40 & Fab!

Dear Diary,

Being 38, quickly approaching 39, I, like many women, fear the big 40! This is why I love my client Vanessa so much. Vanessa came to see me for nude boudoir shoot for her 40th birthday. Here I’m fearing wrinkles and she’s getting naked! How inspiring. I LOVE it!

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San Diego Boudoir Photography by Dawn Nash / The Romance Specialists

Isn’t she gorgeous! 40 never looked so good!

Oh, And yes! Those are my Chanel earrings which are clips and I gladly let my clients use during their photo shoot.   Of course, she brought some of her own outfits as well including this amazing body suit! I am just amazed! She makes me look forward to turning 40!

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San Diego boudoir photography


Vanessa was an absolute joy to photograph and even more inspiring and wonderful as women. At 40 not only is she baring all but she’s going back to college!

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San Diego boudoir


Vanessa you are sexy, smart, sassy, fun and fierce! You inspire me.





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Give & Receive

Dear Diary,

This is so cool! Last year another San Diego photographer that I had never met at the time by the name of Stacy asked on a Facebook group page if anyone was going to WPPI on the Road in LA tomorrow. I popped on and said I wish I was going.  Stacy then PM’d and gave me a code for FREE admission ($300 Value!) . A $300 gift for free to a total stranger!  The very next day I was on my way to LA! I couldn’t believe it.

At WPPI, I won an album valued at $800! Again, I couldn’t believe it! On my way up to claim my prize, a women stopped me and asked if I was Dawn.  It was Stacy! I finally met this generous mystery women. We began to talk but the man with my album prize was waiting. I looked at him and asked him to give it to Stacy. After all, I wouldn’t be there if it wasn’t for her generosity to a complete stranger. Stacy accepted the album and we both scored!

The second day at WPP I won Free Full Registration to WPPI in Las Vegas for 2014! ($300 value!) I couldn’t believe it! Wow!  Two days before I was planning on watching Netflix reruns and now I’m in LA for FREE, won an album and admission to WPPI Las Vegas! I was dumbfounded & filled with gratitude. It was like magic!

As WPPI 2014 approached I got word my husband will be deployed during this time so I wouldn’t be able to make it due to childcare. At first, I considered selling my pass so that I could make a few bucks but somehow that didn’t feel right to me.  So, I went back to that exact same Facebook page and shared that Stacy gave me, a complete stranger, a pass for free and so I’m going to give to someone else like she did to me. Who wants my free admission to WPPI?  ($300 value!)

Immediately a woman by the name Jamie – another San Diego photographer – popped up. She said she would love to go plus it’s during her 30th birthday.

Now let’s back up – A while ago I needed some video clips and offered to do a trade for coverage.  I was very reluctant to ask other San Diego photographers as not all play nice. Jamie, who I never met before, replied and offered to help. She came to my tiny, little start up studio. Jamie was sweet, polite and extremely hard working, especially considering the pay which was nothing but trade.  My studio could barely be called a studio it was so new as I was at the very beginning but Jamie showed no signs of judgement or negativity. She was supportive from the moment she arrived until she left. When I inquired about doing her trade as payment she asked for nothing.  Jamie was a gift that gave to me without asking for anything in return. She is also the reason I started talking to other local area photographers and even joined a local photographer’s meet up. A meet up that is filled with other wonderful photographers that I never would have given a chance if it wasn’t for Jamie.

OK…. So back to the Facebook Post… as soon as I saw Jamie pop up I said ”Actually…let’s stop it right here – Jamie – Because of a post on this wall, even though you never met me before, you came to my pathetic little studio when I was just starting out in SD & did a few starter videos for me for free & never asked for anything in return… As they say, give and you shall receive so Jamie, the code & admission is yours with gratitude… and the circle is now complete.”

Stacy gave to me without asking & with gratitude I gave to Stacy without asking.  Jamie gave to me without asking and I gave to Jamie with gratitude. I love this! This is my perfect world where everyone gives and everyone receives and everyone is thankful. I love these ladies for helping me and I love even more that I was able to help you back in unexpected ways. The universe it GRAND!

With gratitude,


San Diego Photographers

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Farewell to My Best Friend

Dear Diary,

Today I am filled with gratitude and sadness. I am filled with gratitude because I have been blessed to have Jennifer E.  as a close friend for the last year. I am sad because tonight Jen & I say our goodbyes as in the morning she moves to Texas. I will miss her deeply.

Jen was born & raised in Germany. Her upbringing, while filled with love, was also filled with emotional and physical abuse. Jen’s family was poor and they scrapped by to get everything they had. When Jen was only 18, she married an American man. Shortly there after she became as US citizen and gave birth to her son Collin.

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However, Jen’s trial were just beginning. She and her husband were struggling in their marriage and with money. To help with the family income, Jen joined the US Navy. Once in the Navy she did multiple unaccompanied tours to IRAQ & Afghanistan during a time of war.  This means she had to leave both her husband and son behind to go fight the war for 6-18 months at a time. And yes, Jen did see real combat action. Eventually, her marriage fell apart and they divorced.

From abused and impoverished in Germany to combat in Iraq to a divorced single parent in the US, Jen has seen some truly tough times all before the age of 30. However, Jen is a survivor. Picking up the pieces and wanting better for herself and her son, she enrolled in college. Over the last 3 years, Jen has worked tirelessly to get her bachelor’s degree all while working full time in the Navy and being a single mom.  She graduated with a 3.89 GPA and is the first in her family to earn their degree.

After 8 years of service, Jen is leaving the military in pursuit of her dreams. Tomorrow, Jen and Collin move to Texas. In February, Jen will be taking the LSAT.  The divorced, combat veteran, poverty-raised & abused girl from Germany is going to Law School.


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So, you see, I am overjoyed! Jen is going to follow her dreams. Jen is going to Law School. Jen is out of harms way. She and her son will have a better life – AN AMAZING LIFE! I am so thankful that this is happening to Jen. But I am so sad because she is leaving me. True, we will still text and Facebook but it’s not the same.

In selfish moments I think to myself who will I get drunk with? The only person I drink with is Jen.  Who will laugh hysterically with me at oddball British comedies? Who will I cry to? Who will I borrow milk from when I’m too lazy to run to the store?  Who won’t judge me for my lust for Navy Seals & all things Star Trek? Who can I fart in front of and laugh?  Who is going to accept me for me like Jen does? And the answer is nobody because their is only one Jen. And that’s why I love her.


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Jen, if you are reading this, I want you to know, I love you. You are an inspiration not only to me, but your son. Collin may be too young to realize how incredible your story is but someday, when he is older, all that you have done and overcome, will help him to be a great man. Jen, I wish for you all good things in abundance. Joy. Love. Health. Wealth. You are a gift. Thank you for being my friend.




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20 Years of Love

Dear Diary,

I didn’t know it at the time, but in my brother company at bootcamp in 1993 was my future husband. Yep! I was in then Navy and my now husband of 14 years, was in my brother company. Although, we never really spoke until A school where we were both studying to be cryptologist.  Yes, yours truly was a cryptologist working for Navy Intel. Feels like a lifetime ago.

One day I was sitting alone next to the fence by the gate softly singing to myself while listening to headphones. Up walks this sailor and says to me “Is that fence talking back to you?”  Excuse me I asked. He smiled that kiddish grin and said “Well, it looks like your sitting here talking to the fence so I was just wondering if it’s talking back to you?”  Worst pick up line ever! But it did make me laugh and apparently effective as 20 years later, here we are.

We dated off & on. However, 14 years ago we married. 13 years ago we had our daughter Rose and 10 years ago, our son Dylan.  It’s been an amazing  journey with this gift of a husband of mine.

He has now served 20 years in the Navy and is a Senior Chief.  I can’t imagine my life without him.

Today, I celebrate his 20 years of service. I am so proud of him! I can honestly say I love him more today than I ever did. And, I’m thankful I fell for such a horrible pick up line!

Babe, if you are reading this, I love you so much and I am so proud of you!

With love,

Your Proud Wife



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Husband, Sr Chief Michael Smith


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Maternity Photographer in San Diego

Dear Diary,

Being a Maternity Photographer in San Diego is probably one of the coolest jobs ever! While I don’t do a lot of maternity shoots, today I did and I loved it! Some sneak peak photos are below.   So glad I have those skirts & hair flowers in the studio. They make all the difference.  Rose, the girl I photographed, was so sweet & nice. She was so nervous! And her belly was adorable! I really wanted to rub it like a Buddha statue. LOL!


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Well, that’s all for now diary… until I write again icon smile Maternity Photographer in San Diego


With love & gratitude,



Maternity Photographers in San Diego

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Facebook Angle

Dear Diary,

I know! I know! I haven’t been writing.  It’s just really not my thing but I’m trying…

Yesterday was a terrible day… so I was so moved when I received this very random email from my Facebook page:


  • You just became my personal heroine. I explored your website and your Facebook page.

    First, I love the way you treat other humans. Second, I love the way you treat yourself and third, I love your photography that is the result of the first two outstanding factors.

    I am myself trying to find a voice and your story/work are adding to the inspiration.

    My intentions for writing? just to say BRAVO!

    Have a great weekend

    Patricia Cabezas

I’m speechless! I have never met Patricia…or at least I don’t think so… How kind & generous & amazing is this! I feel completely unworthy of such an email. I hope Patricia realizes she is amazing and I hope she finds her voice. Bravo to you Patricia!





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Breaking Up with My Blog

Dear Blog,

I’m sorry blog but I’m breaking up with you. It’s not you, it’s me. Really, it is. I know what you’re thinking. Every business course I have ever taken has told me that as a business I MUST blog as it is essential to my business. The truth be told I’m just not that into you. Blogging feels so superficial to me. I get nothing out of it and I would venture to guess my readers (all 2 of them) get little out of it as well.  Please blog, don’t take it personally but our time is over.

What will I do now? I’m moving on and I’ve found something a bit old fashion, a diary.  I believe a diary fits me a bit better. Instead of a blog I’m going to post my personal diary with my thoughts, my heart, my love, my loss, my life on it.  You see, over the last 8 years I have given my soul to the Romance Specialists yet every business course tells me to keep it professional. So, even though my soul is entwined, I remove myself from my business – keep myself disconnected – because that is what professionals do. But I can’t live or work that way any longer.

I am tired of listening to everyone else and ignoring my own feelings, goals & dreams. I want to be myself in all areas of my life and that includes my business. That is why so many changes are occurring within my business which is probably confusing the hell the out of people who are visiting my website.  From the changing design, pricing, packages, services, diary, etc…  It has been a journey in trying to discover who I am and what I want – not what others tell me I need to be doing.

I am still in the process of figuring out exactly who I am and what I want but this I do know – I want to consistently create beautiful images for my ideal clients and be well compensated for it. In addition to my professional work, I want to do personal fine art projects that will be displayed in galleries and sold as art.  I want to sign select pieces of my work.  I want to love what I do, whom I’m working with and the clients that hire me.

I am constantly encouraging my clients to accept themselves the way they are. Letting them know that they are good enough just the way they are now.  Sure we all have areas we can improve upon but that doesn’t mean we are “less than” or “unworthy” or “aren’t good enough.” Life is a  journey and the only destination is a dirt nap so we might as well enjoy the ride  despite our imperfections. It’s time I practice what I preach.  The first step is giving myself permission to be myself in every area of my life. A scary thought. The risk of judgement, rejection, failure and looking foolish. But for better or worse, it’s what I feel I must do for my own happiness.

So, here goes nothing… I am Dawn and I am imperfect. I am also an artist, a spiritualist, a mother, a wife, a failure, a success, a giver, a believer, a hopeless romantic, an underdog and this is now my diary.

Farewell blog,


Dawn Nash

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