San Diego Beach Photography Isn't Just For Tourists

If you're a San Diego local then you've probably seen plenty of tourists taking photos on the beach. If you live here as a local why not take advantage of some of the beauty Mother Nature has given us because San Diego beach photography isn't just for tourists.

With over 70 miles of coastline, there's a photo opportunity for everyone. Whether you love the sandy beaches or rocky cliffs there's no doubt that San Diego has the perfect setting for gorgeous family, wedding and portrait photos. 

What's great about beach photography is that you can choose the style and personality you want. If you want something serious by the pier or would rather have the whole family playing on the beach together, those moments can be captured professionally by Dreamkeeper Photography.

The point is to make your photo memories depict you as an individual. Some families want matching clothes or similar outfits while couples may want to showcase a walk on the beach, holding hands. Since the world of photography has changed, you don't have to have a set pose with a smile that looks forced; natural looks and individual aesthetics are not only popular but allow the photos to never go out of style.

With beach photography by Dreamkeeper Photography, you get to be yourself and have photos that display your individuality while enjoying the beauty of nature in a pristine beach surrounding. A photo session will not only give you memories that last a lifetime but it'll be fun and everyone will enjoy it.

If you'd like to learn more about a beach photo session or any type of photography session in the San Diego area, simply contact us and we'll be glad to help.

San Diego Senior Portraits: Capturing Your Moment in Time

It's that time of year again! Let Dreamkeeper Photography help capture some of the magic of your Senior Year.


Senior portraits have evolved over the decades. Full-length formal shots have given way to informal photographs of high school students decked out in poodle skirts, bobby sox, and saddle oxfords. Strapless gowns of stiff net atop crinolines moved over for girls in white blouses or sweaters with pearls around their necks. Photographers' assistants carefully arranged drapes around lovely young girls' necklines while senior guys slipped into a tuxedo jacket and cummerbund.

Times have definitely changed from the cotton and lace dresses of the 60s and 70s, from the shoulder pads and glitz of the 80s, and from the glitter of the 90s. Today's senior portraits have become synonymous with a young person's first steps into the new Millennium, steps steeped in tradition, but with an individuality and modernity that speaks loudly of 21st-Century independence and thought.

An astute senior portrait photographer today is able to access the latest in digital technology to create any mood befitting a senior's personality. Props can be incorporated that add depth and dimension to a portrait, making the ordinary truly "extraordinary," adding flair, personality, and quirkiness that not only capture a young person at the height of young adulthood, but that literally define him or her as a person.

San Diego senior portraits can be sophisticated or bold, whimsical and delightful, or simple and elegant. Seniors can sport cowboy boots, Manolo Blahniks or Jimmy Choos, slip into simple ballet flats, or go entirely barefoot. They can choose indoor locales, favorite places, wilderness scenes, Nature's backdrops, or urban settings that highlight the character and beauty of their faces. 

Places long popular with seniors in San Diego and the surrounding area include on-location historical parks and beach settings. Such locales as Presidio Park, Balboa Park, and the beautiful beaches of La Jolla, Coronado, Pacific Beach help create stunning environmental photographs and portraits, as does the ever-in-demand Mission Trails.

In other words, as far as senior photography is concerned, for contemporary seniors, "the world is their oyster."

To learn more about San Diego senior portraits, contact us at Dreamkeeper Photography. We can help capture your senior year in ways guaranteed to please.

Maternity and Newborn Sessions: Steps Toward Making the Expectant Mom and the Baby Comfortable

Maternity and newborn photography sessions can bring some of the most meaningful photos you'll ever have captured. And when you hire someone who knows how to place the subjects in the proper settings and poses, you'll have photos you'll treasure for the rest of your life. Especially in the age of digital photography, the emotions they can capture places photography at an inspiring level.

But what's the best way toward capturing those perfect expressions? It should always be through the art of simple observation.

For most photo sessions, here's what you can expect in utilizing the best techniques while also allowing you and your newborn to be comfortable.

Maternity: Shooting at High Angle for the Most Flattering Poses

Many photographers use this method to help the expectant mother look more flattering and to display the belly much easier. In many cases, lying on a bed or other comfortable surface is a good approach. The photographer may bring something to stand on so he or she can take the photo at a higher angle. Also, in some cases, your spouse (or young kids in the family) can be incorporated into the photo to show a little intimacy.  

Maternity: Capturing the Right Expressions in Other Settings

You'll want to have some shots taken while standing up, and perhaps outside where natural light can create a better ambiance. While you should act natural in the shots, looking down at the belly is always good practice, even though the professional photographer will always be sure to capture it at just the right moment. Since looking down at a belly can create awkward expressions (and even a double chin), it might be a good idea for you to practice ahead of time.

Generally, the best emotions can be captured when you're in the final trimester. This can heighten the powerful nature of the photos based on how anticipatory you are of your child being born.

Newborns: Working in a Warm Room with Comfortable Surroundings

Newborn babies need comfortable surroundings so they aren't disturbed during the photo sessions. Preferably, that means you can expect a warm and comfortable setting that allows your newborn to sleep. Even some gentle music playing can help them look at peace. As with the maternity photos, shooting from up high is used considerably to better capture the expressions of the baby.

Keep in mind that while sleeping shots are common, ones where they're awake can also be done. However, they may be more challenging if your newborn becomes afraid of the camera.

Newborns: Finding the Right Surface for the Newborn to Recline On

Any comfortable surface will usually be used, typically a soft couch, a bed or merely wrapped in a soft blanket. The latter is the most common approach, with some people being more creative by placing their newborns in baby carriages or small baskets. And while most newborns will be photographed naked, they can be bundled entirely in a blanket to capture some very heartwarming photos.

Of course, you and your spouse can also be used in the newborn session. Sometimes just holding your new baby in your hands will be enough to capture the miracle of life.

Here at Dreamkeeper Photography, my philosophy is to capture all the important details without intervening in the moment. Contact us for all your maternity and newborn photo sessions and I'll guarantee you photography that will make you and your family smile for generations to come.

San Diego Family Portrait Photography: Capturing Your Family's Story

"There was a child went forth every day;

 And the first object he look'd upon, that object he became;

And that object became part of him for the day, or a certain part of the day, or for many years, or stretching cycles of years." -- Walt Whitman

Fortunate is the family who calls the San Diego area home. And even more fortunate  are the children born into such a family, for there is so much for a child to explore. With its laid-back California culture, beach communities, and wondrous natural beauty, what better place is there to seek adventure and grow into all that you can be?

We at Dreamkeeper Photography know the area well and are aware of how the city's backdrops can help frame your family's story.  If you're considering San Diego family portrait photography, just think about the many opportunities to learn and grow and "become" that await you in this area of the world.

What child doesn't love the zoo? The San Diego Zoo as well as the adjacent Balboa Park offer numerous places for adventure, discovery, and perfect shots of children interacting with their siblings, parents, and grandparents. Walk-throughs of the aviaries and even a Panda exhibit leave wide eyes and wonder-filled expressions. And don't forget the animals. The zoo itself is beautiful with its green trees and plants all about.

Balboa Park gardens, with its rose garden, desert garden, Alcazar garden, Japanese garden, lily pond, and Palm Canyon continue the list of places a family can simply discover the beauty of what surrounds them. The Prado, along with the surrounding museums, presents even more places to capture the expressions and personality that are uniquely yours. Who knows? Maybe a family of hummingbirds flitting around a flowering bush will work their way into your photographs.

If you're into views, it's hard to beat those at Mount Soledad Park in La Jolla, especially on a clear day. Or perhaps Mount Helix in La Mesa would be a good fit. The choices are wide and varied in this marvelous land by the ocean's edge. No doubt you'll have your own places, too, that speak to your family's interests and personality.

"The horizon's edge, the flying sea-crow, the fragrance of salt marsh and shore mud; These became part of that child who went forth every day, and who now goes, and will always go forth every day."

Contact us at Dreamkeeper Photography to see how we can help you capture your family's story.

San Diego Beach Photography: Qualities To Look for When Selecting a Beach Photographer

The tide rises; the tide falls...

Ocean lovers everywhere understand the lure of the ocean. It is, in some ways, that from which we all came. We know it in our souls. We respond to it intuitively. It draws us in. It has been doing so for thousands of years past and will continue to do so, though centuries pass. For this reason, and more, the ocean and its beaches make an ideal backdrop for portrait photography in California.

When it comes to San Diego beach photography, you want to select a photographer who understands this particular environment as he helps capture those special elements that make up the photos you've envisioned.

What are some of the qualities to look for when deciding upon a beach portrait photographer?

The right beach photographer will:

  • Be familiar with all the wonderful opportunities that exist on the beach. How the natural beauty of the ocean combines with color and light, wind and rain as he lets you slip into the viewfinder as Nature works its own magic.
  • Be aware of focal points and points of interest to make your portrait stand out from all the other beach portraits. Every crashing wave is different. So, too, is each pattern in sand or sea foam. 
  • Understand the importance of timing. Different times of day or month offer a myriad of possible effects and moods for beach photography. An insightful photographer will know how to use such effects to capture just the right mood for his subjects.
  • Be knowledgeable about his equipment. Beach photography brings with it a host of special challenges for even the best photographers. You'll want a photographer who knows the value of bracketing exposures, who can use spot metering to avoid potential exposure problems, who is handy with fill flashing, ultraviolet filters, and polarizing filters.
  • Know when and how to use special techniques such as black-and-white photography, sepia tones, or pops of color to increase the impact of shots you'll come to cherish for years to come.

Randy Dickson at Dreamkeeper Photography is an experienced photographer who understands the magnetism of the ocean. His respect for the natural world and experience ocean-side has helped him create beach photographs and treasured memories.

Contact us or visit our website to learn more about Dreamkeeper Photography.

San Diego Wedding Photography: Capturing the Moments of Your Special Day

Nothing tells a story quite like a photograph --  . . . and when it comes to capturing the moments of that special day, nothing can take the place of having a perceptive, skilled eye behind the camera that you entrust with your wedding photography.

You want your wedding photographer to have up-to-date equipment and to know how to use it. Most photographers do that, but knowing what to do in case anything goes wrong is quite another tale. For all those times when Murphy's Law intervenes, an experienced photographer will know how to turn those could-have-been-lemon moments into wedding lemonade. A photographer who has a keen eye and who pays attention to detail will know how to turn small moments into magical ones, all with a twist of the lens.

Good photographers sell themselves. Great ones create photographs that speak for the person behind the camera. Thumb through the galleries of a photographer's past photos. His works speak clearly. Each photo represents a precise moment in time, one which he was able to anticipate, create, or instantly capture as the clock ticked swiftly by.

Your wedding day will pass quickly. A hundred thousand moments -- and more -- will take place from the time you awaken to blue skies or gray, from the moment you slip on your wedding veil or tuxedo jacket, from the entrance of the very first wedding guest, and to the last toast and dance of the evening. The two of you and your many-- or few -- guests will express emotions that run the entire gamut from nervousness and fear to anticipation and absolute joy.

Your wedding photographer will capture the best of it all and save it for another day, another year, for other people you have yet to meet.

A wedding photographer will know those perfect little places in San Diego that add flavor to your pictures. He'll understand the lighting, the ease or difficulty of access, and be able to see the promise of places and venues, of panoramas, and of dreamscapes that help make your wedding photos unique to your personalities. Rather than cookie-cutter backdrops and traditional scenes, he'll be able to stage your photos and capture unplanned ones as well. For he knows that some of the greatest pictures of all are those that "just happen." As long as he doesn't miss the shot, you'll have many of those serendipitous moments captured in film.

Randy Dickson of Dreamkeeper Photography understands timing and the importance of giving a couple the freedom and space to be themselves. His "quiet observation" and quickness with his camera result in wedding shots that continue to please.

Contact us or visit our website to see examples of our work and to learn how we can help capture your wedding memories.

Fourth of July celebrations that mean the most to a lot - San Diego Family Photography

No one knew that so many years ago when a paper was signed it would be such a big deal now. To celebrate our freedom means more to us than the little things all year round. But with so much celebration and food and drink, do you stop and remember the ones that make this all possible?

There are a lot of people that take what we have in this country for granted. But there are those who give up a lot to do what they do for us as a country. Our troops loose so much time with family and friends to make sure that we keep our freedom. 

Fourth of July celebrations can be a lot more than just a cookout in the backyard. It can be a homecoming for someone who has been away for months or even years at a time. There is so much of the military side that you don't see. The kids that grow up without a parent around to see what accomplishments they have made in time. The family that have to say goodbye wondering when they will be one again. At this time of year we have to think about what we have and cherish every moment that we get.

So with all of this in mind light a sparkler this year and say this one is for you. Because without our military and what they do for us day after day and year after year it would be hard to say where this country would be without them. Celebrate with your family and friends and be thankful that you have them in your life to have this time with. Family is the most important and should be spent together creating memories for years to come.

I'll be home for the barbecue

Light the grill and bring out the food

Hang the welcome banner and color the signs

Meet me at the door and give me a hug

I have been away for quite sometime but today I am here

I do this so you can have a future without fear

I do this so our children will have the best they can have

This is a day for family and celebration for we are free

I want to make this day count because it has so much meaning

This day is for my country

This day is for my family

This day is for our freedom


With love and support of our troops Dreamkeeper Photography would like to wish all of you a safe and Happy Fourth of July!

Maternity Photography Captures That Special Time in Your Life

Being pregnant may have its ups and downs but it's a special time in your life like no other. In the past there didn't seem to be many photos of women being pregnant and that's a shame since it is such a beautiful time in your life. Fortunately, things change and now maternity photography is more mainstream with unique ideas that make beautiful photos you'll cherish forever.

There are numerous ideas of how you may want to capture this moment and here are some of the more popular ones you may want to choose.

  • Relationship and Family. If there's one thing that makes for stunning maternity photography it's focusing on the surrounding relationships and family. Adding in the partner, siblings or even the family pet shows that everyone is included in this experience.
  • Location. Choosing the perfect location is imperative to truly showcase your pregnancy. For instance, if you love the beach or the outdoors then an outdoor location is ideal. If homelife showcases your aesthetic then it's perfectly fine to have your photos taken in and around your home.
  • Solo. Sometimes you simply want photos of yourself without anyone else in them. This allows you to show your pregnancy in a way that is personal and intimate.
  • Funny Moments and Props. Sometimes we just want to have fun and this is a way to enjoy your pregnancy with photos that show off your funny side. "About to Pop" photos with bubble gum, props that include chalkboards, and ideas that aren't serious can make your pregnancy shoot not only fun but unique.

If you want more information on how to make your maternity photos perfect from start to finish, simply contact us here at Dreamkeeper.

Back Yard Garden

Who says you can't grow apples in a beach town? Anna apples fresh from the backyard garden. Blueberries, oranges and grapes should be ready soon. Fruit salad anyone?

Summer Solstice – A Celebration of Light

As a child, summer meant going barefoot, dripping popsicles, days at the pool, and a long break from school. With summer picnics, vacations, cookouts, and family get togethers, summer is a time to put the long, cold days of winter behind you and step out into the sun. In ancient days, summer solstice was celebrated as the return of the Sun King, the longest day of the year. With feasts and festivals, they rejoiced in the return of the light.

The best way to celebrate the summer solstice to spend it outside. Whether throwing the perfect pool party, spending the day at the beach, or simply sitting under a tree reading a book, there is no wrong way to celebrate. With the whole summer just starting, there are so many exciting adventures ahead, even if you aren't a child anymore.

The Summer Soltice is also a time for new beginnings. A time to take on those challeneges you weren't sure you were ready for, a time to make changes in your life that you have been putting off. A time to renew  or strenghten old friendships and even make new ones.

Why not kick off summer by starting a new tradition, such as catching a concert in the park? Or perhaps enjoying a beautiful sunset over the ocean, a neighborhood cookout, or a day of sailing the beautiful San Diego Bay? As the long day comes to an end, building a bonfire on the beach, roasting marshmallows and watching the fireworks can be the perfect ending.

The summer is just beginning and the possibilities are endless, just as they were when you a kid and school had just let out. One of the biggest lessons of the summer solstice is to celebrate life by getting out and living it, enjoying the light while the days are warm and sunny. Don't let the summer slip away without having some adventures. Let us capture your adventures so you can relive them when the cold winds blow. Contact us to find out how we can help you save your favorite moments with portraits.

A Portrait of Your Dad on Father's Day

Everyone who had a great dad has memories like photographs etched in the warm parts of their psyches. Memories, really, are more like the residue of feelings, and the feelings are often more intense, but less reliant on the details of chronology and setting. It’s all one thing, really.

Your dad was a patient and skillful angler and took you along. You remember how he rousted you out of bed with buttered toast and cocoa to get you going.

"Hurry up, sleepy head. The fish won't wait for slowpokes," he'd say in his gentle teasing way.

That scene played over and over during your many summers of growing up, and your proudest trophies aren't those long, ugly catfish you posed with. They are the photos with your dad dressed in that tattered vest and dopey fishing cap standing next to you with that immensely proud look on his face.

Maybe you're a bit older now and your special day was the time he walked with you down the aisle and presented you, his loving lifelong project, to the man you decided to marry. Your dad was never prone to openly display emotion -- unless when he yelled angrily at that numbskull quarterback who just got intercepted.

But today he could not hide his pride and his love for you, as his eyes welled up and he had to cough to clear his throat. The emotion that you and he felt was far more than the sum of its memories and the facing of this rite of passage for both you and him. This middle-aged guy decked out in a tux instead of a fishing outfit raised you from a pup and probably called you his kitten.

Then there was another day when you introduced him to his first grandchild. What you saw in his manner was the delight that every grandparent feels when confronted with a welcomed “do-over” in raising another baby. But you know that your dad doesn’t need a second chance. He got it right the first time.

So remembering dad on Father's Day, to you, is all about rounding up those old memory portraits in one that make him so special to you. Father’s Day is one day, but he was your dad every day, from the day you were born throughout all the milestones of your life.

Make Father’s Day this year your opportunity to say “Thanks, Dad. You are great.” He’ll appreciate that far more than that tie. But maybe you can throw in that catfish lure he wants but thinks is too expensive.

Happy Father's Day from Dreamkeeper Photography

A Picture Perfect Father's Day

This Sunday, fathers across the nation will be treated to clumsily prepared breakfasts in bed, hand drawn cards with tiny smudged handprints, and other heartfelt gifts from the most important people in their lives: their children.

Father's Day is a day to honor the men in our lives who do so much for us, and look for nothing in return. They work hard, they play hard, and they love hard. They would sacrifice anything for their families, and do so every day.

And they do it with strength and honor, because that is just who they are. They are our heroes, our supporters, our eternal cheerleaders. They lay down the law when necessary, but love without question.

Today’s dads wear many hats, but when it comes right down to brass tacks, they’ll always tell you that the most important role they play is that of “dad”, and it’s the only one they wouldn’t trade for all the money in the world.

How do we honor these men in our lives who give so much? How do we tell them just how much they mean to us, always have, and always will?

Every family celebrates Father’s Day differently. Some treat Dad to a day of relaxation. Others may take him to his favorite restaurant. And some may shower him with presents.

But what all those different celebration styles have in common is one thing: reminding dads everywhere how much we cherish them.

The picture perfect Father’s Day doesn’t always involve elaborate gifts, nor is it what most dads want most to commemorate their special day.

For dads, the picture perfect Father’s Day means spending time with the ones he loves and being reminded of just how much they love him right back.

For all the dads out there, we wish you the happiest of Father’s Days, and on behalf of Dreamkeeper Photography, we thank you and honor you for everything you do and everything you are all year round.

CFF Great Chef Throwdown – June 6, 2013 - San Diego Event Photographer

When she was born her parents were told to enjoy her while they could as her life expectancy was about 18 years. He climbed Cowles Mountain with his dad after a successful lung transplant in January 2013. They are sister and brother, Colleen and Daniel Dunne, and they have Cystic Fibrosis. They are thriving as young adults due to advances in research and medical treatments for children and adults with CF by companies such as Vertex Pharmaceuticals. Many people with the disease can now expect to live into their 30s, 40s and beyond. As far as they’ve come there is still much work ahead to find a cure for CF. The Dunne family were celebrated last night at the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation Great Chef Throwdown held at the Corky McMillin Companies Event Center at NTC Liberty Station.

The evening began with a silent auction that included VIP tickets to see Lewis Black at Pala Casino, dinner for 6 from Stacked, a one-week stay in Orlando courtesy of Marriott Royal Palms, among other wonderful items.   

Guests enjoyed and later voted on stellar cuisine from top-ranked chefs and restaurants including Slater’s 50/50, Big City Chefs, Hard Rock Hotel, Carlsbad Aquatics, Stacked, Green Acre, Jimbo’s Naturally, Gordon Biersch, and Sea Rocket. Chef Brad from Big City Chefs was awarded the Committee’s Choice award, Best Presentation went to Chef Joel Cammett from Green Acre, and Chef Jon Eyer from Hard Rock Hotel took home the night’s top prize. Local vendors such as Pure Cupcakes contributed samples of their award-winning cupcakes (winner of Food Network’s Cupcake Wars) to be enjoyed by all.

Noted local bachelor Kiptyn Locke, from The Bachelorette Season 5 and Bachelor Pad, led an auction that included a Wine Lovers Dream package from San Diego Food and Wine on the Bay and a Signature Cocktail Party from Prep Kitchen Little Italy. Guests participated in a lively game of Heads or Tails for the Booze Wagon package, and Dream Vacation from American Airlines Miles for Kids in Need and Small Luxury Hotels of the World package brought in $2500.


Music from The Jones Revival capped off the nights events.

Nelson Ghost Town

The Big 3 at Nelson Ghost Town was hosted by David Beckstead, Adrian Henson and Pete Wright and sponsored by It was an awesome shooting experience working with these photographers. Thanks also to the wonderful models who made it look easy in the cool desert climes.