No love is lost when Holly Ireland Photography runs the shutter speed. That’s because it’s a business built on marriage itself. The husband-and-wife wedding photography company is owned by Bruce and Holly Ireland, who reside in Carlsbad with their daughters Brooke and Addy. But, for the couple, the venture is also a second act.
A creative through and through and originally from Fountain Hills, Arizona, Holly landed her first Broadway show at 18 and remained on the big stage for 15 years—including a tour to Tokyo, where two per chance encounters brought her to her other half who was travelling on business.
Now, behind the camera—instead of in front of it—she helms the creative side of the business while he heads up the sales and marketing leg and, occasionally, serves as an assistant photographer for weddings and large events. Scroll through their portfolio on Insta at @hollyirelandphotography.
What are some traits that define you?
We keep the wedding day light and fun. This way when you have to stop your wedding to take photos it is a continuation of the party instead of a moment you dread.
What gets you out of bed in the morning?
Our kids. We love being parents and having a business we love. There is nothing better than doing what you love and making a living at it.
Where is your favorite place to be?
At home. We are the most social people and love to go out. But if we have a day off on a weekend, we love just to have a day to relax at home.
Your job in three words.
Life-lasting. Memorable. Touching.
What do you love about your job?
That we are documenting some of the most important moments for generations to come. Life goes by too fast and memories fade, but your photos last a lifetime.
The wedding trend I am obsessed with right now is:
A first look with dad. We have two girls and ever since having girls this moment is so touching! I hope we are around for our girls to do this!
What’s your favorite detail in the Spring issue of Exquisite Weddings magazine?
As photographers, we always look at all the stunning new venues and the way each couple does a different unique take on them.
What San Diego wedding venue do you adore or would love to work at?
Hands down the Bernardo Winery. Terry, who is the planner there takes great care and pride in every wedding and it really shows. The weddings always run smoothly and are a fun party. Everywhere you walk, no matter what time of day or weather condition, is stunning.
Who is a San Diego wedding vendor you admire and why?
We just worked with Joshua Bonas. He was amazing. We admire anyone that can sing. Not only was his voice and guitar skills amazing, he was a fun DJ on top of that. We meet a lot of singers and DJ’s but rarely can they do both. He blew us away!
What is your most beloved wedding and details?
I think still to this day our favorite wedding and most touching was Kate and Ryan’s. They are just the sweetest most beautiful couple inside and out. The wedding was at a stunning house overlooking the ocean. But the moment that will always stay with us is the mother-son dance. Ryan’s mom was paralyzed from a horse riding accident. For their dance, Ryan wheeled her out onto the dance floor, picked her up out of her chair, and danced with her. There was not a dry eye in the whole wedding.
What’s your go-to motto?
Never stop learning. Keep striving to create the most amazing photos, watching the trends and, learning from the best out there.
Tell us something that might surprise us about you.
We met in Tokyo! We are two tall white people who met on the subway in Japan. But not only did we see each other on the subway, we didn’t stop to talk. Then three days later on the other side of Tokyo, we saw each other again. This time we talked, exchanged numbers, and got married a year later. That was the best trip either of us have ever taken to finally meet the “one.”