Trash the dress shoot at La Jolla Shores

  Today is the anniversary for our good friends, Kenny and Ashley Robbins. We didn't get the opportunity to shoot their wedding, but they did ask us to do a trash the dress shoot with them over a year ago.

Check out some of the images from that day with a little extra retouching added. Our editing has grown a little since we did the shoot with them, so we wanted to enhance the photos a bit with our latest touch ups.

We went with the Robbins out to La Jolla Shores for the shoot and had an amazing time. You can check out some of the amazing images we got from the day. The skies were amazing when we went out for the shoot. The light was perfect.


We were able to get so many amazing photos down on the rocks by the water.

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At one point we did get into the water and had some fun with that. 2015-12-01_0005

We will end it with the silhouette shot of the two of them and the sunset behind them.  2015-12-01_0006

Trash the Dress Photographers: Be Still Photog | Ernie Padaon | Fiona Padaon Location: La Jolla Shores | La Jolla, CA

Christmas portraits with snow.... snow in San Diego?

  It is that Christmas season, so we had to figure out a way to make snow! That isn't really easy in San Diego, but we had a few tricks up our sleeves.

We tested it out with our little munchkins at the studio and I think they had a blast. Our snow....... mashed potato flakes!

It looked absolutely amazing for the session. Just try to keep it out of your eyes. Our little kids wanted to use the "snow" and just toss it right up in the air!

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Family portraits at Stone Brewery

  Last week, we did family portraits at Stone Brewery. A brewery is not exactly the first place that you would think about doing a portrait session, but think about the close availability of brews right after the session.

You can even have a brew during the session. This is perfect for all the gentleman that are not stoked on having their photos taken (almost every guy).

Stone Brewery up in Escondido has a number of great locations to take photos as long as there is not a mass group of people sitting in the garden area.

At some point, I would love to do some engagement photos and a wedding there. It seems like a great spot if there is not a lot of people around.

We went at a random hour and had nice access to the area to have our portrait session with the family. Check out some of the photos of the little children with their Christmas lights and all:

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Here are some of the misc shots that I didn't even use on the blog, so I will just drop them right here for you. It just didn't feel right having a beer photo next to the children. :

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Fun family portraits at Old Poway Park

Old Poway Park never seems to fail. It is just an amazing location to capture portraits. You have to be willing to work around the other photographers that are there and also have to be willing to have photos that have the same backdrop as everyone else, but it still is an amazing location. The train tracks and the red box car are always used for portraits. There is also a ton of shaded area that can be used to get some good looks. We will be back at Old Poway Park again soon. We know that we will get some amazing shots when we get back out there again .

We did a Christmas themed shoot with this awesome family and they were so much fun. We did their Christmas photos last year and it is so fun to see the twins grow up. They stole the show for the portrait session this year. They were so much more comfortable with the camera and loved every second of being photographed. Can't wait to work with them again next year for their Christmas portraits!






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Capturing the extra details during portrait sessions

Something that we have been doing more and more of during our portrait sessions is taking photos of the surrounding area. It is just that added detail that can be used perfectly for blogging with the photos. It is not exactly something that the clients are going to purchase to put on the wall, but it is something that they will look over and remember what the trees looked like that day or to have that extra detail of a building or anything else like that. I think that extra detail is nice to have and I have seen some other great photographers add that detail to their blogging. It is something that we do during our weddings anyway and it is good practice to keep doing it during portrait sessions.

Even if you don't use them for your portrait sessions blog or anything else like that, you still have an awesome image that you can use for something else.

We just recently did some portraits at the Stone Brewery in Escondido. Since we arrived a little earlier than the family, we started taking some photos of the little details around the shooting areas that we were going to be at.

Here are just a few of the images from the details:

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We will be posting that family shoot soon and you can see how we integrate some of these photos into the blog.

If we actually shot a wedding at the location, we likely would have added a lot more of the details around. It is an awesome location and we cannot wait till we capture a wedding there.

Photographers: Be Still Phtoog | Ernie Padaon | Fiona Padaon Location: Stone Brewery | Escondido, CA

Check out our main page here: Be Still Photog

Happy Veteran's Day | Weddings in the military

Happy Veterans Day to the many men and women who have served this country. We thank you for all your service and for everything that you have done. In order to celebrate Veteran's Day, here are some of the many great people that were part of our recent weddings:

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We love the ability to capture these amazing moments for people. We love that we are part of wedding days. It is such an amazing responsibility and such an amazing feeling to share our artwork with people to tell their story for the biggest day of their life.

Since we live in San Diego, we get the opportunity to take place in a number of weddings that involve the military in some form. Either the parents were in the military or the groom is in the military. It is always a pleasure to work with the military during weddings.

Wedding photographers: Be Still Photog | Ernie Padaon | Fiona Padaon

Happy Birthday Marine Corps from this wedding

Happy birthday to the marine corps. We are thankful for everything that our marines and military have done and continue to do for our country. To celebrate the marines, we will share one of our weddings that we captured in Camp Pendleton. This was one sneak peek into their wedding when they wanted to meet each other before the wedding and hold hands, but didn't want to see each other.

Throughout that whole facility, we only had a glass door that we could use for this moment, so we had to back him in without him looking. It turned out well though and it was an amazing moment!

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I love having this moment with brides and grooms. That little meeting before the actual wedding for a quick prayer or a quick hello is full of emotion. It is just like a first look before the wedding, but without the actual looking park.

This seems to be a requested moment over and over with brides and grooms. If they don't have the first look, then we get this moment often and we just have to find the right location to make it work. WE LOVE IT!

Venue: Camp Pendleton Photographers: Be Still Photog | Ernie Padaon | Fiona Padaon

Sugar Skulls photoshoot in the middle of the night

We did a photoshoot with sugar skulls over the weekend in the middle of the night to prep for Halloween. It was awesome and got a little creepy! We went out to Lake Hodges in the late hours and it was almost pitch black by the time we ended shooting. We still were able to get some pretty awesome shots. We finished up at the house to take a few more shots. Here is a quick edit of some of the photos over the weekend.

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Breast Cancer Awareness: Photoshoot with a survivor and her story

The story of Briana Silva:

I was 26 years old and it was 9 months after my son was born, while just still adjusting to life as a single mother that I was diagnosed with Breast cancer unexpectedly. I know first thought,  26?!? .

Yep, it can happen at any age,  which is why I'm such a big advocate on doing self exams, being aware of changes,  and being proactive in your health care. Mine was a near miss, that thankfully God's plan had interceded upon.

I had a small lump under my left arm pit for a few years, that I had seen a doctor for and was told it was merely ectopic breast tissue and advised to just keep watch. Well come time to begin breastfeeding my son while in the NICU I had become overly engorged to the point of my whole left axilla  (arm pit) swelling up as well requiring ice packs and such.

When I had addressed it with my ob/gyn he felt it and again reassured me it was probably just ectopic breast tissue that filled with milk with lactation and should go away. Fast forward to July 9 months later, here I was an RN who faithfully does monthly exams because of the strong family history of cancer and I had found a lump in my left breast.

I diligently  went to have it evaluated and ended up down the path of having a biopsy. While doing the ultrasound ,setting up for core needle aspiration of the lump in my breast, they had me position my left arm over my head, in doing so they asked me about the protrusion of the noticeable lump in my axilla. I explained what I had been told but that no formal ultrasound had been done.

They asked if while we were already there doing so if I wanted them to do one now. After a few minutes they stepped out to make a call. When the doctor returned he told me that he spoke with my ordering doctor and saw something worrisome, that they placed the order if I'd be willing to do the 2 biopsies since that was why I was already there, in which case I agreed.

The pathology came back benign on the lump in my breast which I originally had gone in to be biopsied and the lump that had been brushed off by 3 doctors turned out to be a malignant breast cancer tumor called DCIS. Had the tech and the doctor in the room for my biopsy not gone above the orders and advocated for me, I don't know that we would've found it so early.  I met with several doctors, surgeons, oncologists after that.

First I was told I would just need surgery with possible radiation. Then I was told I was looking at possibility of chemo and radiation depending on what pathology showed after surgery with staging.

I ended up being referred to a second opinion for a surgeon, and thank God that I did, because not only did she get me in quicker, she was more aggressive in taking out bigger margins. After surgery and pathology results came back,  I was diagnosed DCIS stage 1 breast cancer, with no lymph node involvement, after another scan and the surgeon taking out so much extra tissue during surgery,  i was told that they got it all and I didn't end up requiring the radiation, only tomaxafen an oral med to take for 5 years after.

I am so blessed that God was watching over me through all of this, calming my nerves during such a scary time, that he positioned those men to be there as my advocates the day it was found, who guided me to a new surgeon that ultimately saved me extra treatment and suffering.

We were very lucky to have found it so early, and i count my blessings daily that we did. I was a lucky one, I may not have gone through a horrific battle like so many cancer patients I take care of or know, but I'm here to be a voice and example to advocate awareness that there is no such thing as being too young or too careful when comes to cancer.

Which is why it's so important to do monthly exams. Although it was a scary time, and yearly scans/tests bring up some anxiety,  I rest peacefully with my faith in the Lord that I am healed, and that it was merely a mountain in my journey that revealed strength I didn't realize that I had when faced with real fear."

Fiona and I want to spread awareness and we wanted to do it in the only way we knew how. It is October and it is Breast Cancer Awareness month and we wanted to have a photoshoot with a survivor. One of our friends is a survivor and we went out to the Elfin Forest to shoot some photos.

Here is our photoshoot from the day. We would love to do this again.

Here are some of the photos from the day:

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MUA: Macy Ornelia Hair: Blyss Macias Photographers: Be Still Photog | Ernie Padaon | Fiona Padaon Location: Elfin Forest | San Marcos, CA

There is a 2nd kiss at a wedding?


Everyone knows about the first kiss at the wedding. Every photographer waits for that moment when they kiss as husband and wife for the very first time. That is the moment that everyone sees and it is in front of everyone.

Does anyone remember the second kiss? The second kiss usually happens after the bride and groom procession out from the reception and after they believe that they are away from the rest of the world, they give that second kiss. The "I can't believe it" kiss or the "we made it" kiss.

It really is an awesome moment and it happens almost every single time at a wedding and it is something that we are always looking for. Sometimes it makes for a better moment than the actual first kiss.

Here is one from the wedding over the weekend that I 2nd shot for Cary Pennington. You can see after they had walked away from the reception, they met for a quick quiet moment at the church door.

Be Still Photography_0176Our job as photographers is to capture moments. This is a moment that we like to capture from every wedding. As the guests are cheering and grabbing their stuff to head to the reception, the bride and groom are sharing a nice little moment away from the chaos.

San Diego Wedding Photography: Be Still Photog | Ernie Padaon (2nd shooting for Cary Pennington)



Photoshoot for Breast Cancer Awareness Month

  We recently did a photoshoot for breast cancer awareness month. We went with our friend who is a survivor and we wanted to do a shoot for awareness.

We got some amazing shots that we are working on and will love to share as soon as we are ready. We will also share Briana's story in that post.

For this post, it is all about awareness. Here are some stats straight from breastcancer.org:

  • About 1 in 8 U.S. women (about 12%) will develop invasive breast cancer over the course of her lifetime.
  • In 2015, an estimated 231,840 new cases of invasive breast cancer are expected to be diagnosed in women in the U.S., along with 60,290 new cases of non-invasive (in situ) breast cancer.
  • About 2,350 new cases of invasive breast cancer are expected to be diagnosed in men in 2015. A man’s lifetime risk of breast cancer is about 1 in 1,000.
  • Breast cancer incidence rates in the U.S. began decreasing in the year 2000, after increasing for the previous two decades. They dropped by 7% from 2002 to 2003 alone. One theory is that this decrease was partially due to the reduced use of hormone replacement therapy (HRT) by women after the results of a large study called the Women’s Health Initiative were published in 2002. These results suggested a connection between HRT and increased breast cancer risk.
  • About 40,290 women in the U.S. are expected to die in 2015 from breast cancer, though death rates have been decreasing since 1989. Women under 50 have experienced larger decreases. These decreases are thought to be the result of treatment advances, earlier detection through screening, and increased awareness.
  • For women in the U.S., breast cancer death rates are higher than those for any other cancer, besides lung cancer.
  • Besides skin cancer, breast cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer among American women. In 2015, it's estimated that just under 30% of newly diagnosed cancers in women will be breast cancers.
  • White women are slightly more likely to develop breast cancer than African-American women. However, in women under 45, breast cancer is more common in African-American women than white women. Overall, African-American women are more likely to die of breast cancer. The risk of developing and dying from breast cancer is lower in Asian, Hispanic, and Native-American women.
  • In 2015, there are more than 2.8 million women with a history of breast cancer in the U.S. This includes women currently being treated and women who have finished treatment.
  • A woman’s risk of breast cancer approximately doubles if she has a first-degree relative (mother, sister, daughter) who has been diagnosed with breast cancer. Less than 15% of women who get breast cancer have a family member diagnosed with it.
  • About 5-10% of breast cancers can be linked to gene mutations (abnormal changes) inherited from one’s mother or father. Mutations of the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes are the most common. On average, women with a BRCA1 mutation have a 55-65% lifetime risk of developing breast cancer. For women with a BRCA2 mutation, the risk is 45%. Breast cancer that is positive for the BRCA1 or BRCA2 mutations tends to develop more often in younger women. An increased ovarian cancer risk is also associated with these genetic mutations. In men, BRCA2 mutations are associated with a lifetime breast cancer risk of about 6.8%; BRCA1 mutations are a less frequent cause of breast cancer in men.
  • About 85% of breast cancers occur in women who have no family history of breast cancer. These occur due to genetic mutations that happen as a result of the aging process and life in general, rather than inherited mutations.
  • The most significant risk factors for breast cancer are gender (being a woman) and age (growing older).

Here is one of the shots from the shoot: Be Still Photography_0178We can't wait to share more from the day.

Model: Briana Silva MUA: Macy Ornelia Hair: Blyss Macias Photographer: Be Still Photography | Ernie Padaon | Fiona Padaon Location: San Elijo


A sword and sparklers at this wedding cake cutting

During a wedding that I shot with Cary Pennington over the weekend, our couple decided to pull their cake outside on the patio at Morgan Run and cut it out there. They had the sparklers behind them to bring in some light for everyone and the couple decided to cut the cake with a sword. It definitely was a unique type of cake cutting event, but that is what made it awesome!

Check out this image that I was able to capture from the day. Be Still Photography_0177


It might not be for everyone, but it was pretty awesome to have the lights from the sparklers and the cake cutting done with a sword. If you are looking for something that is a little different from the rest, you could definitely make something like this happen. It is always awesome to have something unique like this during a wedding.

What are you going to do to make your wedding unique?

Photographer: Ernie Padaon (2nd Shooter for Cary Pennington) | Be Still Photography Venue: Morgan Run | Del Mar, CA

San Diego Infant Portraits | Lyric

Infant Portraits Photographers: Be Still Photography | Ernie Padaon | Fiona Padaon

We love the Garcias and we loved doing the infant portraits for their little one Lyric. Lyric is the cutest and we feel that the signature shot from our session was having her rest on the guitar. What else would you do when the baby is named Lyric? We used James' guitar in the session.

Lyric is so precious and she has amazing parents. Andessa and James are going to be the best parents for that little one. They show so much love for her and they will be great.

It is so crazy to see that we did the wedding photos for the Garcias and now we are doing infant portraits for the family as well. We look forward to seeing more of their life through our lens.

Check out some of the photos from the portrait session that we had at their home.  San Diego Infant Portraits San Diego Infant Portraits San Diego Infant Portraits San Diego Infant Portraits San Diego Infant Portraits San Diego Infant Portraits San Diego Infant Portraits San Diego Infant Portraits San Diego Infant Portraits San Diego Infant Portraits San Diego Infant Portraits

San Diego Wedding Photography at Rancho Bernardo Inn

  Over the weekend, I got to work with Cary Pennington photography as his second shooter. This was definitely a new experience since I usually work with Fiona during weddings, but it was fun to see how others work during a wedding.

The reception took place at the Rancho Bernardo Inn. It was absolutely gorgeous there and there were a number of weddings ceremonies there at the same time. It is a great venue for a wedding and provides great areas for portraits.

During the day, I got to hang out with all the fellas as they prepped for the wedding. They prepped at home and then jumped in a limo in order to get to the church. Then after the ceremony, I had to run off to the Rancho Bernardo Inn to take photos of the location.

The church didn't allow for any flash photography and was a little on the dark side, but we made it work out .

It was a great wedding with some beautiful people. Was happy to help capture the day over the weekend.

Check out some of my images from the day.

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2nd Shooter Wedding Photographer: Ernie Padaon of Be Still Photography 2nd shooting for Cary Pennington Location: Rancho Bernard Inn

San Diego Wedding Photography | San Diego Air & Space Museum | Joe + Andrea

San Diego Wedding Photography: Be Still Photog | Ernie Padaon | Fiona Padaon We had the pleasure of capturing a gorgeous wedding at the San Diego Air & Space museum. Joe and Andrea are an amazing couple and everything was planned out beautifully for the wedding day. The venue was gorgeous and unique. It took place at the San Diego Air & Space museum in Balboa Park. It is not everyday that we see a bride and groom getting married under a helicopter.

Balboa Park has so many beautiful locations to photograph and we were able to capture our portrait sessions with some of the great architecture that is around there.

Everything on the day was picture perfect. We had such a great time with both Joe and Andrea on their day. They are an amazing couple and they made are job easy.

Here is just a quick look in at their wedding photos from the day:

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San Diego Wedding Photography by Be Still Photog | Ernie Padaon | Fiona Padaon

Proposal Shoot | Balboa Park | Sunset Cliffs | Jimmy + Dulce

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So... here was the plan. This whole shoot was supposed to be a family/couple style portraiture deal with the dog. It all took place in Balboa Park and we were going to end the day at Sunset Cliffs. At Sunset Cliffs, Jimmy was going to get down on one knee and ask Dulce to marry him.

Dulce and Jimmy have this joke about tying his shoe and proposing. It was going to be great!!!

When we got to Sunset Beach, I was supposed to tell Jimmy that his shoe was untied and he would drop to one knee to tie his show. He then responds "it is not untied" and I go right back to say "just kidding!"

Jimmy then would look to Dulce and say, "since I am down here...."

Check out the photos from the day.

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