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

Our dreams, and they are made out of real things
Like a, shoebox of photographs
With sepiatone loving
Love is the answer…

Its always better when we’re together
Yeah, its always better when we’re together

— “Better Together”, Jack Johnson

Well, first I have to apologize for being a bad blogger for the last couple of months. So many things have been going on! I had to prioritize and make sure I took care of all of my amazing clients first, and I’ve also been trying to catch up on old projects that need attention, both for friends and personally. It’s been nice to feel like I’m getting a handle on things again. I’m still a ways out from finishing my website, but it’s on the itinerary! For those of you that come back to my blog regularly to get your fix though, I thank you for your dedication from the bottom of my heart! I have many things to share and blog, so I’m going to try to get back onto a regular basis of sharing all the fun things I’ve been up to, even though some of them date back to the last couple of months!

Now… onto the show!

My last post was Tom & Heather’s engagements. Since then, they’ve been to Hawaii and gotten married! (My friend Tom is also a photographer and found a wonderful Hawaiian-based photographer to capture his wedding to his bride Heather; to read more about his wedding and to see some of their images, please visit his site here) Two weeks upon returning, Tom & Heather had a wedding reception in Newport Beach that everyone could attend. The lovely Mrs Pellicer adorned her wedding dress again and the bridesmaids and groomsmen wore their fun, breezy peach-toned attire, lending to the atmosphere of their tropical nuptials.

I was fortunate enough that Tom asked me to capture their SoCal reception as well, so here are my favorites from their special night on Saturday, July 31st at Newport Dunes. I was especially struck with how much love was in the air among this group! The guests were all incredibly warm and friendly; I felt like I was a guest myself, but just with a camera in hand. Please also take note of the captions with each image to round out the fun times of the evening.

Additionally, I’d like to give a shout-out to James the DJ of Partytime Productions at the reception. He played AWESOME fun music, current hits mixed with old-school rap/pop (Tom busted out the moves to Paperboy’s “Ditty” — remember THAT tune??). He played exactly what Tom & Heather requested, and it was perfect for their audience — I’ve never seen the dance floor so filled for the complete reception — and being that it was under the stars, it was a perfect summer night. Congrats, Mr & Mrs Pellicer! I’m so happy for you both, and thanks again for letting me share in your special night. xo

Happy Sunday! Thanks for coming back to visit, I’ll have another post soon!

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Everybody keeps telling me I’m such a lucky man,
Lookin’ at you standing there, I know I am.
Barefoot beauty with eyes that blue,
Sunshine sure looks good on you, I swear.

Oh I can’t believe I finally found ya, baby.
Happy ever after, after all this time.
Oh there’s gonna be some up and downs,
But with you to wrap my arms around, I’m fine.

— “When You Got a Good Thing”
Lady Antebellum

A lot of my fellow photogs in the Orange County area probably know Tom Pellicer (also known professionally as Thomas Frank Photo). Guess what? Did you also know he’s engaged and just weeks away from whisking his lovely bride-to-be, Heather, off to Hawaii for their nuptials? Even though I won’t be there in Hawaii with them **sigh**, I was able to shoot their engagements on Sunday, June 6th. We met in Newport Beach, just around the corner from Dane Sanders‘ studio, where a lot of local OC photogs meet once a month to discuss items that challenge us as aspiring professional photographers (whether it be business, technical, etc — If you want to know more and you’re in Orange County, look into the FastTrack Photographers’ group on FB, it’s a fantastic resource and support group!).

I actually met Tom before we moved in the same photographic circles. We happened to sit next to each other in a room of approximately 700 people in attendance for a Scott Kelby day-long lecture on Lightroom at the Los Angeles Convention Center. A year-and-a-half later… We’re having a blast while I’m shooting his “e-sesh”! (Like the lingo? Yeah, I’m hip like that.) 😉

Tom & Heather actually met back in high school and dated briefly after graduation, but it wasn’t until running into each other years later at the movie store that they were both single and started dating again. Several years later, they’re engaged and so cute together… Tom’s silly side comes out around Heather, and Heather’s bright blue eyes are engaging (see what I did there? “engaging”??) and they always twinkle with a smile. They’re going to be a fantastic married couple and I’m so happy for them! Not to mention, Heather was a rockin model — she struck one awesome pose after another! Definitely impressive. Tom was a little uneasy at first, as I know from personal experience: it’s hard when the photographer becomes the photographee! But, after just a few minutes with Heather, he was a natural for the camera too. They crack each other up constantly, and as a result, I got a lot of pictures of them laughing… which are some of my favorites!

As many of you who live in Orange County know (beach-adjacent, especially), we are often subject to conditions known as “May Gray” and “June Gloom”, where the marine layer rolls in early every morning from over the ocean and covers the Southland in a blanket of soft, but sometimes dreary, light. It often burns off  in the afternoons, but can roll back in, in the late afternoon or early evening. This was the whole reason I brought along my off-camera flash, for a little drama in some of our images, because as I drove towards the beach, it was like hitting a thick gray wall of cloud cover!

Please help me in wishing Tom & Heather congrats in advance, with much happiness with their upcoming dream wedding in Hawaii! And, also check out Tom’s rockin senior photos site here.

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In Napoli where love is king
When boy meets girl here’s what they say

When the moon hits your eye like a big pizza pie
That’s amore

When the world seems to shine like you’ve had too much wine
That’s amore

—Dean Martin, “That’s Amore”

So, how about a quick little fun family photo shoot?? Well, maybe not a little family – it was a group of 14!! And, why the Dean Martin song choice?? And, what does “amore” translate to exactly? So many questions, and yes — I have the answers. Well — most of them.

Last year, I was thrilled to go to Santa Barbara, CA, to shoot Brian & Rachelle’s wedding! A few weeks back, Rachelle got in touch, telling me she was referring me to her cousins, Julie & Jennifer. Julie lives here in Southern California too, but Jennifer lives all the way over in — you guessed it — Naples, Italy. That’s amore!

A number of years back, Jennifer was in the Navy, which is how she ended up in Italy. While there, she met Cristian, a local Italian man. Long story short: they’re now married and living in Naples with their two beautiful children, a boy and a girl. What more could you ask for? That’s amore!

So, Jennifer, her husband and children, as well as Cristian’s parents, all came over to visit SoCal for about 10 days. Of course, it’s a perfect time for a family photoshoot, so we all met in Belmont Shores — I even got to see family from Rachelle’s wedding at the photoshoot, so it was like a little mini-reunion, too. The time of day wasn’t the best for beach pictures, so we found the BEST tree in front of the Belmont Shores pool … and, what an amazing family! They were willing to climb up into it for a literal picture of their family tree! That, my friends, is amore. (Which means, as you may well know, love!) And I love this family! Friendly and gorgeous (or should I say, bellissima?) and so much fun… amore is amazing in any language, but doesn’t it just seem a little more exotic when it’s Italian? After all, the Italians are known for it!

Many thanks to Rachelle for the referral, and also to the family for being such good sports. With a beautiful afternoon and the sun streaming through the branches, we could not go wrong. Please enjoy!

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When the evening shadows and the stars appear
And there is no one there to dry your tears
I could hold you for a million years
To make you feel my love

I could make you happy make your dreams come true
Nothing that i wouldn’t do
Go to the ends of the earth for you
To make you feel my love

“Make You Feel My Love”
(Jen & Eric’s first dance song)

So, you know when in your late teens and your twenties, you would go shopping for the cutest, latest trends at Wet Seal? And then you’d go out, looking oh-so-fab, and you’d meet a really cute, to-die-for guy, and you ended up dating, getting married and living happily ever after — all because you wore that super-cute eye-catching outfit that one night? No? Well, with a few amendments, this story isn’t so far from being just fiction!

So, I’m sure you’d like to see Jen & Eric’s wedding pictures first… but I know you’d love to hear more about their story too and how Wet Seal can help you find the man of YOUR dreams, so after the pictures… please read on!

A quick little backstory: years ago, I worked for The Wet Seal, Inc. as a graphic artist in the Marketing Dept. I was there on and off as a freelancer for 6 years with a ton of wonderful people. They’re also home to Bebe’s main competitor, Arden B. While there, I became friends with Margaret, who still works there (Margaret’s also been a wonderful assistant to me on many photoshoots!). Margaret still works there with Jen, and that’s where this story really begins.

A while back, Jen saw a cute guy in the halls that also worked at Wet Seal. Jen’s maid-of-honor, Deanna, told their story during her toast, which was completely sweet, touching and funny all at the same time: Eric worked in the real estate department, while Jen worked in the Arden B department. Not only were these two departments not even CLOSE to each other, but they weren’t even on the same floor! There was no way to casually run into each other and start talking, and so Jen admired Eric from afar. But, another co-worker spilled the beans to Eric that he had an admirer. Turns out — he liked her too. And while Eric no longer works at Wet Seal, Jen and Eric’s fairytale continued, and on Friday, May 7th, I was honored to shoot their wedding at Tivoli Terrace in Laguna Beach, CA. (And, if you’d like to see Jen & Eric’s engagement session, check it out here.)

Tivoli Terrace was the site of my first solo-shot wedding a few years back, so it was so nice to be back there! I was even a maid-of-honor myself there almost exactly 6 years ago, so I kind of felt like I had an inside track on how the place worked. The coordinators are incredible too, especially Patrick, who I was fortunate to work with when I second-shot a wedding at their sister location, Tivoli Too, a couple of months ago (that post is still yet to come!).

A quick shout-out to my friend Berit, who did Jen and her bridesmaids’ makeup for the big day. Berit and I attended Empire Academy of Makeup in Costa Mesa, CA, together … and while I discovered my love for photography while (and after) there and moved away from doing makeup professionally, Berit has continued on to be an accomplished makeup artist! Please show her some love and if you’re considering an artist for an event or your wedding, please get in touch with her! Also, thank you also to Sarah Barnes, who came along to help me out with Jen and Eric’s wedding — your help was much appreciated, my friend!

Jen and Eric already seemed like a perfect fit from the moment I met them — they’re both quick to smile and easygoing — so you know it’s meant to be when they make everything look so easy to be together and in love! Thank you Jen & Eric, for being such a wonderful couple — I had the best time with you as I’ve gotten to know you. And, a big thanks to Wet Seal — for the friends I’ve made over the years, and the love it has unwittingly brought together. See? Cute and stylish clothes DO make a difference. 😉

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We live on front porches and swing life away,
We get by just fine here on minimum wage
If love is a labor I’ll slave till the end,
I won’t cross these streets until you hold my hand

— “Swing Life Away”, Rise Against

Not all of you may listen to alternative music, or to local (but world-famous!) LA radio station KROQ, but if you do, you’re most certainly familiar with Rise Against. So if you are familiar with them you probably know this song. Typically this isn’t the type of band you’d hear played for a first dance at a wedding, but Dareen and Sean exemplify walking to the beat of a drum that is all their own, and this song was a perfect fit for them on their wedding day on Saturday, May 1st, 2010.

They met at Nordstom’s. They both worked at the Café … you know, the place with the best Tomato Basil Bisque ever? I’m personally convinced this is the reason they fell in love. There’s magic in those bowls of soup. Really! Fast forward five-and-a-half years after meeting at Nordstom Café, and here they are, walking down the aisle.

Before I go any further, I’d like to share that this wasn’t the first time I’d met Dareen’s family. In fact, through a friend-of-a-friend referral, I met Dareen’s older sister Shireen approximately 2 years ago when I photographed her baby shower, and almost a year later, her daughter’s baptism and reception. Shireen also referred me to her former UCSB college roommate, and I was able to shoot Rachelle & Brian’s wedding in Santa Barbara last year too. So, I adore this family and their friends throughout. And, when I was asked to shoot Dareen’s wedding too, I could not be any happier!

Dareen and Sean’s wedding was a beautiful fusion of Syrian culture (Dareen’s family) meets Hawaiian culture (Sean’s family), complete with purple & white dendrobium orchids everywhere, and I love that both of Dareen’s parents escorted her down the aisle to the sweetest strains of the Hawaiian (ukulele) version of “Somewhere Over The Rainbow” by Iz — it was almost like being transported to a tropical island.

It was a picture-perfect day with clear blue skies and light winds at the Royal Vista Country Club in Walnut, CA. A wonderful addition to the reception (complete with wishing tree!) was the Hawaiian dancing show! I’ve never seen a live version, and was blown away by their energy and their numerous colorful costume changes. At the end, Dareen and Sean were adorned with flower leis and consequently, guests and Bride & Groom were all invited out onto the dance floor to join in the dancing fun. There was also Persian dancing, and the evening was rounded out at the end with modern music as well. This was a multicultural wedding with a flavor for all!

I might add that Mahesh, the Best Man, gave a great toast — funny and touching all at the same time. He told how he knew that Sean was serious about Dareen (or, as Mahesh first heard and interpreted her name, “Doreen”!). He told about how Dareen would come to see Sean’s band up in LA, and how Sean bought a purse for Dareen while in Las Vegas with the guys — and then Mahesh knew Sean was serious about Dareen.

Many thanks also to Kim Luong of All Made Up, for being so wonderful to talk to; she did an amazing job with Dareen and her sisters’ makeup — they all looked absolutely stunning (as they always do — seriously, the most gorgeous sisters I’ve ever met!), but on this important day — Kim helped them look even more so.

Big, huge, wonderful thanks to my friend Holly Gratner as well, for helping me out on this day  — Holly, you are a superstar and I *so* appreciate all you did!! I couldn’t have done it without you!

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