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Meet Caryn Poling and Shawn Lane of San Diego Vacation Photography

Today we’d like to introduce you to Caryn Poling and Shawn Lane.

Thanks for sharing your story with us Caryn and Shawn. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
San Diego Vacation Photography (SDVP) began 4 years ago with an idea. Walking around our beloved San Diego, my best friend, Shawn who has been a photographer for over 10 years, would notice people, mostly tourist taking pictures of each other, but not together.

Someone was always left out of the picture. So he would stop and ask if they would like him to take their picture. He directed their poses and he would click when they didn’t know he was clicking so that the photos were skillfully composed and they were delighted with their new vacation pictures! Grinning big many people asked for his business card.

Eventually, we saw patterns and wondered if these experiences could be a business! So after some research on vacation photography. SDVP was born. We purchased camera equipment, printed business cards, created a website, a Facebook page and went around San Diego giving away photo shoots to build a portfolio.

After 6 months our first paying customer from Los Angeles found SDVP and then our next 2 months later. Slowly but consistently our client base grew. Now we are shooting every weekend people from Brasil, Canada, Turkey, India and the US, visitors and locals alike. Last year we were able to upgrade our equipment, and add a portrait photography business, at the request of our local clients. Shawn now works full-time on both businesses and we are very excited about our future.

Has it been a smooth road?
No, not at all. The first 2 years there would be weeks between paying clients. Marketing and getting the word out about our services was the biggest struggle. We decided at the beginning there would be no bank loans, that we would owe no one.

Next, this industry is quite competitive, as there are many, many photographers in southern California. So it took a significant amount of time finding the right niche and sweet spot for our offerings. We needed to be competitive but separate ourselves and services into a needle focused offering for our clients.

One such niche is Shawn’s personality – I have told him many times – He is our businesses greatest commodity. Clients love him, he sets them at ease and they have FUN! Customers have told us “He was the highlight of their vacation.”

We’d love to hear more about your business.
San Diego Vacation Photography does one thing and we do it well – We do professional photo shoots in iconic areas of San Diego for people on vacation. We specialize in giving our clients an art gallery of images that showcase their fun on the photo shoot and their time in San Diego.

We are most proud of our happy clients that tell us over and over of their enjoyment with Shawn and their cherishment of the pictures he gave them.

We travel with our clients around San Diego capturing their vacations. We are dedicated to giving high-quality galleries that reflect a clients experience visiting San Diego.

We Keep You In The Picture!

Is our city a good place to do what you do?
San Diego is a destination city, so it is a wonderful place for a company specializing in vacation photography. With our year-round amazing weather, beautiful parks, piers and beaches, and spectacular sunsets we couldn’t ask for a better city for such a business.


  • Basic Pricing 2 1/2 hours of vacation photography $259 – 4 1/2 hours of vacation photography $429 – Digital Images and/or prints purchased via your online gallery. Minimum order $250 *Within 12 miles of San Diego zip code 92101. Beyond 12 miles and up to 21 miles $40 Travel Fee.
  • Balboa Park Photography San Diego’s #1 visited location! The classic scenes of the El Prado & California Tower, the Botanical Gardens & Lily Pond, The Spreckels Organ Pavillion, The **Japanese Garden…and more! Premium Print Package Up to 1.5 hours with Photographer + (1) 16×20 Canvas + (2) 8×10 Framed Prints $584 A la Carte Photography $120 /35 minutes of photography Digital images & prints purchased via your online gallery. Minimum order $100.
  • Windansea Beach La Jolla | Coronado La Playa Package Photography session + 10 Prints shipped to your home size 8×10: $539 A la Carte Beach Photography $200 per hour

Contact Info:

Getting in touch: SDVoyager is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you know someone who deserves recognition please let us know here.

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