Smartphone Headshots at Home

July 29, 2020  •  Leave a Comment

Need a new head shot right now?

But your not in the position to invest in a professional head shot session?

Want to be able to have a quality head shot taken in the comfort of your own home?


Whatever situation your in, I wanted to show you how you can take a high quality head shot in your own home with just empty background (a plain wall will do), window lighting, and a smartphone. 

And here is my head shot, before and after a quick edit in Lightroom:

One more quick word...

If you have any questions about taking your own head shots at home with a smartphone or if you need help with posing, please feel free to email me or text me. I'd love to give you some more tips and tricks.


Looking for to book a professional head shot session now? Click the button below.





Wedding Day Survival Guide

July 16, 2020  •  Leave a Comment


It's happened!

You and your significant other have decided to tie the knot, and now the real fun begins...


Wedding Planning!



Some couples like to take their time with planning; my husband and I were engaged for a year to save up for our big day... Other couples like a shorter engagement; I have friends who were only engaged and married within a handful of months. Every couple is different and prefers a different engagement length.

Whichever kind of couple you are, more than likely you are underprepared for what your wedding day will actually be like. You can read all the magazines and blogs, explore Pinterest and Instagram, but nothing beats the rush, the chaos, and excitement of YOUR wedding day.

Having been there myself with my own wedding and having been a part of many other weddings, I thought I'd share some words of wisdom with the newly engaged and soon to be engaged couples.

1. Eat, & Drink Plenty of Water

I put this at the top of the list because I think this is the most important thing to remember.

On your wedding day, you'll be waking up early to start getting ready. Between hair and makeup, getting to the venue, and the millions of photos you'll be taking, make sure to schedule in some time to eat something healthy. Make this part of your timeline if you need to, and even go as far as to send a bridesmaid, groomsmen, or family member to retrieve food in between preparations. It's a long time until you eat at your reception.

Also, it might be helpful to keep some bottles of water around, too, to stay hydrated.


2. Go Easy on DIY

I know the temptation. The temptation to incorporate all of your favorite Pinterest ideas into your wedding, and the even greater temptation of thinking you can do everything yourself and save a ton of money.

I'm all about saving those Benjamins, and I did a few DIY projects for my wedding (even made my own bouquet and folded origami hearts), but make sure you have enough time to get everything finished. And consider hiring experienced vendors to take on more intricate projects, like centerpieces and floral bouquets.

Nothing can stress you out more than staying up late the night before your wedding worrying if everything will be ready in time.


3. Hire Experienced Vendors

So many couples are paying for their own weddings and on tight budgets. They're searching for high quality at a low price, and there's nothing wrong with that. There are great vendors out there that are willing to help out couples who are on a budget, and there are some vendors who are trying to break into the industry who charge below the market value.

When you are searching for those deals that are "too good to be true," make sure you are doing plenty of research and checking out every vendor. Ask to see examples of their work (cake tastings, photos of recent weddings, etc.), ask for references, check out reviews, and avoid hiring friends and family, unless they themselves are experienced professionals. Make sure you have contracts and deposits in place to help protect yourself in the case your vendor is a no show or does not perform the job they were hired to do. 

You only get one wedding day, and you want to make sure your vendors know what they're doing.


4. It's OK to Run a Little Behind Schedule

Expect to be on a timeline your whole wedding day.

  • You have to set appointments for your hair and makeup.
  • Setup at the venue starts at a certain time.
  • The ceremony starts at a specific time.
  • The reception will be run on a tight schedule.

It can be overwhelming, especially when all you want to do is hang out and celebrate with your family and friends... But the good news is, nothing can happen without you. The wedding will not start if you're running late to the ceremony. Pictures will not be taken without you. So if you wake up a few minutes late, break off an acrylic nail, or you want to spend a little more time talking with your guests before you cut the cake, everything will be fine. Just keep your vendors in consideration, especially if you have set appointment times with them.


5. Expect Something to Go Wrong

This may sound pessimistic, but I'm a realist and don't like to sugar coat things. I've seen and experienced my share of wedding chaos...

  • fights that break out between groomsmen the night before the wedding
  • bridal party members showing up late or dropping out last minute
  • drunk family members at the reception
  • I myself dripped makeup on my wedding dress just before photos (luckily it was on the inside of my dress and wasn't noticeable after all)

With experienced and professional vendors who are ready for anything, there's no need to stress. There's not a whole lot you can do about it on the day of. Speak with family members and friends if there is any tension, stay as organized as possible, and make sure vendors have a Plan B for anything that could happen. I promise it will all be ok, and at the end of the day, you will be married and it will all be a memory.


6. Expect to be photographed... A LOT

These last couple of tips are geared more towards photography.

Weddings are the perfect occasion for everyone to dress up, so it's natural that everyone will want to have their picture taken with you and your new spouse. Not only will the photographer be posing you and taking you to multiple locations for portraits, your guests will be snapping photos of you and with you throughout the entire wedding... and you will get tired of it.

If you've hired an experienced photographer, they'll know that after the ceremony, you really just want to eat, relax, and celebrate with your friends and family. If you don't mind seeing your significant other before the wedding, consider doing a "First Look." You can do this in private or with your photographer to capture that first moment when you see each other. The photographer will then take most of the couple's portraits and the bridal party portraits before the ceremony, that way you only have to worry about family photos and a few more individuals before the reception.

Also consider scheduling some down time in a nice, quiet space to relax, away from the celebrating. During Cocktail Hour before the bridal party's entrance is the perfect time for this.


7. Consider an "Unplugged" Ceremony

This suggestion I hold near and dear to my heart as a photographer.

With smartphones, everyone has a fairly high quality camera in their pocket, and especially at weddings, everyone wants to get that "perfect shot." But you've already hired a photographer to capture the big moments of your wedding day, and I guarantee their images will look much better than Aunt Sally's iPhone pics.

Too many times I've seen professional wedding photos ruined by guests jumping in the way of the photographer to get their shot. That's why I suggest politely asking guests to refrain from taking pictures during the ceremony.

You want your guests to be present during the ceremony as you vow to spend the rest of your life with your one true love... not trying to out photograph the professional you've hired. Some couples create cute signs to display at the ceremony site, others have their officiant make an announcement before the ceremony starts. 

The best advice I can give is to have fun, enjoy this happy time in your life, and don't stress the small stuff. No matter what happens at your wedding at the end of the day, you and your partner will be married and starting a new chapter in your lives, and that's really the important part. 


*** Alicia is a wedding and commercial photographer in San Diego. She has 12 years of experience behind the camera, has won several awards for her work, and her photos have been seen in more than a dozen publications. Contact Alicia today to schedule your FREE wedding photography consultation.***

[email protected]   |   760.593.4699



Love is NOT Canceled! San Diego Elopement Package Now Available

July 14, 2020  •  Leave a Comment

We can't deny that 2020 has been a rough year on many people. So many couples dreaming of a San Diego wedding have had to postpone or cancel their big day. 


But Love is NOT canceled!

Many couples are choosing to celebrate their love and commitment to each other by having smaller more intimate wedding ceremonies... Sometimes just with just the officiant and themselves. I have to admit a San Diego Elopement is one of my favorite things to photograph. There's still so much love to be shared, and it can be nice not have to worry if your guests are having a good time or trying to talk to a hundred people while staying on top of a packed timeline.

And there are so many beautiful locations in San Diego County to choose from for your ceremony! 

What if you still want the big wedding or if your extended family and friends are looking forward to celebrating your love with you, but you're ready to be married now?

You can always get legally married now, and plan for the big celebration later when it's safe for family friends to be together again. That will also help get rid of much of the stress of wedding planning.

And guess what?...

My San Diego Elopement Package is now available!

And it includes...

  • 2 Hours of Coverage, including the ceremony and portraits
  • 100 retouched images for online use
  • (1) 16 x 24 Premium Gallery Canvas
  • Free Pre-Wedding Consultation


This package is valued at $999, but for the rest of 2020, I'm offering it at a special introductory rate of... 




But you'll want to act quickly to book this offer. Dates are starting to fill up for 2020.


Click here now to book view availability and to book your elopement date.





Janelle of Lilacs & Chai

July 09, 2020  •  Leave a Comment

personal branding, head shots, business head shots, personal branding photographer in San DiegoPersonal Branding Photography, Carlsbad, CA

I love meeting new people, especially small business owners like myself, but with everything that's going on in the world, it's hard to go out and form natural connections with people. So I, like many others, have been learning to adapt and turning to the internet and social media to find new people to connect with.

Last week, I met and photographed Janelle. She's a wonderful young woman and a travel advisor. After being laid off from her job this spring, she decided to commit her time and energy to her small business.  She was looking for new head shots for her website and Instagram, and found me with a Google search.

We met in Carlsbad Village at a local donut shop, The Goods on State Street, and we bonded over our love of travel and talked about how we are both handling these crazy times. We talked about what kind of shots she was looking for. The Goods had some great window light and cozy nooks for some cute photos with her laptop and enjoying her dirty chai.

personal branding, head shots, business head shots, personal branding photographer in San DiegoPersonal Branding Photography in Carlsbad, CA     Personal Branding Photography in Carlsbad, CA, personal branding photographer in San Diego, business head shots, head shotsPersonal Branding Photography, Carlsbad, CA

Then we stepped outside and took advantage of the fun storefronts as backgrounds. (I mean, her shirt was a perfect match for the pink paneling of this shop.) And there's a great spot along Grand Avenue that's lined with gorgeous trees that transports you out to the Bayou (first photo).

personal branding, head shots, business head shots, personal branding photographer in San DiegoPersonal Branding Photographer, Carlsbad, CA

personal branding, head shots, business head shots, personal branding photographer in San DiegoPersonal Branding Photography, Carlsbad, CA

The travel industry is a little rocky right now, but Janelle is optimistic, looking towards the future. People are already booking epic adventures and honeymoons for 2021 and 2022, so there are opportunities to help travelers plan their dream vacations.


With her bright and engaging personality, I have no doubt that Janelle will navigate these stormy waters.

Are you looking for a travel advisor to help plan out your next big adventure? Check out or visit Lilac & Chai's Instagram.


Want a Personal Branding Photography Session like Janelle's? Book it now!



What is Personal Branding Photography, and Why Should You Invest in It?

July 06, 2020  •  Leave a Comment

COVID-19 is spreading rapidly around the world. Working from home is the safest decision for you and your family's health, so you decide to go all in with your own business. You've got the website, the FaceBook and Instagram accounts, and you're ready to get the word out to your followers and find new clients... But there's a problem.

The internet was already full of small business owners struggling for attention in a sea of competition before the pandemic, and modern consumers are looking for more than just a service or a product: they want to relate to the people behind the business. Filling your website and social media accounts with high quality and meaningful content has never been more important.

You need to stand out.

You need a Personal Branding Session.


What is a Personal Branding Session?

A Personal Branding Session is a photo shoot that aims to incorporate a business owner's personality and beliefs into their products or services. With the help of a photographer, and sometimes a stylist, a business owner can present themselves in the way that is most appealing to their ideal client. The ultimate goal is to create images for a website and social media that align with a brand's message and ideals.

With social media, potential customers are looking for ways to connect with businesses on a personal and emotional level. Posting high quality photos that give followers a glimpse at the person behind the business. It's not just another company trying to take their money.


Why should I invest in a Personal Branding Session specifically?

Because a Personal Branding Session is more than just a few head shots and product photography. It's the chance to show your audience how passionate you are about your business and the things that are important to you personally. 


  • Give your clients a glance 'behind the scenes.'                                                        
  • Show off your fun side!
  • Showcase your products with professional lighting and staging.
  • Let your personality and your passions shine through.
  • Create engaging content your audience can relate to.




The right photographer who understands the foundations of marketing will help guide you each step of the way. A Personal Branding Session should be thoroughly planned out with your vision in mind, and you should have a photographer who listens and understands your vision. 

A few years ago, Benny Cohen wrote an article about the importance of images on social media. In an online world, relationships are built through social media, so images that represent you and your company's principles are essential because one of the key components to marketing a successful business is building and maintaining relationships with your target audience.


So, how does a Personal Branding Session work?

After you contact me and book your session, you will complete a questionnaire that will be the foundation for how our time is spent together. I work with you as you share the vision you have for your company and how you want your ideal client to see you. We'll incorporate your values and philosophies that will help you build a relationship with your audience.

By the day of your photo session, everything will be outlined and planned out to ensure that our time will be well spent efficiently and carefree. The time will fly by!

A week after the session, you'll have beautiful images to share online and your followers will have content they'll be happy to see and engage with...


  • Maybe they love the coffee house that we showed you visiting.
  • Maybe they also loving riding their bike along the beach.
  • Maybe they love your art studio.


Now... how do you book a Personal Branding Session?

I'm very accessible. I always have an eye on my email and social media accounts, and you can also reach me via text message or a phone call. In our first interaction, I'll want to know a little bit about your business, then I'll present you with a FREE Image Opportunity Analysis... I'll review your website and social media accounts to offer my opinions on the best images that would appeal to your target audience.

Now, go ahead and shoot an email to [email protected] or shoot me a text 760-593-4699, and we'll set up a time to chat.

Already have a date in mind? Book it now!






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