A little bit about me...

Hi! I live about 30 minutes north of San Diego in a tiny surf town called Encinitas. I share a cute little one bedroom apartment with my sister. We live a block from the ocean and share a bunk bed. Living the dream, if you ask me! I grew up in Michigan and moved out to California about 2 years ago... call me a baby, but I just couldn't handle the winters anymore.


That being said, I've currently had some family health issues come up. My dad recently got diagnosed with ALS, which means I'm trying to get back to Michigan as much as possible to spend time with him and the rest of our family. I realize booking a photographer that lives on the other side of the country seems risky, but I have plenty of experience flying to Michigan for weddings. Since I moved to California, I've continued to shoot about 50% of my weddings in the good ol' mitten state. I've included travel in my pricing so that I am comparable to other local Michigan photographers, which means you won't be spending more to fly me out and you'll be supporting me seeing my family!


Back to learning more about me: I absolutely love to camp in my Subaru Outback. Any chance I get, I'm driving off to somewhere new with my sister and our sleeping bags. I also love kombucha, Patagonia, going for long walks along the ocean, and binge-watching Friends (I've seen every episode at least 36 times). I try my best to surf but I'm terrible at it. I just love being in the ocean despite my huge fear of sharks.

how i work

I have always been a quiet observer, which I think is what makes shooting weddings the perfect job for me. I am always looking for the connections and interactions between people, the magic quiet moments, and things you might not even notice on your wedding day. I aim to tell the story of the two of you, but also the people you surround yourself with. I am less focused on getting the perfect photograph and more on getting a photo of something that means something to you.


I would say my work is very relaxed, playful, honest, and energetic. As I said before, I am very much a quiet observer. I’m always watching and waiting. I shoot in a very documentary way, which means I capture it all as it’s happening. I will never ask you to redo something because I didn’t get the most perfect shot. I’m not really interested in perfect. I'm interested in how the day organically unfolds. And I absolutely love that every wedding is different from the one I shot the week before. As far as portraits go, I try to create a space for you two to be yourselves and feel comfortable. I want the photos to reflect how you love each other, whether that be quietly or with a lot of laughing.



If you'd like to get to know me on a day to day basis, please follow along on social media! I am always posting lots of personal posts and photos from my daily life.

Instagram: @amandavanvelsphoto

Facebook: /amandavanvelsphotography