Life's visual story


Sunset Cliffs Engagement Proposal Photos | Kailey + Jonathan


One of the most exciting, yet nerve racking, day of your life! Whether its a local or destination proposal, I will have you as best prepared as possible! I will offer tips and suggestions for a proposal protocol to help make this an unforgettable day!

Sunset Cliffs Engagement Proposal | Aditya + Pranjali



Whether it's baby #1 or baby #3, maternity photos are a beautiful way to capture one of your biggest strengths as a woman! You can choose from the comfort of your home or at your favorite beach or park!

La Jolla Windansea Beach Family Photos | Catherine + Danny


La Jolla High School Senior Portraits | Nolan


You don't need to be an official model to have professional photos taken of you. If you are a graduating senior, simply feeling yourself, or got some cute outfits to wear then let's have fun! I also offer adventure sessions if you want to step it up a notch. Contact me for more details!


Scripps Beach Couples Photoshoot

You don't have to wait to get engaged to have a couples portrait shoot with your significant other! Nor does being married mean you can't have another couples portrait session!

Have a cute outfit you want to wear? Is there a place that has special meaning to you both? Bought a new house? Need a holiday, birthday or anniversary gift? Any excuse is welcomed to have portraits looking your best that make you feel your best for a lifetime! :)

San Diego Headshot Photographer
La Jolla Headshots


Headshots nowadays are more fun than ever! Using natural light, we can venture outdoors to get the perfect shot!

I want these photos to look + feel like you! By utilizing natural lighting, we achieve a more lifestyle feel for your look. This approachable look encourages your clients to want to know more about you!

Multiple outfits encouraged!

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Got that adventure spirit?? Take any portrait collection and upgrade it to an adventure session!! Desert, Forest, Ocean or Lake; Southern California provides many beautiful backdrops to choose from. Contact me for more info!



"Melissa is a very talented photographer that has the gift of making the photoshoot become a fun and exciting event. Her style of working is very unique and made me feel extremely comfortable and the result was far beyond my expectations. If you are looking for a photographer that can bring out a natural and relax look Melissa is the choice. I recommend Melissa Montoya highly."

LIFESTYLE photos: Daniel Mansson



LIFESTYLE photos: Daniel Mansson

- Daniel M.

San Diego Maternity Photographer La Jolla Cove

"Working with Melissa for our maternity photos was fun and easy, and we absolutely love our photos! She was attentive and helpful from the beginning, offering lots of ideas for locations and even helping pick my outfit! Her energy and enthusiasm while taking our photos was infectious. We had a blast during our shoot and felt like we could be ourselves. She helped me feel beautiful, even with a growing belly. At the end of our shoot, Melissa was covered in dust, dirt, and sand from making sure she got all the right shots/ angles. We are so thankful we booked Melissa and would recommend her to anyone! "

- Leigh S.


How it works...


Choose your type of portrait photo session

Portrait sessions include: Couples, Engagement, Proposal, Maternity, Newborn, Individual, Graduate, High School Seniors + Headshots.


Pre- Shoot Prep


Before the shoot, we will discuss, via email or phone, different location options. I am also happy to review your outfit ideas if you would like feedback. No need to get pre shoot jitters, I will make you feel like a rockstar on your shoot day.

Post Shoot


After your session, I will upload the photos to an online gallery, unedited. You will then create an account and choose the photos you want for your edit selection.Edited photos will be uploaded to the online gallery for you to download in both high res and web size for social media sharing. You also have the option to order prints if you like. You get full printing rights.




How long are the photo sessions?

I offer portrait packages that are 1hr, 1.5 hrs and 2 hour long photo sessions.

What do I bring to the shoot?

An open mind :) I know it can be awkward to have someone with a camera stand in front of you. So as long as you keep an open mind and allow yourself to be a little silly that is all you need. :) I try to make the experience as fun as possible with as many jokes as possible. However, I have learned from experience that when shooting family portraits with babies or toddlers bribes are wonderful. Treats or toys never fail! If you forget, no sweat, i'll just jump up and down till your kids start laughing :)

How many outfits should I wear?

Depends on how much time you booked for your session. Definitely for maternity, I do encourage two outfits should you want some photos with your preggo bump exposed. Amazon has some great affordable dresses for that. So usually 1-2 outfits up to 3 if you have booked the longest session. I am always happy to suggest outfits, but at the end of the day I want you to wear something that makes you feel comfortable and confident.

When should I schedule my maternity photo session?

It's always up to you and when you feel most comfortable. I would say starting at 7 months onwards.

What if I/my family doesn't like to take photos?

That is very common, no need to worry. This happens because most people aren't used to getting their photo taken. That is why I strive to make the photo session an enjoyable EXPERIENCE where you feel confident and comfortable with yourself and each other which produces authentic photos that will cure your fear of being in front of the camera.