Cameron Ingalls Photography

san luis obispo wedding photographer cameron ingalls

When I started The Wed­ding Stan­dard back in 2008 it was out of desire to pro­mote other peo­ple; show­cas­ing who they are and what makes them unique. Over the years I’ve posted a dozen inter­views and since rebirthing this whole thing have almost posted another dozen! Along with the recent changes I’ve opened up a new cat­e­gory; pho­tog­ra­phers. It seems like a weird thing to pro­mote com­pe­ti­tion, but I have the belief that every cou­ple needs to find the right pho­tog­ra­pher and there are so many great ones! The Wed­ding Stan­dard team have nudged me to do an inter­view myself, since now I’m now pro­mot­ing pho­tog­ra­phers it makes sense I should be one of them. So, here I am. I’m the guy who wears my heart and my sleeve, will tell you exactly how I’m doing, and loves to encour­age peo­ple maybe more than any­thing. Oh, and I have been obsessed with pho­tograph­ing wed­dings for the past decade. It feels like just yes­ter­day that I was this dreamy 21 year old kid try­ing to make a name for him­self. After 10 years of shoot­ing hun­dreds of wed­dings all over Cal­i­for­nia and the world, my dreams have grown too.  I’m excited to use more of my var­i­ous gift­ing to cul­ti­vate a com­mu­nity at The Wed­ding Stan­dard and cre­ate a spec­tac­u­lar resource for cou­ples in love!


san luis obispo wedding photographer cameron ingalls with anna ingalls and son

How did you get your start?
I fell in love with pho­tog­ra­phy at age 15 while on a mis­sions trip through Europe. I came home and inher­ited my grand­fa­thers vin­tage cam­era and began pho­tograph­ing peo­ple any oppor­tu­nity that came up. After a B&W photo class at col­lege I learned that I had a nat­ural eye for pho­tog­ra­phy. It wasn’t until years later that I shot a friends wed­ding as a favor and had a divine rev­e­la­tion that I was made to do this.

First (music) album you ever bought?
NKOTB (New Kids On The Block) Back in the first grade.

What or who con­tin­ues to inspire you?
My cou­ples. Their love, their chem­istry, their sto­ries. They are so unique that I posi­tion them in front of the lens as the cre­ative fuel that keeps me inspired. I go into each shoot and wed­ding with noth­ing but love and an open mind. I wait and watch it all unfold and when the light, com­po­si­tion, and chem­istry come together I get excited and inspired!

As far as being inspired by other pho­tog­ra­phers my top three are Jose Villa, Jeff New­som, and Sarah Rhoads. Jose is world class and has taught me so much in the way of gen­eros­ity and love. His fine art approach is so legit it will stop your heart for a sec­ond. Jeff New­som is a artis­tic and cre­ative genius. When we started out our busi­ness we were ‘run­ning bud­dies’ and really helped shape each other and that caused me to find my voice and under­stand my style. He is always push­ing me to be a bet­ter pho­tog­ra­pher than I was yes­ter­day and espe­cially today. I love his quirky approach to images of peo­ple and he shot my wed­ding 5 years ago. He is a photographer’s pho­tog­ra­pher. Sarah Rhoads is a dreamer like me who’s pas­sion for art, peo­ple, travel, music, and busi­ness is con­ta­gious. Just being around her makes me excited to get free and cre­ate. A few years ago when I was going through a bit of a depres­sion, just see­ing her images lifted my heart and gave me hope. I was re-inspired at a time when I needed to see some­one cre­at­ing some­thing true and beau­ti­ful and to remem­ber that I can do the same in my own way. Her work is so full of feel­ing that you know you are invited into the image to come and play along with the sub­jects or just enjoy the stillness.

Central Coast Barn wedding couple kissing in vintage barn with sunlight streaming through.

Central Coast Bride at Flying Caballos bholding bouquet in trees

How do you nor­mally begin your day?
Feed­ing my tod­dler break­fast. Eat­ing gra­nola or oat­meal and mak­ing myself an Amer­i­cano. Road-biking some morn­ings. But always I seek to have my mind and heart refreshed by med­i­tat­ing on truth and love found through study­ing the bible and spend­ing time talk­ing with my creator.

Describe a piv­otal moment that led you to be an artist.
After my col­lege Photo 101 class my grandfather’s cam­era began leak­ing light and it was deemed D.O.A. at the cam­era repair shop. I couldn’t afford to buy another cam­era so I sim­ply gave up pho­tog­ra­phy as a hobby. Until that one day when I came home from work and dis­cov­ered a brand new Canon Rebel on my kitchen table with a note that read, “God told me to buy this for you. Love Chris.”

central coast wedding couple laying in green grass

What is your favorite flower?
Tuberose. Because my wife swoons at the smell when I bring it home. It’s like magic!

Favorite movie or doc­u­men­tary?
Eter­nal Sun­shine of a Spot­less Mind. And… 12 Monkeys.

Favorite part of a wed­ding?
When the father hands the bride off to her new hus­band. This is such a pow­er­ful moment that I have begun to under­stand more in my adult years. I always shoot from behind the brides­maids and love to see the look on each persons’s face; espe­cially the groom!

What makes your busi­ness unique?
My eye. The way I see beauty and love around me. The abil­ity I have to make peo­ple feel com­fort­able in front of my lens. The way that I incor­po­rate nature and light into my images.

san luis obispo wedding photographer cameron ingalls with wife smiling

san luis obispo wedding photographer cameron ingalls with son

What is your ideal cou­ple?
Peo­ple who are SO IN LOVE with each other and… who also adore my style! Cou­ples that get mar­ried out­doors and incor­po­rate nature and light into their day. I love work­ing with peo­ple with an eye for design and decor. When the ele­ments used in the cer­e­mony are unique, per­sonal and beau­ti­ful; I’m truly inspired. Every­one gets mar­ried. But every­one shouldn’t be doing or say­ing the same things in their cer­e­mony. Cou­ples need to infuse their essence into the details and cer­e­monies of the day; those are wed­dings to remember!

What do you enjoy doing on your day off?
Spend­ing time with my best friends; my wife Anna and my son Asher! Also surf­ing, hik­ing, or bike rid­ing and fin­ish­ing it off with bot­tles of wine and a bon fire with friends.

Paso Robles Winery wedding bride and bridesmaids in different dresses under trees

What’s your per­sonal busi­ness phi­los­o­phy?
Under promise and over deliver. Do every­thing in love and love every­thing I do. Take every oppor­tu­nity to serve those around me.

Why do you do what you do?
Because God told me too.

san luis obispo wedding photographer cameron ingalls with son

san luis obispo wedding photographer cameron ingalls camera close up

Describe your first cam­era?
It was a 35mm SLR 1975 Con­tax RTS. It had been my Grand­fa­thers. He used it to shoot land­scapes and ani­mals in nature. He trav­eled to the Sahara and Gala­pa­gos Islands shoot­ing slide film. Funny thing is that he rarely pho­tographed peo­ple and I rarely pho­to­graph nature with­out people.

Favorite pas­time?
iPhone­tog­ra­phy. There is a gallery on my blog ded­i­cated to my insta­gram feed.

Some­thing that moved you deeply at a wed­ding or with a cou­ple recently?
I shot a wed­ding where the bride was a dancer. She had chore­o­graphed a lovely ball room style father daugh­ter dance to that coun­try song, “I Loved Her First”. I don’t nor­mally like coun­try, actu­ally I don’t like it at all, but this song just gets me… And on the part at the end that goes
“And I prayed that she’d find you some­day
But it’s still hard to give her away
I loved her first…“
She turned away with her father’s hand on her shoul­der under her hand and they did this walk-move that they had done ear­lier only this time the father stopped and the bride kept walk­ing. Right up to her groom who took over the dance as the father tipped his black cow­boy hat and turned to walk off the dance floor. I was a blub­bery mess for the next cou­ple of songs; I had to hide my face behind my cam­era and keep shooting!

First Job?

San Luis Obispo, Flying Caballos Ranch, bride and bridesmaids smiling in front of house

Great­est accom­plish­ment?
Mak­ing the cutest baby boy in all the land!

How do you sign off on your emails?
Much Love! Cameron Ingalls

If you had to move to a for­eign coun­try, which one?
Switzer­land. I did my coun­try report on it in grade school and loved the fact that they didn’t have wars due to the Swiss alps. Grow­ing up I always had a fear of war. And… they make great choco­late! I went there twice on Europe trips and it was by far my favorite country.

If you were an ani­mal, what whould you be?
Golden Retriever. (I asked my wife. She says I’m a good friend, loyal, always there and I love frisbee.)

Santa Barbara groomsmen drinking and laughing in wine cellar

If you were in a band, what instru­ment would you play?
Acoustic Gui­tar. I’ve been in a few bands and wanted to be a rock star for a spell. But pho­tog­ra­phy took over because I am not a musi­cian by nature.

Cam. Cam­sauce. Cam the Man. Camshaft. Cam­erama. Camaron de Agua.

What’s your favorite wed­ding food?
Salmon! I didn’t know how good food could be until I began pho­tograph­ing weddings.

Sun­rise or Sun­set?
Sun­set. Love the colors!

Wed­ding trend that you’re lov­ing right now?
Pho­to­booths. I always try to sneak in them when the line has died down.

Wed­ding trend that will hope­fully be out next year?
The bou­quet and garter toss. It’s always awk­ward for the “singles”.

Read the book or watch the movie?
Movie. I only read busi­ness and inspi­ra­tional books.

Favorite song on your iPod playlist?
“I’ve Got This Friend” by The Civil Wars

san luis obispo wedding photographer cameron ingalls with family

san luis obispo wedding photographer cameron ingalls with wife kissing son

What’s one of your favorite quotes?
“Dream a dream so impos­si­ble that it’s doomed to fail­ure unless God is in it.“
–Louis Inks
I mem­o­rized this the sum­mer I turned 16. My Pho­tog­ra­phy busi­ness became that impos­si­ble dream 5 years later.

What chore do you absolutely HATE doing?
Shov­el­ing ani­mal feces. And… that’s why we don’t have any animals.

What sound do you love?
Falling rain on the roof at night.

Big Sur Elopement wedding. couple holding each other in forest

Big Sur elopement wedding bride walking down aisle in pine trees

What do you want to be when you grow up?
A wise old man. Some­one who has inspired and encour­aged count­less peo­ple to live their dreams and walk out their call­ing in this fleet­ing life.

What would you name the auto­bi­og­ra­phy of your life?
Fall in love with a moment.

What’s the great­est gift you’ve ever given or received?
The gift of my poten­tial. I can accom­plish far more than I can imag­ine. I just need a lit­tle faith and a lotta courage to go along.

Holland Ranch, San Luis Obispo couple hugging in sunlit field

What do you miss most about being a kid?
Free time!

What is some­thing you learned in the last week?
That Swedish kids don’t really eat candy until ‘Candy Sat­ur­day’ each week.

What ques­tion do you always ask the bride & groom?
What do you love about my pho­tog­ra­phy? It helps me deter­mine if they are just shop­ping for a pho­tog­ra­pher because every­one needs one, or if they get me.

Where do you see your­self or busi­ness in the near or dis­tant future?
Shoot­ing more and more beau­ti­ful in love peo­ple all over the world!

san luis obispo wedding photographer cameron ingalls kissing wife anna ingalls

san luis obispo wedding photographer cameron ingalls


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