Sunset trip to Waterfront Park with the kids

We went down to Waterfront Park down in Downtown San Diego to meet up with some friends and we couldn't help but take a few photos of the kids enjoying their day. The sunset was beautiful and we had to just snap a few photos while we were out there. 

We were doing a 365 day challenge, that already has been derailed, but there are some principles that we want to continue from that challenge. We want to have our cameras with us wherever we may go. We want to be able to shoot whenever the light is amazing. We want to be able to capture great moments for ourselves and for others. 

We may not have a photo a day for 365 straight days, but we definitely will be looking to capture moments every chance that we get. 

Here are a few shots from Waterfront Park last night. We love our little ones! The sunset was gorgeous. 

365 PORTRAIT CHALLENGE | 3 OF 365 | Caleb being Caleb

We are on Day 3 of the 365 portrait challenge that we put on ourselves and it has been a great experience already. So far I have gotten both of my kids in the portraits already and today we should be going outside of the house to get a portrait.

The portrait for Day 3 is of our son Caleb. We already know that he is going to be one of the funny kids in school. He loves to make people laugh and he can't sit in front of the camera and look into it without making some goofy face.

This is our son being our son...

Be Still Photographers san diego portrait

Be Still Photographers san diego portrait

The more I thought of this challenge, the more I started to think that this could be a "Humans of New York" type of project. I don't know if we will get to that level, but it definitely will reach a number of different people that cross our paths. I know there will be some duplicates of people throughout this process, but the more we step out of our comfort zone and ask people for photos, the more fun this project can get.

Part of this challenge will be to take photos of as many different people as we can. Let's see how far we can reach!

To see our different blog posts on this challenge, click HERE. If you just want to check out the slideshow, click HERE.

Camera details: ISO 1600 | 35mm | f/1.8 | 1/100 sec Portrait photographer: Be Still Photog

365 PORTRAIT CHALLENGE | 2 OF 365 | Sarai and Peanut Butter

We are doing a portrait challenge where we want to take a portrait every day for the next 365 days. We are on day 2 and I already have had my daughter on both the photos from Day 1 and Day 2! I better find some new subjects or this will be a 365 challenge of Sarai. I did take a few photos on the day, but this was still my favorite of the bunch.

Sarai LOVES grabbing a "stoop" of peanut butter in a spoon and chomping down. She also is very camera aware. When you combine the two, we get something like this!

San Diego Photographer | Portrait per day challenge | Be Still Photog

San Diego Photographer | Portrait per day challenge | Be Still Photog

What a freaking cute kid. While we do this challenge, we might just end up with a ton of photos of our fam and kids, but that is never going to be a bad thing!

The reason why we are photographers is to capture lives. If we didn't do it for our own family, then we would be doing it wrong! We capture amazing photos for people all the time and we better make sure to capture the amazing moments with our own family.

San Diego Photographer | Portrait per day challenge | Be Still Photog

San Diego Photographer | Portrait per day challenge | Be Still Photog

This portrait challenge is going to be fun. We will definitely be getting more subjects for the photos, but we know that we will have plenty of our kids in the mix.

You can check out our previous portrait posts here or you can just check out the photos from the 365 project here.

Photo details: ISO 800 | 35mm | f 1.8 | 1/125 sec Photographers: Be Still Photog | Ernie Padaon | Fiona Padaon

365 Portrait Challenge | 1 of 365 | Self-Portrait

A 365 portrait challenge! We have challenged ourselves to create a portrait every single day for an entire year. Some days it is going to be easy since we will have clients booked and can use their portraits for our challenge and some days we will have to just create. We have seen that some people use this as a self-portrait challenge, but we want to create portraits. Portraits of any kind and of any person. At some point we will get sick of shooting the same people and will have to go outside the box to create more.

To start out this challenge though, we went with a self-portrait. Don't be surprised, but this is the first time I had used the timer feature on the camera before. I never found reason to use it in the past, but will probably use it a ton while taking some portraits for myself to get in.

Here is the first portrait in a long line of photos:

San Diego Wedding Photographer - Self Portrait - Family - Exist in Photos - Photo Challenge

San Diego Wedding Photographer - Self Portrait - Family - Exist in Photos - Photo Challenge


We always go for that lifestyle type portrait in our work and it was great to actually see myself in a photo. Sue Bryce tells about "existing in photos." No matter what, people should exist in photos. I feel strong about that. I never have been a person that has liked sitting in front of a camera, but after the first self-portrait, I know how important it is to be in front of the camera and not always behind it.

These photos don't disappear and they will always exist. It is a piece of memory that you can always bring up and come back to. People need to exist in photos. Starting off on Day 1 of this challenge and we already have learned some great things. Can't wait to see what else we learn day in and day out of this challenge.

What are we going to create today?!

Follow along with us on this portrait challenge through our BLOG. You can also see some of our photos on our Instagram and Facebook and can see some of the behind the scenes work on our Snapchat.

This should be fun!

San Diego Wedding Photographer - Self Portrait - Family - Exist in Photos

San Diego Wedding Photographer - Self Portrait - Family - Exist in Photos

Self-Portrait: Be Still Photography | Ernie Padaon

Another option to the first look on your wedding

On your wedding day, your photographers will want to know if you would like to have a first look. A first look is when the bride and groom see each other for the first time before the wedding ceremony. It goes against tradition, but it also makes for an amazing moment to capture. It also is great for portraits to get done before the ceremony instead of rushing them within an hour after the ceremony. There are a lot of advantages of having a first look on your wedding day. There are also a ton of reasons why people don't want to have first looks. We understand both sides.

A possible alternative idea to the first look is doing a little prayer or saying some words of encouragement behind a door before the ceremony. That will just give you goosebumps to hear each others voice and to touch hands on your wedding day. You won't be able to see each other, but you could hold hands and say a few words before you walk down the aisle.

Be Still Photog San Diego Wedding Photographer First Look

It has always been an amazing and emotional moment. The anticipation to see each other for the first time is high and the little hints of his voice or his touch will get you both eager to see each other when the ceremony begins.

The images are also amazing that are captured from that moment. If a first look is not in the cards, then this option could be something that you consider.

Tips when having a photographer during your proposal



Where are you going to drop down on a knee and propose to your lady? In San Diego, there are a number of beautiful locations that you can propose and save that magic moment.

If you want a photographer, here are some things that you want to make sure that you keep in mind.

Make sure that there is good light where you want to propose

A lot of times during these proposals the photographer has to be hiding around the corner at some location and won't be able to set up a solid flash to get everything just the way you like.

Make sure that you have a schedule that works out well and are at your location at that exact time. We like to have people schedule out their time right at sunset. Check what time sunset is and have it all scheduled by that time.

Schedule out your plan up to the proposal

The last thing you need is to run over time on your schedule and start rushing as your time gets closer. You don't need to add any more stress to your proposal. Leave extra time on your schedule to make sure that you are not left in a hurry.

Be in solid communication with you photographer before the proposal day

Make sure that the location is clear. Make sure that the time is clear. Make sure that the photographer knows exactly how the plan is going to go and when you are going to drop down on a knee.

If possible, let the photographer know exactly where you will be facing in order for the photographer to get in proper position for the money shot.

Hold the pose on a knee for your proposal

Just hold the pose.  Don't drop down and jump right back up. Stay down there long enough to get a few solid images. We are not saying that you should be down on the knee for a few minutes, just give it a few seconds before you come up to hug and kiss your lady.

Hire a photographer

You will want someone to capture this moment. It is a big day in your life and you will want someone to be there to capture the moment properly. Don't have your friends do it on their phone. Have a pro ready to capture your day.

Be Still Photog San Diego Wedding Photographer_0003

What to do when in rains in SoCal during your engagement session

What do you do when it actually starts to rain in Southern California during your engagement session? It never rains in Southern California. At least that is what everyone else in the world thinks. For the very few moments that the weather does bring down some rain, we have to be prepared. Usually your photographer will give you a heads up on the upcoming weather for the day in advance and it will give you a chance to reschedule the appointment or to just continue on with the day.

Normally, we would recommend to continue on with the session and if the day gets too full of rain, then we will work on doing another session.

In SoCal, there are usually different pockets in which the weather will be good enough for you to go outside and get some shots. There were a number of clients in which we rescheduled, but at the time of their appointment it was beautiful and sunny outside. That is just that SoCal weather that we all know to love.

Find a cute indoor location like a winery or coffee shop

If you do decide to brave the elements, there are a few things that you need to be prepped with. As far as location, find a cute spot indoors in which your photographer can work with. For our clients yesterday we had chosen a little winery and coffee shop in Solana Beach.

Since the rain is out, those locations should be pretty empty. Just call to make sure that it will be OK to take some photos at the location before you walk in.

Bring proper rain gear

You will want to have an umbrella. Also, make sure that it is nice and big and that two people can stand under it at a time. At some point, your photographer would likely want you to go out in the rain and take some photos.

Bring some towels and a change of clothes. If you don't expect to get wet, you likely are going into the shoot with the wrong attitude and it might be better for you to reschedule. You are going to get wet.

Bring makeup

Since you likely are going to get wet, you are going to want to be able to touch up from time to time.

Be ready to move quickly

In San Diego, you have to be ready to move. There is going to be a pocket of time in which there will be no rain and you can get to that dream location that you were wanting. When that pocket hits, be ready to move and get to that location. Keep your indoor location near that outdoor location that you want to move to.

We did an engagement shoot yesterday in the middle of El Nino and we found a pocket of time to shoot and came away with some great images at the beach. Here is a quick share from that shoot:

San Diego Photographer_0657

Just know that you will get some great images with a good photographer. They will be able to make some magic happen indoors and outdoors with you and they will be prepped for the day.

Engagement session photographer: Be Still Photog | Ernie Padaon | Fiona Padaon Location: Fletcher Cove, Solana Beach

To the couple that kissed for the cam at the color run...

  To the couple that kissed for the camera at the Color Run.... I LOVE YOU GUYS!

After shooting for 4 hours of people running and jumping in front of the camera, it was great to have something fresh to capture at that very moment. Capturing moments during an event like the mud run can get a little tedious and mundane for a portrait and wedding photographer, but then a moment like this happened.

Be Still Photography_0170I almost wanted to pull them to the side to pose them even more. The background was full of orange smoke and their faces and clothes were full of color from the run and it could have made for an interesting shoot!

Of course that is what I was thinking! We could have made some very interesting and different photos if they decided to hang out for a little bit. :)

I did have a job to get done though. Here are some of the other interesting photos from the color run:

Be Still Photography_0171 Be Still Photography_0172 Be Still Photography_0173  Be Still Photography_0175Be Still Photography_0174I kept seeing the little ones walking through all the color and I don't know if they were enjoying it at all. It seems like a kids paradise, but then after walking through it and having people toss it in your face, it might not be the funnest situation.

Anyway, it was fun working the color run. Thanks for that couple for kissing for the cam. When you guys decide to get married or need some photos.... you know who to call!



Wedding Photography: You do what you gotta do to get the shot

Sometimes you just do what you gotta do in order to get the shot... even if you are wearing heels. That photo above is of Fiona during one of our wedding shoots and she is working to get the angle that she wanted for the wedding dress. She is standing with one foot on a chair and another foot on the picnic table and she is looking to get that shot. What did I do to help her out? I took a photo to share the moment with her later. Isn't that what I was supposed to do? I did have a camera in my hand/ :)

Be Still Photography_0134

These moments happen with both of us often and there are a number of shots that each of us take of each other during a shoot that shows some of the mess that we do get into.

There was one time when I tried to walk across the marsh of a lake and ended up standing knee deep in mud. I almost lost my shoe that day!! I don't know how many times that I have ended up knee deep in water during a beach shoot. We have never been afraid to get a little dirty in order to get that shot.

Next time I might just help Fiona out when she decides to climb on some tables for a shot. That would be after I take a photo of her first.

San Diego Wedding Photography: Be Still Photog | Ernie Padaon