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Junebug Weddings

Junebug Weddings is one of the most popular, trend-setting and well-respected wedding brands in the wedding world and they represent the very best wedding professionals available. With a limit to 10 wedding professionals per city, per category, they are careful to protect their prestigious reputation. As a Wedding Photographer, I am extremely honored to be accepted into this small community of incredible talent.

Here’s what Junebug Weddings has to say about me…
“Highly sought after nationwide, Santa Barbara based wedding photographer Willa Kveta brings you bright, beautiful, and emotionally charged images captured with an artistic eye and an undeniable passion for what she does. With a combined background in photojournalism and portraiture, she has an amazing ability to illusively capture the most intimate and heartfelt moments while making you feel relaxed and at ease in front of her camera. Willa’s capacity to see and use light in a way that few can mimic, has positioned her as one of the leading photographers in Southern California. Connect with her to discover how her extraordinary work, true warmth and infectious smile make her so appealing to work with.”

To be honest, I still find it so amazing that have made it to this point because never in my wildest dreams did I ever imagine this. I cannot say enough how incredibly blessed and thankful I feel, every day. It’s a feeling of gratitude that encompasses my whole life and everything that have and everything that I do. I know I work hard, really really hard and I don’t let myself get away with anything, so I know that I didn’t just end up here by pure luck, but on the flip side, I am extremely lucky and some of this is pure luck, maybe? Life is amazing and I am so thankful everyday for all of these gifts.

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PHOTOGRAPHER SPOTLIGHT INTERVIEW WITH WILLA KVETA PHOTOGRAPHY – SANTA BARBARA, CA

Willa Kveta is a fantastic Santa Barbara photographer who can do wonders with natural light, and we’re very proud to feature her in this Spotlight Interview with Willa Kveta Photography! With her photojournalistic approach, Willa has the amazing ability of capturing just the right moments and her photos always give the lucky couple a wonderful happily ever after.

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How do you like to spend your time when you aren’t shooting weddings? When I am not shooting (or editing) weddings I’m most definitely hanging out with my twin girls, who are now 6 years old. We love being outdoors and the beach is our spot. We also spend a lot of time in our backyard. I love to garden and they love making mud puddles or setting up homes for the fairies among the flowers.

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Have you always wanted to be a photographer? If not, when do you remember knowing? In order to properly answer this question, I’ll describe the three stages of my evolution as a Photographer:

Unwitting Childhood Photographer
As a young child, I was always interested in photography and imagery. I’m sure a lot of influence came from my experience growing up attending Waldorf School, and from my parents who are both artists in their own ways. Throughout my childhood, my dad would never miss an opportunity to document family or friend gatherings with vivid, artistically raw, up-close photo images of everyone’s faces. When my parents gave me my first camera, it was so natural for me to habitually carry it with me and constantly take photos of my friends. Taking pictures was just something that I did; it never crossed my mind until much later that I wanted to be a Photographer ‘when I grew up’. I remember as a teenager, I would set up shots/scenes and have my friends pose for me. I loved experimenting with light and multiple exposures, yet when it came to picking my electives in high school, never once did it cross my mind to take a Photography class.

My Path to “Finding Photography”
I finished high school early through the Washington State Running Start Program – working at a coffee shop during the day and going to community college at night to fulfill my high school requirements. My goal after high school was to travel. My travels during this first trip which ended up lasting over two years landed me in Costa Rica, Panama, Guatemala, Ecuador, and Peru. Later, I would go back to Peru and Ecuador and also travel through Bolivia. All the while, I documented my journey in a daily journal which was for me, how I studied and reflected on my current life and surroundings/teachings. I spent a lot of time thinking/learning about human behavior, human psychology, life patterns, our place within Nature, and of course learning Spanish. For me, documenting my travels and experiences made me realize that I wanted to ‘document life’ as a profession but I didn’t quite know how yet. I went through many cameras while there, some of which were lost/broken/stolen, but my journals become the most cherished of my possessions. Near the end of my travels, something became intrinsically apparent to me – I knew that I wanted to document human happiness – to show the world that happiness exists everywhere (even in poverty-stricken third-world countries) and I realized that I wanted Photography to be my medium in which to do so. When I finally returned home to the States, I began shooting more for fun and taking on small jobs and eventually, when I was sure that Photography was it, I searched the country for the best photography school and ended up moving to Santa Barbara, California to attend Brooks Institute of Photography, with the intention of becoming a Worldwide Photojournalist/Documentary Photographer.

Evolving as a Photographer
During school, I worked so hard at honing in my craft that I let a lot of other things in my personal life slip away and I made many mistakes which I have learned great lessons from. If I had to do this part over, I would have spent more time with my family and balanced my homework/home life a little better. As the years flew by, it became extremely clear to me that being a traveling Photojournalist would never work for me because having children and being a mom trumped everything. I’ve always loved children and I realized that I would never be able to leave my children for an extended period of time to go do a photo story in another country. After trying out many different types of photography including Maternity and Newborn Portraiture, Digital Retouching, Family Portraiture, and even some Commercial Photography, it dawned on me that Wedding Photography was it! I had shot a smattering of weddings throughout the years but never thought it would become my full time gig. Then all of a sudden one day, it hit me so hard I knew this was it! Wedding Photography was everything that I ever wanted and more! It ultimately allowed me to capture/document happiness AND be a mom. It also came with some great perks including setting my own hours (except for the wedding days – which are usually only once per week) and provided much needed income stability and predictability. And I’ve truly been LOVING it ever since!!!

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Describe an average day for you. Shooting weddings is actually just a small portion of what I do. My average work day actually includes a lot of time at my desk.

My alarm wakes me up at 6:45 am and I press snooze immediately. At this time, my girls sleepily wander into my bedroom, snuggle in – one in each arm, and the three of us are fast asleep for another 10 minutes until the alarm goes off again, at which point I press snooze again. At 7:05 am I finally commit to being awake and I pick up my phone and look at my emails and delete all of the spam messages. Then I get up and shower while my girls get dressed for school. I make coffee for me, make lunches for them, and scramble to be out the door by 7:45 am to walk to school. I’m usually back at my desk at 8:10 am and I’ll either start working or leave to do some morning exercise like paddle boarding or jogging by the beach.

Once I’m at my desk – emails are first. I take care of anything that needs immediate attention – new client inquiries, questions from clients, etc. and then I start editing. I usually Instagram a photo somewhere in there as well. The day goes by, I drink more coffee, usually talk to a client or two on the phone at some point, and do more editing. If I’m lucky, I’ll blog a little, but that hasn’t happened lately (during the busy seasons, my blogging gets neglected). Before I know it, it’s time to pick up my girls from school and unless I absolutely have to get something done that day for work, or have a photo shoot that day, we hang out – usually in our backyard or at the beach. Of course there’s always laundry and making dinner and doing dishes and sweeping the floor, etc. all mixed in there as well. Nighttime usually consists of family dinner – usually outside in the summertime, watching a few Wimp.com videos (our little tradition), bedtime stories, snuggling in bed, and then some relaxation time after the girls are asleep.

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Do you offer albums? What kind? What do you feel is important about wedding photo albums? I offer a variety of high quality leather bound, lay-flat hand-crafted albums. Over the past few years I’ve noticed a trend in my clients increasingly ordering albums less and less. Most would say they didn’t want to spend the extra money on a book they would hardly ever look at and were much more interested in having the digital files. With the digital age and accompanying trends, everyone seems to want their photos fast and online for social media, websites, and online sharing. I was happy to embrace this because I never really enjoyed designing albums.

But recently, my thoughts completely changed on the subject when I realized that most of my clients from the past 5 years didn’t have any of their images printed. Some of them have probably even misplaced their flash drives of wedding images, so all they have on hand is a few images they posted on Facebook. I think that as the years go by, having a high quality album becomes so meaningful and I think that everyone who values their wedding photography enough to hire me and spend the money that they do on their wedding photography, should absolutely include an album in their package.

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What do you find to be the biggest challenge or most difficult part of being a wedding photographer? The pressure of having to be there no matter what. I take my job extremely seriously and I can count on just a few fingers the reasons that would force me to find someone to fill in for me at a wedding and being sick is not one of them. This also means that there are a lot of events in my personal life that I have missed and will miss as the years go by. For example, being with loved ones during special occasions or times when they are sick or dying, celebrations of loved ones such as graduations, birthdays, even weddings. Obviously I can choose to not book a certain date if I know in advance that I have something planned, but there are plenty of times when my clients book me over a year in advance and I have to honor that contract no matter what comes up in my personal life.

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What would you be doing if you weren’t a wedding photographer? If I wasn’t a Photographer, I’d definitely be working with children in need. I can see myself running an orphanage or if I was independently wealthy, I’d probably just adopt and/or foster a bunch of children and be a stay at home mom and just love on as many kiddos as possible.

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Why photography? What draws you to it? Visual storytelling. For me, because every photo is an actual real moment captured, images automatically hold a great deal of emotion, beauty and rawness, no matter what the subject matter.

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Who has influenced your photography? My dad, since day one. My dear friend Elyse Butler Mallams who is an incredible Photojournalist based in Hawaii and who is a constant inspiration to me. My partner Paul, who encourages me to carry my camera everywhere and shoot for fun. My best friend Meara who let’s me bounce anything off her and gives me her honest opinion. My mom, with constant love and support. My daughters, who always allow me to ‘practice’ on them. My professors at Brooks who encouraged growth and creativity. Joyce Tenneson – from the moment I first saw her work. Elizabeth Messina – because her images carry so much emotion, rawness and beauty. And countless other photographers whose images I see on Instagram, on blogs and in magazines.

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What is your creative vision? What do you desire to express with your photos? Raw emotion and beauty that holds a cherished memory for my clients.
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Any direction you would like to take your photography? My hope is that my photography will always be evolving and changing as I grow as a person, mother, photographer and artist. I want to constantly be inspired to try new things and approaches that not only challenge me but keep my creativity alive. It’s so important to me that my images feel authentic and come from a place of truth.

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Any advice for couples who are looking for their perfect wedding photographer? Look at websites or get referrals from friends and find the style of photography that you love. Then meet with your top selects to find the photographer that you connect with or feel naturally comfortable with. I think it’s important to genuinely like your photographer because you want to remember your wedding day, and not how you didn’t like your wedding photographer. Price is important also, but remember that after all of the food is eaten and the drinks are drank and the flowers and decorations are taken down, the photographs last forever and keep your memories alive in your mind, so I really do think it’s important to prioritize your photography.
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Do you have any advice for beginning photographers, wedding or otherwise? When I was just starting out, I heard someone say something like: “Most people quit right before they are about to achieve their goals, so keep going, even when it seems like you’ll never get there because if you don’t quit you will without a doubt achieve your dreams.” I absolutely believe this and this is what kept me going even when it seemed so far fetched for me to be able to actually make a good living as a photographer.

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Best advice you’ve ever received about being a happy human? Life is a journey – enjoy it! Learn to master a work-life balance. The power of attraction is real – focus on the positive! Be kind and be grateful. And…smile and laugh a lot!

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Thank you for sharing your work and words of wisdom, Willa!

Santa Barbara News-Press Special Weddings Edition

Hot from the Press – Santa Barbara News-Press Special Weddings Edition – 2 Love & Cherish (full edition) – Featuring a ton of Willa Kveta Photography Images!

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Text by Joshua Brayer - Santa Barbara News- Press When Jessica Welborn was in her late teens, her parents purchased property and the exclusive and beautiful Hollister Ranch area. She quickly fell in love with Rancho San Augustine’s rustic charm and it’s picturesque view of the ocean, and she began dreaming about getting married there. When she met Brandt it wasn’t long before those dreams started to become a lot more real.

Brandt proposed to Jessica while the couple was vacationing in Costa Rica with all of Jessica’s immediate family and a few friends. One morning Brandt and Jessica had planned a stand up paddle boarding session. While Jessica was still sleeping, Brandt woke up the rest of the family to tell them of his plan to propose, and they managed to capture it on video from the shore while Brandt attempted a proposal in some pretty hectic surf conditions.

The couple planed their wedding for January 5, 2013 at Rancho San Augustine – the Welborn family vacation home in Hollister Ranch with the help of Zohe Felici of Felici Events. “Rancho San Augustine has been an incredibly special place for my family to gather for the last 15 years”, said Jessica. “In the Winter the Monarch butterflies literally drip from the eucalyptus trees. It is truly magical. Brandt and I got married under the eucalyptus trees with the Monarch butterflies surrounding us!”

Many couples have been opting for idyllic settings for their big day and Rancho San Augustine, with its warm animals, fruit trees, barn, and panoramic view of the ocean certainly set the tone for the Welborns. Hollister Ranch is known for its unblemished landscape and this proved true when, not long before the ceremony, a bobcat was spotted stealthily hunting prey in the spacious backyard.

Brandt, who took Jessica’s last name in part because “her family is so cool” and because there are no men to carry on the Welbore name among Jessica’s siblings, went to great lengths to include his new family in every step of the wedding. Prior to the Costa Rica trip, he ventured to Rancho Santa Fe, near Encinitas, to ask Jessica’s grandmother for her permission to marry her granddaughter. While there, Jessica’s grandmother produced several boxes of jewelry from which Brandt could choose a ring for Jessica. He chose a plain gold band which they later discovered was Jessica’s grandfather’s wedding band. Jessica later had it melted down and used to create her wedding rings, a task performed by Los Olivos jeweler Johnny Ninos.

The couple chose to write their own wedding vows which they read like a dialogue back-and-forth to each other, and concluded with their personal intimate expression to each other “I love you fierce.” The couple used local vendors for their food (New West Catering) and beverages (Sandford Winery and Figueroa Mountain Brewing Co) as well as their cake (Enjoy Cupcakes in Los Olivos), and Photographer (Willa Kveta Photography in Santa Barbara), however the Hollister Ranch venue with its gorgeous Oceanview stole the show at the Welborn wedding.
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* Cover photo is not by Willa Kveta Photography

How I Balance My Two Careers – Wedding Photography and Motherhood

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I get asked all the time how I became a Wedding Photographer and how I manage to run a successful Wedding Photography business while being a full time mom to young children, so I thought I would share my story as well as some insights, challenges, and tips with all of you.

To begin, I’ll explain how and why I became a Photographer and how my life experiences began shaping my future. I find it so interesting and serendipitous that I landed in Wedding Photography.

Unknowing Childhood Photographer:
As a young child, I was always interested in photography and imagery. I’m sure a lot of influence came from my experience growing up attending Waldorf School, and from my parents who are both artists in their own ways. Throughout my childhood, my dad would never miss an opportunity to document family or friend gatherings with vivid, artistically raw, up-close photo images of everyone’s faces. When my parents gave me my first camera, it was so natural for me to habitually carry it with me and constantly take photos of my friends (people were always my subjects), it didn’t even phase me. Truthfully, taking pictures was just something that I did; it never crossed my mind until much later that I wanted to be a Photographer ‘when I grew up’. I remember as a teenager, I would set up shots/scenes and have my friends pose for me. I would also experiment with light and multiple exposures, yet when it came to picking my free periods in high school, never once did I consider taking Photography.

My Path to “Finding Photography”:
I finished high school early through the WA State Running Start Program – working at a coffee shop during the day and going to school at Community College at night so that I could finish school ahead of schedule and go travel the world. My travels during this first trip which ended up lasting over two years landed me in Costa Rica, Panama, Guatemala, Ecuador, and Peru. Later, I would go back to Peru and Ecuador and also travel through Bolivia. All the while, I documented my journey in a daily journal which was for me, how I studied and reflected on my current life and surroundings/teachings. I spent a lot of time thinking/learning about human behavior, human psychology, life patterns, our place within Nature, and of course learning Spanish. For me, documenting my travels and experiences made me realize that I wanted to ‘document life’ as a profession but I didn’t know quite how yet. I went through many cameras while there, some of which were lost/broken/stolen, but my journals become the most cherished of my possessions. Near the end of my travels, something became intrinsically apparent to me – I knew that I wanted to document human happiness – to show the world that happiness exists everywhere (even in poverty-striken third-world countries) and I realized that Photography would be my medium in which to do so. When I finally returned home to the States, I began shooting more for fun and taking on small jobs and eventually, when I was sure that Photography was it, I searched the country for the best photography school, and ended up moving to Santa Barbara California to attend Brooks Institute of Photography, where I truly thought I would become a Photojournalist Photographer and travel the world.

Evolving as a Photographer:
During school, I worked so hard at honing in my craft that I let a lot of other things in my personal life slip away and I made many mistakes which I have learned great lessons from. If I had to do this part over, I would have spent more time with my family and balanced my homework/home life a little better. As the years flew by, it became extremely clear to me that being a traveling Photojournalist would never work for me because having children and being a mom would trump everything. I’ve always loved children and my first job ever was babysitting, which later became full time nannying for other children. It hit me one day, that I would never want to leave my children for an extended period of time to go do a photo story in another country. After trying out many different types of photography including Maternity and Newborn Portraiture, Digital Retouching, Family Portraiture, and even some Commercial Photography, it dawned on me that Wedding Photography was it! I had shot a smattering of weddings throughout the years but never thought it would become my shtick. Then all of a sudden one day, it hit me so hard I knew this was it! Wedding Photography was everything that I ever wanted and more! It ultimately allowed me to capture/document happiness AND be a mom. It also came with some great perks including setting my own hours (except for the wedding days – which are usually only once per week) and provided much needed income stability and predictability.

Learning the All Important Work-Life Balance:
This one never came easy to me. I think if I did not have my children and my partner to remind me of the importance of a work-life balance, I could easily slip into workaholism. I am such a hard worker, which I am proud of, but having balance in life has brought so much more joy into my life. When my twin daughters were born, finding that balance for them was easy. They needed me so much and I wanted to be there for them that there was nothing that would stop me from putting them first. They were and still are such good reminders of the importance of stoping to enjoy life’s little moments, of play and laughter, of spending quality time with loved ones, and of being ever so present in the current moment. Now that they are six years old, I find myself cheating sometimes and trying to work late, but they don’t let me get away with it – and I’m so grateful for that. Along the way, I’ve also learned the importance of taking time for me and recently began bicycling everywhere, hiking, and gardening. For so long, I was narrowly focussed on my little world at home with my babies and my business, that I forgot to open my eyes to the beautiful that surrounds us. Santa Barbara is a special place and I am working hard at reminding myself everyday to enjoying it to it’s fullest potential.

Tips and Tricks that have allowed me to thrive at both being a Mom and a Wedding Photographer:
1. My daughters come first, but my clients come so close to first as well
2. I’ll do anything it takes to be there for both my daughters and my clients
3. I’m extremely organized and diligent about responding to clients within 24 hours
4. I have an ongoing TO DO list that I email to myself and keep in my Inbox, which I am constantly updating
5. I stop work (almost) every day when my girls come home from school to spend quality time with them
6. I sometimes work at night when I need to, in order to feel ‘sane’ and caught up
7. I treat myself to frequent massages – especially when I have a migraine or tension in my neck or shoulders
8. Now that my girls are in school (Kindergarten), I do my errands via my bike whenever possible, so that I get built-in fresh air, nature, and exercise.
9. Networking with other Wedding Photographers and Industry Professionals has brought so much more to my business and overall success.
10. Checking back with client inquiries pays off (sometimes people simply forget to respond until you remind them)
11. Looking at blogs and others Photographer’s work helps keep me inspired and pushes me to constantly grow as a Photographer
12. Submitting Weddings to Magazines and Blogs and keeping up with my blogging is a must for exposure
13. SEO is important to understand, learn, and update often
14. Diversifying Advertising Expenditures is a must, as is identifying the ones that yield the greatest return of target customers
15. There’s nothing wrong with asking for Reviews from past clients – and the more positive reviews, the more reputable you become
16. Volunteering my services here and there is extremely rewarding and personally gratifying
17. Work Hard, Play Hard. Again along the lines of that All So Important Work-Life Balance
18. Always honoring my contracts and and surprising my clients with early delivery of their images whenever possible is so great for making Happy Customers
19. Being real and being honest are very important to me and I believe directly reflect the kind of business I draw to myself and the clients I work with
20. Always striving to keep the pedals turning and keep moving forward. Being grateful and happy with where I am at today, but always reaching for the next goal at the same time.

Truths:
1. It’s not easy
2. It is worth it
3. I feel blessed to be/do both jobs
4. I haven’t always been good at the work-life balance
5. I’m super passionate about both of my careers: being a Mom and being a Wedding Photographer
6. I wouldn’t trade my life for anything
7. Wedding Photography provides the income stability that is absolutely necessary when raising a family
8. Basing my hours around my family is a must
9. Wedding Photography is super rewarding – it’s what I realized a long time ago that I wanted to do – ‘document happiness’
10. Goals change and growth happens but loving the journey is the most important part!

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If you’re interested in reading more about my story – here is a blog post I wrote a few years back About My Travels

Here’s another Photographer-Mom’s insight about her experience balancing both: Jessica’s Video Blog

Santa Barbara Wedding Photographer’s Video – surpassed the 1,000,000 views mark on YouTube!

Sometimes I don’t think of myself as a Photographer…in my everyday life, but then my friends remind me that I have taken more photographs of their children then they have, that I am the one documenting the moments, even if it is only with my iPhone, and I am the one posting pictures and videos to Instagram, Facebook, and YouTube.  As a Wedding Photographer and Photographer/mom in this amazing city of Santa Barbara, I see life in pictures and videos.  It’s not only my job but my love and passion.  I get excited about photos and photography and so this is kind of exciting news for me…that my YouTube video has surpassed 1,000,000 likes!

Anyway, two years ago, I posted a video that I made from various clips I joined together of my 3 year old twin daughters swimming underwater on YouTube so that I could show it to my family and friends.  It never even crossed my mind that more people would see it.  All of a sudden however, it started getting hundreds of views per day and I was receiving tons of commends and subcribers on YouTube.  It definitely didn’t go viral over night and really, compared to many videos out there, it’s ‘likes’ count shadows in comparison, however, I’m pretty surprised to see that it has been viewed over 1 million times…1,000,000 views +!!!  What?!?!  That’s crazy to me!

I Titled the video UnderWater Dancing because to me, their movements under the water looked like dancing.  This video shows them in their most adored element – under water.  My girls LOVE swimming!  They are 5 years old now and to this day, want to swim every day.  They are truly fish, little mermaids under water.  They can swim better than I can in the ocean and stay in the pool for hours on end!  My favorite little parts of this video are watching them dive down, kick their feel in unison as if they are mermaids, their smiles as they swim towards me, and their free dancing/jumping/turns under the water.  I cherish this video not because of how many likes it has received on YouTube, but because it truly represents my daughter’s undeniable love of the water and of swimming, and that to me as their mom, means everything.

Here is the link to view this video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BbPjxBFNUX4

Wedding Photographer UnderWater DancingWilla Kveta Photography 

Santa Barbara Day Of The Dead Engagement Session

I was so excited to photograph this fun couple’s engagement session. They had all of the locations scouted ahead of time and it was so much fun to capture all of these moments for them, in such gorgeous places around Santa Barbara and Montecito! Since they had originally planned on getting married on the Mexican Traditional Celebration of the Day Of The Dead, they wanted to incorporate a little bit of that into their Engagement Session. Scroll down to see the awesome photos of their amazing face paint my Maria (who does awesome face painting for birthday parties, weddings, etc. text her if you’re interested – 805-689-4104)

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Santa Barbara Wedding Photographer’s – Child Portraits

Innocent Beauty ~ Child Portraiture ~ Santa Barbara Photographer: Willa Kveta’s Daughters

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Wedding Photography Portraiture of Children

One night, my daughters wanted to play dress up and curl their hair, which is normally straight and usually quite messy since it’s fine.  It seems impossible to keep it looking brushed!  We got all into it and then, since I already had some lighting set up for another shoot, we decided to play around and take some fun pictures.  I was intrigued by their solum expressions and wanted to play off of this look.  Normally, I can’t get them to stop giggling and laughing in front of the camera (which I love), but this night they were totally into this look.  I had recently edited a bridal shoot that had a similar solum look, and of course they see all of the images I’m working on, so I think they may have been a bit influenced by that other shoot.  I love these pictures.  I’m sure some people will criticize me for them, as I know they have an intensity to them, but for me as a Photographer and especially as a mother, these images are Fine Art to me and I like how their gazes seem to pierce the screen.  These are my daughters, children of a Santa Barbara Wedding Photographer, so they seem quite fitting.

Ellwood Butterfly Migration in Santa Barbara California

The Butterflies have arrived at Ellwood in Santa Barbara!

Elwood Butterflies Santa Barbara

 

Every year, Santa Barbara is so lucky to be one of the destinations for the monarch butterflies on their migration south. This is a picture I took of the Ellwood Butterfly Migration in Santa Barbara California, where I live.  It’s a magical sight and such a blessing to witness it ‘in our back yard’ every winter. Yesterday was a gorgeous sunny day and the butterflies were out in full glory! I’ve always loved the Ellwood Preserve – my daughters and I take walks out there all the time – year-round, but this time of year is so special. Of course their favorite part after we saw the butterflies, was walking out to the bluffs and playing in the mud puddles. My girls always remind me how great life is and how so much fun can be had in nature!!! I’m truly blessed to have such incredible daughters!

 

Santa Barbara Photographer – Family Portraits at El Capitan Canyon

We had so much fun photographing these awesome family portraits out at El Capitan Canyon Ranch outside of Santa Barbara a few days after Christmas!

Santa Barbara Family Portraits

Santa Barbara Photographer – Family Portraits at El Capitan Canyon – Willa Kveta Photography

Santa Barbara Winter Wedding Photography

Santa Barbara Winter Wedding Photography

The unique design by Alegria By Design’s Armando Martinez ~ a blue and white winter wonderland, sparkling iceland with accents of pinks and yellows, was stunning. Every detail was winter perfection – the tables were sophisticatedly decorated yet still whimsical in their design, with off balanced floral bouquets of white long-stemmed tulips and lilies, offset with short bunches of white peonies, floating candles in glass vases of all shapes and sizes, sparking bowls of ‘ice’ with silver ball accents and jewels. The ceremony was held outside on the rooftop of the gorgeous Spanish style Canary Hotel in downtown Santa Barbara with a 360 degree view of the surrounding scenery. I was so lucky to photograph this Santa Barbara Winter Wedding!!!

Santa Barbara Photographer – Published Weddings Magazine

Felling Blessed – Another published Willa Kveta Photography Wedding Magazine hit the stands this week!  This year has been an exciting year for me, as my wedding photography is getting more and more recognition and publication! So excited about this full page feature in the current issue – Winter 2012/2013 of Destination Weddings and Honeymoons Magazine! Santa Barbara made their top 12 world-wide list for best places to tie the knot!

Destination Weddings and Honeymoons Magazine

Hot Locale # 12: Santa Barbara, California!
Less than 100 miles north of Los Angeles, the scenery suddenly changes from skyscrapers and freeways to rolling hills, verdant vines and pristine beaches – the perfect outdoor wedding setting. Naturally, couples flock to the region’s top vineyards for idyllic ceremonies. Swap vows in a romantic garden filled with Diana, Princess of Wales roses at the award-winning Fess Parker Winery, which completed renovations on its cozy inn in April 2012. The result: a new swimming pool, Mediterranean restaurant and 19 rooms decorated in hues reminiscent of pinot noir and sauvignon Blanc. For an oceanfront ceremony, head to the beach at the Hyatt Santa Barbara, whose circa-1931 Spanish-colonial grounds also underwent a stunning makeover in April 2012. The garden-filled El Encanto, another coastal escape, reopens March 2013 as an Orient-Express property. This Californian wine mecca is also known for its fresh cuisine; foodies can throw an unforgettable fete at the Pierre Lafond Montecito Wine Bistro, where the farm-fresh menu (this duck confit paired with local wine) began wowing gourmands in November 2011.

Santa Barbara Photographer – Published Weddings Magazine