Newport Beach Wedding Photography / David + Megan Wedding

Newport Beach Wedding Photography / Upon a Sea of Love


newport beach wedding photography, wedding at sea, high school sweethearts,

I Love Being A Newport Beach Wedding Photographer When It Comes To Everlasting Love

Take a look at this Newport Beach wedding photography.  Being a wedding photographer allows me to experience all types of unions. Honestly, there is nothing quite like young love.  Especially high school sweetheart everlasting love. David and Megan have known one another since they attended junior high school together. They became close friends once they started attending high school. Only nine months later they realized this was love.  This was not just high school puppy love.  This love was real.  At that moment they realized they were meant for one another for life.

Electra Cruises, Newport Princess, Newport Bay, Newport Beach wedding photography

Newport Beach wedding photography aboard the Newport Princess / Newport Bay

Newport Beach wedding photography

A bride’s beautiful gown makes perfect for Newport Beach wedding photography!

Life Gets Busy But They Stayed Focused

Working and attending college around their engagement and wedding planning wasn’t easy. Megan attends University of California Riverside and will be graduating in June, 2013. David started out attending Riverside Community College, but realized joining the Navy was really his calling. David enlisted in the US Navy.  He was put into the Nuclear Engineering program and has been attending school for the past two years. Life gets busy, but they approached their wedding like any other milestone.  They focused on their relationship with love and energy.

winter wedding, Christmas wedding, Electra Cruises, Newport Bay, Newport Beach

Only days before Christmas the wedding took place aboard the Newport Princess Yacht.


Inseparable since those early high school years, these sweethearts were thrilled to become man and wife this past December.  The wedding ceremony and reception took place with Electra Cruises.  They chose to wed aboard the Newport Princess Yacht in Newport Bay, Newport Beach. I was thrilled they chose me as their wedding photographer and really enjoyed shooting this beautiful pair.


Newport Beach Wedding Photography, Electra Cruises, Newport Princess Yacht, Newport Bay, Newport Beach

The entire yacht was decorated with holiday décor, including ornate Christmas trees, garland and pearls.

The wedding was a beautiful, sunny day upon a calm sea of love. The entire yacht was decorated with holiday décor, including ornate Christmas trees, garland and pearls.


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Dressed For The Season

The groomsmen looked dapper in their three-piece tuxedos and the bridesmaids sparkled in crimson dresses. The entire wedding party was dressed for the season, but with a modern, wedding flair.

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The Bride Was An Angel In White

Megan was an angel in white. Her floor length gown was simple and elegant. She wore a beautifully beaded headband and veil.  They were a perfect compliment to her gorgeous deep red and crimson calla lilies. David stood handsome and proud in his black suit accented with a crimson tie.   His eyes sparkled with love.  David was beaming with joy as he saw his bride for the first time walking towards him down the aisle.

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Strong And Everlasting Love

The ceremony was true to the couple; simple, sweet and lovely. The reception was full of laughter, friends, food, family, giving of gifts, dancing and pure joy. Watching these two young people grow together over the years has only solidified my belief in true love. No matter what the age, the time these two have spent together has created a union that will last through their lives. It is with great joy I attended such an event and was able to participate as their Newport Beach wedding photographer. Their love is strong and lasting. I look forward to photographing their children and family for years to come.

Contributing Vendors and Coordinators:

Electra Cruises :  Mona – Onboard Day Of Coordinator, Larry Phoenix – Captain, Allison Danielson – Wedding & Special Events Planner

LaVonne’s Florist

Gary Barmore / Marrying Captain /

Please stop by and view other favorite wedding photos at

Engagement Photos: Are They Really Necessary?

engagement photography, downtown Riverside, historical Mission Inn Hotel,

Downtown Riverside engagement photos at the Historical Mission Inn Hotel

Hiring a professional wedding photographer for your wedding seems like a no-brainer.  But what about engagement photo sessions – are they really worth it?

Why have engagement photos taken? Your engagement is one of the most amazing times of your lives. I know everyone tells you that, but it’s true. Not only is your love beaming through, it feels even more organic when you are wearing a simple cotton dress, or a t-shirt and jeans and staring into the eyes of your future husband or wife. Your love can relax and take it easy. No the stress of the actual wedding hanging in your mind.

In addition, you can actually take engagement photos at the location of your engagement. How many couples can say they have great photos taken of where it all began? Typically all we see is some red-eyed, blurred, instant shot on a cell phone.  Why not have a beautiful photo hanging in your newlywed home that you can be proud of? Not a photo just to post and share on social media.

Perhaps you are having a tough time deciding where to hold your blessed event, or even what time of day. Take engagement pictures at both places and at different times. See which one feels just right. Once you get back the proofs, you are sure to envision your wedding and make a difficult decision a little easier. Plus you will have the pictures to prove it and the practice under your custom, beaded wedding belt.

Engagement photos are often integrated into the wedding package and may bring down the overall pricing. If you decide to include engagement photos, take them early. Ask to include your engagement photos in the package pricing.

Using the happy couple’s photo has also become a big part of the ceremony. From table tents to favors and framed photos as a guest book. Where are you going to get these fantastic photos to display? You will get the best photos from your professional wedding photographer at your engagement sitting.

Taking engagement photos is a romantic way to take a break with your fiancé, and really focus on the moment. No caterer to worry about, no bridesmaids complaining, no timeline to follow. You may find it is one of your most favorite memories through all the planning, stress and flurry that surrounds the majority of weddings.

Keep in mind the wedding isn’t just about the “Big Day”. It’s about the journey two people begin with love, honor and an engagement ring. Enjoy the entire ride and always remember to smile, breathe and say cheese.


Laguna Beach engagement photos, Hotel Montage, sunset

Laguna Beach engagement photos at sunset

Riverside, Riverwalk Parkway engagement photos

Riverwalk Parkway engagement photos in Riverside

Corona Del Mar Beach engagement photos, sunset engagement photos

Corona Del Mar Beach engagement photos having too much fun!

Riverside Fairmont Park engagement photos, lake, sunset

Riverside engagement photos at Fairmont Park Lake

La Jolla Beach engagement photos, sunset, sand, water, beach

Engagement photos at La Jolla Beach taken on the rocks, on the sand, in the water and at sunset!

La Jolla Beach engagement photos, sunset engagement photos, in the water engagement photos

Engagement photos at La Jolla Beach / getting wet with engagement photos!

Laguna Beach engagement photos, Hotel Montage

Laguna Beach engagement photos at the Hotel Montage

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Engagement Photos / Marcus + Priscilla / Forest Falls

Meet my newest engaged couple ready to take their engagement photos, Marcus and Priscilla.  They are soon to be married, like next month.  With all the holidays behind us it is now time to crack the whip on all the final details of their wedding day.  One very important item on the “to-do” agenda was their engagement photos.  So one day prior we set the date to take their engagement photos.  After discussing many options of where to take the engagement photos, Marcus requests the mountains.  The following day we were off!  All I can say is it was so, so beautiful, they were so, so fun and it was so, so, very freezing.  I was hoping to not drop my camera from frozen fingers or slip on the ice from hard packed snow.  Marcus and Priscilla were real troopers.  They were freezing cold as well, but they painstakingly endured the ice and low temperature and showed their love for each other with every moment and every image of their engagement photos.

engagement photosDSC_5305DSC_5311This little snowman wanted in the action!  He knows true love when he feels it getting a little warm for him, there is an engaged couple nearby!!!

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One of my favorite moments, lay on the ice baby!  Show me how much you love me!  Sweet!!  Yes, we shall be married next month!

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I had asked Priscilla for some words I could write about on “their love story”, and this is what she sent….a real love story.  I decided to keep it the way she wrote, with her heart!

Our love story, our past led us to believe in much more. To take negative into positive, to catch a fallen star and brighten each others day when things aren’t so great. The passion for wanting, and the desire for loving is what our love story is. To believe in whatever it is you believe in and to understand that not everything in life is fair , but if you can find someone to share your mistakes and your triumphs with then everything is much more worth it! Having faith is what keeps us going , our love is what symbolizes so much more than saying it. It’s a feeling you get that’s at times indescribable. How me met , after as long as I can remember we were always around each other passively. In irony we lived our lives among our friends from a distance we kept. Only we both know what we mean. To not hurt was my thought I guess to not get near to him and out of respect he didn’t approach me. Years passing I had text him memorizing his phone number thru a conversation my friends had, I TEXT him hehehe.. Couple weeks later after talking and texting via phone he had asked me to invite him over .. I was very particular who I invited over since I lived at my parents house but I did, we have been inseparable since then!! The longest time we have been apart has been 2 days.. I’m proud to say that I know he loves me, and I love him so much ..Im marrying the man of my dreams:)


Children Photography / Love Kenny

Children photography includes props like my little red wagon.  Sometimes I bring it along because I know there is just something about boys and red wagons!

red wagon children photography, outside children photography

Kenny enjoys the ride!

This is my second time photographing Kenny.  This time is for his special birthday #2.
This little guy seemed to be infatuated with everything on the ground…..especially dirty leaves.  I guess to a kid who sees so close to the ground can be pretty curious as to what all those multi-colored things are all over the place. There are so many, so similar, yet not one alike!  Kenny picked up leaf after leaf.  So, pretty much my entire photo session with him was at his level….ground zero.

Sometimes children photography can be a little difficult.  I knew Kenny’s photo session was coming to an end when I noticed he was getting a little agitated with me.  Every time he looked at me and saw the camera in his direction, he yelled “NO”!!!!  He yelled, and yelled and yelled.  Too funny this little stinker, but too cute!

Kenny’s expressions and curiosity were priceless.  This is what makes children photography so wonderful!  xo

Don’t Touch My Little Red Wagon

love my little red wagon


This is my little friend Thaddeus….”Thad” for short.  Today is picture day for Thad and his family.  After a recent studio portrait session, I knew I better be prepared to entertain this little guy.  This is where I bring out the old “little red wagon”.  There’s just something about little red wagons and little boys.  Apparently, wagons were built just for boys, and they are always painted red!  Thad loved, loved my little red wagon!  He immediately jumped in and waited to be pulled.    After a brief tow around of about 20 feet, he felt empowered to do the pulling himself.  Thad was not just pulling, but decided he could be pushing as well.  That was when I knew I was in for a serious work out in capturing little Thad’s handsome face.  Thad went up, I went up, Thad went down, I went down…..up, down, up, down….all along the waterside.  This little guy was definitely giving me a run for the hour!  Thaddeus definitely loved my little red wagon, just look at his face!  Don’t touch my little red wagon!


Dia de los Muertos ~ Riverside

“Dia de los Muertos”, (“Day of the Dead”) was alive and wild as ever as they danced through the streets of downtown Riverside.  The city celebrated their 9th annual tribute to the dead with music and dancing, candles, spirits, altars and parades.  The streets were packed with onlookers who came out to observe and participate in this out-of-the-ordinary event.  Loaded down with camera gear, I could barely squeeze through the tightly packed crowd to make my seat in the arena of Aztec dancers.  The Ballet Folklorico de Riverside was definitely the main attraction for this cultural event!  The dancers jumped and bowed to the spirits, circling the burning incense, taking in the scent and giving thanks to the Gods.  Their costume so vibrant and adorned with jewels.  Their faces painted to mirror the dead.  I love this group!

$20 ~ Quick Shots!

Running some special deals here at Bella Mia Fotos.  For $20.00 sign up for a 15 minute photo session at outside location.

View your images on-line at  Select your two favorite images, they will be instantly emailed to you in high resolution and fully edited, ready to print at your convenience.  Additional images / cd available for purchase.

Jimmy + Tracy … first wedding in a brand new church!

St. Andrew Orthodox Christian Church

Jimmy and Tracy are such a fun and loving couple!  In every image I see sheer bliss embedded in their hearts!  They were married at St. Andrew Orthodox Christian Church in Riverside, California, and they were the very first couple to be married at this amazingly beautiful church.  As a matter of fact, the church was so new they were quite worried if it would be finished in time for their wedding.  Thankfully so, they made it!  This church is so beautiful it I really think it belongs on a mountain top overlooking all the cities and valleys to the ocean.

“Bridal Couture” Swimsuit Session

So hot the day, from early morning ’til late in afternoon girls coming one by one for the opportunity to strut their modeling skills in Bridal Couture Swimsuits from Lovematerialgirl.  It was perfectly hot in every way….temperature in the air, hot swimwear and hot girls.  Our four hair and make-up artists worked hard the molding each one of our ten models into a pristine gem.  There was one photographer on the set to position each girl into elegant shapes that would compliment “Bridal Couture” swimwear and her assistant that worked hard in the sun all day holding lights by the poolside.  Lots of food and liquids to keep our strength up in the heat, shade to keep the girls cool and a beautiful rock swimming pool to pose and keep the models fresh and easy!

Our lovely models:  Jaime Schaffran, Robyn Trudeau, Natasha Klindworth, Janet Amaya, Ashlee Smith, Alana Jones, Amber Brinton, Taryn Clack, Nikki Nakata & Rachael Karr

Our participants:  Suzzette Baltazar/Lovematerialgirl Swimwear, Kelly Chondroupulous/our generous host, Maria Santana/My Hair Fixation, Eva/The Bridal Suite, Michele Donaldson/Beverly Hill Bridal ExChange,  Sheri Smith/MFG Floral Designs & Events, Mia Santana & Katie Smith / Bella Mia Foto

Kelly, I can’t thank you enough for having us in your lovely home and sharing the day with us!  Next time we’ll make sure Manny has the day off!  I know how disappointed he was to have to go to work…lol!!!



More exotic photos soon to come!

Top 3 Reasons You Should Splurge on your Wedding Photographer

Your Wedding Photographer and Price … versus Value

And that fateful moment has arrived. It is time to book the photographer for your wedding…your very special, irreplaceable day. You have two things in front of you. An old crumpled magazine clipping you cut out of a wedding magazine when you were sixteen (the shot still makes you tear up), and that lovely wedding budget, which also manages to be a source of tears these days. So, what do you do? Craigslist is calling you…there’s tons of new photographers out there that you could book for like nothing and maybe help them build their portfolio in the process. You’d be doing them a favor as well as your pocketbook for sure, right? I have been asked the question so many times, “Why should I spend so much on a professional photographer when I could pick some novice on Craigslist and save myself a lot of money?” Here is my answer. Below are my Top 3 Reasons You Should Splurge on your Wedding Photographer.

1) A novice has not invested enough time yet to define their own photography style or develop their photographer’s eye. When you are interviewing photographers, one of the things you want to look for in their portfolio is how the photographer see’s the world. Pay attention to what and how they see images in a scene. Do their albums tell a story? Can you feel what you see in the photograph? Is there creativity? Do people look comfortable and relaxed? As a novice (yes, I was there once) you are unsure of how you see the world yet. You are copying other photographer’s styles that you seem to like in order to develop your own eye. Trust me, your wedding is not the place to discover that the photographer you chose didn’t capture the moment as you wanted to remember it. Your wedding photographs will tell your story for years and years to come. You have to ask yourself, do you just want wedding pictures, or do you want to capture the day…the moments…and that unforgettable feeling. A photo is just an empty image if the photographer is too unskilled to “bring it to life.”

2) A novice does not know how to utilize all the equipment available to them yet or use them quickly enough to capture the moment! This is SO important. When shooting professionally, there are always many things going on in the photographer’s world that the client is completely unaware of; or at least they should be. There are lens changes, battery swaps, light arrangement (we watch the sun like it’s a two-year old next to a swimming pool), aspect rations…the list goes on and on…not to mention photo editing. This takes time to learn! Especially in wedding photography. I say that italicized because it needs to be. There is a reason people charge more for a wedding. Because it is a completely unique form of photography that requires a lot more work than your standard scheduled photo shoot. No one wants to be that photographer that misses the moment for a lens change or dead battery. A professional wedding photographer knows what to expect, when to expect it and how to be prepared for every moment.

3) A professional wedding photographer knows a wedding almost as well as a wedding coordinator. A photographer must learn the flow of a wedding in order to tell a story. Over time, usually as an apprentice, a photographer learns what works, what doesn’t, how much time to spend on each shot, a collection of mentally stored poses at your disposal, the ability to make people feel comfortable with you very quickly, can think on the move, knows what to look for and when and sometimes very important…how to make a not so pretty scene absolutely stunning. As an amateur or novice photographer, you miss a lot merely because you don’t know what to expect.

Lastly, remember this. Your wedding pictures are one of the only things that will outlast your wedding itself! The cake and decorations are gone, your dress is vacuum sealed and stored away, the tuxedos were returned to the rental place and you are now left with what? The small top cake you are supposed to freeze and eat as a couple a year later? That’s it? Thousands of dollars out of pocket and nothing more than a future freezer burnt cake to chew like piece of jerky on your first anniversary? Oh wait, that’s right…the photos! I know I sound cheesy, but let’s face it. Like buying a house, you get what you pay for in wedding photography. You might spend more than you wanted, but isn’t it worth treasuring something as important as your photos for years to come instead of growling with regret every time you look at them?