About Paige

Paige Nelson Photography Small Weddings and Elopements

Hi, I'm Paige!

My journalism professor taught me a story is only as good as the pun in the headline. *ba-dum-tss*

(I love a bad dad joke. Did I really just Google how to type a rimshot?)

A romantic who went into journalism (ironic, huh?), I realized my love of storytelling needed a better way to emerge. I'm a deep feeler and the cutthroat, objective nature of the field didn't work well for me.

Intimate wedding and elopement photography became a life raft. It intersects all of the things I love most about being human: depth of emotion, connection, imperfection.

I will always choose to be interesting over boring. which means I tend to avoid cliches. I believe in authenticity and embracing your inner weirdo.

This is me in a nutshell. I'm not just a regular dork, I'm a "cool" dork.

Paige Nelson Photography Small Weddings and Elopements
Paige Nelson San Diego wedding photographer

But the truth is, wedding photography has little to do with me and everything to do with you.

I'm not here to make assumptions about your relationship or pose you in an unnatural way. I want to get to know the real you and create meaningful images that will stand the test of time.

This is all for you. Because this is your story to tell, not mine.

I'm going to ask you some light-hearted personality questions: What are your enneagram numbers? Myers-Briggs types? Love languages? (I'm an INFJ, a 4w5, and I love acts of service).

Along with the hard-hitting existential ones: What are the things that makes your heart beat faster? Who are you when you think nobody's watching?




Paige Nelson San Diego wedding photographer
Paige Nelson San Diego wedding photographer

I want you to know,
I’m all in.

No matter what your love looks like, I'm here for you. Wild family dynamics? I'm here for that too.

I want to truly intertwine with your people and become friends with my couples.

Our connection will play a huge role in this, from the very beginning. We've got to meet each other in the middle and you have to be able to trust me.

But you wouldn't let your guard down around a stranger, would you? I know you wouldn't. So let's go a little deeper...


My philosophy

experience is everything

I want to help create an experience that will outlive a single day. That means really showing up for you...and not just on the wedding day. I'm here for you from the moment you send me that very first message, through all of your milestones down the road. I'm here to rally with you, to laugh, and to cry. I'm here as your friend and your trusted advisor. I hope that makes your images and the feelings attached to them all the more special because of it.

listen to your gut

All of these big, personal decisions can leave you feeling incredibly vulnerable...I get that because I've been there. I want you to remember this important piece of advice: the most memorable days I've attended are the ones with the most heart. I’m here to cheer you on and remind you it’s ok to do things your own way. You get to create the rules here. I promise you will never regret staying true to yourselves.

talk that’s real, not small

Connection is key in the work I'm able to create for you. If intimacy is what's drawing you into my work, then you have to understand that's what it takes. I need you to trust me and to let go a little. I want you to be fully present in the moment, free to embrace all of your emotions. Let's skip the small talk and get right to the good stuff.

details that matter

This industry is really good at making you believe you need a lot of stuff to make your wedding cool. You know what’s cooler? Your marriage. The details that matter to me are the people you love and the places that set your soul on fire. Focus on creating the kind of atmosphere that will help you let your guard down. That's when the real magic happens.

What Moves Me

Andrew, My Fiancé and Best Friend.

We met online 9 years ago and have been partners in crime ever since. He’s not a photographer, but we travel together often and my couples get to know him too. Andrew is that guy who can Macgyver anything and is like a human Snapple cap. Strangers at the airport love to touch his hair. He will faithfully quote movies, carry your bouquet, and run loops around the forest to find your family before the ceremony (that happened). PC: Corinne Alexandra.

Our online match maker, Yager.

Yager is our 13-year-old chocolate lab. He may be an old man, but he’s still got the spunk of a young pup. We actually have Yager to thank for bringing us together. Andrew didn’t have great photos of himself on his dating profile, but I messaged him because I wanted to hang out with his dog. He’s our big derp, but we love him anyway. Needless to say, dogs are always welcome at your session or wedding. Expect me to DM you dog videos on the regular, if that’s your thing too. PC: Kadi Tobin.

Currently planning our intimate wedding!

I believe in documenting your love at all stages of your relationship. I also believe it’s important for me to be able to put myself in your shoes. In August 2018, we hired Yannick Zurflueh to document us in Italy on our first trip to Europe together (or so I thought)! At the end of our session, Andrew proposed with our favorite Tom Petty song playing in the background. We’re planning our intimate wedding for fall 2021. As a photographer turned bride, (and then COVID bride), I really do understand what you’re going through.

Live music, vinyl, classic rock.

Sometimes it feels like we were born in the wrong decade for music. We love scouring record stores and estate sales to add to our vinyl collection. One of our favorite date night activities is going to live shows. Some of the best bands we’ve seen together are Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, Def Leppard, Kiss, ACDC, Stone Temple Pilots, Guns N’ Roses, Alice Cooper, and Mötley Crüe. Trust me, I’ve got some pretty great feel-good playlists ready to help you unwind during photos. PC: Kadi Tobin.

Plant lady, idealist, artifact collector.

I’ve got about 30 house plants and counting (cacti are my favorite)! Nature excites me like a little kid in a candy store. I bring pieces of it home with me, in the form of gemstones, vials of sand, loose feathers, etc. I collect mementos from my travels to tether me back to that place and experience. I’m a sucker for beautiful light and rolling expanses of forest, coastlines, and deserts. I once tackled a self-portrait project for 365 days in a row to get outside and chase the sunset every day. I’m sentimental and a romantic idealist.


Paige Nelson San Diego wedding photographer

Are we kindred spirits?

If you’re looking for someone who will look out for you on your wedding day and who truly cares about you as a person, you’ve come to the right place.

Paige Nelson San Diego wedding photographer