Staying Calm in The Storm

When Shy Heart Studios first began in 2015, I was so excited to begin my journey into wedding photography. I second shot all summer and by fall, I finally felt comfortable enough to venture out on my own! I photographed my first wedding (as a lead) in November 2015. Not going to lie, I was so incredibly nervous. Despite that, everything went great!

At weddings now, I rarely go in feeling nervous. I have a much better understanding of the flow of a wedding day and how to better every situation. One of the biggest things I’ve learned, is that couples really feed off of your energy. I know, I know, it sounds like a load of hippy dippy crap, but hear me out! When first entering the room, I can really sense how a bride (or groom) feels. I can tell when they’re nervous, excited, or just anxious to finally walk down the aisle. Having a calm energy amongst they chaos can really make a difference! I always share affirming words with them and let them know that I’ll do anything in my power to make sure everything is perfect for them. I remind my couples that today is about them marrying their best friend and that nothing else in the world matters at this exact moment. There’s usually a sense of relief that I can see on their faces as they continue to get ready to see the love of their life.

Check out one of my most recent weddings at Wedgewood University Club.


For more information on wedding photography in Southern California or to get a quote, please visit our website at or give us a call at 657-221-8882.



When I first picked up a camera in high school, the lightbulb went off and I thought “Hey! This would be a super cool career.” So when it was time to look into colleges, I searched for the right school that had a great photography program. In July 2011, I started college at Brooks Institute. They had an incredible program and I learned SO much in my first few months there. But my creativity felt a little stifled by the intense program.

When I started college, I wasn’t entirely sure what I wanted to photograph yet, but I thought trying out wedding photography would be really cool! So that December Brianna invited me to come 3rd shoot at a wedding to see how I liked it. I was super nervous – not only because it was my very first wedding, but because I was shooting with the incredibly talented Brianna!! (Side story, for those of you who don’t know, Brianna is my future sister-in-law. I had just started dating her youngest brother a few months prior to this wedding.) So being the then-girlfriend to her little brother made me want to make her proud! SO. MUCH. PRESSURE. It was fun, but I just had no idea where it would take me (silly 19-year-old me).

I moved back to Orange County and decided that I would do community college until I figured out what I really wanted to do. I went back and forth between interior design and photography; then I decided it just had to be photography. Fast forward to 2014, I tagged along to another wedding with Brianna, this time as a second photographer. After this wedding, I knew this was it. This is what I wanted to do forever. So in 2015 when Shy Heart Studios officially began, I joined the team!  I’ll share more of my journey over the past 4 years next week, so check back in!!

Check out Brianna’s most recent wedding at Wedgewood Vellano!


For more information on wedding photography in Southern California or to get a quote, please visit our website at or give us a call at 657-221-8882.






My Brain’s Going to Explode

Wedding planning is no joke. Just when i think I have a majority of stuff done, another project comes up. I think what makes it challenging  to plan is that I’m incredibly indecisive and my fiancé is very go-with-the-flow. I constantly get asked “How’s planning going?” and for the most part, it’s been a breeze! We finished booking all of our vendors very early on in our engagement. But now that most of my big projects are done, figuring out the smaller details is where it gets tricky. I never realized how much planning it really takes to make everything “perfect”.

The one thing that has really helped my sanity is hiring a wedding planner. Seriously. It is one of  the best investments, especially if you’re planning a destination wedding like us! There are so many options for planners that range from day-of to full service. They are their to share their knowledge with you and are incredible resources! They can give you recommendations on the best vendors in the area, help keep everything and everyone on task, and and make sure everything runs smoothly so you and your fiancé can relax and enjoy your wedding day together. We don’t feel stressed about the day-of things because we know that we’re in the best hands with her, and with all of the vendors we’ve chosen.

Check out this adorable engagement session photographed by Elaine.


For more information on wedding photography in Southern California or to get a quote, please visit our website at or give us a call at 657-221-8882.

It’s Back!

It’s officially the start of football season! If you’ve ever had a single conversation with me, then you’d probably know football is my least favorite sport. I personally find it very time consuming and there’s wayyyyy too much stoppage time to make it an enjoyable sport to watch, but that’s a whole different story. But here we are… this season I got wrangled in to playing my first year of fantasy football. Once I told my friends that I joined, they all responded, “Are you serious?! But you hate football…” To be honest, I expected my fiancé to run my lineup, but with him playing three leagues, I’m on my own. So what can we do to make football more enjoyable? Make a bet, of course!

I’m hoping that beginner’s luck is on my side and I’m going to work my butt off to actually win our league. What’s on the line is something I feel more strongly about than my hate for football. So you’re probably asking, “Alex, what on earth could make you actually enjoy football and put an effort into winning your league?!” A PUPPY- THAT’S WHAT. YEP. A-real-life-freaking-puppy is on the line.  The Fiancé really knows how to motivate me. So send your good thoughts, prayers, or positive vibes, my way so I can FINALLY get my puppy! (I guess I’ll share and we can call it ours eventually).

Now back to photography! Check out this adorable engagement session photographed by Brianna.


For more information on wedding photography in Southern California or to get a quote, please visit our website at or give us a call at 657-221-8882.

Grab a Cold One

A while back I talked about unity ceremonies and how there are so many different options to “combine” your lives together. Today I have another idea for you from Kristen & Jarred’s wedding at Wedgewood at The Retreat. Beer plays a huge part in their lives. They both love drinking a cold one and exploring new breweries together. So on their wedding day, it was only fitting to share a glass of beer to symbolize their union.

Jarred bought a limited edition beer while on a trip. The brew master created it for his wife in honor of their anniversary, so Jarred saw it fitting to share with his bride on their wedding day. They poured the beer into a glass and shared it together.

Unity ceremonies don’t always have to be lighting candles together; you can use sand, two different types of wine, beer – get creative! The most important thing is to find something that symbolizes and fits the both of you best.

See Kristen and Jarred’s beautiful wedding below photographed by Cara!


For more information on wedding photography in Southern California or to get a quote, please visit our website at or give us a call at 657-221-8882.


Remember a while back how I’d promise I’d share my tips with you as I go through the planning process? Well… I’m back with more advice! This week I’ll share some insight on music.

Music has been a STRUGGLE for me. I’m one of those people have extreme music A.D.D. and can hardly get through a song. Road trips with my fiancé are a blast 😜. But anyways, back to wedding music. When curating our playlist, I wanted to make sure I had a few songs that every generation would like. I had my grandparents, parents, and Maid of Honor help me with a few favorites.

I avoided the typical dance music (like the Cha Cha Slide, YMCA, Don’t Stop Believin’ etc.) simply because I hear these songs EVERY single weekend and my brain would explode. So here’s the BEST advice I received from our owner and a past bride (THANKS BRIANNA!): 1. Aim for more genre related music than specifics and 2. Make a “Do Not Play List” and “Must Haves” list. It was like the heavens opened and my life became so much easier! I’m still fine tuning, but I thought I’d share my current list with you!

Check out Kyra & Alex’s adorable engagement session photographed by yours truly!


For more information on engagement or wedding photography in Southern California or to get a quote, please visit our website at or give us a call at 657-221-8882.




Always Be Prepared

We’ve talked a little bit about preparing an emergency kit for your wedding day, but let’s talk a little bit of what else you should do to be prepared. Today I’ll share two pieces of advice that will be a serious help: timing and a list of contacts.

Creating a timeline is an essential part of your wedding day. It helps not only you, but your wedding party, vendors, and family stay on track for all of the fun you have planned! One of the biggest mistakes that I see in timelines is not leaving enough time for certain events. While venues and planners typically create these, your photographer should also have one for all of the photos you’d like. When I work to create my couples’ timelines, I ALWAYS make sure to leave extra time in for certain events that I know take longer (ie, table rounds and money dance). This allows us to not miss any of the important events. I always recommend doing your cake cutting, bouquet, and garter tosses before open dancing to ensure that you still have everyone’s attention and so that we don’t miss these awesome photos!

Now let’s talk about a contract list. If you hired a planner, they typically have a call sheet with everyone’s name listed. However, if you didn’t, I’d highly suggest keeping a running list with your vendors name, the main contact, and their phone number and/or email. As a worst case scenario, having this list printed and with you on your wedding day will be incredibly helpful. Another suggestion I  tell my couples is to have their maid of honor and best man be the main contact on the wedding day. You likely won’t have your phone on you as you’re getting ready. By designating them to take calls, this ensures that you’ll be stress-free and that they can help handle any issues.

Check out Alyssa & Christian’s wedding photographed by yours truly!


For more information on wedding photography in Southern California or to get a quote, please visit our website at or give us a call at 657-221-8882.








Back to Reality

After spending a wonderful week in paradise, it’s back to reality for me. I soaked up the sun, sipped on Mai Tais, and enjoyed the beauty that Hawaii has to offer. It was a nice and much needed mid-wedding season break. My heart is still in paradise, but my head is in full-on work mode. Being on vacation (and a strong ass coffee this morning) definitely helped me feel more ready to kick today in the butt!

As artists, we can sometimes hit a wall. Like any other medium, we can feel our creativity in a rut and unsure of what to create next. For me, traveling brings out so much creativity. I don’t know if it’s because I put my camera down for a week or if it’s because I got to experience a beautiful new part of our world, but I feel truly refreshed and ready to create. Taking a step back helped me to think about new angles, composition and to have a little fun in my work.

When I photograph weddings, I love to nail my shots first, then have a little fun! I’ll spend a few minutes trying out new poses, changing my lighting, or just allowing my couples to interact with each other without a whole ton of direction. In these little moments, there’s something simple and beautiful that is captured.

Check out this engagement session photographed by yours truly!


For more information on engagement or wedding photography in Southern California or to get a quote, please visit our website at or give us a call at 657-221-8882.




It’s so weird to me to be on the other side and planning my own weddings vs. being a photographer of one! I promised I’d share some fun tips with you as I embark on this journey so today let’s talk emergency kits. Being insanely Type A when it comes to planning ahead, I’ve put together some essential items that can come in handy should there be any whoopsies.

  • Sewing kit/safety pins/glue/fashion tape
  • Stain Remover
  • Medicines: Pain reliever/anti-acid/allergy medication
  • Scissors (absolute must for cutting of tags!)
  • Wrinkle release/steamer
  • Toothbrush, toothpaste, floss, mouthwash, mints
  • Clear nail polish/nail  glue/file
  • White chalk (hides oil stains and any stains that may get on your dress)
  • Clean white cloth
  • Hair things: bobby pins, hair ties, hairspray, comb
  • Makeup: mirror, q-tips, wipes, lipstick, oil blotting sheets, tweezers, anything you may need for touch ups
  • First aid: hydrocortisone, bandaids, blister blocker, bug spray
  • Snacks, water bottle, energy drink
  • Phone charger
  • ID, cash, check book
  • Notebook & pen
  • Tissues (because DUH)
  • Ring cleaner (THE number one thing! If you have time to get your ring professionally cleaned beforehand, I highly suggest doing so!)

This list could go on forever, but here are things that I’ve found are super useful! Some of these things I keep in my camera bag when I’m photographing weddings – just to be safe. What are some things I’ve missed or you’ve found come in handy during planning? Share them with me!

Now that the seriousness is over, check out this wedding photographed by the talented Rachel at Wedgewood Sierra La Verne.


For more information on wedding photography in Southern California or to get a quote, please visit our website at or give us a call at 657-221-8882.








So Trendy

Wedding season is in full swing and it is officially summer!!! YIPPEEEE!!

Trends come and go, but I have a feeling that these bridal trends are here to stay. They add a truly unique element to your wedding day.

  1. Colored Weddings Dresses. A blush or soft hues look so beautiful in photographs. Personally, I love when brides go against tradition and forgo a pure white dress as it can look blue in photos. Ivory or champagne have just a hint of color that look stunning.
  2. Sparkle. Does sparkle every really go out of style? Whether it’s on your dress, your jewelry, or your centerpieces, having something that sparkles helps things to nicely pop against your other details.
  3. Royal. Kate Middleton and Megan Markle both had elegant and timeless wedding looks. The clean and lacey looks are here to stay.
  4. Comfy shoes. Comfort > everything. There are so many designers creating fancy flats or adorable tennis shoes. I’m a HUGE fan of the Kate Spade X Keds collaboration. Sparkles + comfort = winning.

Check out some of these trends from our brides!



For more information on wedding photography in Southern California or to get a quote, please visit our website at or give us a call at 657-221-8882.