• hello friends,

    thanks for stopping by! HAPPY HEARTS photography is located in the amazing city of san diego, ca. & we LOVE photographing maternity sessions, newborn babies, children, and their families! our blog has taken many forms and lately seems to be more about random photography related topics and things we find interesting than it is about recent sessions.
    if you haven't already, please check out our main site by clicking on the 'portfolio' link above.

    much love ~ david & laura

currently seeking community ambassadors {san diego maternity photographer}

Hello friends, happy Friday!

We’re now looking for a new group of community ambassadors to help us get the word out about HAPPY HEARTS and our maternity photography within their “inner circle” – family, friends, coworkers, neighbors, etc. Ambassadors and their referrals will receive special deals on our sessions and products, so it’s a great win-win for everyone and a chance for you and your loved ones to get those awesome new family portraits you’ve been wanting!

Anyone interested in learning more should be friendly, live in San Diego, have a family with children (or know lots of people who do), love our work, and enjoy sharing the things they love with their loved ones. If this sounds like you, please contact us and we’ll fill you in on all the details!

Our primary focus this time is on maternity photography, with a secondary focus on newborn photography. So, we’re looking to connect with awesome families that are currently expecting, or that just brought a new little one into the world! If you or someone you know is looking for a newborn or maternity photographer in San Diego, you’ve come to the right place!

We’re not holding a casting call or looking for models here. We’re simply looking for smiling happy families, that love and connect with our photography and approach, that want to help us spread the word with some good old fashioned word of mouth!

This offer is only available for a limited time and to a select few. If you or someone you know might be interested, please get in touch right away! Maternity sessions will be offered both in-home and at select outdoor locations and newborn sessions will be offered primarily in-home, with one or two outdoor locations available as well.

Thanks so much, we’re excited to hear from you!

interested in becoming a community ambassador? {san diego family photographer}

We’re currently on the lookout for community ambassadors to help us spread the word about our work with their friends, family, coworkers, and elsewhere in their communities. We’ll be offering special session deals for those that qualify and it’s a great opportunity for you and your loved ones to update your family photos! So if you live in San Diego, are friendly, outgoing, and love what we do, please get in touch to learn more!

Our focus this time around will be on family photography (for families with school aged children). Coming up, we’ll also be on the lookout for maternity, newborn, and baby ambassadors too – so if that sounds like a better fit for you, please let us know and we’ll add you to our list for future opportunities.

This isn’t a casting call. As always, we’re looking for everyday people that are excited about what we do and would love to share their family portraits with their people! Over the years we’ve found that word-of-mouth is the best way for us to find and connect with awesome families, so we’re making this a win-win for everyone. There will also be special session deals for everyone you refer!

This will be a limited time offer available only to a select few, so if you or someone you know might be interested, please don’t hesitate to drop us a line! Sessions will take place over the next two months and will be offered at several of our favorite outdoor locations, along with a few in-home sessions too.




Nikon D4s: from rumor to official announcement {for photographers}

following up on our earlier post, Nikon’s D4s has now been made public! photography news sites/blogs are pushing out tons of info and insights since the announcement, so i won’t be adding much here, especially since most of the rumored/leaked specs appear to have been fairly accurate.

as previously mentioned, i’ve mostly been curious to see if high ISO performance has improved much with this update. this is just a tech curiosity though, as i’m quite content with my current setup. in fact, i’ve been thoroughly amazed at the results i’ve been getting as i continue exploring and pushing its limits further and further.

“Thanks in part to the new EXPEED 4 processing engine, the Nikon D4S now shatters the perception of what’s possible with available light photography, giving users a native ISO range from 100-25,600 expandable from 50 ISO (Lo-1) to a staggering 409,600 ISO (Hi-4). This amazing ISO range rewrites the rulebook for available-light shooting…”

natural light on-location family photography (much like sports reportage and photojournalism) can be quite demanding at times and requires gear capable of producing clean images (printable to 40×60 inches) with adequate shutter speeds for medium to fast moving subjects, often in some rather dim light.

so the above snippet sounds great, but i will admit i’m surprised to see the native ISO topping out at 25,600, given Canon’s 1Dx which came out 2 years ago and tops out at 51,200; but i expect it to be amazing nevertheless based on my experience with Nikon thus far and i’m looking forward to seeing full resolution samples at ISO 3200 and above.


here’s the official D4s press release and product page, along with a few other useful links:

DPRhands on + interview

DPR – first impressions review

B&H – pre-order/product page


and lastly, the official photos:


for photographers - official Nikon D4s (front)
for photographers - official Nikon D4s (front-top)
for photographers - official Nikon D4s (front-left)
for photographers - official Nikon D4s (front-right)
for photographers - official Nikon D4s (back)
for photographers - official Nikon D4s (back-left)
for photographers - official Nikon D4s (right side)
for photographers - official Nikon D4s (left side)
for photographers - official Nikon D4s (top)


Nikon’s D4s announcement is expected shortly {for photographers}

i usually don’t like fueling the rumor mill, but i know many photographers have been eagerly awaiting Nikon’s official D4s announcement following the Olympics. looks like that wait might be coming to an end late tonight/early tomorrow and we’ll finally get to see the official specs. many are reporting a 16MP sensor, but i’d be very impressed if they’ve managed to squeeze in the 24MP sensor (that at least a couple reports claim) into such a fast body.

for myself, this is mainly a curiosity as most of my photography needs are already being met with my current gear. i’m always pleased to see camera technology evolving though and am mostly hoping to see new developments in high ISO performance, followed by FPS (if the 24MP spec pans out).

professional photographer Scott Rovak posted a photo of his loaner D4s to his Instagram account here.

and here are a couple more photos believed to be the real deal:



for photographers - nikon d4s

for photographers - nikon d4s



we’re currently booking maternity, newborn/baby, and family portrait sessions for March and April. if you’ve been wanting to update your family photos, please get in touch. we’d love to connect!

sneak peek! a fun maternity session in pacific beach

we had a great maternity session with this glowing mama-to-be and her husband the weekend before last. we started the session at their home in their little one’s nursery, then worked our way down to the beach just a few minutes away for some fun shots before sunset. here’s one of our favorites, stay tuned for more images + a full write up!



Nikon fixes forced exposure preview in D800 LiveView! {for photographers}

Nikon has just released a firmware update for the D800 that fixes, among other things, their handling of LiveView when shooting in manual mode. Previously, photographers were forced to keep exposure preview on which was a horrible design flaw as it made the camera quite difficult to work with in a number of everyday situations. For example, a portrait photographer using strobes for their main light would have to use workarounds in order to make simple focus/light/comp adjustments since the LCD would be rendered nearly black when setup to shoot this way. The same went for tethered shooting……a less than ideal workflow, especially when trying to preview setups for commercial clients. This was no way to work!

I’m glad the option for full time exposure preview is there just in case a specific situation calls for it, but using the DOF preview button will continue being my first choice for 99% of my work.

Also definitely worth mentioning is the improved subject tracking performance when using AF-C. I’ll be photographing a family session tomorrow afternoon in La Jolla and can’t wait to test this out! We all know how fast those little ones can move!

Here’s the list of other upgrades (via Nikon – link above):

Photographers now have full control over the D800


nikon extends their instant rebates! {for photographers}

maternity photographer - photo of nikon


i’m still a bit on the fence, but while looking around last night (considering a purchase of nikon’s 85mm 1.8g), i noticed on several sites it appeared the rebates that were due to expire on the 2nd are still going. hoping not to have to make a hasty decision on any new gear, i dug around a little and it turns out they have been extended until 03/30 (B&H has updated their prices again to reflect this). great news for any photographer friends reading this that have been considering  a new lens!

for myself, it’ll give me a while longer to make heads or tails of my ongoing 5D3/D800e questions <cough> indecision…


overview of nikon