Your were made to meet your Maker || Our story of infertility & loss

Hi friends,

I know it's been a long long long time since I blogged a photo session or a wedding & it's been even longer since I blogged a personal post but please read on to hear more about what's been one of the main happenings in our life this year. I would like to start out by warning you: this is not pregnancy announcement

Today is your due date. Your nursery should be complete & your car seat should be in the car. But that wasn’t His plan for you, not for one second. You were made to meet your Maker.

On March 20th my whole world flipped upside down. That was the third time I felt like that in less than 2 months - the first time being just 7 weeks earlier when Morgan and I finally went to our first official infertility appointment. We had been trying to get pregnant since April 2015 and as time went by & we watched others get pregnant (sometimes even unplanned) I lost more and more hope. What we didn’t expect was the doctor to tell us that if we did IUI there wasn’t much chance for us to get pregnant and that our best bet was to just do IVF. Her words cut deep and as the realization sunk in I immediately felt a dark heavy weight over me.

The second time my world got turned upside down was 6 days later when I took 4 pregnancy tests + a blood test all in the same day revealing the same answer every single time - we were pregnant. Shock. Hope. Thankfulness. Just about every emotion ran through me those first few days as I kept the secret to myself & one other close friend while planning my sneaky scheme on how to tell my Husband. We were so excited and yet so fearful at the same time. It sunk in that THIS was our story. THIS was the reason it took so long for us to conceive. We had this incredible story to shout from the rooftops - OUR GOD IS GREATER. OUR GOD CAN DO MIRACLES. Even when the doctors tell you there is no hope, you should still believe! I got to carry our sweet baby for 11 weeks. We got to hear it’s heartbeat pound fast & strong. I woke up throwing up every morning & praising the Lord in between dry-heaving. I craved bagels & ginger-ale and my life depended on pregnancy pops. We had the amazing opportunity to celebrate & share the news in special ways with close friends & family. But that wasn’t our story.

Photos by: Kelsey Hope Photography

The third time our entire world turned upside down was on March 20th. The day I knew we were losing our baby. That I wasn’t going to be pregnant anymore. We weren’t going to be able to dress our little mini-me in the onesies we already excitedly bought or read them the Dr. Seuss books we purchased weeks prior. We were going to have to take steps backwards and readjust our mindset - we were still going to just be The Quiroz Two except with big gaping holes in our hearts. 

To say it’s been a challenging last 7 months would be an understatement. (Okay, let’s be real… it’s been a challenging last two and a half years). However hard it has been for us, I am happy to say this with a sigh of relief: I still have hope and I am clinging to it. There’s nothing in the world I want more than to be a Mama and to watch Morgan be a Daddy and I know the Lord knows the deep desire our hearts pump for every minute of the day. 99.9% of the time when someone casually asks me how I am doing my heart pounds out of my chest as I debate to answer honestly - I am broken, I have not fully healed & I still think about what happened every hour of the day. I am still a work in progress; trying to not let this define me and to remember that God's delays are not his denials. Our God IS still greater. Our God CAN still do miracles. Our God is a faithful and redeeming God.

One thing I definitely know is that our story wasn’t meant to be held tightly onto by us; we need to share it. If not to just finally get it off our chest (and hopefully so people can stop asking us when we are having kids!) but to maybe give another couple a voice amidst the heartbreaking pain. I can’t sit here and tell you it still won’t hurt 7 months later, that you won’t think about what your baby would have looked like every. single. day., but I can tell you that even when it feels like no one in this world could ever understand - I do and so do many others who keep quiet about this. So, if you need a shoulder to cry on or an ear to listen, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with me or to reach out to another close friend. 

If you've made it this far I just want to say thank you, thank you, thank you. Please join us in blowing out a candle for our sweet Baby Q & if you have your own littles squeeze them extra tight today.

xoxo
Morgan & Nicole

Pressfield Family | Ancil Hoffman Park | Sacramento Family Photographer

Happy New Year, y'all!

I can't wait to share more sweet family sessions with you that I had the honor of taking this past Holiday season but for now I will start with one of my favorite families - the Pressfield's! After many failed attempts to get this session done prior to the Holidays and failing (face rashes, rain, schedules not lining up, etc.) we finally got to do this session last week and I think the stars perfectly aligned for us with this beautiful location and weather! This family is extended family to my Husband and I and I love them so much. Their hearts are so big and I love watching their bond and love grow as a family. I can't wait to photograph them for many more years to come! 

xoxo Nicole

Mr. and Mrs. Moore | Secret Gardens | Bodega Bay Wedding Photographer

Evening, friends! I set a goal to get this blog post up by 9pm Wednesday night and here I am with 15 minutes to spare! After countless hours (juggling two jobs is hard and rewarding) I seriously am so excited to be sharing this wedding with you! But first, let me apologize now for any typos because this girl is TIRED. ;) 

Matt & Chelsey's wedding was one for the books - it included so many fun elements and was so intimately romantic! Chelsey totally pulled off her vision and the incredible venue, Secret Gardens in Bodega Bay, was the most perfect setting that fit so well with all of the thoughtful decor. We took portraits as the sun was setting and Chelsey even did a fun little model fashion strut (she is so beautiful, just check out those photos below!). Also, there happened to be a few firsts for me at this wedding including but not limited to: the Bride & Groom doing keg stands AND convincing me to do a keg stand (don't worry, I secretly whispered to the bartender to just pretend!).  By the end of the night M & C were cozying up and roasting up some smores together surrounded by family and friends - can you even imagine ending such a perfect day in a better environment?!

Thank you two for choosing me as your photographer & congratulations to you both! You two are such a perfect match and I feel so honored to have photographed this huge milestone in your lives!

xoxo Nicole

PS - Relive their fun themed engagement session here!

Venue: Bodega Bay Secret Gardens // Bridal Bouquet & Flower Crown: California Sister // Videographer:  Paul Ortiz // Caterer: Franchetti's // Cake: Your Sweet Expectations // Rentals: PTE Rentals 

Wright Family | Roseville Family Photographer

Hi friends & family! Last week M and I got to hang out and photograph some of our closest friends, the Wright family! We love love love spending time with them and their kiddos. We had a bit of a rough start since little man had just woken up from a nap and as we waited for him to wake up more big sissy helped out a ton and was very patient (shout-out to Liz & Mikey for raising your kids with such great manners!). Going in to this session I had a few new poses I wanted to try out but when K wasn't having it I decided to have a more photojournalisti approach and to just roll with the punches and shoot, shoot, shoot whatever was going on. And guess what? These are some of my favorite images to date. There is something so sweet and pure about capturing real life moments and I am so glad I got to do just that with the Wright family.

Liz & Mikey, thanks for having us photograph your family again! I'm so glad you chose to have this season of life photographed (pretty spontaneously, I might add) and we love you guys so much!

xoxo Nicole

Martin Family | Veteran's Park North | Roseville Family Photographer

Hi everyone! This afternoon I am sharing a sweet look into this years mini session for the Martin Family (2nd year in a row!). I love returning clients & getting a chance to watch their kiddos (and puppies!) grow. This family is full of kindness and adventure & didn't even a bat an eye when they saw the ground was a bit muddy - we had so much fun!

Thank you for choosing me, Martin Family!

xoxo Nicole

Mr. & Mrs. Munchmeyer | West Shore Cafe | Lake Tahoe Wedding

Good evening, friends! It's #WeddingWednesday and pretty much the most perfect time to share this sweet Lake Tahoe Wedding with everyone back from earlier this month! From the moment I started talking to Jackie I knew we were going to be a good fit but then we found out we had a mutual friend (hiiii, Paige!) and that we both were OBSESSED with pumpkins (see their engagement session we did at pumpkin patch here) & the rest is history. ;) 

It was so so sweet to watch this couple come together as a family of 3 on that gloomy Sunday in North Lake Tahoe. Jackie not only was the bride (obviously) but also took on the role of wedding planner and executed it beautifully & graciously! My husband and I loved working alongside Jackie & Erik and can't wait to do so more in the future!

xoxo Nicole

Caplinger Family | Newcastle Family Photographer

Hi friends! The Holiday season is upon us and do you know what that means?! FAMILY PHOTOS GALORE! I am super excited that the Caplinger family were one of the first families to kick-off mini-session-madness (yes, that is all one word.... I declare it!).

Fun facts: this is the 3rd year in a row I have had the privilege of capturing their family photos and this year  their littlest one, Lillie, is around the same age as their oldest one was, Calvin, when I started doing their family photos. I absolutely love watching them grow and they will always hold such a special place in my heart. This year we got to do something even more memorable - we took their photos ON their new property. If you want some serious house envy just visit the #CaplingerFamilyFarm because I am pretty sure every time I come home from visiting their house I tell my Husband how much I love it. ;) 

Heather & Matt, I hope you treasure these photos for years to come and I am looking forward to the next time I get to capture your family (no pressure but in-home lifestyle session anyone?! We just need to appease the people and I am sure everyone wants to see the INSIDE of that gorgeous home of yours). 

Happy Holidays!

xoxo, Nicole

Jacqueline & Erik | Keema's Pumpkin Patch | Elk Grove Engagement Photographer

Happy Saturday, y'all!

Today I have a very special set of photos to share with you - Jacqueline & Erik's engagement photos! We had so much fun roaming around the gorgeous property of Keema's Pumpkin Patch in Elk Grove (both Jacqueline & I share an equal obsession about all things pumpkin so this session was a DREAM). These two are saying 'I do' TOMORROW in the beautiful Tahoe area and I cannot wait to photograph their big day!

xoxo

Nicole

Mr. & Mrs. Guerra | The Highlands Estate | Cloverdale Wedding Photographer

Good evening, friends! As sad as I am about finishing up these wedding photos I couldn't even wait until #WeddingWednesday to share about this magical day! Not even Pinterest could top the details that Jenessa thoroughly thought about - from having a 'junk trunk' with junk food for guests to eat to taking shots together moments before the ceremony with personalized 'Bride' & 'Groom' shot glasses, with only a wooden door keeping them from seeing each other - this day was unbelievable. The details only added to the beautiful rustic venue nestled in Cloverdale (one of my new favorite venues, hello!). 

These two share so much love for one another and it is so clear to see the minute you're around them. I loved watching John's eyes brighten as he saw his smiling Bride walk down the aisle towards him. These are such fleeting moments that I feel so honored to capture and witness. 

Jenessa & John, you were both so attentive to everyone else around you and you made my team and I feel so loved and appreciated. Thank you both for including us in the beautiful start of this next chapter of your story. Here's to the next 100 years! 

xoxo

Nicole

Venue: The Highlands Estate // Second Shooter: Lydia Photography

Andreea + Travis | Edgewood Tahoe | Lake Tahoe Wedding Photographer

Happy Wedding Wednesday, folks!

Today I am sharing a glimpse into Andreea & Travis' beautiful wedding day. Their venue, Edgewood Tahoe sits in the heart of South Lake Tahoe and is absolutely breathtaking. Their day was filled with so much love and support from their friends & family that surrounded them. One of my favorite moments of the day was when Travis surprised Andreea's parents and recited a speech entirely in the Romanian language — it was so beautiful (talk about pulling the heart-strings) and I totally had to hold back tears as I photographed her parents registering what was happening.

To the new Mr. & Mrs. Folsom, thank you so much for having me capture your big day. I wish you two a lifetime of happiness! 

xoxo

Nicole 

Darcy + Cree | Kirigin Cellars Wedding | Bay Area Wedding Photographer

Happy Fri-YAY!

I am so excited to be sharing this wedding on the blog this morning. I have had such a joy looking back and editing these photos. This sweet couple got married just a few weeks ago at the beautiful Kirigin Cellars in Gilroy, CA. The day was completely smooth sailing and full of so much love. Both Darcy and Cree have big immediate families and you could just tell everyone was genuinely excited that the day had come for the two families to become one. They we're so affectionate with each other and really soaked in the entire day. I absolutely loved capturing their love for one another and the love that poured out from their surrounding families. 

Darcy & Cree, thank you for trusting me and allowing me to play a role in your big day. I loved working with both of you & hope to do more of that in the future!

xoxo

Nicole

Matt + Chelsey | Old Sacramento Engagement Photographer

Happy Wednesday, friends! It's been a busy couple of weeks over here as I have had two weddings (can't wait to share more!) and this sweet engagement session. I've known Matt (aka CHEEEEWWWW) for TEN years and his family is basically my family so when his sweet fiancée emailed me about photographing their wedding (before they had even found a venue) just a couple weeks after their proposal I was so excited! Chelsey has such a sweet soul and brings out such a soft side in Matt that is endearing to witness. Chelsey had the idea of doing a themed engagement session to make it a little bit more lighthearted and easy to be in front of the camera and after seeing the final results I am absolutely in love.

Chelsey & Matt - thank you for choosing me to capture this incredible season in your lives. I am counting down the days until your Bodega Bay wedding!

xoxo

Nicole

Kevin + Michelle | Sacramento Vizcaya Wedding

Wow.... How it's already Wednesday again I will never know but since it is.... Happy Wedding Wednesday! I am thrilled to be sharing Kevin & Michelle's sweet day with y'all. This couple was so filled with light and love - the day had so much beauty and I loved watching them come together as a family in Christ. Just to top it off, their wedding took place at one of the most beautiful Sacramento venues, Vizacaya, talk about all the heart eyes! I am so grateful to have been their photographer and I look forward to some future coffee dates with these two!

xoxo

Nicole

John + Jenessa | Sacramento Gibson Ranch Engagement

Happy Saturday! I hope you are drinking a nice iced beverage as you are reading this because here in Sacramento it's still 90°+ outside and I am DYING of sticky skin and weird tan lines. Today basically feels the exact same as a couple weeks back when we took these sweet engagement photos! John & Jenessa braved the heat, took some sips of liquid courage out of coffee cups (my kind of people, you guys!), and goofed around in front of the camera. It was perfect!

John & Jenessa, thank you guys for letting me capture this season of your life and for being so fun & carefree! I am counting down the days until your beautiful October wedding!

xoxo

Nicole

Katie & Matt | San Diego Wedding Photographer

Happy Wedding Wednesday, people!

I am so excited to share these photographs with the world. This wedding was off the charts beautiful. From Old Trolleys to a ceremony overlooking the San Diego Bay to a reception with a 360° view from the 34th floor of the Symphony Towers - every moment was breathtaking. I felt so honored to be included in on the day and it was a blast to make a little work-cation out of this wedding with my Huz as we stayed the following 3 days after this wedding in San Diego. 

Katie & Matt, you two deserve a lifetime of happiness and love. Thank you so much for having me photograph this monumental step in your lives. You two have the sweetest souls!

xoxo

Nicole

photography: Nicole Quiroz // venue: Maritime Museum & University Club atop Symphony Towers // sound + lighting: Sunset Mobile Music //  design + coordination: Reunion Specialists // catering: San Diego Catering Company cake: Heidi Mestaz Confections // trolley transportation: Old Town Trolley // hair + makeup: Running with Scissors Hair Studio & Nicole Niestemski  // groom & groomsmen attire: The Black Tux // dress: Berta Bridal

The Key Family | Sacramento Lifestyle Newborn Photographer

Hi guys! I have to confess something... this summer has been absolutely nuts! I have gotten so behind on blogging and keeping up with social media as a whole and I need to apologize to everyone. I have totally felt the weight of trying to balance working a day job (resulting in about 24-32 hours a week) and my own photography business. I wouldn't trade any minute of my days for anything else, but the result of my busy-ness has been to let go of some fun things like blogging and posting Instagram photos everyday. Case in point? Just now I went to go prep a blog post for a recent wedding and when I logged in to my blog I discovered this draft from June 3rd.... YIKES! Here's to hoping the 'better late than never' attitude resonates with you!

With all this being said, here are some photos from the sweetest lifestyle newborn session ever. This session just gave me another reason why I love my job so much - clients turned into friends. After leaving this session my Husband (aka my assistant & better half) and I both knew we wanted to spend more time with the Key family and guess what? We made it happen! We've gotten to have dinner together and learn more about each other & now this family is gearing up to go on an adventure of a lifetime, RVing all over the USA, and we are so excited for them!

Amanda & Tim, thank you for letting us into your world and for trusting us to photograph your precious babe in his first weeks of life. We look forward to more hang-outs in the future!

xoxo,

Nicole

Natalie + Will | Sacramento Lifestyle Photographer | Gibson Ranch County Park

Happy Friday!

I am so excited to be sharing this sweet session with you all mostly because that means I am finally catching up on work ;) but also because I love these two and I love photographing them. This is the third time I have photographed Natalie and the second time I have photographed Natalie & Will together. One reason I love photographing them is because their love is so evident which makes it so easily to capture and also so fun to capture! 

Natalie & Will - thank you so much for trusting and believing in me, for laughing at me while I hyperventilate behind the lens because the light is so beautiful, and for making sessions so much fun! 

I also need to give a shout-out to all the support and words of affirmation for my work Natalie has given me since I started photographing them a year and a half ago. You guys are dream clients and I want to clone you! Thank you for choosing me again and again and I can't wait to photograph the next big or small moment in your life! 

xoxo

Nicole

Caleb & Jackie | Bay Area Lifestyle Photographer

Happy Monday, everyone!

The other week I had the privilege of capturing this incredible joy-filled proposal and my oh my, I couldn't stop smiling throughout the evening! I also may have cried a little, no big deal. Caleb is a dear friend of mine & my husband's and we are SO happy he found the love of his life, Jackie. We love Jackie so stinkin' much; she shines light so brightly and her smile and laughter are contagious! I can't wait for this next season for them, as they plan their wedding day and most importantly prepare for a lifetime of love & marriage together.

Thank you so much for letting me witness & capture this unforgettable moment! 

xoxo

Nicole

Catherine | Bay Area Senior Photographer

Good evening, guys! This session I am sharing tonight is one close to my heart - my (not so) baby sister's senior portraits! I can't believe this young woman is 18 and will be graduating high school in under 2 months! She is so caring, intelligent, and full of joy. I love the person she has grown into and I praise God she is my little sisser. 

Here's to you Catherine - you are going to do some awesome things in this world and I can't wait to stand beside you every step of the way. I love you to the moon & back!

xoxox

Mr. & Mrs. Smith | March 11, 2016

Happy (wedding) Wednesday, friends!

I am so filled with joy as I sit here about to share these images with you all. Chantal & Will's wedding kicked off my 2016 wedding season and let me tell ya, it sure set the bar high. There's just something so incredible about a couple so happy & in the moment on their wedding day, even the rain and last minute change to hold the ceremony indoors didn't stand in their way!

Mr. & Mrs. Smith, thank you for including me on your special day. I wish you both a lifetime of happiness!

xo

Nicole