Fall Mini Portrait sessions are back!

Welcome friends and families, old and new! I cannot believe it is Fall already! How in the world did this happen?!?!?! It feels like only moments have passed since I was shooting you all last Fall, pregnant and emotional, envisioning what it would be like to be on the other side of the camera sometime soon with my own little tribe. I had so much fun with everyone last year and I look forward to creating more beautiful images for you to enjoy for a lifetime. It would be remiss of me not to remind you to print these beauties as soon as I deliver them to you. Even if you decide to print on your own from Costco or Target…print them. Take some time to choose a beautiful frame, clear a nice place in your home and display your images. It will brighten your space and will make your heart full, I promise. And if you can’t carve out the time to get that done, set one of your Holiday cards aside and frame that bad boy.

I have added three more dates and three additional locations this year after receiving some much appreciated feedback about catering to different locations in the greater Los Angeles and Orange County areas. I hope that I have done a good job in covering more ground this year and I look forward to meeting some people who were unable to get into my sessions last year. If you missed my sessions last year, I have added extra dates and locations for you! Once again, I have several of my families from previous years booked and I am so looking forward to seeing how all the little ones are growing and changing!

Single parents, couples without kids, empty nesters, bloggers who need content updates… these mini sessions are for you too! You do not have to have a family or even be in a relationship to book a session. Do not let a silly status deter you from gifting yourself a portrait update. Like I’ve said before, everyone deserves beautiful portraits and this is a really affordable and convenient way to do it. Please enjoy some of my favorite images from last year’s mini sessions and continue to read below for session details and locations. 

My mini sessions are designed for families of 6 people* or less and are 20 minutes in duration. The session fee is $200 with a $100 non-refundable deposit due upon reserving your session time slot. This will be a very condensed version of my full portrait session and you will receive 8 beautifully retouched digital high resolution images on a photo sharing gallery. You will have the option of buying prints and products as well as additional images from the session if you so choose.

I will be doing another blog post on session styling in the next few weeks, so stay tuned for that if you need a little direction in that area.

I look forward to capturing some new faces and reuniting with some of my favorite families!

The dates and locations are as follows:

October 20th - San Juan Capistrano, CA - Park Location

October 27th - Palos Verdes, CA - Cliff/Park Location (this is not on a beach/sand) ** Dog Friendly Location **

November 2nd - Long Beach, CA

November 3rd - San Juan Capistrano, CA - Park Location ***** One time slot left *****

November 9th - Laguna Beach, CA - ***** BOOKED *****

November 10th - Manhattan Beach, CA - ***** One time slot left *****

November 23rd - Manhattan Beach, CA

November 24th - San Juan Capistrano, CA - Park Location

**Book your session by emailing me at kellymcdanielphoto@gmail.com

Note: If these dates do not work with your schedule, I will continue to take full sessions and quick sessions until mid December. Quick sessions are offered Monday -Thursday only. Please email me for details.

*Additional fee of $25/person will apply to group of 7 or more and the time slot will still be 20 minutes in duration.

Fall Mini Portrait Sessions!

Hello friends and families! Happy end of summer!!! This is my favorite time of year and I am so anxious to get the Holiday season underway. Fall has been my very favorite season since I was a little girl. I looked forward to Thanksgiving at my Nana’s house and the smell of rain lingering in the crisp morning air. It is absolutely the best time of the year.

I have had an unreal year packed full of weddings and portraits sessions of all kinds and September and October have been especially busy. So, I am announcing my dates later than last year and my dates fall later than last year as well. If you missed my sessions last year, now is the time to jump on it. I already have a few of my past year families signed up ahead of time and I can’t wait to see you all again.

I want to encourage people in all different relationships to book a session. Do not let the fact that you are a single parent allow you to miss out on having portraits done with your little ones. Do not let the fact that you do not have children or are not married sway you from booking a session either. Last year, one of my unmarried couples came out for portraits and a few months later they were engaged! I’ll be photographing their wedding next year! Everyone deserves beautiful portraits of their loved ones and this is a really affordable, convenient way to do it. This is just a thought, but if I could go back in time, I’d make sure I would have gotten portraits of my Nana with my Mom done. These portraits aren’t just good for Christmas Cards. You will keep these images for a lifetime. Think outside the box!

Please continue to read below for details and tips on the the session and locations. 


My mini sessions are designed for families of 6 people or less and will last 20 minutes. The session fee is $200 with a $100 non-refundable deposit due upon reserving your session time slot. This will be a very condensed version of my full portrait session and you will receive 8 beautifully retouched digital high resolution images on a photo sharing gallery. You will have the option of buying prints and products as well as additional images from the session if you so choose.

The Brea Tree Farm is fantastic for families with little ones and families who want to include their dog in their portrait! This location booked up immediately last year and I had so many families I had to turn away for this spot, so if you are looking for a Christmas Tree session, do not delay.

I look forward to capturing some new faces and reuniting with some of my favorite families! Please note that November 12th is a Monday and a Holiday and November 16th is a Friday.

The dates and locations are as follows:

October 28th - Caspers Wilderness Park - San Juan Capistrano, CA

November 3rd - Caspers Wilderness Park - San Juan Capistrano, CA

November 4th - Manhattan Beach, CA

November 11th - Tree Farm* - Brea, CA

November 12th - Tree Farm* - Brea, CA

November 16th - Manhattan Beach, CA

November 18th - Manhattan Beach, CA

Book your session by emailing me at kellymcdanielphoto@gmail.com

* Dogs are welcome at this location

Note: If these dates do not work with your schedule, I will continue to take full sessions and quick sessions until mid December. Quick sessions are offered Monday -Thursday only. Please email me for details.

Tracy and Billy's New Love

One of the most unique privileges that accompanies being a wedding photographer is being given the honor of photographing new life. When Tracy emailed me with the exciting news that she was expecting a baby girl, it took me about 30 seconds to realize their baby's arrival would be a very, very joyous first anniversary gift for the couple. 

Sweet little Adelina was anxious to meet her parents and decided to show up three weeks early, to the entire family's elation! Here is a little peek into this adorable newborn home session that marked one of the greatest milestones in Tracy and Billy's lives. I am thrilled for you both. All my love to your new family of three!

Boudoir Mini Marathon - January 14th, 2018!!!!

Hi Ladies! It's finally here! After so many requests, I am making my Boudoir sessions available in a shortened session right in time for Valentine's Day. On January 14th, I will be holding my Boudoir Mini Marathon in Costa Mesa, California. The mini boudoir session is $200 and includes the following:

- 30 minutes session that will allow for 1-2 outfits.

- online proofing gallery to select your favorite digital images.

- 5 digital edited high resolution images to download, delivered on an online password protected photo gallery.

Your edited images will be completed and delivered to you by January 29th, if not sooner! This will allow you time to print on your own or order prints and products (like the little black book) from me in time for Valentine's Day. You will also have the option to order more images from the session or purchase a complete buyout of your proofing gallery.

Take a look at a few of my beautiful Intimate By Kelly clients below (and in my website gallery) and email me at kellymcdanielphoto@gmail.com to book your session! 

My 10 Favorite Images of 2017

2017 was INSANE. 2017 was insane and I felt outside of my mind most of the year. But 2017 was also filled with incredible moments. The incredible, warm moments outweighed the crazy and stressful times and for that, I am thankful. This is just a quick highlight of my year, personally and professionally and I hope you enjoy this line up.

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Magic. This moment was pure magic. Chris and Libby held their wedding at Catherine's Terrace on Santa Catalina Island. Descanso Beach is backed up to the canyon that is heavily wooded on the island and houses Descanso Beach Club, Catherine's Terrace and a zip line for the more adventurous island goer. This was hands down, one of the most picturesque ceremony sites I have ever photographed and the "uninvited guests" melted our hearts. The ceremony had concluded and we were just finishing up portraits of the bridal party when two deer slowly and very quietly emerged from the hills. These four legged friends were clearly regulars at Descanso Beach Club weddings and knew just who to target. The Bride. The Bride was carrying the most beautiful luscious bouquet/dinner and the deer was determined. She was not shy and she was almost pushy. Chris ended up taking the bouquet from Libby after we sensed the friendly creature was not backing down and we relocated up the hill while the deer settled for the yummy palm frond arch. I'll never forget it.

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Gretchen and her newest little love gave me all of those butterflies. This sweet moment needs no explanation. #sigh

Tracy Dwyer is in the process of writing two fitness books, is buffer than buff and just turned 60. She is a truly kind hearted individual whose passion and drive inspires so many. I am incredibly thankful that we crossed paths this year. I feel like a stronger person just knowing and being around her. Stay tuned for my upcoming blog post on Tracy! 

#7 Donuts and Soul Mates

#7 Donuts and Soul Mates

Jason and Lauren met in high school when in Europe on a School trip (different schools, different states!) and maintained a long lasting friendship so deep that it weathered many years apart and many personal changes only to bring them full circle to marriage...THIS WEEKEND! This incredibly  kind, funny couple took me to Michigan with them to Uncle John's Cider Mill to capture their engagement session. We wandered the corn mazes, thumped pumpkins in the crazy huge pumpkin patch and hung out in the apple orchard where all of the cider magic is born. This California girl was in Authentic Fall Heaven. In a short period of time, I've met and created a friendship with Jason and Lauren enough to confidently feel that this image is them. As we sat and munched on donuts and sipped cider while we waited for the sun to set a bit, they giggled and chatted and this was one of my favorite moments of the trip. This is the picture I will have in my head when I jump head first into capturing their wedding this weekend. I can't wait!

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Little James may not know he's ready, but he will be soon enough. Mom and Dad say that he is not entirely grasping the fact that there will be a new little life in the house and that is okay. We are all excited enough for him and I know that Mom and Dad are going to make the transition a good one. Two of my best friends in the world (Amanda, mummy to James) and my college roomie are both warming up baby #2 and are due very soon. Its going to be a year full of new babies! Maybe that is why I am feeling so good about 2018! So much new love to come!!!

#5 Sheer Joy

#5 Sheer Joy

Andrew blew Heather away by surprising her with an early morning proposal on Bolsa Chica Beach. I actually think he may have surprised himself a little bit...he was definitely overcome with excitement as you can see. I was shooting and weeping a bit and trying to keep it together. Andrew's surprise proposal was featured on How He Asked by the Knot. I'll be capturing their wedding this March and I am so looking forward to more excitement and emotion from this handsome young gent. 

#4 Love is the Thing

#4 Love is the Thing

Daniela, Tommy and Briella celebrated together this May at the Hyatt Regency Mission Bay, in San Diego. This was immediately my favorite image of their wedding, because to me, it says it all. I adore the way that Daniela and Tommy honor their love for each other and their love for Briella by incorporating their precious little baby in their ceremony. Daniela and Tommy are over the moon in love with Briella and have told me that their little daughter has done nothing but enhance and bring joy to their lives. It is so apparent here. I'm such a sucker for crazy obsessed parents. Cue the ugly cry over here behind this computer screen.

#3 Words of Wisdom

#3 Words of Wisdom

I was fortunate enough to photograph one of my dear friend's family portrait in honor of her Grandfather's (pictured here with Grandma) 90th Birthday. Not pictured in this image are their three children, 6 grandchildren and 8 great grandchildren. After we shot the large extended family portrait, I got Grandma and Grandma alone for a moment and wasn't entirely prepared for their personalities to shine so brightly. Grandpa's 90, right? Right. But he was so completely tuned in. I asked that old question that most of the adult population really truly wants to know...simply, "What is the secret to your marriage?" Without skipping a beat, Grandma says, "Neither of us would take the kids." This image was the very moment after that statement and Grandpa was bursting with laughter. Grandma was pretty satisfied with her answer as well. So was I. I'll carry this little piece of advice with me until I'm in my 90's, especially if I end up having children. 

This is the only image in the top 10, that I did not take. This image was taken by my husband's good friend, Dave Salinas (we love you, Dave), moments before the guys left the hotel to head to our ceremony. There was a communication breakdown and our photographer wasn't able to make it over to my husband to capture the getting ready photos I was really hoping for. Things happen. Weddings never go according to plan. Our wedding, however, was near perfect to us. We woke up the next morning feeling like the day was more than we could've asked for and our friends and family were the reasons why. The morning after the wedding, Dave emailed us a couple dozen smart phone pics. That email contained this image and I was giddy inside. A moment that I will probably never understand, but one that I will cherish, because of the happiness shared here between Ian and his mom. I can't tell you, Dave (if you're reading this), how thankful I am for you and all of your photography. Oh, also for leaving your family in Switzerland on your birthday to come celebrate with us. That too.   

#1 My Mom, My Heart

#1 My Mom, My Heart

This is my mom. She is the reason for everything. I love her so and I love her because of this. If any of my other professional photographer friends can say that their mom busted out a disposable camera while you were getting ready for your very own wedding, please raise your hand. Probably not too many of you. If you had this experience, you might just understand what makes my mom so special. She's the best. That's where I'll leave it.