Strehlow Family | Old Town Orange Family Photographer

I love the Strehlow family!!! As in (if I could) I would move them from Michigan and plant them in my backyard and we would be neighbors. Life would be good!
Their family came out to California for a wedding recently. It was my first time seeing them since I photographed Kevin and Stephanie's wedding in 2012! As you can see, they have added to their family since then. I loved getting to meet their kiddos and wander Old Towne Orange for photos!
Strehlows, please move to California...

Newport Beach Sunset Engagement Photos | Bonnie & Tim

As if Bonnie and Tim's Disneyland engagement photos weren't fun enough, they decided to do a second round of engagement photos on the beach with their fur baby, Moby! I'm so glad they did!
Coming from the Midwest, I have always loved the ocean. I blame my father for this with all his Jimmy Buffett, seafood and beach vacations! I think I will never get over the amazing reality of now being hired to photograph couples on the beach in Southern California. It is my absolute favorite! 
These photos and our evening on the beach were absolutely PERFECT!

We even ended the evening with a trip to my favorite taco place in Newport Beach, Wild Taco! Yup, this is my job! Photography on the beach while barefoot, running around with puppies, and eating lobster tacos! Someone, pinch me!

I CAN'T WAIT FOR THEIR WEDDING!!! Less than 1 month to go!

Disneyland Engagement Photography | Bonnie & Tim

This is the story of how I cut to the front of a 1-hour line for Space Mountain! Just kidding...well, kind of...keep reading!

I'm so excited to share this engagement session at Disneyland in Anaheim, California! My day with Bonnie and Tim was truly magical and full of fun! From starting our day with yummy Beauty and the Beast "gray stuff" (If you ever go to Disneyland, try it! It's delicious!), riding teacups, and carousels, balloons and bubbles, to Dole Whip it was all incredible!

My favorite moment, however, was at Space Mountain! Tim proposed to Bonnie on Space Mountain. Yes, on the actual ride! So, I wanted to go back to Space Mountain to recreate a proposal photo for them their. The staff at Space Mountain were happy to let us go up to where the line is to take photos with the iconic "space mountain sculpture" in the background. I suggested to Tim that he should get down on one knee and pretend to propose again for a photo. What we didn't know is that the ENTIRE space mountain ride was watching us and thought Tim was actually proposing. Cheers and applause erupted!!! 

After the "proposal", Tim was able to convince the staff that he and Bonnie would love to ride Space Mountain again with their wedding photographer. They happily escorted us to the front of the line! Bonnie and I then rode together on the front row of the ride!

After the engagement session, my little son, Eli and his babysitter of the day were able to join us all for a ride on the Jungle Cruise and more! So fun and memorable!

I'm so blessed to work with so many amazing couples just like Bonnie and Tim! Check out PART 2 of their engagement photos on the beach HERE!

Casa Del Mar Santa Monica Wedding | Megan & Nick

Megan and Nick’s wedding at the Casa Del Mar in Santa Monica was oh so lovely! Photographing a wedding on the beach is always a “pinch me” moment, even when the wind on the beach is crazy and the sand is blowing hard! The bride and groom’s fur baby, Ellie, was an especially adorable member of the bridal party. 

With it’s chandeliers and robin’s egg blue walls, the ballroom reception in the Casa Del Mar was stunning! The music of the 12-piece, live-band, Rembrandt made sure everyone had an amazing evening!

Special thanks to Belinda and her team at Bookt Events! They are totally amazing!
Vendors of the Day:
Photography: Smetona Photo (it's where you are right now)
Venue: Casa Del Mar- Santa Monica, CA
Coordination: Bookt Events
Flowers: Martha Claire Floral Design
Live Band: Rembrandt
Makeup: Chroma Makeup Studio
Bridal Gown: Nordstrom
Bridesmaids: Various Designers
Officiant: Hon. Sandra Ikuta
Guitarist: Dan Marks
Linens and Events: 204 Events

Shawntel & Aaron | Newport Coast Engagement Photography

I'm so excited to share Part THREE of Shawntel and Aaron's Engagement Session! For this part of their session, we photographed in a private estate where the bride and groom-to-be donned formal attire! I loved Shawntel's golden, sequin dress! It went perfect with the golden sunset! Isn't she a knock out?!?! We wrapped their session some quick with s'mores by the fire. I'm so excited for their wedding in just a couple months!

Kayla & Nate | Villa Del Sol Fullerton Wedding Photography

I'm so thrilled to share Nate and Kayla's wedding photos! I have had the privilege of capturing their love story since the moment Nate proposed to Kayla at the Montage in Laguna Beach. Their story now continues at the beautiful Villa Del Sol in Fullerton, CA! I loved all the gold sequins and gorgeous colors that Kayla and Nate chose for their big day! I'm especially in love with Kayla's two-piece wedding dress from Martina Liana! Kayla loved the way it made her feel like a princess when she twirled...and there was lots of twirling! We also loved that they chose to have brunch for dinner! I mean who doesn't love bacon and mimosas?

Special thanks to me dear friend and 2nd shooter, Bonnie! She was her normal, crazy and delightful self!

Vendors of the Day
Photography: Smetona Photo
Venue: Villa Del Sol Fullerton, CA
Wedding Coordinator: Selah Short
Videographer: Memo Collective
Flowers: Flower Allie
Wedding Cake: SJ's Custom Cakes
DJ: DJ Burnheart
Hair and Makeup: Judi Mcaskill
Bridesmaid Dresses: Rent the Runway
Men's Tuxes: Friar Tux
Tables and Linens: Create a Party
String Quartet: Jocelyn Choo
Catering: Stadium Tavern
Coffee Bar: Espresso Chauffeur

Graduation Portraits at Cal State Fullerton of Gisela and David

You don't have to take graduation photos alone! Gisela and David are married and are both graduating from Cal State Fullerton together in just a few short weeks! I have had the joy of photographing Gisela and David together before and I was thrilled to photograph this special time in their lives for them!

I did their photo shoot on the campus of Cal State Fullerton and I had a blast photographing their senior pictures. My favorite moment was photographing them on "their bench", when one of David's professors walked by and whistled as they kissed! Oh the laughter! 

Congrats, Gisela and David! Go Titans!

Phinehas | Orange County Birth Photographer

Three years ago, I was given the honor of photographing my first birth! Having never seen a birth before, I was nervous/excited/scared. My dear friends, Geneva and Lucas, kindly agreed to let me witness and photograph the birth of their third child, Bliss. You can see those photos HERE. Geneva gave me courage and took away the fear of child birth for me. For that, I will forever be grateful! Little did we know that soon after I photographed Bliss' birth that I would be expecting my own child.
Now, having had my own son and photographed other births, I was thrilled to get to photograph the Enge family again as they expected their fourth child. They chose not to find out the gender of all of their children until birth. What wonderful surprises! Already a family with three daughters, I think everyone secretly hoped for a boy...myself included! 
At about 3am on a Thursday, God answered and gave the Enge family a son! What a joy to be part of that moment! Congrats, dear friends!
Special thanks to Jessica of Miracle of Life Midwifery for being a calm and knowledgeable presence! :-)

Turbedsky Family | Old Towne Orange Family Photographer

I'm sure I sound like a broken record these days. But, yet again, I feel the need to express my sincere gratefulness and love for the family in these photographs. Anyone who knows the "Turbos" adores them. They tirelessly give themselves away for the sake of the Gospel and the City of Orange. As a member of Sovereign Grace Orange County (where Eric is pastor), I have the joyously privilege of learning from and growing in the Lord under the ministry of the Turbedsky family. I'm so glad that I finally convinced this family that I love so dearly to all step in front of my camera.

Card Family | Santa Ana Family Photographer

I adore the Card family! They are such a blessing to my life and my family. I'm blessed to call Les and Sue part of my church family. This was my 2nd shoot of their family and (just like last time) we all had a great time! Since the last time, their family has grown with the addition of a lovely grand daughter.
Their family session was the day after Christmas while all their children were in town. I began their shoot with a lifestyle family session of them all at home and then I photographed the family in Downtown Santa Ana for a more urban feel.

Shawntel and Aaron | Newport Beach Engagement

I'm so excited to share Part ONE and TWO of Shawntel and Aaron's engagement session! (Part 3 is a secret!) It's especially fun today because it is the lovely bride-to-be's birthday!!! Hooray!!! I had a fantastic time photographing these lovebirds in Newport Beach at the Lido Marina Village. We started our session at the brand-new Honor Coffee Roasters, walked around the Marina, and then for part 2 we headed to Aaron's parents house for golden hour. I can't wait to photograph their wedding in July of this year!

Garcia Family | Tustin Family Photographer

I had a great time photographing the Garcia family a few days after Christmas. With so many of them spread all over (some coming from Mexico), it was a special treat to have them all together for family photos. Special thanks to my friend, Mike Alvarez who provided some translation services for me.

Estate on Second | Abbey & Eric's Wedding

Abbey and Eric's wedding was a lovely mix of solemn tradition and serious fun! They were married at St. Norbert's Catholic Church in Orange, CA and their reception was held at the Estate on Second in Santa Ana, CA. Abbey and Eric wanted to make sure their guests had fun and they certainly accomplished that! The reception was complete with a mac and cheese bar, taco bar, gourmet salad bar and MORE. My favorite part was when Abbey appeared halfway through the night having "Project Runwayed" her dress into a dress that let her dance better. So awesome!

Vendors
Photography: Smetona Photo (with special help from Zac Mullings of Mr and Mrs. Weddings)
Church: St. Norbert's Catholic Church in Orange, CA
Reception: Estate on Second
Wedding Coordinator: Christie Grisenti
Videographer: Akros Media
Florist: Chris Lindsay Designs

Catering: Jay's Catering
DJ: David Newton of VOX DJs (He was awesome!)
Makeup Artist: Cassandra Ranslow
Hair Artist: Alison Naylor
Bride's Dress: Pronovias
Bridesmaid Dresses: David's Bridal
Mens' Suits: Combat Gents

Eliana Rose- Orange County Lifestyle Newborn Photographer

It's hard to describe the joy I feel with this session! Miss Eliana is the lovely daughter of two of my dearest friends, Jon and Serena. I met Serena when I photographed Jon's proposal to her. Since then, I have had the honor of photographing their engagement, wedding, and now their firstborn! Oh the feels!!!
This first photo is especially sweet to me because it is one Smetona Photo took at their wedding and now hangs in their home. How their love and family has grown!