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Always The Photographer, never The Bride…

Whew! The wedding craziness is over! After 14 months of planning, stressing, searching, DIY’ing, Pinning, plotting, baking, bridal & bachelorette partying…October 20th, 2012 finally came.

It was the most surreal, out-of-body, beautiful, romantic, funniest, craziest, rainiest, most exciting and LOVE- FILLED day! I married the man of my dreams. The one who vowed to love, support and fight for me. The man who calls me his best friend, his one true love and his teammate. I walked down that aisle and stared into the tear-filled eyes of the man I was about to call my husband and at that moment felt the biggest, most intense feeling of what real love is, what commitment means. He knocked the wind out of me with that look and my world will never be the same. That man. The one.

My advice to you soon-to-be’s?

-Enjoy every minute.

  • Planning is overwhelming. There are days you don’t know how it will all come together, there are the wedding nightmares, the never-ending decisions, the late-night freakouts over music selections “Honey, pleeeeease! Just pick the dinner hour music! Please?? I’ve been making our table numbers all day and my brain literally stopped working!!” (or is that just me?) ;-). The point is, when it’s over- it’s over. The only things lasting are the photos and your new family relationship with your husband. So don’t sweat the small stuff and enjoy every minute of the process!

-If it rains, ask for snow.

  • Nothing in life is a guarantee, right? Definitely not the weather. So, when you book a beautiful rooftop venue with no indoor space option in Southern California during the month of October because “It never rains in October in San Clemente”…be prepared for the storm. Not only did it “rain” during October in San Clemente on our beautiful rooftop venue with no indoor space option…it POURED! You know what we did? We asked for snow! Snowing in Southern California apparantly wasnt going to happen, but we sure got all the rain we could handle. Those table numbers I worked so hard on? Ya know, the ones from Pinterest with the year and a photo of the Bride and Groom during that year? Drenched. Those cute lil’ Pinterest apple pie pops? Drenched. The makeup that started at 7:30am? Ran straight down my face and onto the very dress I spent 14 months obsessing over. If it rains, ask for snow. And while you’re at it- grab a drink and get on the dance floor!
-Let it go.
  • As my new Mother-in-law always says, “It is what it is”. And…it is. You spent many countless hours planning, organizing, decision-making, crafting, and hoping for the most beautiful, perfect day. When that day arrives, let it go. It is what it is. Whatever happens from the time you wake up on your wedding day until the time you pass out in your rain-soaked wedding gown (again…is that just me?), it is no longer in your control. That’s why you hired all those vendors, right? You trust that they are professionals and that they know what they’re doing, right? (Shake your head “yes” now 😉 ). The truth is, your wedding will be beautiful whatever happens to happen. You are marrying your best friend, your one true love, your teammate. That man. The one. So, soak it all in (literally, if you’re me!) , breathe, take a look around at all your friends and family who are celebrating this love that you built. Stare into your husband’s eyes and appreciate this most beautiful day. Let it go. It is what it is.
On a personal note, thank you to our wonderful friends and family. Without you, our wedding would not have been possible. You baked, schemed, set-up, tore-down and danced in the rain with us. We love you.
For my lovely clients who asked for my wedding photos, here ya go! A little behind the scenes action stolen from friend’s Instagrams and Facebooks! Can’t wait to see our professional photos and relive the most special day.
Happy Planning!
XOXO, Jessica

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Photography Session Giveaway with Jessica Holley Photography!

The wait is over! We have reached over 300 Facebook Fans and as promised, there will be a Lifestyle Session giveaway!  Wedding season is winding down, my own wedding has passed…things are returning to a more normal pace around here. At least for the next week or so until our Fall Mini-Sessions begin!! What better time to offer this one-time-only freebie!

Photography is the love of my life (along with my new husband? 😉 ) and I know that without the support of YOU, doing what I love to do would not be possible! I have been so blessed by my amazing clients who have let me into their lives to capture their love.

It is my greatest joy and this is my big THANK YOU to you!

So, here’s how you enter:

  • Become a fan of Jessica Holley Photography on Facebook if you’re not already!
  • Post 1 comment under the contest giveaway blog post link. Your comment should answer the question “Why is photography important to you AND what photo session have you been needing to do next?”
  • Share the contest link on your wall using the @symbol so it hyperlinks to the “Jessica Holley Photography” FB page.
Easy as that!
Here’s what you’ll win:
  •  1-hour Lifestyle session (Maternity, Newborn, Family, ect.) in San Clemente, Dana Point or Laguna Beach with Jessica Holley
  • A private online gallery for viewing and sharing with friends and family
  • 20 high-resolution images of your choice on photo CD mailed to your home
Additional Info:
  • This prize is non-transferrable. Only the winner may claim and use their prize.
  • Session is valid for 2013 only. Session can be redeemed from January 2013- December 2013.
  • The contest begins now and ends Monday, November 5th at 12 noon.
  • The winner will be chosen at random on Monday, November 5th and announced that day via this blog.
  • Winner will not be announced on Facebook. Facebook is in no way associated with Jessica Holley Photography or this contest.
And the WINNER, chosen at random is…Shayna Sharke Lake!!
CONGRATULATIONS! Please email me to redeem your prize 🙂
To everyone else who participated: As a thank you, I’m offering 25% off your next session if booked with me by February 28, 2012. Contact me for all the details!


XOXO, Jessica

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Style Me Pretty / Featured

I am SO excited to see Nicole & Hayden’s Smog Shoppe wedding featured on Style Me Pretty California today!! I feel so blessed to photograph my client’s wedding days and it’s such an honor to have it be shared for all to see! This was such a beautifully detailed wedding and I had a blast photographing it! Be sure to check out Christina from Considerate Done Event Design who did an amazing job with this space & Nicole from Design the Details who was not only The Bride, but also the invitation designer!


Click here to see the full feature! : Style Me Pretty California

XO, Jessica

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San Juan Capistrano Baby Session [Charlie] / San Juan Capistrano Family Photographer

It was so hard to pick just some of my favorites of Baby Charlie! He is seriously TOO cute! The last time I photographed Charlie he was brand new to this world. Now he’s sitting up, on the verge of standing, growing all kinds of teeth and lighting up the camera with those sweet little dimples!

And boy, does he love his mama. I’m so glad I (lightly) pressured her to step in front of the lens! 😉  I just adore mommy & me images and am so glad Charlie’s mommy will have these years from now to remember this precious stage.

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2012 Fall Mini-Sessions / Orange County Photographer



It’s that time of year again! With the holiday season just around the corner, now is the perfect time to start planning for your holiday cards. What better time to announce my 2012 Fall Mini-Sessions to get you started on those family portraits!

This year I am offering a select number of 30-minute sessions held over 2 days in 2 locations. All details are listed below. This special price is valid for these dates only and space is limited so contact me now to reserve your date.

949.292.4535  or


2012 Fall Mini-Sessions are $200 and includes:

30-minute session for up to 6 people

10 high-resolution images professionally edited on disc

online proofing & purchasing gallery


Saturday, November 3rd, at Rustic location in San Juan Capistrano:

  • 1:45 – 2:15
  • 2:30 – 3:00 (BOOKED)
  • 3:15 – 3:45
  • 4:00 – 4:30 (BOOKED)
  • 4:45 – 5:15

Sunday, November 4th, at Field location in Coto de Caza:

  • 1:00 – 1:30
  • 1:45 – 2:15
  • 2:30 – 3:00 (BOOKED)
  • 3:15 – 3:45 (BOOKED)
  • 4:00 – 4:30 (BOOKED)
  • To book your session, contact Jessica at 949.292.4535 or All sessions must be paid in full to book your date and time. Due to the limited number of sessions available, refunds are unavailable. If a cancellation needs to be made, you will receive a credit toward your rescheduled date.
  • You will receive your digital files by Friday, November 23rd. Although, they may be done sooner! 🙂
  • Only 1 family per time slot
  • Please arrive 10 minutes early as sessions are booked back-to-back.
  • If these dates and/or times do not work for you, please contact me. I may have an alternate date or time available to you.
  • No images will be blogged until after Christmas. This allows you the chance to wow your friends and family & to use your images as holiday gifts!
  • Mini-Sessions are quick, easy and painless! Great for that perfect holiday card image you are looking for!
I look forward to capturing your family’s love!

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