your belly are moments you will not regret capturing.

Still need more convincing? Check out another article on Baby Moons here.

Written by Alesha C. (Pacific Dream Photography at the Ritz-Carlton Laguna Niguel)

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Family Photography |  Including our furry friends!

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Family Photography | Including our furry friends!

Animals are part of the family, too! It’s been a popular trend to include our furry friends in our family portrait sessions. This can be a hard task, but the results can be rewarding. Whether it’s photos for a Holiday Card or including a pet in your Wedding photos, here are some tips to consider:

  • Pick a pet friendly location. In Laguna Beach, all beaches are dog-friendly within certain months of the year. Beach photography is perfect for animals because you can find your own perfect corner to yourself. It’s important to check beforehand if the location you have in mind allows your pets to join.
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  • Props! Clothes aren’t just for humans! Feel free to dress up your furry friends for the occasion. At Montage Laguna Beach, proposals and pet photography go hand in hand. One idea is to have your dog dressed up with the ring around their neck!
  • Walk them beforehand. We all know that dogs get excited easily, and when they know they are getting out of the house, they can get a little crazy. If you take them for a walk beforehand, it relieves some of their energy, making them slightly more calm for the photos.
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  • Bring treats! Dogs can become easily distracted, especially in an unfamiliar area with new people and smells. Bringing treats can help them focus on where the camera for a beach photo session.
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  • Have an extra friend/family member come along to help. Although you definitely want to have your dog in the photos, sometimes you need a little break. Having an extra set of hands will take some stress off your shoulders. It can also help by having the extra person handle the treats so the photographer can focus on capturing the perfect moment.

Written by Savannah S. (Pacific Dream Photography at the Montage Laguna Beach)

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Montage Laguna Beach || California

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Montage Laguna Beach || California

California has been romanticized for decades. The state itself has such a vast variety of landscapes including the gorgeous beaches, miles of dessert, looming mountain ranges, and bright cities.

People from all over come here to visit and see what it has to offer. Being a photographer in Laguna Beach, I see people doing “staycations” all the time! Even if they live in a nearby city, they still come to this small beach city to spend their time.

At Montage Laguna Beach, it is so easy to completely lose track of time and spend your day at the beach, spa, or going on a stroll through their beautiful pathways lined with stunning flowers and greenery.

There is no better place to take photos of our guests then right here on the property. We don’t have to go far to capture the essence that this resort has to offer.

Written by Savannah S. (Pacific Dream Photography at Montage Laguna Beach)

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A Laguna Beach Bridal Session || Having some fun before the wedding

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A Laguna Beach Bridal Session || Having some fun before the wedding

I had the pleasure of meeting Mimi and Emir back in April. They were in the middle of a pre-wedding travel trek through California before heading to Maui to officially become husband and wife. They contacted me and wanted to take some pictures of the two of them in their wedding-day attire here in Laguna Beach, California before the wedding.

It isn’t often that a bride is able to wear her wedding dress before the wedding, but I think I’m starting to see the magic in it. There’s a certain sense of satisfaction that comes with breaking all of the rules and it was a real treat to capture that.

More than anything, I could literally feel the excitement from both Mimi and Emir; looking deeply into each others’ eyes as they imagine their upcoming wedding in Hawaii: the same dress, same tux, but an entirely different location, surrounded by their loved ones. It was a truly beautiful moment.

Written by James H. (Pacific Dream Photography at Montage Laguna Beach)

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Group Portrait Photography || Tips from a Professional Photographer

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Group Portrait Photography || Tips from a Professional Photographer

Group portraits are a fantastic way for friends and families to spend quality time together and capture unforgettable memories. Whether you're taking a much-needed family reunion trip to the islands or looking to update your photos of friends and loved ones, who wouldn’t want group photos on a lush beach in Hawaii to remember your time in paradise? Capturing photos of a large group can be a difficult task, but fear not! With some helpful tips; let our artists at Pacific Dream Photography make your group photo session a success by providing you with ever-lasting commemorations.

Hawaii Family Portrait Photographer Pacific Dream Photography

 

A relaxed photo is important, but a little direction is always a great key to ensuring a successful photography session. Most of the time a group will pose themselves naturally with tall people in the back and short people in the front. But if needed, feel free to take control of your group and position others in visually ideal positions.  Here at Pacific Dream Photography, we like to make sure our subjects feel comfortable without feeling too forced, so loosen up and don't forget to take in the beautiful scenery!

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When posing your group, place people according to families and couples. This makes it easier for everyone, as they are able to locate themselves easily when looking through their photos. If you'd like the session to be centered on two specific people, place them in the middle of the group.

It is very important to make sure that everyone's faces are visible. If they cannot see the camera, they will most likely not be seen in the photo! As a professional photographer, it is our job to scan the group and make sure that everyone is clearly visible. If one or more subjects are looking away, it may take away from a potentially perfect photo.  

Hawaii Family Portrait Photographer Pacific Dream Photography

 

To avoid awkward spacing in group photos, use a wide angled lens and tighten up the frame. Closing in any unwanted gaps between individuals is a great way to unite your group. One effective technique is to tell your group to lean their heads in close together. Allow your subjects to hug and hold each other and be ready to capture big smiles at any moment. 

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As professional photographers in Hawaii, we take pride in sweet moments with family and friends. Your group will thank you for a great time and stunning group portraits.

- Written by Julia P. (Pacific Dream Photography at the Grand Hyatt Kauai)

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Candid Photography || Being Present in the Moment

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Candid Photography || Being Present in the Moment

"Candid" in the photography sense, describes an informal photo, taken without the subject’s knowledge. "Candid", however can also be used more generally to describe something that is both truthful and straightforward. It’s use in photography is often understated and draws on both definitions. 

A recent portrait session at the beautiful Montage, Laguna Beach in Southern California, perfectly captured the essence of great candid photography. Candids require a keen attention to detail and the ability to always be present in the moment.  A family holding hands, a loved one running on the beach and even sand covered feet, were all brief moments captured during the family's sunset experience session

Originally the family was planning on a more traditional, portrait family photo session. What they didn't realize was that their photographer was actually capturing both styles of photography. She was clicking away at the family poses, but in between, she was also capturing those brief moments when the family was relaxed and simply enjoying their time together.

Ultimately the photographer was utilizing her mastery of candid photography alongside her planned portraiture. We were able to surprise the client with both beautiful and detailed moments from their family vacation at the Montage, Laguna Beach. 

- Pacific Dream Photography at the Montage, Laguna Beach

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Married Again || A Beautiful Vow Renewal in Laguna Niguel

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Married Again || A Beautiful Vow Renewal in Laguna Niguel

The vows pronounced during a wedding are a sacred promise and expression of love. However, over the course of many years, the weight of those initial words can often be lost in the hectic and busy days we call life.

After 10 years of marriage, and two adorable daughters, this happy couple wanted to show their continued devotion to each other by renewing their vows at The Ritz-Carlton, Laguna Niguel. They shared an elegant, yet simple celebration. The family dressed in breezy all-white attire with pink rose and baby’s breath hair wreaths, which were color to contrast the subtle white outfits. To us, it was the a picture-perfect palette to match the warm sunset colors present as they said “I do" for the second time. 

For events such as this, the use of props can be a fun and different way to capture the experience. This family brought a "Married Again" sign to use in their pictures, which was a great compliment to the beach setting photography session. The sunset on the evening of the vow renewal was absolutely beautiful. Our photographer was able to capture stunning family portraits and candid images with shades of orange and pink colors reflecting off the sand and water. 

Our Laguna Beach Photography Team had a wonderful time capturing this lovely vow renewal ceremony. We were honored to be a part of their celebration and give them beautiful images to add to their collection of memories.

-written by Donya (Pacific Dream Photography at The Ritz-Carlton, Laguna Niguel)

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Sunrise Photo Session at The Ritz-Carlton, Laguna Niguel

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Sunrise Photo Session at The Ritz-Carlton, Laguna Niguel

In photography, lighting and colors are everything. This is one of the main reasons why sunset photo shoots are always taken in the schedules of a beach photographer. However, what many don’t realize is that sunrise can have just the same amazing effect.

Early birds Nicholas and Allegra were able to catch this amazing morning lighting on their couple's photo shoot at The Ritz-Carlton, Laguna Niguel. Nicholas had been planning to propose to his girlfriend of many years, and he reached out to our Laguna photographers to capture the moment and make it an extra special surprise. He let our Pacific Dream Photography photographers in California know that he was interested in proposing at sunrise, and we were more than happy to accommodate his request. After setting up a quaint breakfast picnic for the couple on a lawn overlooking the ocean, our photographer captured Nicholas proposing and Allegra’s eager delighted reaction.

Nicholas and Allegra- just seconds after he popped the question. (Laguna Beach)

Nicholas and Allegra- just seconds after he popped the question. (Laguna Beach)

The couple continued on to get some great early engagement photos in Laguna Beach, and the early morning sun was the perfect compliment. Our photographer was able to capture the orange glow of the rising sun against the cool morning colors in their images, which created a beautiful setting for all their photos. Also, since it was the beginning of the day, their photos were able to capture a great range of lighting in the 45 minutes they spent on their shoot.

Some fun sunlight effects and casual beach stroll make for great couple photos.

Some fun sunlight effects and casual beach stroll make for great couple photos.

The result was a beautiful variety of photographs that annotated Nicholas and Allegra’s lovely moment. We were so happy to provide this couple with precious memories for their future lives together!

-written by Donya (Pacific Dream Photography at The Ritz-Carlton, Laguna Niguel)

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Photography Sessions: Wardrobe Color Suggestions

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Photography Sessions: Wardrobe Color Suggestions

Great family portraits by a professional photographer are a wonderful addition to every family’s home. There are so many components that work together to create beautiful photos, and some of the smallest details can make the biggest difference. One easy addition that can make a large impact is the outfit worn during your photo session.

Whether it’s a Hawaii beach photo session or a photo shoot in California, choosing a set color to coordinate between all family members can really help pull a photo together and give the entire family a cohesive appearance.  

This family chose to wear all white for their sunset photo session in Laguna Niguel. 

This family chose to wear all white for their sunset photo session in Laguna Niguel. 

Tips from our California Photographers

During times such as sunset where the colors in the background are a variety of vibrant warm palettes, choose brighter colors. An all-white wardrobe can work in a late afternoon beach photo session, as seen in these photo samples from a shoot at the Ritz Carlton in Laguna Niguel. These colors can help set apart the person from the scene and draw attention to not only the beautiful scenery, but also to those being photographed. 

For photo sessions during the day when the sunlight is a bit more intense, avoid white and choose colors such as coral, oranges and salmon (just an example of the many colors which would work.) These can help add to the overall coloring of the photo, and also not have the attention drawn to the brightness of the clothing.

Sisters in white vacationing on the West Coast captured by our California photographers.

Sisters in white vacationing on the West Coast captured by our California photographers.

When the entire family is wearing the same color, it ensures that no family member will be lost in the setting compared to the others. This would also ensure that the focal point of the photo goes to the whole group. Having everyone be synced also adds a level of professionalism to a photo over a relaxed look of each person wearing a different print.

No matter what, our great photographers will make every member of the family shine and provide absolutely amazing photos. However, extra touches, such as clothing choices, really take ordinary photos and make them extraordinary!

-written by Donya (Pacific Dream Photography at the Ritz Carton Laguna Niguel)

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