Temecula Valley Photographer, Mom, Wife

I thought I would share a little bit more about myself...because I certainly have become a whole new person in the last few months. In fact I grew a whole new person last month! Which is why I have changed so drastically.

Basically, I have found an entirely new capacity in my heart for love. That happened the exact moment my daughter was born. But its not just the love I have for my daughter that's new; I also love my husband more, I love my friends and family more, I love my job more (probably because I have this amazing specimen to photograph whenever I want), I love my clients more, and I love life more!

Maternity & Newborn Mini Session Giveaway: Temecula, CA

Dear clients and soon-to-be clients,

Ellie Kate Photography has undergone many changes since it's beginning, the most recent of which was our move to Southern California.

We are now based out of Temecula, CA but also serve San Diego County and Orange County. This has been a scary move, but Temecula and it's surrounding area offer so much beauty that we have really found our perfect home.

With our move, we were given a great surprise! I am pregnant with my first child (a little girl named MacKenzie Kate), and in honor of this special news, Ellie Kate Photography will be giving away 3 free mini sessions for clients located in Temecula, CA:

  • 1 free mini maternity session (either in your home or at a location of your choosing)
  • 1 free newborn session (in the comfort of your own home)
  • 1 free mini child portrait session (at the location of your choosing)

This giveaway will also be posted on my Facebook page, so clients can feel free to contact me through my website or Facebook to be entered into the drawing.

I look forward to meeting the winners!!

---Love, Ellie Kate.

MacKenzie Kate

MacKenzie Kate

Engagement Sessions: Advice for the Newly Engaged


It’s important to book your engagement shoot early! I suggest at least 6-8 months before your wedding day. This allows time to order and send out your Save-the-Dates.


Choose a location that means something to you or represents who you are as a couple. Choose somewhere you will feel comfortable. Here are some ideas:

  • The beach at sunset
  • A winery/vineyard
  • A rolling field of wheat
  • Doing an activity you both enjoy
  • Your backyard


I encourage my clients to bring a wardrobe change to their engagement session to add variety. I suggest wearing something that reveals a little bit of your personality or the theme of your wedding. This makes the shoot fun and interesting!


Many couples feel a bit shy in front of the camera. It's the classic "what do I do with my hands" scenario, but engagement sessions should be relaxing.  Laughter is the best tool for a fun engagement shoot; A korney joke and maybe even a bit of wine is a sure fire way to produce genuine smiles!

Its important to be in the moment. If you have the sudden urge to kiss your fiance on the forehead...DO IT! If you feel like swinging her around to make her laugh...DO IT! If you just want to sit and relax...DO IT! I provide direction when it is needed, but I also cherish the candid moments between couples because that's when you get the most genuine expressions and most memorable pictures.

Family Portraits: Fun in the Sun; Toes in the Sand!

Leigh contacted me because she wanted to surprise her mom with a family portrait session. I thought it was the sweetest gift! When I met Nonna (Leigh said I could call her mom, Nonna, because everyone else does) she was overcome with emotion and started tearing up a little bit. It was precious. They all had so much love for each other and I could tell they were a fun family, so we had a bit of fun with the photo shoot!

Newborn Photography: Safety, Tips, and What to Expect

When you are a new parent, choosing to hire a newborn photographer to capture your tiny little bundle of joy is essential; however, It can seem daunting. You may have questions about whether it's safe, you may fear the baby won't sleep through the session, you may feel a little stressed out from lack of sleep and don't want to invite someone into your home, which seems to have already filled up with dirty onesies.


Safety during newborn portraits is my number one focus. It is essential for parents to know a little bit about how each image is created so that the session goes smoothly and without any worry. A composite is two images taken and combined in Photoshop to make a final image. This is better explained in the example below. As you can see, Dad always has a hand on the baby to insure that she is stable and safe. A third and fourth shot were used for her legs and her feet and they were all composited together to create the final image.

You have probably seen images of newborn babies sitting with their heads propped up on their hands in a cute little pose, but in reality that was created by taking two images of mom actually holding the baby's head up and combining them together to eliminate her hands. This is done because your new baby doesn't really have the muscles to stay in a position like that. Composites and Photoshop are used frequently in newborn photography to allow for a very safe newborn photography session.


Your newborn should be comfortable at all times, and if they aren't, then they will let you know. I have a number of things I use for the comfort of the baby, which allows them to fall into a deep sleep. I like to use a heating pad on light heat with a donut pillow over it so the baby won't roll. I always bring a space heater to newborn sessions as well. They seem to like the warm air and soothing white noise sound. The rule is, if you're not sweating lightly, then it's not warm enough for baby.


Patience is a huge factor in newborn photography. here are a few tips to get your baby in a deep sleep before his/her newborn portraits.

  • Make sure the newborn portraits are scheduled within 12 days of birth. Your baby will sleep the deepest during this time.
  • Babies are more malleable in the morning hours for some reason. Try to schedule your shoot for the morning.
  • Feed baby in his/her diaper only and wrapped in a blanket 15 minutes before the photo session. Feed until the baby is sleeping.
  • Turn on nature or white noises to eliminate startling noises.
  • Get up and walk around with baby. If the baby wakes up, try to feed again.

Sometimes the baby just won't have it and won't stop fussing even after you pull out all the tricks in the book. This will happen occasionally and it's no one's fault. Everyone has a bad day and it can't be helped. It's best to reschedule for the next day..don't worry there is absolutely no charge for rescheduling and no judgement whatsoever.

Sneak Peek! Baby Blake Marie's Newborn Portraits

She has arrived! Baby Blake Marie graced her parents with her presence two weeks early on June 25, 2014. Her cute personality is already shining through, and she is the prettiest little girl. Oh yes, how could I forget: she is going to be barrel racing before she is out of diapers! I could see the love Bailey and Taylor have for their little girl with every look they gave her and every calming word they whispered to her. It made my heart happy. :)

Her newborn photo sessions were some of my all time favorites. Taylor, Blake's daddy, was such a big help. His voice was definitely a calming force for Blake during her photo shoot.

Spontaneous Castoro Cellars Wedding Ceremony: Sneak Peek!

Taniya and and Jason contacted me shortly before they planned to have a spontaneous wedding ceremony and they seemed so fun! They originally wanted to get married in an empty field with pretty wildflowers...unfortunately our dry summer has led to a lack of wildflowers. So we headed to the lovely Castoro Cellars for a wedding ceremony and wine tasting; two great things! They have such a great, fun, and caring family. It was great to capture their candid laughing moments. I loved being apart of their special, spontaneous day!

Sneak Peek! Cute Country Chic Wedding at The Loading Chute

I was flooded with emotion while shooting this wedding; luckily I had a camera to shield my tears. Corinne has been my dear friend for many many years and many of my childhood memories include her in them. When I met Bryce, I could see how happy he made her and I loved how genuine and silly they were together. They are the perfect compliment to each other. Their wedding was so gorgeous! Here's a sneak peek!

Oh Baby! Newborn Portraits

This weekend I took newborn portraits for little Fankie J. Newborn pictures are different than any other photo shoot a photographer will work on. First of all, its really important to schedule a newborn session within the first week of birth, or during the very beginning of the second week. It's during this time that the baby will sleep the most deeply. Frankie was a little older than most babies are for newborn pictures, but just barely.

These pictures were taken during two different sessions. During the first session, he wasn't feeling nap time...It was just too exciting for him. Poor baby just wasn't having it. We scheduled our next session for three days later.

He slept like a rock! This time I used a space heater for a little more heat and white noise to keep him calm. I wish I had taken pictures of the set up...but it didn't even cross my mind.

During the shoot, his mama was always inches away and he was never in any danger. We had a very safe and successful shoot!


Anna & Jono Sosnowski - Rockwood Women's Club Wedding - Sneak Peek

I couldn't wait any longer to post this sneak peek! As I was sifting through the images and reliving this wedding, I couldn't help but remember what a special night it was and how privileged I felt to be a part of it.

I'll post more pictures of the awesome details later on. ­­­­­­Serena Hollingsworth, from Polka Dot Planners, did such an amazing job and everything came together perfectly!

The Reception was so much fun! Kyle Taylor DJ Productions really know how to keep a party going.

And doesn't Anna look beautiful?! Lyndsay Soqui and Ashley Marquez did an amazing job with her hair and makeup!