Courtney McManaway Photography

Welcome to Courtney McManaway Photography! I am a lifestyle photographer, wife, bookworm, Sephora addict, sometime snowboarder, carb lover, and so much more!

Read more about me on my bio page, or contact me!

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Erin + Ranil

July 27th, 2014

Sneak peek of Erin + Ranil’s gorgeous Woodland Hills Country Club wedding. Can’t wait to share more of these soon!  


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Sneak peek of Erin + Ranil’s gorgeous Woodland Hills Country Club wedding. Can’t wait to share more of these soon!

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Cliff Mautner’s Lighting and Skillset Workshop

July 25th, 2014

Last fall was an incredibly crazy time for me. My husband and I purchased our first home, and moved into the house in September after a 6 month build process. I was having my busiest wedding season since I started shooting weddings – and usually in the fall things slow down! Earlier in the year [...]


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Last fall was an incredibly crazy time for me. My husband and I purchased our first home, and moved into the house in September after a 6 month build process. I was having my busiest wedding season since I started shooting weddings – and usually in the fall things slow down! Earlier in the year I had committed to a workshop, and as the date in October approached, I wondered if I had made a mistake.  I was feeling overwhelmed, and I was also wondering if I was truly ready.

Back in 2008 when I started shooting weddings, I happened upon a forum of wedding photographers. One of the first questions I asked was what workshops were the best bang for the buck. As I’ve come to learn over the years, this industry is LOUSY with workshops, and some of them are not as good as others. I knew I wanted to learn from someone whose work I respected, someone that continued to be a working wedding photographer, and that criteria led me to Cliff Mautner’s Lighting and Skillset Bootcamp.

It’s hard to boil down the experience into words, but this workshop was absolutely the best investment I could make in my education.  I was pretty nervous going into the workshop. Intimidated, actually. I really admire Cliff’s work and feel like there’s a gap the size of Grand Canyon between his and mine, and I was starting to think maybe I was missing some innate vision that this workshop wouldn’t be able to teach me. Happily, I was very wrong. I learned SO MUCH about seeing moments, about seeing light, about using the right tools for the setting. About helping my work to stand out. I can already see a difference in how I approach my work since last year.

The second surprise was Cliff himself. Now, I’ve never been to a multi-day workshop, so I don’t have any other comparison, but I highly doubt there is a photographer that works harder at giving value to his students. There was not a single second of downtime during the workshop. We had breakfast and lunch at his studio, and those were all working meals. Cliff would stand up at the front of the bus on the way to shoot models on location, hold on to a hand rail, and answer questions from the front of the bus. We all had dinner as a group, and of course the discussion revolved around photography then, as well. Our mornings were typically dedicated to technique discussion, and in the afternoon we’d go outside to practice what we’d learned. We covered everything from differences in lens selection and output, to reception lighting, to making your clients look great outdoors, no matter the time of day. Cliff also shared information with us on the business end, including meeting with clients, how he runs his studio, and how he processes and delivers images and albums to his clients. That was really important information. I feel so many photographers focus on the “art” because it’s more fun, and it’s what we love to do. One of the first things Cliff said to us was, “Don’t turn off your phones. I know you are all running a business, and if someone calls you, then you should take that call.”

As I said, going into the workshop I felt like I wasn’t ready, that I might be wasting my money. Leaving the workshop, I was SO GLAD I made the decision to invest in my skills. The investment level for this workshop was more expensive than any other course I was considering, and it was 100% worth it. I really can’t more highly recommend it if you are looking to take your skills and business to the next level! I also met a great group of people. We started a Facebook group after the workshop and it’s been awesome having a group of photographers to connect with, bounce ideas off of each other, and see how we’ve all progressed since the workshop. It might even be worth it for Cliff to set up an advanced workshop (hint, Cliff! ;) for photographers who have taken his bootcamp!

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I’m So Flash-y

July 20th, 2014

My husband often tells me I’m a marketer’s dream. I’m a total sucker for a fancy display and am apt to say, “Oh my god, I NEED that!” when we’re out and about for things I clearly don’t need. I love and appreciate nice packaging and I always buy Papyrus cards, even though they’re absurdly [...]


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My husband often tells me I’m a marketer’s dream. I’m a total sucker for a fancy display and am apt to say, “Oh my god, I NEED that!” when we’re out and about for things I clearly don’t need. I love and appreciate nice packaging and I always buy Papyrus cards, even though they’re absurdly expensive, because they’re the prettiest.

I sometimes have a love/hate relationship with this digital world when it comes to photography. On one hand, I love giving my clients digital files. Delivering them can be as easy as putting them in a Dropbox file and emailing the client. But at the same time, I feel that kind of takes the “wow” factor out of their wedding files. For many of my clients, this is most amount of money they will ever spend at one time on photography for themselves – and I feel the end product should reflect that sentiment.

I recently upgraded my final product delivery to include a Courtney McManaway Photography branded flash drive (!!!!) and a custom box with a wedding day image. I don’t want to say this packaging is fabulous…oh wait, I just did! Tina + Cory were the first clients to receive this new packaging and I just about squealed when I received it in the mail.  I hope my clients love it as much as I do! :)tc_woodblog

 

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Tina + Cory: Aliso Viejo Country Club Wedding

July 5th, 2014

I really do get lucky with my clients, and Tina + Cory are no exception! I knew they would be a fun couple when they showed up for their engagement session in running gear. Their Aliso Viejo Country Club wedding was such a fun-filled day with the absolutely gorgeous golf club as a backdrop.  The [...]


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I really do get lucky with my clients, and Tina + Cory are no exception! I knew they would be a fun couple when they showed up for their engagement session in running gear. Their Aliso Viejo Country Club wedding was such a fun-filled day with the absolutely gorgeous golf club as a backdrop.  The camera just loved these two – they were so naturally affectionate I barely had to say a word to them during their portraits! Their ceremony was officiated by a friend and was one of the most personal, and funny ceremonies, I’ve ever witnessed, either as a photographer or guest! They also entered their reception to “Turn Down To What,” which makes them extra awesome in my book ;) Many thanks to John Dinh for second shooting with me! Enjoy!

Wedding Coordinator: J Bird Events
Venue: Aliso Viejo Country Club
Floral Design: Designs By Tricia
Cake: Simply Sweet Cakery
DJ: Extreme DJ
Photobooth: Pink Shutter

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ABOUT COURTNEY     WEDDING PORTFOLIO     WEDDING FAQ     WEDDING PRICING     TESTIMONIALS     CONTACT

 

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Matt, Valerie + Gracie: Santa Rosa Plateau Family Session

May 29th, 2014

Being a photographer, I am constantly surveying the landscape when I drive, looking for new shooting locations. I’m lucky enough to live close to the Santa Rosa Plateau, which is an absolutely gorgeous reserve. I was so excited when Matt + Valerie opted to have their session at the plateau, and included Gracie! When I [...]


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Being a photographer, I am constantly surveying the landscape when I drive, looking for new shooting locations. I’m lucky enough to live close to the Santa Rosa Plateau, which is an absolutely gorgeous reserve. I was so excited when Matt + Valerie opted to have their session at the plateau, and included Gracie! When I met with Matt + Valerie, one of the first things they commented on was they liked the “hazy” quality of my pictures. I had to break the news that it was actually the sun, specifically an hour before sunset, that was doing all the hard work! ;) This session was so much fun and I can’t wait for their wedding later this year at Europa Village!

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Dennis + Marissa: Long Beach Wedding

December 14th, 2013

I was honored to be part of Dennis + Marissa’s gorgeous Long Beach wedding! I was recommended to them by the wonderful Sara of At Your Door Events. These two had been waiting a long time to put on the wedding of their dreams, and it was completely worth the wait! They put a lot [...]


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I was honored to be part of Dennis + Marissa’s gorgeous Long Beach wedding! I was recommended to them by the wonderful Sara of At Your Door Events. These two had been waiting a long time to put on the wedding of their dreams, and it was completely worth the wait! They put a lot of thought into both the flow and the details of their day, and it was simply beautiful to see them together as husband and wife! Enjoy!

Wedding Planner: At Your Door Events
Ceremony: Wayfarers Chapel
Reception: The Grand
Florist: Romance Etc
Videography: Vnext Media
Hair and Makeup: Kelly Zhang
Cake: Rossmoor Pastries
Candy Display: Two’s A Party
Rentals: Glow Concepts
Stationary: Paper Crew
Photo Booth: Splendid Photo Booth
Entertainment: DJ Tempoe

 

Dennis + Marissa got ready in separate locations as they would be seeing each other for the first time as Marissa walked down the aisle!long-beach-wedding-dmwed_02dmwed_03dmwed_04dmwed_05dmwed_06dmwed_07

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Wayfarers Chapel is absolutely gorgeous!

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We had about 20 minutes of sunlight after the ceremony to get pictures of the two of them – they really rocked it!
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Sara and her team did an amazing job setting up the reception! The Grand looked amazing!
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They had a very touching first dance to Adele’s “Make You Feel My Love.”

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Congratulations, Dennis + Marissa!
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ABOUT COURTNEY

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Claire + Michael: Wiens Family Cellars Wedding

November 8th, 2013

Prepare yourself for some gushing here! Claire is a friend of mine, and I was completely honored when she asked me to shoot her wedding.  There is always a little extra pressure when it comes to photography with family and friends – but also extra joy, you know what I mean? Claire + Michael’s engagement [...]


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Prepare yourself for some gushing here! Claire is a friend of mine, and I was completely honored when she asked me to shoot her wedding.  There is always a little extra pressure when it comes to photography with family and friends – but also extra joy, you know what I mean? Claire + Michael’s engagement session was so much fun, and their Wiens Family Cellars wedding was absolutely beautiful. I don’t think there was a person attending that wasn’t deeply touched by their love and devotion for one another. The entire day was such a perfect reflection of their two lives coming together, with the people who were most important to them. I also LOVED shooting at Wiens Family Cellars! There’s no shortage of wineries in Temecula, but their barrel reception room in particular is such a unique backdrop to a reception – not to mention Claire + Michael’s shared love of wine! Enjoy!

Ceremony + Reception: Wiens Family Cellars
Florist: RSVP Events
String Trio: Ocdamia Strings
Hair and Makeup: Charmed Beauty

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cm_wed37They had their first look on the vineyard grounds and it was so sweet to see their excitement!

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I swear, Claire did not stop smiling the entire day!cm_wed10cm_wed13cm_wed12cm_wed11

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I loved the globe guest book – such a cool idea!

cm_wed18cm_wed22cm_wed21cm_wed23This was a cool idea I’ve never seen before either – Claire + Michael wrote letters to each other and picked out a bottle of wine. During the ceremony, they placed the letters in the box and nailed it shut with the wine inside. If they are ever having trouble, they’re supposed to open the box, read the letters, and be reminded of why they fell in love. And if that doesn’t happen, 5 years from now they’ll open it up, read the letters, drink a glass of wine, and be reminded of their beautiful wedding day :)

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As I mentioned before – how cool is this barrel room?

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Congratulations, Claire + Michael!

ABOUT COURTNEY

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WEDDING FAQ

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Tina + Cory: Dana Point Engagement Session

November 2nd, 2013

There were a number of roadblocks on the day of Tina + Cory’s Dana Point engagement session. There was a huge accident on the 5, the weather was very cloudy in the morning, and of all things, one of the major streets where we planned to start our shoot was actually closed, which meant we [...]


Posted in: Engagement
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There were a number of roadblocks on the day of Tina + Cory’s Dana Point engagement session. There was a huge accident on the 5, the weather was very cloudy in the morning, and of all things, one of the major streets where we planned to start our shoot was actually closed, which meant we needed to make a change of plans! However, you wouldn’t know it from looking at these photos :) Tina + Cory had such a fun session – these two are so naturally affectionate I didn’t have to tell them a single thing to do! :) Despite all those obstacles, the shoot ended up perfect.

Because they are both very much into fitness, and that played a huge role in how they met, they started the shoot in their workout gear. Comfortable and cute? I’m in! :)

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Is Tina running to or away from the altar? I think she’s definitely running towards it :)
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tc_img12Can’t wait for your wedding next June! :)

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