Tag Archives: blog

Today, just be you.

If you’re lucky enough to be different, don’t ever change.

~Taylor Swift




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Ready, Set… Fall!


Hello, September! Kids are going back to school, days are getting a little shorter, and the air is feeling a little cooler. Fall is a-comin’!  It is a wonderful time to get out and shoot, but where do you start? Since Fall is my favorite season by far, I wanted to pass along some ideas of what to photograph.











1. First, the obvious. Fall foliage! When you see those bright fall colors, keep in mind the time of day. It’s best to photograph foliage in the early morning or late afternoon, when the sunlight is soft and golden. The colors will be brighter, the shadows will be softer, and you’ll capture the real feeling of fall time.


2. Look at details! Maybe it’s a corner of the fringe on your favorite scarf, or the texture of that bright orange leaf, or the steam coming off a hot cup of cocoa… whatever you choose to focus on, be sure to get close and personal! Showing off details of an object show things like texture and color, so you get to “feel” that object. So don’t be afraid to zoom in!


3. Fall is all about f-o-o-d! Check out your local farmers’ market for all the brightly colored fruits and veggies on display. Are farmers’ markets not your thing? Look for a local pumpkin patch or apple field and spend some time walking the grounds! You’ll see kids picking out pumpkins, baskets full of apples, and lots of details to capture.(Local tip: Julian is famous for apples, and September is the perfect time for apple-picking! Find info HERE)


4. Tired of the same ol’ views? Go explore! Go for a day trip to someplace new and you never know what fall sights you’ll find.

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Creative Spotlight #005 – wed (weddings.events.design.)


Imagine what the ideal wedding or event planner would be like, and you’re probably picturing Liz Cutrano, of wed (weddings.event.design.). Liz and I met through a wonderful group that is geared towards uniting women in creative businesses, and I have a feeling we’ll know each other for a long time :) In the short time we’ve known each other, I’ve been SO impressed with Liz’s natural talent for putting together the details for an event. From DIY projects to repurposing vintage items, she’s got an eye for making things come together beautifully! Plus, she’s an East coast transplant, just like me. Coincidence? Probably not ;-)


the chat

can you introduce yourself and give us an idea of your background?

My name is Liz Cutrano. I am the head wedding planner/coordinator and the owner of wed (weddings.events.design.).  I have been married to my husband, Chris, for 3 years.  He is my real life boy-next-door, since he grew up 3 houses down the street from me. (Read my blog for the full story!) I grew up in Port Orange, Florida (a small town outside Daytona Beach). I graduated from the University of Central Florida in Orlando.  I moved to San Diego right after college, which was a plan of mine after visiting California for the first time when I was 16.  I fell in love with the beaches, mountains, cliffs, climate and people in San Diego. After living here for 3 years, we moved back to Florida for 2 years to be closer to family. A year ago we followed our hearts back to the west coast and plan to raise a family and grow old together in sunny SoCal!  I also have two chihuahuas, Foofi and Lola, who I take way too many pictures of. :)

you own wed, and it’s still a relatively new business. Can you tell us about what all the services are that wed provides?

wed is a full-service wedding and event planning and coordination company.  My packages can be customized to fit each bride’s specific needs.  I offer full-service planning for  brides who would like help throughout the entire planning process.  I also offer partial and month-of planning to assist brides with completing their planning.  Day-of coordination is included in each package or by itself.  I create a customized timeline for the wedding day, and coordinate the ceremony rehearsal, ceremony, cocktail hour, and reception.  This is the best part of my job! I love seeing the final product, the joy and love of the bride and groom, and the smiles on the guests’ faces.

Even though I mainly work with brides, I also offer event planning and coordination services, such as: anniversary celebrations, baby showers, bridal showers, birthday parties and special events.

having worked with many brides, I bet you have some interesting stories! is there one solid piece of advice that you find yourself telling your brides every time they get stressed out or nervous?

No two brides are alike, but I always tell each of them “That’s why I’m here”!  I take on all of the responsibilities of the wedding day so the bride and groom can be stress-free and enjoy every minute of their big day.  I remind brides that I was in their shoes, and completely understand all of the emotions and anxieties that come along with planning a wedding. I was a perfectionist when I was a bride, and I do the same for each of my clients. No detail will go unnoticed!

your DIY projects are great! they seem to be an important touch that you bring to the table. Have you been doing craft and DIY projects for a long time? Do you have any super unique projects from your past that stand out?

Since I was a little girl, I enjoyed crafting. I have many fond memories of picking out puffy paint and iron-on transfers to make holiday sweatshirts with my mom.  I also loved scrapbooking and making memory books. My mom had cupboards full of fun craft goodies, and I spent many rainy afternoons creating unique projects.  In college, I loved searching the internet and magazines for DIY projects. Now, I am addicted to Pinterest! I could fill the rest of my life with DIY pretties I have pinned to my boards!

I love assisting my clients with DIY projects for their wedding. They’re a great way to personalize your big day and add creative details.  Some projects can also save money and fit into tight budgets without losing style.  A favorite recent DIY project are the paper pinwheels. I made them to use in a styled photoshoot. I will be posting a tutorial on my blog soon!  I also love making fabric banners, chalkboard signs and repurposing thrift store and antique shop finds into wedding decor.

most of the weddings that you’ve been involved with have taken place in San Diego. Is there a location (within or outside of SD) that you would love to organize a wedding at?

I would love to plan and coordinate a wedding in Napa Valley! I love the beauty of wine country and the romantic feelings it evokes.  My other dream venue would be on the beach in Maui! It’s breathtaking!

where do you pull inspiration from when you’re building the visuals for an upcoming wedding? how much of your vision do you like to inject into the planning?

Most of my clients share inspiration with me on Pinterest. I assist them with their theme and decor using pictures of real weddings and styled inspiration shoots by vendors.  I also find daily inspiration on wedding blogs. I like to stay up-to-date with current wedding trends and unique ideas.  When I have the creative freedom from my clients, I love to put my whole vision that encompasses the bride and groom’s  personal style and story into their wedding. I live for the design process!

you’ve been back in San  Diego for less than a year, but your business seems to be booming. Congrats! What kind of goals do you have for the next year? Any big events or landmarks that you’re excited about and can share with us?

Thank you!  I have had the honor to work with the sweetest and most fun couples in San Diego! My goal is to provide my services to as many brides as I can so they can fully enjoy and be pleased with the best (and biggest) day of their life!

I am also working on coordinating and styling more styled wedding and bridal inspiration shoots. Look for announcements on my Facebook page for upcoming blog features! I will also be announcing new services later this year!

having been raised in, and done some work in, the east coast… what sorts of differences do you see in the wedding business between east and west coast? Do you feel you bring any of the east coast flavor to the west?  If so, how?

In the east coast, particularly Florida, most weddings are indoors. Many ceremonies are planned for the beach, but due to rainy summers, tropical storms and hurricanes, most end up indoors.  I love that San Diego has amazing weather year-round and a great climate for outdoor ceremonies and receptions. I also have noticed that more brides on the west coast take chances and choose unique venues or incorporate unique details into their wedding. I have also seen more “untraditional” wedding dresses in California, which I think is awesome!

5 little-known facts about you?

1. I’m a vegetarian, but I cook my husband raw steaks.

2. I was born on Mother’s Day and I’m the youngest in my family.

3. I love frozen yogurt and luckily, I live less than 2 minutes from the nearest froyo shop. (This is sometimes dinner on a busy day.)

4. My first career was teaching. I taught kindergarten, 1st + 2nd grade. I have some crazy, not-so-cute stories!

5. I wish I could sing! (I am envious of Adele.)


the space

Since Liz’s finished work is a series of events, and these events are intimate and personal to each of her clients, we just have the behind-the-scenes shots for you this time! But please go to wed’s website and see the beautiful result to all this amazing creativity!


A big “Thank you!” to Liz for letting us get a peek into her work space, her projects, and her life.

Be sure to follow along with wed’s blog (the site is super cute!), then go visit wed’s Facebook page and “like” it for instant updates and links! If Twitter is more your speed, you can follow @wedsandiego and be in the loop at all times.

Aaaaand…. if you’re as addicted to Pinterest as I am, you’ll want to also follow all of wed’s boards on their profile!


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Time to Yogatate, y’all


How’s this for starting my week off right?

My dear friend Erica at Yogatations has featured me as the artist of the month for December!

I’m honored to get a spot on her roster of artists, and am myself a huge fan of her work. Please go check out her site and follow her work!

You can see my feature post HERE.

Gold stars for those that leave comments on her page too :)


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Beware the ides of… November?

‘Tis the ides of November… aka, it’s the 15th. My email newsletter went out this morning, a week behind schedule (hey, I’m an arteeeest! Timely scheduling is a challenge for me sometimes…). I’m hopeful that within the next couple of months I’ll have some sort of routine down for these,but who knows!

So I sent out my newsletter, all excited because of the juicy info and links on it. I always send myself a copy to see how the finished product looks, and so while I was reviewing my masterpiece, I noticed a typo. I’m no perfectionist by any means (in fact, I prefer imperfections in most things), but I felt a twinge of “doh!” when I read “FYI” instead of “DIY”.




So here it is. My flawed, late, yet still awesome newsletter.

The Calm Before the Storm (November newsletter)


And if you’re not signed up yet, what are you waiting for?! Click HERE to quickly sign up and get this juiciness delivered to your inbox every month. Give or take a few days ;-)



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Calling All Creatives!!!

I’ve been thinking lately. A lot. Mostly thinking about how to create and maintain the work that I love to do.

All this thinking has led to some exciting ideas that will start popping up in 2012, so buckle your seat belts, boys and girls!

One of those exciting ideas will be a photo feature on this website each month, showing you an amazing creative artist or small business owner that is deserving of some spotlight time :) You’ll get to know them as you would a new friend, and hopefully it will be the first of many times that you hear of them!

With this in mind, I’m looking to make loads of new friends to showcase in these photo features!

So this is an OPEN CALL to all creatives out there that want some online love! Since I take all the photos myself, it will need to be someone in Southern California (although there may be a chance to do an international feature mid-year. More on that to come!). So if you are:

-an artist or creative biz owner

-still in the early stages and looking to gain new exposure

-interested in having your work/process/life documented

-in the SoCal area

then contact me today!!!

There is no charge for this, just a mutual love of creativity and sharing good work with the world :)

If you know someone who fits the bill and may be interested, please share this post or pass along my contact info (email: full.circle.natalia@gmail.com). I can then give more details about how it all works, and hopefully we can set a month to get you featured to the world!

I look forward to meeting some amazing folks out there!


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Versatile Blogger Award


I got an email several days ago from Juanita, of Juanita’s Photo Box, letting me know that I’d been nominated for the “Versatile Blogger Award”.  It’s a chain of sorts, and is all about getting to know others and letting others get to know you. Love it!

Many thanks to Juanita of juanitasphotobox.com for sending some blog love my way!!

So here’s how it works. After giving thanks to the person who nominated you, you say 7 random things about yourself and then nominate 15 others (I’ll probably have a few less because I’m still a bit new to the blog world).  Thanks have been given, so let’s move on to the 7 random things about myself:

1. I can’t sleep with sheets tucked in, and even untuck the top sheet/comforter in my hotel bed when traveling.

2. While traveling in Rome, I saw (all in the same day) the pope, the back of Bill Clinton’s head, a Chinese restaurant on fire, and a banana getting arrested.

3. Some of my favorite movies are Clue, Dumb & Dumber, Manhattan Murder Mystery, and National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation. There are some serious ones I love too, but the ones I listed are the ones I could watch over and over and over… :)

4. I was a handful as a child! I remember at least 2 times that I got my head stuck in between railing bars! haha

5. You know the thumbprint cookies? The peanut butter cookies w/ the hershey kiss on top? Yeah, I’ve perfected those. They come out awesome, every. single. time.

6. No, I don’t have a degree in photography. Yes, I know my way around a darkroom quite well. and I’m quite proud of both of those facts.

7. I knew how to work a cash register at the age of 10.

There, now you know me much better!

Now, on to nominate others…

1. ashinbleu  BleuOiseau Photography’s blog. A fellow Etsian, photographer, and lover of awesomeness.

2. madelynnenehl  Madelynne L. Nehl Photography’s blog. Not only are the photos lovely, but grouping of coordinating images is inspiring.

3. tamaraoutloud  This one makes you think, but always in that “I’m so glad I stumbled across this post” sorta way.

4. lovelyhorribles  The LovelyHorribles.  food for thought, with a side of chuckle.

5. logyexpress  A gal from Erie sharing her thoughts on life, career, and daily happenings. It’s like sitting down with an old friend for a chat :)

6. Steve McCurry’s blog.  National Geographic photographer who not only captures amazing depth in his cultural photos, but he also manages to always put beautiful and perfectly fitting quotes alongside his images. A must see!

7. Gallery 32.  Another fellow Etsian photographer that is worth checking out.  Check out her TTV shots, they’re beautiful!!

Well, there you go. Get a little love, give a little love :)  Please go check out the blogs I listed above and follow them. They are all very deserving!



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buh-bye July?

With just about one week left in July, it’s time to bust out the calendars and get psyched for what’s ahead. July’s been full of work and family, and August looks like it’ll be more about work and friends!

On the friends front, I’m looking forward to a camping trip to Idyllwild. I’ve never been, so it’ll be great to explore a new area (and I’m sure I’ll have loads of pictures to show for it afterwards!). I also think the local bars are missing me lately, so I’ll make it a point to stop by for a beer or two ;-)

On the work front, I’ll be prepping for the LeucadiArt Walk on the 28th. It’s a one day event, but those that have done art fairs before will agree, it’s a LOT of work! I’m hoping to meet lots of new folks, and lots of future clients :)  So far, I’ve gotten my calendars done (yay!!), and next up is placing the large order for new prints and then ordering my postcards to show off the fancy-schmancy portrait work I’ve done. Can’t wait to have those postcards in my hand!

I’d love to sneak in some photo day trips during August too. I miss taking my one-woman day trips with camera in hand and shooting everything that crosses my path! I think it’s time to reconnect with my camera. While I’m at it, I’ll be practicing a little more with my new flash. I bought it used, so no manual, and the manual I found online is not exactly thorough. So let the experimenting begin! I already did one shoot with it, and you can see the sneak peek here. I didn’t feel like I really had control of it though, so I’m looking forward to trying things out and sharing some fun results with you all!

Let’s see… what else? Oh! The most important part! I’ll be scheduling in time to recharge my brain and creativity. I’ve been feeling creatively drained lately, and there seems to be a lot going on at once while I spin in circles. Not a great feeling! As if sent by an angel, I read a very appropriate post this morning from one of my regular online inspirations, Tara Gentile. She writes about the importance of recharging yourself with rest and just plain fun. It made me think that I really should make it a point to take a little time to slow down every once in a while. If I get worn out, everything I do suffers. And nobody wants that!  ;-)


Do you like me yet?   “like” Full Circle Images on Facebook HERE
Are you following me yet?   “follow” Full Circle Images on Twitter HERE
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New and improved!

it’s a brand new day!


I’ve taken the leap and now have a fabulous new domain of my own! So share it, like it, link it, discuss it, plaster it all over town! See those great little buttons to share at the bottom of the post? They’re just dying to be clicked. Go ahead, I’ll wait while you do that….

If email’s more your cup of tea, there’s a super easy button on the right side of the screen to subscribe via email so you’ll always hear about the latest happenings. Prefer to silently follow people on Facebook? You can stalk me, I mean “like” me, here. Still not satisfied?! If you’re on Flickr, let’s be friends! You can add me as a contact by going onto my main page here.

Stay tuned for new updates and blog posts.

‘Til next time…



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