Family Photos at Leo Carrillo Ranch Historic Park

The holidays are just around the corner and the time to book your family photo session is now! Availability is limited and appointments are made on a first come first served basis. You will want to schedule your session for no later than mid-October if you plan on using your photos in holiday greeting cards. Call or text me at 949-899-TICE or email carsten@carstentice.com to reserve your spot! :)

Watch for a blog post on tips and recommendations for your family photo session coming soon!

Carlsbad DIY Wedding

So I sorta loved this DIY wedding at Magee Park in Carlsbad. Sarah & Logan got married this past October but I'm seriously backlogged in my blogging (backblogged, if you will) and ya gotta start somewhere! 

This wedding was truly all about happiness, fun, and togetherness as all the best weddings and ultimately marriages are. And it was so intimate - another plus in my book. A friend of the couple officiated and the only people in the wedding party were the bride's sister and the groom's brother- a true family affair. 

Logan told me that Sarah loves Harry Potter and that became evident as soon as I saw that she had made the placecards out of pages from the books. The way Logan was looking at Sarah as she glided down the aisle made me think maybe she had put a spell on him, too ;). The Pinterester's dream wedding continued with all of the delicious hor d'oeuvres, lawn games, and gorgeous string lights that lit the outdoor reception. Being only a block from the ocean, I couldn't decide if it was the acoustic guitarists giving me the chills or the sea breeze itself. 

One of the details I loved most was their cake topper. This was gifted to the bride and groom by a friend of theirs. It's incredibly special to them in that the bride figurine has a streak of purple hair and the groom is playing the guitar. Apparently, Sarah used to have a streak of purple hair and Logan does, in fact, play guitar. The strangest thing about this is that this cake topper was not even custom made. Their friend just happened to find one that so perfectly represented them. Wizardry? Maybe. 

Regardless of if Harry Potter was in attendance wearing his invisibility cloak or not, this was truly a magical night and I wish them all the best. 

Seal Beach - Family Photography

I had a blast with these two adorable princesses! They are such hams! If I had daughters or nieces or anything like that, you can bet I would dress them up like this and make them dance around in a forest. Um, I mean, if their parents said it was okay...[Edit: My husband just informed me that I do, in fact, have a niece. (I forgot we just got married!) Also, I realized that if I had daughters, their parents would say it was okay because their parents would be me....]

It's amazing and wonderful how little kids can be just as entertained outside in good old fashioned nature as they can at say, Chuck-E-Cheese. These two cuties' mother asked me to find a woodsy area close to their home and this little plot of goodness just so happens to be within a stone's throw away. Who knew there were forests in Seal Beach, anyway? That is the beauty of hiring a photographer who will help you find those "hidden gem" locations! *Wink wink.*

This photo session was in part to celebrate little Zoey's first birthday (but she was clearly more interested in eating the "one" prop. ;) Her big sister, Stevie, loved running and playing hide & seek with the camera. She cracked me up! And those hair pieces and dresses were a great find by their mama-- Etsy artists and designers for the win! [Stevie wore a full length pink & gold princess tutu dress by KissHugDesign. Her pink and gold vintage inspired headband was made by andJane. Zoey's light pink and gold tutu dress with matching headband is designed by AverysCoutureLook.]

While we're on the topic of sisters, I'd like to take this time to give a shout out to my one and only sister, Alexis Renee, whom I cannot imagine growing up without. Feel free to peep her hilarious blog

 

What are sisters for if not to point out the things the rest of the world is too polite to mention?  ―Claire Cook

Meriel & Joe - Palatine, Illinois Engagement Photos

THE FIRST WORD MOST OF US WILL SAY IN 2016:

''HAPPY''

Happy New Year! From the bottom of my heart, thank you to my clients for trusting me and to my family and friends for encouraging and loving me in 2015. You are literally making my dreams come true.

I was thrilled to get a message earlier this year from Meriel asking about engagement photos. I've known her since the days when our moms had to drive us to the mall, but hadn't seen her in years so it was a treat to reconnect and meet her fiancé, Joe. They originally crossed paths while studying food science -- which sounds delicious AND educational. And apparently is also a recipe for love. ;)


For their photos, we rendezvoused at Meriel's parents' gorgeous historic home (in my hometown...Holla!). The house was built in 1907 -- a fact that I appreciate much more as a photographer/adult than I ever did as a youngster. Just look at how charming it is! And this sweet couple...I am always honored to be asked to photograph anyone, but it was an even more heartwarming experience to see an old friend aglow with happiness. :) 


Cheers!

Folks are usually about as happy as they make up their minds to be.
— Abraham Lincoln

The Hughes Family - Costa Mesa Family Photography

I absolutely adored getting to spend time with this family! I used to work with Amber so it was a pleasure finally getting to meet the men in her life that I've heard so much about. They are all so loving, hilarious, smiley, and kind-hearted. I seriously cannot say enough good things about these people, and three out of the four I only just met! Most mothers will sing their children's praises but Amber's descriptions of her boys were completely 100% accurate. I mean, Spencer, the oldest son, even offered to carry my camera bag when his parents weren't even within ear-shot. Seriously?! I want to grow up to be like them.

Happy holidays, my friends!