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Wedding Spotlight – Megan Welker

This year we want to share some of our favorite wedding vendors with you!  You have probably heard most of their names as we are lucky enough to work with them regularly.  Our first vendor we will be talking about for 2017 happens to be my favorite… I don’t usually choose favorites but this girl has basically become a family member at this point.  We love her as a friend, love working with her and Beijos wouldn’t be Beijos without her.  She is talented, kind, supportive and just the best.  You guessed it, I’m talking about Megan Welker.

Beijos was fairly new when I came in contact with Megan.  She was recommended to me from a friend and once I met her I knew we would be friends.  She’s sarcastic and funny, totally gorgeous and plus she is Portuguese, what’s not to like?!  I began stalking, I mean asking her to work with us on a regular basis, and lucky for me she kept saying yes!  Haha!!  I even was able to style and coordinate her wedding, which was a complete honor!

Needless to say, we can’t recommend Megan enough as a photographer.  She is a true talent who cares so much about her work and it really shows.  We all know Megan is beautiful, but I can honestly say she is even more beautiful on the inside!  Ok, enough gushing, let’s get to our Q&A with Megan and learn more about her, from her!  Megan is also wearing the best camera straps from our buddies Gunn & Swain and Taryn Kent, you can check them out here!

Tell us a little bit about you… 

Well, for those of you who don’t know me, I’m Megan.  I’m a wedding and lifestyle photographer in Southern California.  I’m married to a pretty handsome dude and am the mama of two giant cats.

How and when did you get into photography?

Photography sort of just fell into my lap.  I was gifted a camera in college and started to take photos aka bribe my best friend to “model” for me.  Apparently the bribing paid off because soon after people wanted to hire me for family sessions and in 2008 I shot my very first wedding.  Since then my hobby sort of spiraled into a business and in 2010 I went full-time with Megan Welker Photography.

What do you love most about shooting weddings?

I love shooting weddings so much. I love the connection I have with each and every couple and the fact that they are trusting me to document one of the happiest times in their lives. That’s huge! I love that I get to experience new places with so many weddings and the friends I’ve made in the process. My favorite part of a wedding is when the couple walks up the aisle as husband and wife. It always is SUCH a happy moment!!

What’s your favorite thing to shoot with Beijos?

Does me saying all of the things count?  I really love the weddings and styled parties we shoot together.  It’s so fun seeing their vision come to life and being able to shoot all the pretty they made is the best.  Oh, and I love photographing their babies because they make the cutest littles ever!!

What’s your favorite shoot or event you’ve shot with Beijos?

I was going to say My Wedding!!  But then I remembered that I didn’t shoot it, thank god.  Besides the weddings we’ve shot together (because I legit love each and every one of those) I think my favorite might be the Thanksgiving table we did a couple years ago.  The location, the table, the everything!  It was so gorgeous

Tell us 3 words that describe you…

Loyal, Independent, and my husband says I’m funny.

Tell us 3 things about you we may not know…

I love fruit.  Especially in sweet things.  I’d take a strawberry tart over a cupcake any day!  My favorite color is forever and always white.  I’m 10 minutes early everywhere I go.  I blame it on my Mom.

On an ideal weekend off, where would we find you and what would you be doing?

A weekend off??  What is that??  My husband and I love going to antique stores and flea markets so we’d probably be there and meet up with some friends after for lunch.  Oh, and ending the night with butter cake from Nicks.  AH so yummy!! 

Ok, you had us at butter cake… Love you so much Megan!!!

xx

Jacquelyn

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By on January 18, 2017 in PHOTOGRAPHY, VENDORS WE LOVE

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Wedding – Helpful Tips From Photographers

We think it’s pretty fun to plan a wedding, but we also know how over whelming it could be.  We also belive that photography is one of the most important vendors you’ll hire to document this uber special day you will remember for the rest of your life!  To help us all out we contacted some of our favorite gals out there in the photography biz to give us some tips to help smooth over the process of your wedding day, so listen up, what they have to say is pretty good!

First we are hearing from Megan Welker…

#1. DO have an engagement session, even if you feel like you don’t need one. I love to do them for my couples because I feel like it gives us all a chance to get to know each other better. It’s a great opportunity for them to see how I shoot and the poses I use and it’s great for me to see how they interact together, which makes us all so much more comfortable together when the wedding day rolls around. And who doesn’t love extra photos during such a fun and exciting time? meganwelker-engagement-270 meganwelker-engagement-330

#2. DO get ready in a well lit (and tidy!!) room. Getting your dress on in a room with a lot of natural light makes for great photos. If a room is dark (like, cave dark) I usually try to open doors, windows, anything I can. If that isn’t an option I will ask my brides come outside instead. It’s worth it ladies!

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#3. DO a first look! I never, ever pressure my couples into doing a first look but I do like to give them all of the pro’s to doing one. First of all, you get to spend more time with your guests instead of taking photos during cocktail hour (and who doesn’t want to drink more with all of the people you love?). You get to spend time together, just the two of you, you will have time to do all photos with your bridal party and family. And best of all, it’s NOT rushed at all because we’ve scheduled the right amount of time for it all and not rushing to get back for your grand entrance. Best of all, you both still get that fuzzy feeling and cry happy tears when you see each other down the aisle.

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#4. DO an unplugged ceremony. An unplugged ceremony means your guests are not to use their cameras, phones, iPads (dear God, no iPads please) during your ceremony. It takes their focus away from “getting the shot”…for Facebook? and instead being present during your vows. No one wants to look out at their guests and see devices. It’s hard as the photographer to get a nice, clean shot of the bride coming down the aisle when others are blocking the view…

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#4. Talk to your photographer about lighting at your venue and what time is best for your ceremony to take place. Typically, two hours (or less) before the sunset is prime. It makes a HUGE difference.

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If you must have your ceremony at a certain time and the light is less than ideal, think about getting married until a canopy for better (diffused) light. It’s so much better than the sun in your face because, you know, squinty eyes and all.

Here’s what Meg Perotti had to say…

Tip 1 : Do an engagement session or at the very least, grab  drink/dinner with your photographer before your wedding day. A photographer is with you all day- with a camera a few feet from your face- you’ll want to feel comfortable with each other and get a sense of their work style ahead of time so you can set your insecurities aside and feel 100% at ease with your photographers ability to document your big day.
Tip 2 : Get a pretty hanger for your dress. A $4,000 gown hanging on a plastic hanger is criminal.
Tip 3 : This one isn’t always totally feasible but if possible, get ready in a location that is bright and airy! – and have your bridesmaids keep their belongings all tucked away in a closet or in an adjoining room .. nothing looks worse than a bride in a gorgeous gown surrounded by yesterdays lunch leftovers and dirty socks.

Tip 4 : After you’ve decided to trust the photographer of your dreams? Trust the rest of your team. No one photographs better than a relaxed bride- and no bride is more relaxed than a bride with a killer vendor team. Surround yourself with people you know will pull through to execute all of your wildest dreams and then do your absolute best to forget about all of those wildest dreams when your wedding date arrives. Your photographer will capture you best when you’re at ease and are enjoying yourself fully.

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Tip 5 : Make plenty of time for getting ready photos. Some of the best shots during the day are caught during those moments of anticipation. Front load your coverage …. dancing photos are fun but can be adequately covered in one dance set.. most of the guests who are going to dance, will dance right away and in my opinion, the sweatier people get the worse they photograph. :)
Here’s what Yasmin Sarai had to say…
Say yes to the dress! My biggest tip to brides is this: Don’t be afraid to choose a dress that suits your personal style. It’s sometimes easy to go with the dress that everyone else loves but don’t be afraid to choose something different! The photos that stand out to me most are often ones where a bride has chosen a dress that is a super classy, timeless look or one that oozes personal style. So often it can feel like I’m seeing the same dress wedding after wedding. Strapless dresses aren’t for everyone so my advice is don’t shy away from something with sleeves or a higher neckline. When a bride feels beautiful, comfortable, and confident, it really shows in the images!
Give yourself enough time! Delays usually happen at the beginning of the day, when the bride is getting ready. This can create issues with the timeline for possibly the rest of the day. Communicate with your vendors, especially the photographer, about how much time they recommend. Be realistic and take travel time, traffic delays, hair and makeup adjustments, and so on into consideration. If the timeline is delayed earlier in the day it may lead to less time for photos, unhappy waiting guests, and unneeded stress for the bride and groom, so it’s safest to give yourself lots of buffer time!
Tell the officiant to move it! One of the biggest pet peeves of photographers (other than the guest with the iPad standing in the middle of the aisle trying to take their own artistic photos), is when the officiant stands in the center of the couple just as they’re about the share their first kiss. Give your officiant the heads up and ask them to step aside as they make the pronouncement of “You may now kiss the bride!” so you can get an amazing photo of your smooch without the officiant grinning widely in between the two of you. It’s a small thing that can make a huge difference!

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 And last but definielty not least….We have some tips from Carlie Statsky
1. Schedule a 1-2 hour engagement session with your wedding photographer
Absolutely everyone feels awkward when they first have the dark barrel of a camera lens pointed at their face, so engagement sessions are a really great opportunity to get comfortable with your photographer and that camera lens. I love to use each engagement session as a time to learn a little more about each couple, like how they met, what their style is, if they have any insecurities that we should know about when photographing them, (like if they dislike their profile, or big smiley expressions etc) and if they have any specific image requests, so be open to sharing that kind of information with your photographer. I also use that time together to show my couples how to pose in a way that looks natural, so that they can more easily fall into various poses on their wedding day when there’s much less time to explain and show things. By the end of your engagement session your photographer will feel less like a stranger and more like an old friend, which will only help you feel more relaxed and look more photogenic and in love in all of your wedding photos!
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2. Create a pinterest board with inspiration images to share with your photographer, but give your photographer the creative freedom to create something unique for you
I find pinterest a really helpful tool for getting an idea of the look and feel that a couple are hoping to create for their wedding, so I always ask to see a couple’s wedding-related boards, and I’m always inspired by what I see there. I think it’s equally important to avoid asking a photographer to copy a certain image for you, since each artist needs the freedom and creative control to be able to do their best work in any given environment. When you trust your photographer and follow their lead towards good light and great locations, (even if that means getting your dress or shoes a little dirty) your photos will always turn out better!
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3. Work with your photographer on the timeline and be sure to include some time for sunset photos
I always like to look over the wedding timeline before it’s set in stone to make sure that there’s enough time for photos of everything, with nice little time buffers so that no one gets stressed even if things runs a little late, (which they often do.) I also recommend trying to do as many of the bridal party pictures and family portraits before the ceremony as possible, and to keep the post-ceremony group photos to a minimum so that my couples can go and enjoy some of their cocktail hour instead of spending it all posing for formal photos. I also try to schedule in time to capture important ceremony and reception details before guest are invited into those spaces too, since there’s nothing worse than jackets on chairs and bags on tables in the photos. I also really encourage my couples to take about 20 minutes away from the reception to enjoy a few quiet moments together to get some beautiful shots just before sunset when the light its at its best. Those golden hour photos are the ones that couples usually end up loving the most and are the ones that get blown up and framed on the walls of their home because they remind them of how magical that day felt, so don’t miss out on that little sunset session with your photographer!
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Hope this was helpful to all the future brides out there planning their weddings… there were a couple eye openers for us as well.
Xx Beijos gals

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By on August 20, 2015 in BEIJOS BRIDE, BRIDAL, PHOTOGRAPHY, VENDORS WE LOVE, WEDDINGS

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Beijos Interior – Nursery For Miss Isla Jean

The fun little nursery for my new babe Isla Jean is complete and beautiful.  I couldn’t be happier walking into the space everyday, playing with her on the floor and rocking her to sleep.  Here is a peek into the space we love so much,  photos by my gal Megan Welker. Also featured on Glitter Guide today!

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One of the first pieces I picked out was this mobile from Dot & Bo, I love it!!

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This cute little mix in her crib is my favorite.  Stuffed Cats from Sweet Threads, Pillows from Urban Outfitters, West Elm and Etsy.

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This rug is what I was inspired with first from West elm

meganwelker-IslaJean-11 My favorite song to sing to my girls, decal by Shanna Murray meganwelker-IslaJean-15 meganwelker-IslaJean-17 Pretty little shelves with trinkets from Anthropologie, Land of Nod, and World Market

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In Love with this light box, another must have for her room.

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My husband build these honeycomb shelves. He loved building something special for her room.  Find them on Etsy here.

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Special little pieces hanging from these Land of Nod Elephant hooks

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Gotta have Freshly Picked moccs for my little lady too!

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Flamingo print from The Animal Print Shop

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My vintage dresser my parents kept all these years.  It was mine when I was young.  So special to have it in Isla’s room.

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Bedding and Wallpaper by Serena & Lily, blanket from Land of Nod. Also the amazing name printed wood piece by Twinkle & Toast

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Rocking chair from Land of Nod, Pillow from Urban Outfitters, Moroccan Pouf from Amazon

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Find the deer clock here and print here

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Ikea diaper cart for nursery essentials

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Now onto the sweet photos of my girls…

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Introducing Isla Jean…

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My husbands grandma made these little shoes for his sister over 40 years ago.  They’ve been passed down to every little girl in the Carriger Family ever since.

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This picture is my fave of them

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I think I have the balance of having two down for now.  It takes twice as long to do anything but so worth the joy they bring me everyday!!

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My Edie loves her new baby sister

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Hope you enjoy the space as much as I do.  Stay tuned for more Carriger family photos.

Xx Leah

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By on August 19, 2015 in BEIJINHOS, BEIJOS MUST HAVES, BEIJOS PICKS, FAMILY, HOME, INTERIOR, LIFESTYLE, PHOTOGRAPHY, STYLED BY BEIJOS

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Diary of a Beijos Bride – Engagement Photos

As you may know, Sean and I got engaged in January.  So roughly February 1st, I started planning outfits and locations for our engagement photos… needless to say I was excited!

I remember helping Jacquelyn pick out the outfits for her engagement photos a few years ago. She had picked each outfit to perfectly fit each location, and the pics turned out stunning.

When my best friend (and bridesmaid!), Stephanie, took her engagement photos, I went down to San Diego to help do her hair and pick out outfits…and of course, drink loads of champs. We had the best time during her shoot, so I sort of knew what I was in for.

From the get go, we had a photographer in mind for all of our wedding needs – paging Miss Megan Welker! Having known Megan for a while, and seeing all of her great work with Beijos, it was a no brainer.  The girl is talented!  We emailed for a bit about e-sesh locations and looks, and we were good to go :)

The first dress I bought was a Beijos approved baby blue and white floral Joie dress.  You may remember Jacquelyn wearing it for shoot earlier in the spring.  It is cute, comfortable, and I thought it would be great for the pics.

The next dress I bought was a cream Cleobella mini dress (and I mean mini!).  I found it when I attended Leah’s super cute baby shower, and couldn’t get it out of my mind. I went back and snatched it up because I had to have it.  I originally bought it for Steph’s baby shower, but thought it would be perfect for engagement photos.  I’m a regular Kate Middleton, re-wearing my dresses again and again (my Dad would be proud). An extra perk of this dress is that Sean loves it too :)

The last dress I wore was something I bought for an upcoming trip to Cabo – I thought the color was fun, and the fit was comfy and flirty, so why not wear it for the pics? I can’t wait to sport it again soon, but by the pool with a marg in hand!

Sean put thought into his looks as well.  We hit up the old stand by, J Crew, and bought him a couple new things.  We also picked up his cute straw fedora on our recent trip to Charleston – I insisted he wear it for the shoot.  He looks so handsome in all the pics, it’s almost irritating!

We had been thinking a bit about places that would be great to photograph, but it was also important that each place meant something to us.

Last winter, Sean and I volunteered through my work to plant trees and shrubs at Malibu Creek Park with my best friend (and bridesmaid!), Amber.  We were blown away with how beautiful it was, and I made a mental note that it would make a great place to take our photos. Turns out Megan has shot there before and was a pro when it came to finding gorgeous locations (and convenient parking).

meganwelker-engagement-281 meganwelker-sneaks-29 meganwelker-sneaks-39 Sean loves Malibu.  He loves it so much, that he often drives there after work to surf, and endures truly shitty traffic on the way home.  One of our favorite things to do when we are both off on the weekends, and staying in LA (which is incredibly rare), is take a drive to Malibu and hit up the beach.  It’s so relaxing and beautiful!  We love any beach, really, but we really love Malibu. It was very important to take some beach photos, and we were so happy we were able to squeeze them in before the sun went down!

meganwelker-sneaks-49 meganwelker-sneaks-54 meganwelker-sneaks-52 Our final location, in our home and around our neighborhood, ended up giving us some of my absolute favorite pics.  Having been long distance for over 3 years, it was important to us to capture our time in our first home together.  Our little 1 bedroom apartment is nothing to brag about, but it’s ours and we love it.  We poured some vin verde, and Megan encouraged us to be natural and have fun.  We took photos inside the apartment, and in our courtyard. We ventured around the block a bit and got some really fun pics that I love!

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By on August 17, 2015 in BEIJOS BRIDE, PHOTOGRAPHY

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Beijos Maternity Session

Mothers Day is approaching us and I love this time of year as we celebrate all the incredible mom’s in our lives.  I know so many amazing women that pull off the inconcievable everyday to manage and love their families.  It’s so neat to learn from past generations like our grandma’s and mom’s, and now we are living that dream.  I love being Edie’s mom, it’s the most rewarding job I’ll ever have and definitely the greatest thing I’ll ever do in life.  I can’t wait to share the experience with baby Isla on her way very soon!

This week seemed like the perfect opportunity to share a couple favorite photos from my Maternity / Family photo shoot with Megan Welker last month. She followed us one evening to Little Corona Beach in Corona Del Mar, one of our favorite places to be, and also one of the most beautiful!!

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Edie’s going through a stage where she doesn’t really like taking pictures, but Megan does such an amazing job capturing these special moments.

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She loves the beach, and watching the waves go in and out.

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She can’t wait for her baby sister Isla to join us.

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She’s showing us where the mermaids live…

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Love cuddling this little bug…

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This sky though…

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Such a daddy’s girl…

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Throwing rocks into the ocean is one of her things…

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Love my little fam.

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I will cherish these photos always, such amazing moments captured in time.  The last couple months of our family of THREE!!

Thank you Megan Welker, you are the best :)

XO Carriger Family

Wardrobe:

On Leah:  Dress by Free People, Necklace by Madewell

On Edie: Dress by Jen’s Little Pirates, Necklace by Gunner & Lux

On Damon: JCrew

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By on May 6, 2015 in BEIJINHOS, BEIJOS PICKS, FAMILY, LIFESTYLE, PHOTOGRAPHY, STYLE, STYLED BY BEIJOS

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