Diana and Dave's Malibu, California Engagement Session

Diana and Dave met at a Ballroom Dance class in college...how cute is that?!?!?! When I asked Dave why he decided to take a Ballroom Dance class, he replied that it sounded like a pretty good way to meet girls. Was he ever right! 

I can only imagine that Dave didn't anticipate meeting the love of his life in that class back in college, but here he is getting ready to embark on the greatest adventure of all with Diana. Diana and Dave will be getting married early next year and their Malibu, California engagement session was as sweet as I expected. They soaked up the sun and danced in the waves and I didn't want to put my camera down. I hope you enjoy a bit of their gallery!

So. Cal Surfer Asks The Big Question!!!

Andrew and Heather met at church in their hometown of Downey, California and have been going strong for the past 2 years. Andrew decided to ask Heather to marry him at his favorite local surf spot in Bolsa Chica State Beach in Orange County, California. 

I set out early Thursday morning to stake out my post at Tower #18 to witness the romantic proposal unfold. Andrew surfs at the same tower each time he heads out to get some early morning shredding in and likes to take sleepy Heather anytime he can. Unsuspecting Heather helped Andrew pull his board out of the bag to find the best message imaginable on the bottom side. 

Needless to say, Heather was completely surprised! Good work, Andrew!

Heather and Andrew's proposal was featured on How He Asked by The Knot...check it out!

Megan and Colby's Newport Beach, California Engagement Session

Megan and Colby met in college... Megan walked into a bagel shop, noticed Colby (handsome as all get out) and she was instantly smitten. They were both dating other people at the time...so they went about their lives. Several years later, they reconnected after college through social media and that was all she wrote! Now, they are happily engaged and planning to marry next year! I shot their engagement session around Newport Beach, California and they were totally adorable together!

Portrait of a Makeup Artist - Makeup by Sarah Kathleen

This is Sarah, friends. She is fabulous. So, I decided to follow her around Balboa Island for an hour or so to see if her fabulousness would wear off on me. I'm not sure if it worked, but regardless, I got to spend a warm spring morning over iced tea and pastries at Crocker's Abundant Table (a new addition to sister restaurant, Crocker's "The Well Dressed Frank") while chatting about life and career goals and Sarah's current studies at the Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising. Overall, I am super impressed with this young woman...and she's just a doll to hang out with!

Sarah is one of my favorite Makeup Artists and has been a professional Makeup Artist for over 10 years! She has trained with and worked for Paul Mitchell, Tigi, MAC, Yves Saint Laurent and Le Metier de Beaute. She is currently studying Beauty Industry Merchandise Marketing at F.I.D.M. with plans of being the Creative Director for a Cosmetic Company. Sarah says she will always do professional makeup for weddings because her passion is making women feel beautiful. I regularly send brides and clients to Sarah and she often accompanies me in studio with my Boudoir clients. My clients all adore her and her work is just flawless. Take a closer peak at her work

Sarah's edgy beach style was a breath of fresh air around the sleepy little streets of Balboa Island. She was simply beautiful in a fitted black tank, flowing floral skirt with a slit that was nearly waist high in the coolest way possible and a classic jean jacket. Ensemble on point! 

Angelica & Nick's Malibu, California Engagement Session

Angelica and Nick had a dreamy sun filled engagement session in the hills of Malibu, California. Angelica wore a pale pink flowing over dress and her long wavy hair was even more romantic. I hope this session inspires you to incorporate our beautiful California nature in your engagement session! Enjoy!

Gorgeous hair and makeup by Sarah Kathleen.

Annie's Elegant Bridal Shower at the Villa

I had the pleasure of capturing the Bridal Shower of the lovely Annie at the Villa in Woodland Hills, California. Annie's best friends and family gathered on a beautiful afternoon to celebrate her upcoming marriage to her fiancé, Matthew.

The guests were greeted with Mimosas and individual succulents that served as escort cards as they walked through the door.  The tables were adorned with gorgeous pink and peach florals by Avant Garden and personal bottles of rosemary olive oil for everyone to take home.

The ladies played some very unique (and seriously hilarious) games and enjoyed a delicious light lunch followed by a very decadent finale. The guests enjoyed and incredible hand painted, gold foil cake by Vera's Cakes in Monrovia and a dessert table filled with candy, cake pops, pastries and French Macarons. As an extra little treat, Matthew arrived with a bouquet of flowers for his bride to be! I was truly impressed with the time and thought that went into making Annie's Bridal Shower one of a kind.

This event was published in The Southern California Bride blog, so please take a look for even more lovely details on the day!

My Top 10 Images of 2015

So, there's a lot going around right now on Instagram about #2015bestnine, blah, blah, blah. Don't get me wrong, I am a willing participant. It's fun. It's an interesting little experiment. I allowed some unknown app to filter through my IG and calculate my most liked images and then put them together in a cute little square shaped collage. Every image in my #2015bestnine were images from weddings, with the exception of one commercial shoot with a mommy fashion blogger and her toddler. The popularity of these top 9 images doesn't necessarily mean they are my favorite. In fact, some of my favorite images of 2015, never even showed up on my Instagram page.

Well, I'm taking back the reins from the almighty Instagram and sharing my TOP 10 favorite images of 2015. That's right, I've stepped it up an image. Here are my top 10 images of 2015, some business, some personal.

10. Christmas in the Desert

  9. Real Life Snow White

8. Bucket List, St. Barths

7. Old Friends, New Friends

6. Lady Loves

5. Serenity, Saint Martin

4. Love At It's Finest


3. Milestone of a Baby Adored

2. Family

1. Wanderlust, Wanderlove

Engagement Session Giveaway!

Happy first day of November friends! The holiday season has crept up on us, and in the spirit of fall and magic and LOVE, I am hosting a photo session giveaway! I'll be gifting an engagement session to one happy couple and the winner will be announced on Tuesday, December 1st.

To enter you must complete the following:

1. Follow @kellymcdanielphoto on Instagram.

2. Tag 3 people on the Instagram Giveaway announcement and repost the announcement on your personal Instagram page. (If your personal Instagram is private, please DM me and I will add you.)

3. Lastly, send a quick email to @kellymcdanielphoto with your love story and a picture of you and your fiancé/significant other. The love story can be brief, but should tell me something meaningful about your partnership.

What you will win:

The winner will receive an engagement session as described on my website, valued at $450.00 and an 8 x 10 silver picture frame with a chosen print from the Engagement Session gallery. The winner will also receive 15% off their wedding package if they choose to book with Kelly McDaniel Photography.

There will be a second winner who will receive an 8 x 10 silver picture frame and 15% off their wedding package if they book with Kelly McDaniel Photography.

Each entrant who does not win a gift will receive 10% off an engagement session or wedding package if booked with Kelly McDaniel Photography.  


No purchase necessary to enter or win the giveaway. There is no obligation to book any photo session or wedding package in order to enter or win the giveaway. The winner must redeem the photo session giveaway prior to June 1, 2016. The engagement session will take place in a 100 mile radius of Los Angeles, California. Entrants need not be engaged, but should be in a committed relationship and both partners should be willing and eager to have a fun engagement session with me!

Tiny Blessings

A year ago I made the transition from working in a high pressure, high noise level, highly exhausting office to working at home. And for the past year I have heard from nearly everyone that I am sooooo lucky. Make no mistake, I realize the perks.  My commute time is zero minutes long, I can work in my yoga pants if I so please, I can listen to music as loud as I want, there's no boss breathing down my neck  and I can prepare a legitimate lunch in my own kitchen. That last one is my very favorite.  

What could possibly be bad about working from home, right? Answer: It is lonely. Plain and simple. That's my biggest problem with working from home. I feel like I am missing out on so much human connection that at times I question my own sanity. I catch myself walking in circles around my apartment, starting conversations with strangers more often than I used to (which was already quite often) and the strolling around Target 3-4 times a week has really taken a toll on my bank account.  

I've started to get a handle on the loneliness, but I must give credit where credit is due. I inherited this little guy the week before I left my office job and started working from home. My Nana adopted Chico 8 years ago after one of her doctors recommended she have a furry little companion to keep her company during the day. Chico was adopted from the spcaLA in Long Beach, California. We were all a little weary of adopting a dog that was 6-7 years old. Would he have bad habits? Would he like us? Would we like him? Would he be a good addition to my Nana's life? Chico ended up being the answer to our prayers and I can easily attribute a good deal of Nana's happiness and comfort in the late years of her life to this little guy.

8 years down the road, this little Chihuahua has become my companion and I am so very thankful for him every day. He sits with me, keeps me alert, gets me out of my house throughout the day and I'll let you in on a secret...I talk to him. Yup. I talk to a dog. It's okay though, I think he needs me too. He listens when I talk to him and cuddles up on the couch when it's time to relax. The other night my boyfriend and I came home from having dinner with his folks and realized that we spent a good portion of the dinner talking about our little furry family member. We're hooked. I hope that everyone that has room for a little pup in their life will strongly consider adoption. Visit your local shelter and try to adopt, rather than shop.

Cheers to a wonderful week!