Karen ReVelle Photography :: vibrant. sassy. inspired. » southern california and destination lifestyle photographer for extraordinary individuals!

  • Welcome to Karen ReVelle Photography

    Anything can happen on any given moment on any given day, and moments are just that: single moments, frozen in time. That is the beauty of the classic still image. Life is about the journey; not the destination.

    Our attention spans have been cultivated to be so brief in this day and age; with video, advertisements, Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat, Twitter, YouTube and more... all vying for a precious moment of our time. Capturing a perfect moment means being ready for anything.

    THOSE perfect moments are the ones that we frame, that we enlarge, that we hang on our walls because we want to see them every day, because they fill our hearts with joy, with memories and with happiness.

    That is what you will find here, a collection of perfect moments from a mixture of portraits, weddings, events and more. Karen ReVelle Photography strives to capture more than just ANY image, but a collection that tell a complete story, from small details, to glances stolen between new husband and wife; loving moments between parent and child; laughter between best friends; and so much more.

    The moments in the in-between are what tell the story. Welcome, and hope you enjoy the journey.

    ** NOTE :: 08/2015: the "galleries" section of this site is currently under construction :: please check back soon for updates!! **

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    Family :: Babies :: Children

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    Weddings :: Engagements :: Love

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    My Favorite Things

    Girls in white dresses with blue satin sashes Snowflakes that stay on my nose and eyelashes Silver white winters that


    2012 Holiday Portraits!

    Hello, friends! I am SO remiss in not blogging faithfully. Life proves to be crazy busy and that’s a wonderful,


    Announcing 2011 Holiday Portrait Details!

    Hello friends! It’s the beginning of November and that special time of year is upon us. A chill in the air,


    It’s Starting to Look a Lot Like Christmas…

    Why … hello there, friends! What’s that, you say? It’s been a while since I’d blogged and you


    Sweet Child O’ Mine

    She’s got a smile that it seems to me Reminds me of childhood memories Where everything was as fresh as the

Hello friends!

It’s the beginning of November and that special time of year is upon us. A chill in the air, leaves turning warm golden tones (even here in Southern California, I’m seeing them change on my street!), thoughts of curling up in front of the fireplace with hot cocoa, spiced cider… or maybe one of the above with a little spike or two added to the warmed beverage of choice. (Mulled wine, anyone? My mom makes it every year for Halloween and it’s sooooo good!)

So, right down to details. I’m offering 3 packages to choose from this year, instead of one-size-fits all. I think with these, there’s something for everyone. Also, this year I’m setting up 3 days in advance at 3 pre-determined locations, so you just pick your package, book your appointment and show up!



  • session length: time for each session will be reserved as indicated based on the package you choose
  • retouched files: in addition to high-resolution retouched files, I will also provide matching low-resolution, watermarked files for you to share on Facebook, etc
  • download vs. disk: with the download only option, you will be provided a password to download your files whereas with the disk option, I will send you your images on disk in addition to making the images available for download too
  • holiday cards: option 3 comes with a bonus of 25, 5×7 (double-sided) holiday cards with envelopes, printed by my favorite vendor, and delivered directly to you!
The Locations/Dates
  1. SUNDAY November 13th, 2011
    Location: The beach and cliffs at the Montage in Laguna Beach, CA
    Sessions available starting from 1pm – 4:30pm
  2. SATURDAY November 19th, 2011
    Location: Under the Huntington Beach Pier, Huntington Beach, CA
    Sessions available starting from 1:30 pm – 4:30pm
  3. SUNDAY November 27th, 2011
    Location: Downtown Orange (various locations around the Orange Circle), CA
    Sessions available starting from 1pm – 4:00pm
  4. BONUS! This year I’m offering a day of mini-sessions in Phoenix, AZ
    FRIDAY November 25th, 2011
    Location: Most likely Papago Park near the Phoenix Zoo OR Scottsdale Civic Center Plaza; Phoenix, AZ
    Sessions available starting from 1pm – 4:00pm
The fine print/FAQs:
  • sessions cover up to 5 family members & 1 pet; additional family members will cost extra (inquire if you need to know more)
  • custom dates/locations available, but will cost an additional $50 per session
  • a 50% deposit is required to hold your session; cash, checks and credit cards are all accepted and the deposit is NON-refundable in case of cancellation on the client’s part (if it’s on photographer’s part, a full refund will be issued)
  • preview galleries may be seen online (link will be provided) within 48 hours; final images will be available for download within 7 days of clients’ decision of which high-res files you would like retouched
  • the expected quantity of images in the preview gallery will range from 20-30 pictures for a 20-minute session, to 30-50 pictures for a 45-60 minute session (entire preview gallery of images available for additional purchase)
  • REFERRAL INCENTIVE! If you refer a friend to me and they put down a deposit for a booking, I will give you 10% off of your total session fee!
I look forward to hearing from you and doing your portraits! If you’d like to see a session already from this year, check out this recent post.
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Why … hello there, friends!

What’s that, you say? It’s been a while since I’d blogged and you were wondering what the heck happened?

Yes, well… there’s a lot to catch up on. Mainly, I focused on making ME a better person this year. I’m about 17lbs down after fighting a thyroid condition that created a trickle-down effect into the rest of my life, most of which I won’t go into now. I’m now super-fit (lots of gym time logged!), and I’ve further re-vamped my vegetarian (or, rather, PESCATARIAN) lifestyle. I’m now an avid juicer, I try to eat virtually all non-processed foods & I’ve started experimenting with raw foods too. In another post I’ll have to share my newfound philosophies on health and fitness. 🙂

But TONIGHT! Tonight, I want to share two things with you, because it’s November and although generally I reject all things Christmas/holiday until the day AFTER Thanksgiving (the way it should be, in my opinion), it’s HOLIDAY PORTRAIT season! And so, after this post where I’ll sharing my annual holiday photos for Paula and her family… I’ll be sharing the details of my holiday portrait mini-sessions this year, and the THREE different options/tiers I’ll be offering!

This is my fourth year photographing Paula and her family. With John, her husband, and daughters Maxine and Lila, this year we ventured to Victoria Beach, just south of Laguna Beach & the Montage resort. I love watching these girls grow and thrive and become more adorable every year! And this year we got some sun on our portrait day as well! And of course, I had to get some pictures of the girls in their Halloween costumes too. Here’s their shoot from 2009, and among my “greatest hits” of 2010.


Here are some fun group shots, and just of the girls. Lila adores her big sister!



Mom and her daughters. Gorgeous family!! This may be one of my favorites. But then again, there are so many others too…



Victoria Beach had some great, colorful homes in the background, along with fun wooden steps leading to them.



Maxine (as a soccer player) & her dad look for shells in the tidepools during a gorgeous sunset, and the light behind Lila highlights her darling princess costume.



Maxine dresses up as Hermoine from Harry Potter (isn’t she perfect??), while Lila is a princess. I love these expressions — it really shows their personalities!


One last shot of Paula with her daughter. Lovely!



Thanks for coming back!! I’m hoping to be better about blogging, but I’ve said that before, haven’t I?? I need to reel in the perfectionist in me, and just get the pictures UP! I’ve had a busy year … I still have yet to share it all with you!

And … What do you all think of this new, vertical layout? Or, do you prefer the click-through single-picture slideshow style? Would love to hear your input!

Coming up in the next post: Holiday Portrait details!!

Happy (early) holidays to you all, and hope to see you at your portrait sessions! Cheers!!



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She’s got a smile that it seems to me
Reminds me of childhood memories
Where everything was as fresh as the bright blue sky

Now and then when I see her face
She takes me away to that special place
And if I stare too long, I’d probably break down and cry

Whoa, oh, oh, sweet child o’ mine
Whoa, oh, oh, oh, sweet love of mine

— “Sweet Child O’ Mine”, Guns N’ Roses

Have you ever heard a sweet, soulful and melodic cover of Sweet Child O’ Mine done as a duet? No? Well, that’s because YOU weren’t at the Saint Rocke in Hermosa Beach last night! Dear readers, I have been promoting the awesomeness of Danny Hamilton and the Mudslingers for quite a while now. At the very least, you best be on his mailing list. Based in the South Bay, CA, Danny’s band has a roots-rock style that ranges from covers with his own unique twist (why else do a cover?) to original music – including “Bury the Devil”, which got Danny ranked in the #2 spot in last year’s CMT.com’s Music City Madness awards. You can read more about that from a previous post I did on another of Danny’s shows here.

First of all, let me rave about Saint Rocke. I’d never been there… apparently it underwent a massive transformation in the last couple of years. The inside is now cozy with candlelight; all sorts of sectioned, clustered areas to sit; colorful, ambient light with sconces on the walls in an otherwise dark, hip and sexy atmosphere – yes, you heard me right. It’s the perfect blend of smoky-dive-bar-meets-classy-upscale-establishment without any of the pretentiousness (minus the smoky dive – indoor smoking was banned in California back in the 90s). The lighting and sound system were first class (and as a result? They didn’t have to blast your eardrums!). They even broadcast the live show simultaneously on LCD screens throughout the bar, as well as on the internet. The assistant manager was also so accommodating; having photographed establishments from Viper Room to the Key  Club to House of Blues, I’m used to working within the parameters of the House Rules. The first thing I do now is introduce myself and ask about what I’m allowed to do. I couldn’t have been more impressed with the classiness of this place.

Here’s some pictures of headliner Danny & his band; you’ll also see Mara in some of the shots. She was one of the opening acts along with Bill Purdy, and she rocked! (I’m sorry to say because I drove up from Orange County, I missed Bill’s show, but heard incredible things about him as well) Despite waking up with a cold that morning, Mara still sounded incredible. Darn pros – making us amateurs with colds look bad in comparison! 😉 Mara not only joined Danny in the aforementioned Sweet Child O’ Mine, but also in a lively rendition of June Carter Cash and Johnny Cash’s catchy Jackson. I’m still singing snippets of it today! (and trying to work through my desire to let out my inner rock star in public) 🙂 Be sure to read the captions too!

So, while on the subject of music, I want to also briefly touch on a few things that have been bouncing around my head today. Since this was my first gig of the year, combining some of my absolute favorite things (bar light and live music), I feel so revived after a busy December of shooting holiday portraits and even a small wedding. I started thinking about how the aperture of the human eye is the most incredible machine — so fragile yet powerful; BUT, with the technology and finesse of manipulating a good camera with a wide-open, fast lens, you can CREATE the frame of focus that our brains do on our own. That is: creating depth-of-field with a lens is simply an extension of what we see in our heads, where we judge the weight or importance of an image to be. The flow, the framing, the movement. The ability to extend what we see in our minds and want to show everyone else our interpretations of: it just boggles my mind.

Now, talking about “bar light”, I might also term that as ambient light. But technically, it’s still artificial, manufactured and intended, directional light. But the fact that I used no bounce flash is technically why I qualify it as ambient light. But there’s something about creating mood and movement with color and light, and even though I had to crank up the ISO to 3200 and even 4000 at times last night, with some great lenses, a steady hand (with a slower shutter speed), I just keep astounding in how I love bar light and the colored gel lights on a live show. Just because I love details and light so much, here’s some additional images I took at the Saint Rocke. (posted individually because I couldn’t post a separate lightbox gallery into one post, boo.)

Technically there were no burning candles in the candleholders, but the effect was the same. The swirling makes me think of the surface of Jupiter or Saturn.PINTHIS

The gobo (aka: go-between) of the Saint Rocke logo on the backdrop of the stage. Colored gels changed the background color throughout the performances.PINTHIS

The side of one of the speakers. i just liked it, that’s all. 🙂PINTHIS

Skateboards on the blue-gelled brick wall along the long side of the bar.PINTHIS

This is one of my faves. Candleholder reflecting on the shiny table with the gelled blue brick wall in the background.PINTHIS

This was across from me at one of the tables: the candleholder created its own spotlight on the menu just perfectly.PINTHIS

The front of the Saint Rocke. It LOOKS huge, but it feels small and cozy inside.PINTHIS

What can i say? it felt old-fashioned and I just liked it.


Lastly, I was also reflecting last night after watching Mara on-stage, on something I’ve thought about a lot over the years: the difficulty of being a female performer these days. It’s so easy to be categorized as only one classification: a punk chick, a touchy-feely ballad songstress, an auto-tuned no-talent (but pretty to look at) or a hard-core-no-nonsense rocker (kinda feels like the Breakfast Club, no?). But there’s no meeting in the middle. Rock bands made up of men are allowed to constantly reinvent themselves, but women seem to get pigeonholed immediately and not allowed to deviate without fear of public harassment. I was actually talking about this with someone the other night: we do the same to well-defined but very narrow characters on popular TV sitcoms, such as Sex & The City, Seinfeld or even Friends. In life, most of us represent an amalgam of portions of each character, but no one is the extreme that each character portrays, and I think this spills over into the music world too. There’s no solution necessarily or right answer, but I often think how hard it is for women to be respected as seriously talented musicians when as a society, we tend to base our opinions on their looks and style first. Any thoughts on this? I’d love to hear your opinions on the subject.

Oh — and Happy New Year! Sorry this post is so long. In the meantime, hope you’ve enjoyed the pictures too!

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Dear friends,

2010 was a rather landmark year for me, and a rollercoaster of a ride at that. Over the course of the next three blog posts, I’m going to share some of my favorite images from the holiday portraits I took in 2010; then favorite engagement images of 2010; and finally, a post of my favorite wedding images from 2010 (umm, just in case it wasn’t clear, I mean specifically of images that *I* took, not just of favorite images overall!). 😉

One of the best compliments and joyous highs of the holiday season for me is going to my mailbox and receiving holiday cards from friends and clients who have prominently featured my work in the cards they send out. I hope to share some of these images with you in the upcoming posts as well!

Hope all of you had amazing holidays and are ready to kick some serious booty in 2011 — this is going to be an amazing year!! Cheers to you all, and thank you for your continued support and business this past year. You all mean the world to me and I wouldn’t be continually evolving without your support. Thanks again, and here’s to a prosperous 2011 (in health, wealth and love to us all)!

And now, in the interest of getting  a blog post UP (and time’s a’wastin’!), here’s a selection of my favorite portraits that I took this holiday season. Enjoy!

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