wedding photography for joyful couples



santa monica adventures (california pt. 3)





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After the afternoon roaming through Los Angeles, we found a hotel in nearby Santa Monica very close to the beach. And so began our Santa Monica adventures. We went to the hotel first to check in and then promptly got lost trying to find our room. After finding our room with the help of the staff, we discovered the most delicious scone-like cookies in the lobby, which we promptly gobbled up as if we hadn’t eaten all day (when, in fact, we had).

We grabbed our cameras and headed outside to walk to the beach. We made it to the beach just barely before the sun dipped over the horizon and we got to see some of the most glorious skies in that short amount of time! One of my favorite images from that evening was an iPhone photo that I ‘grammed.

I love this shot because I can hear the sound of water coming towards me when I look at it. I had leaned over, put my camera close to the sand, and fired quickly as the water rushed towards me.

A little girl was at the beach with her family, jumping around in the cold water. The light was quickly fading, but I love how neither of her feet are touching the ground in this photo. She was the true definition of frolicking and I kind of wanted to join her.

The water was chilly, but after a full day of travel, we didn’t mind feeling the cold water lap over our feet. Like hobos, we ended up walking back to our hotel with bare feet because our sandy toes couldn’t get back into our ill-prepared shoes. We then changed into our bathing suits and soaked in the hot tub for all of 15 minutes before we were too hot to think. Keep in mind, we had gotten up at 3 AM that morning for our flight out of Iowa and so we were also exhausted.

We had grand plans to catch the sunrise at the beach in the morning (Sunday, February 23) and luckily the timezone was on our side since 6 AM in California is 8 AM in Iowa. We went to the marina first and Val stopped a man who was coming to clean his boat and asked if we could get onto the marina docks to take photos. He seemed leery at first, but seeing us in our cute dresses and packing camera bags, he was kind enough to let us in and we spent the better part of an hour taking photos of the boats and each other.

Love this photo of Valerie, Rachel, and me together. We did a little self-timer action to get this shot and I just adore it. Also, none of us fell into the water which was kind of an accomplishment.

The experience at the marina was so relaxing and calming. In a way, it felt spiritual…but I often feel that when I’m near water.

We went back to the hotel to change and check out, then drove our rental car the few blocks to the beach. I was so glad we were able to experience Venice Beach in the evening and the morning.

The exact moment she spotted two dolphins. We were kind of screaming out of excitement, but I’m so happy I clicked the shutter right when she first spotted them.

After leaving Santa Monica, we headed back to the L.A. airport to pick up Hannah, who would be our fourth roommate at United, and we rolled down the windows and cruised up the coastal highway towards Santa Barbara.


  1. Rachel Deutmeyer says:

    Awwww Emily dear, I MISS YOU!! You and your blog simply overflow with sweetness. It’s so incredibly fun to relive our adventures through your beautiful perspective!! <3

  2. Jodi Anne Inouye says:

    1. I looooove your blog design. 2. I looooove you. 3. I loooooove these photos and words. xo. 4. I miss you.

  3. Carla Whipple says:

    Love all of these photos. Also if you MUST travel with someone besides me, it sounds like these ladies were pretty decent stand-ins. 🙂

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