Sleep during your season of Engagement!

Your season of engagement can quickly become a stressful, trying, endless season of planning, managing family relationships and planning. I think more than ever a good nights sleep is not only a good idea but necessary to your health in this season. Ellie Porter the Managing Editor of wrote a bit about why she thinks sleep is so valuable - have a look & sweet dreams!

A Less Known Wellness Secret? A Good Night’s Sleep

Beauty sleep is real. Getting a good night's sleep can help you look and feel your best each night, and it can have a significant effect on your skin health.

Your Body Releases Healthy Hormones While you Sleep

Each night while you're sleeping, your brain releases hormones that can help keep your skin healthy. Growth hormone is responsible for repairing and restoring your skin -- and is even sold as a supplement. But you can get doses of growth hormone for free with a good night's sleep.

When the brain produces human growth hormone, the stress hormone cortisol is suppressed. This happens when you get a good night's rest. When you don't get enough sleep, cortisol production is increased. Too much of this hormone can lead to acne, eczema, hair loss, and weight gain.

When you don't sleep enough, two other hormones also change. The hormone that makes you hungry is increased and the brain responds less to the hormone that tells you that you are full. Without enough hours of sleep, you are more likely to eat that extra treat because your brain is telling you that you are hungry.

In short, getting enough sleep can make you feel healthier in many ways.

Looking and Feeling Healthy During Stressful Times

Although your wedding may be one of the best days of your life, planning for it may induce a lot of stress. Unfortunately, many couples deal with this stress by sacrificing sleep. When you don't sleep, you actually start to feel more stressed. When you sleep well, you are better able to cope with unpleasant emotions during the day. When Uncle Ernie tries to grab your sister's butt at your rehearsal dinner, it's stressful. But it's easier to respond calmly and coherently when you're well rested. Prioritize sleep to enjoy your wedding and honeymoon thoroughly.

How You Can Get Better Sleep

Sleep isn't a magic solution for looking healthier -- but it's close to it. Follow these tips for better sleep and wellness.

  • Sleep in a comfortable environment. Make your bedroom cozy and comfortable, with minimal light and sound. Choose an appropriate mattress and bedding, and consider blackout shades or a white noise machine. Unclutter your bedroom, and make it a place you enjoy getting a good night's rest.

  • Get Vitamin D exposure. Use natural light during the day to find more energy and support a healthy circadian rhythm. When you get outside during the day, you can increase sleep efficiency.

  • Avoid screens at night. Banish your phone from your bed, as the blue light that comes from your screen can make your brain think it's still daytime and keep you up at night. It's best to avoid screens for at least an hour before bed.

  • Create a bedtime routine: It's easier to fall asleep if your brain knows that it's time for bed. Take a hot bath, write in a journal or do whatever relaxes you, but try to do at the same time and in the same order each night. This routine prepares your body for sleep, making it easier to doze off when you get to bed.

  • Stay cool: Sleeping hot does more than leave sweaty marks on your nice sheets and disturb your sleep. A small study showed that sleeping in a cooler room can positively affect your metabolism. Keep your bedroom at 65 degrees Fahrenheit or cooler for best results.

Jessica + Chris Proposal

When I got to Chris' apartment he was beaming with excitement. Im pretty sure he asked me what knee he needed to go down on. I told him, do whatever feels right!  Jessica had no idea that their date night was turning into the most sentimental proposal ever. As soon as she walked in he had her stand right in front of the projection. A video with music and voice that he had pieced together from phone calls he had recorded, hand drawn graphics and old photos. You could feel the care and creativity he put into the projection. Jess is a talented photographer and so Chris knew she would want photos of this sacred time. After he proposed we had a blast playing around with other projections he custom designed just so we could do more photos. What a man! Its always special to be a part of wedding days, but this was next level! I was so honored I got to capture this proposal! 


Nicole + Paul San Diego Wedding

You can learn a lot about a couple when their friends and family surround them and share speeches. For Paul & Nicole, their community runs deep. They have journeyed with this couple and truly know and love them through and through. Nicole & Paul faithfully serving and loving them. It was a sweet picture of what marriage is all about.

Marriage is an exclusive, quiet, sacred vow between a man and a woman, but its also a inclusive, energetic, magnetic, wild movement of communal proportions. Nicole & Paul magnetize their communities back to the person of Jesus. Its beautiful to watch and it was such an honor to be a part of this union. 

May these images remind you of the creativity, perfect timing and ultimate beauty of what it means to be wed. 

Venue | Willow Creek RanchFloral Designs by Bethany, Dress | Elle Bridal Boutique. 

Heather + Wes Downtown Los Angeles Wedding

I was so excited to be a part of Heather + Wes' wedding. They literally bring so much joy to all that know them. I knew this day at the Hudson Loft would be a magnetic day. Despite the 103 degree LA weather, we braved the heat and rolled with it. 

The Story 

It was all a set up….Well, kind of. The idea of Wes and Heather began with a mutual friend who was determined that they needed to meet. Wes had just returned home from spending a year up in Bend, OR, and was advised to keep an eye out for Heather. Meanwhile, Heather was kept in the dark about the whole thing. So when they ended up meeting on their own at a friend’s house a month later, she had no idea why this stranger named Wes was so persistent in trying to talk to her.

Heather had plans the next weekend with a group of friends to head out on a weekend getaway in San Diego, and Wes had plans to go down that same direction for his cousin's wedding. The mutual friends were working overtime and found a way for Wes and Heather to carpool. Well, they totally hit it off, and ended up missing their freeway exit (combo of Heather's bad co-pilot skills and how involved they both were in getting to know each other). When they saw signs for Mexico, they realized that their Encinitas stop was an hour behind them and that something special was in their future.

Fast forward through falling in love with lots of adventures and life packed into four years. 

 Shout out to all the other epic vendors that made this night possible. 

Coordination & Design | Rachael Lunghi, Cake | Danielle Keene of Sheila Mae Cakes, DJ | Dart DJ's, MU | Heidi Lynn Mehl, Dress | The Dress Theory → Alexandra Grecco, Bridesmaids Dresses | BHLDN, Tuxes | Zara, Catering | Paper Palate, and my ever amazing second shooter Jessica Lynne


Cherylyn + Brian Temecula Winery Wedding

So many tears of joy filled this wedding that I still tear up looking back at the images. There is so much love between these two & their families that it made the whole day glow. Even with one of the limousines braking down, family & friends swooped in to make sure the day ran smoothly. 

It was truly an honor to watch someone who I literally grew up with, walk down the isle and marry the love of her life. With generous hearts and a deep love for family these two are bound to display true love throughout their marriage!

Cher & Brian, may the Autumn season of harvest always remind you of the full and sweet love God has for you in your union! 

Many thanks to the other vendors! Location, Florals, Cake, DJ, Make Up, Hair, Bridesmaids Dresses

& my dreamy second shooter:


Patrick + Sophie Backyard San Diego Wedding

Weeks later I'm still dreaming of this joyous day! Nestled in the backyard of the Sophie's family home, each part of the day was so special. The ceremony site and most of the backyard totally landscaped by her father specifically for the day. Despite the drought, the seeds they planted months ago grew into a stunning meadow atop a hill! 

With strong hearts that are light to touch, Patrick + Sophie embody what it means to champion one another. They truly are equals. They are so generous, kind and thoughtful. Surrounded by so many beautiful friends and family, their marriage is already out of this world!! 

Complete with pizza & donuts, joyously drinking the "McPail" specialty cocktail in hand, guests danced into the warm September night! 

Killer vendor list : Coordinator Deb Oliver –, Florist  Sandy Price – , Desserts Edelweiss Bakery, DJ Jesus –, MU Sam Gallagher –, Hair Shawna Cruise, Dress :Here Comes the Bride, Rentals Stecklair Events –

Baby Gwynn

Last week I got the pleasure of photographing Baby Gwynn. The newest little addition to the Gunderson family. Its such an honor to be able to photograph someones wedding... then years later photograph their little one! Im humbled and was teary eyed editing these photos! 

Its sacred and beautiful that I get to share in these intimate moments! She is just two week old! 

As I post these, my little sister is expected to have her little baby girl within the next week or so. I can't contain my excitement and get emotional thinking about the new little life that is on it way!!

Heres to family and new beginnings!