Easter 2014

Easter Sunday was so fun this year!

We met up with my in-laws for a delicious brunch at their house in Coronado, before heading across the bay to watch the Padres play at Petco Park. We started the morning with some refreshing bellinis and strawberries. My mother-in-law made a delicious frittata and sweet potato fries, my father-in-law cooked up some steak on the grill, and we supplied a light salad.

Here are a few images I captured before enjoying the meal!

Coronado lifestyle photography by San Diego wedding photographer Lauren Nygard

Coronado lifestyle photography by San Diego wedding photographer Lauren Nygard

Coronado lifestyle photography by San Diego wedding photographer Lauren Nygard

Coronado lifestyle photography by San Diego wedding photographer Lauren Nygard

Coronado lifestyle photography by San Diego wedding photographer Lauren Nygard

For more Easter fun (and some colorful eggs!), check out a post from Southern California Photographer Nicole Gulick Photography here and a post from Kristy G Photography here!

I hope everyone had a wonderful Easter with their family!


Are you looking for a photographer for your upcoming wedding or bridal session? Email Lauren at lauren@laurennygard.com or use the contact link on the top of this page to get in touch with San Diego Wedding Photographer Lauren Nygard! Lauren is based in Southern California but loves traveling with her camera to capture love across the globe!

San Diego Wedding Photography | Lauren Nygard Photography


Merry Christmas, Y’all!

My husband says the worst thing about having duty on Christmas is that the mess halls on base are closed, so he doesn’t have a place to go to eat. Luckily for him, I kind of like him (a lot) and decided to make a delicious bacon grilled cheese sandwich to take over to him.

First, the ingredients: Texas toast, bacon, and freshly shredded sharp cheddar cheese. I cooked the bacon earlier in the morning because I don’t cook bacon often and I wasn’t sure how long it would take. I drained off some of the grease into a small bowl for later.

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I took the dirty bacon pan and heated it up on the stove. I like to brown both sides of my bread when I make a grilled cheese, so I browned the insides of the bread using the grease in the pan. I added more bacon grease to the pan and turned one slice right-side-out, piled on the cheese and bacon in alternating layers, and topped with the other slice of bread.

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I hear the resulting sandwich was delicious. It looks pretty fun, don’t you think?! ;)

christmas day photos oceanside california photography san diego photographer family photo session lifestyle

And since it is Christmas after all, here are some of my favorite ornaments we have on our tree.

On the left, the “Let it Snow” ornament was made by my mom (the eternal optimist) in 2010 and we collected the “Mele Kalikimaka” ornament in Hawaii on our honeymoon in 2009. In the center, I created a metal ornament with a photo of Clay’s homecoming in 2011 and the knitted star was one I scored on Etsy; the donkey and pepper drinking margaritas were picked up in Mexico in 2011, and the bottom ornament says “Our First Christmas 2009” and should contain a wedding photo but instead holds a photo from that year’s Marine Corps Ball. Two hand-sewn birds and an ornament painted by my grandmother in 2009 are on the right.

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I hope everyone is having a wonderful Christmas!





This is what happens.

This is what happens when a couple photographers decide to open the eyes of other photographers to the world of underwater photography. :)

Earlier this summer, Erika Ruth Thornes and Brett Lind put out a message that they were willing to teach a class for local photographers who were interested in learning about underwater photography. I wasn’t able to make one of their sessions, but I kept in contact with Brett because I was definitely interested in going swimming with my camera! (Who isn’t?!)

A couple months later, I obtained underwater housing for my camera and contacted Brett to get the ball rolling. I already knew a friend who I thought I could convince to model, so I contacted her to see if she and her husband would be willing. Thankfully, Betty agreed that it would be a fun experience and she was able to convince her husband to come along as well!

I first met Betty and Eric about two years ago while photographing a pre-deployment session for them in conjunction with HeartsApart.org. (You can see a few images from that session at the bottom of this post.) After our session, Betty told me that she had an interest in modeling. Naturally, I invited her to model for a San Diego Shooting Group event, where she connected with other photographers in the area and she was able to really take off in the modeling world! If you follow my Facebook page, you saw her in a few gorgeous shoots I did over the summer. I knew Eric had been modeling a little with her as well, and was definitely interested in trying a couple’s shoot, so there we went!

I then invited my friend and fellow photographer, Robby Ticknor to come along. I don’t remember how it came up in conversation that I was planning to swim with my camera, but I knew Robby would be down for the fun because he totally geeks out about photography (in a really good way) and I thought he’d be up for the technical challenge. (Technical challenges are kind of like the “physical challenge” of the Double Dare years, except more fun and exciting. Clearly.)

And then we waited. That was the hard part of coming up with such as awesome idea. My August was jam-packed, so we picked Labor Day to get together. And it took FOR.EV.ER to get here. But finally it did!

We met at Brett’s house, and he gave us a little down-and-dirty on breathing techniques and photography. Then we just went for it!


I’m ready for my close-up! (via Instagram)

It took us a while to get used to not breathing underwater. And I had a bit of trouble sinking to the bottom (until I borrowed some weights from Brett) so it did take us a little while before we got some usable images. And then we played. For a few hours. :) We stayed out until the sun went down and we ran out of light.

Then we went inside and looked at some of the images. Wow.

I really had no idea if any of them turned out well. Trying new things can be scary because the screen on the back of the camera is so small, it’s hard to know whether you nailed a shot or completely blew it. And there were numerous that were completely worthless. But there were also many treasures.

We all were photographing with my camera since I had the underwater housing. We had a general idea of whose photos where who’s but some were a little questionable since we didn’t take caution to mark when the camera was being passed back and forth. So, when I got home, I downloaded the images to my computer and quickly edited one to post on Facebook:


Meanwhile, I uploaded all of the RAW files to share with Robby. It was taking forever to upload those .zip files and I had to be up early for work, so I went to bed.

The next morning (that was today), I sent the files over to Robby while I went to work. And then the magic happened.

Robby is a very technical photographer. While I do understand the technical aspects of photography, Robby could recite them back to me with the perfection of a photography angel. Even while we were in the pool, he was talking to Brett and me about inverse square laws. While I would have simply said we needed to be closer to the light source, he spouted off the technical reason why without even so much as a blink.

While I was toiling away at my desk, he was creating art with the images in Photoshop. He edited a few of his own and also worked on one of mine. I was blown away.

It’s amazing to see one of your photographs worked on by another photographer. We each have different styles that we bring to the table. We all photograph differently and we all edit differently. I don’t think I would have edited this image in quite the same way, but, holy cow, isn’t it gorgeous?!

LNP_3950-Edit_Image photographed by Lauren Nygard and edited by Robby Ticknor.

So, what’s the point?


This is what happens when you get together with other artists to collectively create works of art.

Beauty happens.

Magic happens.

Dreams happen.


Texas – March 2013 Edition

I took a trip home to San Antonio for Easter weekend, and my parents were delighted when I said I wanted to visit Messina Hof when I arrived. I had heard of Messina Hof when I was in college at Texas A&M (whoop!) but I don’t recall ever drinking any of their wines. Let’s just say I hadn’t discovered the deliciousness of a good wine until after my college years. ;)

Well, I heard that Messina Hof started creating bottles to benefit the Association of Former Students, so I clearly had to stop in to see what the buzz was about! I’m glad we made the trip–I have a new favorite white, their Chenin Blanc, and the Legacy Red Blend was amazing. My parents enjoyed their wines as well! Though I could only fit two bottles in my suitcase, I’m sure I’ll be going back for more!






After we enjoyed the wine, we headed over to Alamo Springs Cafe for dinner. I love enjoying a good meal with some live music to go with it!





I was sad to leave Texas before the bluebonnets came up in force, but I’m sure I’ll be back soon!


Solana Beach Sunset

Did anyone else catch last night’s sunset? I was happy to host an outing for the Pacific Photographic Society in Solana Beach yesterday afternoon. We caught the sunset on the beach and it was just amazing!