carlsbad wedding photographer park hyatt aviara

Carlsbad Wedding Photographer

Classic Photography for the Contemporary Couple


Thanks for stopping by! My name is John Schnack and I've been a Carlsbad wedding photographer for over 20 years. Carlsbad is not only one of San Diego's premier destination locations, it's also one of the best places for a wedding!

I've had the pleasure of photographing over 400 weddings in my career, many of which have been La Jolla, so I know the area very well. There are so many great wedding venues in La Jolla, like Darlington House, Lodge at Torrey Pines, and La Valencia, just to name a few.

As a resident of Carlsbad, I know the area very well. Want to know the best beaches for beginner surfers? I've got you covered. Best taco shop? They're all good, but I have favorites. Best restaurants? Yep, I know 'em.

If you're looking for a Carlsbad wedding photographer who specializes in classic timeless images and puts your needs first, you've come to the right place.

4 Great Reasons to Plan a Carlsbad Wedding


Gorgeous Wedding Venues

Carlsbad has a wide variety of gorgeous wedding venues for weddings of any size and style. Planning a lavish weekend celebration at a 5-star resort? The Park Hyatt Aviara and the Omni La Costa Resort have everything you need for your wedding. Want something a little more relaxed and low-key? Try rustic Carrillo Ranch, located in the hills just east of downtown Carlsbad. How about an intimate ceremony on the sand? Permits for beach weddings are super easy to get through the City of Carlsbad.

Things to do in Carlsbad

+ Beach activities

+ Brewery tours

+ Legoland California

+ Golfing

+ Carlsbad Flower Fields (March 1 - May 14)


A Golfer's Paradise

Not only is Carlsbad home several of golf's biggest brands, it's also home to two championship golf courses: La Costa Resort and Aviara Golf Club. La Costa, former annual home of the Match Play Championship, features two full courses, a short game complex, and a driving range. Aviara, the only course in San Diego designed by Arnold Palmer, features 18 challenging holes that wind through the trees and undulating hills of Carlsbad.

Best Carlsbad Restaurants


Lots of Activities for Guests

If you're expecting a lot of out-of-town guests, Carlsbad's wide variety of recreational activities will keep your guests having fun before and after your wedding! From playing in the surf and sand at one of Carlsbad's gorgeous beaches to a day of family fun at Legoland California, Carlsbad has everything you need in for an ideal destination wedding location!

Hotels in Carlsbad


Convenient to Anywhere in San Diego

Carlsbad is located about 45 minutes north of Lindbergh Field, San Diego's international airport, easing your arrival and departure. Feel like exploring a little while you're in town? Carlsbad's proximity to nearly everything makes it easy to get just about anywhere in San Diego. Take a short drive south to explore the beach communities of Del Mar, Solana Beach, and Encinitas. Head north on the coast and check out the always-popular Oceanside. Race track season? It's about a 20-minute drive to the Del Mar Race Track.

Do you have specifc questions? Reach Out to us!

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Our Favorite Carlsbad Wedding Venues

Omni La Costa Resort

Park Hyatt Aviara Resort

Located just across the valley from the Park Hyatt, Omni La Costa Resort and Spa is one of the best Carlsbad wedding venues, especially for those who love golf! With over 600 guest rooms, 17 tennis courts, a children's pool with a waterslide, two championship golf courses, and lots of dining options, Omni La Costa is the ultimate wedding weekend getaway for you and your guests.

For decades, the Park Hyatt Aviara has been my favorite wedding venue in Carlsbad. Perched on a bluff overlooking Batiquitos Lagoon and the Pacific Ocean--and boasting a new $50MM renovation--the Park Hyatt Aviara offers sophistication and luxury to discerning couples.

Carlsbad Windmill Weddings

Leo Carrillo Ranch

If you've traveled on I-5 through Carlsbad, you'll have no doubt seen the large windmill on the east side of the freeway. Long-time locals like me remember when it was Pea Soup Andersen's. Now, it's one of the newest wedding venues!

Built in 1939 by the namesake actor, Leo Carrillo Ranch is a rustic venue situated on 27 acres in eastern Carlsbad. With its meandering pathways, historic buildings, roaming peacocks, and vintage charm, it's the perfect venue for someone looking for a unique wedding venue.

The Best 8 Carlsbad Wedding Venues

View the Guide

Click the button to view my detailed guide to the best 8 wedding venues in Carlsbad!

bride and groom embracing la jolla torrey pines wedding

Voices from real couples

“Next Level! John was everything we hoped for in a wedding photographer. Beyond talented, charismatic and easy-going, he made our day stress-free and fun! He was very professional and flexible with our needs. He was organized and timely, too. The photos came within weeks of the wedding and they were artistic, editorial and sophisticated — perfect for the sartorial couple we are.

- Amanda Y.

How We're Different From Other Carlsbad Wedding Photographers?



Being Ready for the Unexpected

Personal Attention

With a knack for planning and a background in photojournalism, you'll find comfort knowing I'm ready for anything while staying true to your timeline. I'll scout your venue in advance so group photo sessions are quick and painless. And your romantic photos are done efficiently without sacrificing beauty and timelessness.

For over 20 years I've provided couples with an attentive, exclusive wedding photography experience. You'll feel good knowing the same guy who answers the phone when you first call (me) will be the same guy who photographs your wedding (me again).



Quality Over Quantity

A Focus on Your Needs

I take on a limited number of weddings each year so you receive the level of service and attention you and your wedding deserve.

After all, it's your wedding, not mine, and I care more about your enjoyment of each moment than I do about my ego. I'll take the time to get to know you to find out what's important for you and your partner on your wedding day.

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Instant Gratification, Long-Term Enjoyment

An Easygoing Personality

I'm equally comfortable in a pair of Ferragamos or flip-flops. Whether your wedding is a black-tie ballroom bash or a soiree in the sand, you'll relax knowing your photographer isn't a diva and blends in with everyone.

Finally, I combine the flexibility of digital with the power of print. Ever wedding gets sneak-peeks within 48 hours, and the full collection is delivered in 6-8 weeks. Luxurious heirloom albums are designed in-house, so you can enjoy every photo in a curated, heirloom album for decades to come.

What are some Carlsbad wedding photographer packages?

bride groom walk kiss la jolla street
vintage wedding gown shoes window la valencia hotel

Based on my 20+ years of experience having shot over 400 weddings, my pricing begins at 5995. However, most couples spend between 6995-8995 for packages that include an engagement session, rehearsal dinner coverage, extra coverage of the wedding, and an heirloom album.

How to Get in Touch

Your wedding is unique. I'd love the chance to chat with you to find out what's important to you on your wedding day. Click the button below to set up a discovery call.

Contact Me