Michelle Sullivan Photography // Orange County Wedding and Senior Portrait Photographer bio picture

    Hi! Welcome to Michelle Sullivan Photography! We are a husband and wife wedding and portrait photography team serving Orange County, California and the world =)
    I believe that we are all created in the image of God, and that means that we are all works of art!
    Please have a look around and if you see something you like please leave some love in the form of a comment, or a pin to pinterest =) Don't forget to follow me on instagram and facebook too!

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Pre-op Family Session

Eli is going to have open heart surgery this week to repair his Complete AV Canal defect. So we did a quick family session today =)

September 8, 2014 - 7:03 am

Sharon Sullivan - What, what, WHAT can I say? Looking at these so fills me with me emotion. As my neighbor said after seeing Eli – “he is like the sweetest of dreams”. I so adore that little boy. Every one of these pictures is precious. I’m especially moved by the one with Roxanne, and where he’s smiling right at you.. It feels like my arms and legs are even smiling when I look at those. But, oh-oh-oh-oh-oh that ‘pout’ shot!! You KNOW how I feel about that pout! I swear no baby has ever had a cuter, more endearing pout ever in the history of mankind! Love the one with Eric too. Again Michelle… they’re all such beautiful photos and I’m so glad you took them. I’ll be looking at them a lot during the coming week.

September 8, 2014 - 7:25 am

Sharon Sullivan - Oops, forgot to mention in my below comment how much I love Eli’s outfit. Too cute. He just always has me completely mesmerized!

September 8, 2014 - 10:37 am

Mary Nadeau Taylor - I miss you all so much. Everyone here is praying for Eli. Please send me the pic of all of you so I can have it enlarged. I love you all

September 8, 2014 - 3:56 pm

Heather Avis - these are the best. He is amazing, reminds me so much of m August, especially the pouty lip! Praying for you guys this week. He’s gunna rock it and God’s got this.

September 9, 2014 - 5:00 am

Hope Espinoza Tarrant - Praying for the Sullivan family this week! The Throne room will be overflowing with prayers for your son <3. Such precious images.

September 9, 2014 - 6:50 am

Christi Carlson - Beautiful Michelle.

Tween Room on a budget!!!!

You guys! I just booked my first 2015 wedding! I’m so excited to start working again, but until I have engagement pictures to post, I will continue to fill my blog with pictures from my house because I pretty much never leave unless it’s for a dr appt……cabin fever anyone?

My youngest girls are 9 and 12 and they really wanted a new room and I couldn’t blame them since the room they share used to be their older sisters room from when she was two.

And since I took the year off from work to care for Eli and because medical bills are not cheap, I had to get real creative. I don’t have a great before pic of the whole room, but I love this picture from when my oldest two used to play pretend with the boys next door everyday and you can see the awesome Martha Stewart circa 2000 inspired walls – which I painted one by one when I was 9 months pregnant :)

And here is the room after:

Most of the furniture was already in their room including the beds – one was mine from when I was little and the other was a $10 estate sale score. We painted them green to match years ago. I almost painted them white, but I was lazy and I still really like the green. Plus the green lamp was already in there and I didn’t want to paint it, I think it’s perfect the way it is. The only things I added were pieces from other parts of the house that I repurposed.

The coral cabinet used to be black and was hidden in a closet. I originally bought it at goodwill for $15

The desk built for two is from Ikea and it used to be my office desk

The pink chairs are from Ikea

The gallery wall was created using the girls artwork and I love the one Daphne made right after Rox was born of the three of them. I framed all the art with super cheap Ikea frames –  $4 each. And the Funny Girl poster was bought on ebay. The frame it’s in was repurposed and spray painted gold

The rug is from RugsUSA and I got it 70% off

The gold lamps on the nightstand were already in the room, I just gave them a new life with a can of gold spray paint

The cute dog was a gift (and free!)

The sputnick chandelier was something I bought a few years ago for my family room but it never made it out of the box. It was also silver before and I love the way the gold looks!

The mirror and wall clock were cheap finds at Home Goods

The duvet covers are originally from Urban Outfitters but I didn’t want to pay full price so I looked on ebay and we couldn’t find two of the same. So I bought two different twin duvets and a friend took them apart and made two reversible duvets so they match – does that make sense? I think I’m confused now…anyway, it was cheap :)

The curtains are from Target and the curtain rods are the super cheap ones from Ikea

The throw pillows are from Ross and the shams are pillow cases from Target on clearance

Thanks for still reading my blog haha!

European Babymoon

While I was pregnant with Eli, Eric and I went to Europe because we figured it might be awhile before we could go again haha! We flew into Paris and stayed there 2 nights then we spent the rest of our trip in Italy. We went to Venice, Cinque Terra, Vatican City and Rome. I didn’t take too many pictures because I wanted to experience it all without a camera in my face and I’m glad I did, but I totally regret not taking any good pictures (and by good, I mean with with my good camera opposed to my phone) in Paris and in Rome. I guess I was so amazed by both cities and having too much fun, which is a good thing :)

Elijah’s Nursery

Crib and Dresser: Ikea

Changing Table: Estate Sale Find

Rug: Ikea

Baskets: Target

Doll: Sweet Littles Handmade

Sheets: Target

Mobile: I made it out of felt, leather,yarn and my handy hot glue gun :)

April 25, 2014 - 1:10 am

Shelly Marks Cisneros - Amazing!

April 25, 2014 - 3:05 am

Caitlin Fitztufts - Love it! What I wouldn’t give to turn you loose on my house!

Elijah’s birth

Elijah John Sullivan

March 15th // 3:38 pm

4 pounds 3 ounces // 17.5 inches

After being induced and dilating to 4, my OB told me that I needed to have a c-section because the baby’s heart rate dropped every time I had a contraction. About 30 minutes later, Elijah was born. When I heard him cry relief washed over me. The nurse brought him over and I got to kiss him before they rushed him to the CHOC nicu.

This was the crowd that greeted him outside the delivery room during his transport:

Because I had a c-section, and because he was at a different hospital, it was a very long 18 hours before I could hold my baby. Holding him for the first time was incredible. When he was two days old he had intestinal duodenal atresia surgery. Then it was another agonizing two days before I could hold him again. They took his ventilator out and he opened his eyes for the first time after his surgery just minutes before I could hold him. It was so amazing how he looked right at me and was so awake after being asleep for two days. Looking back, the time surrounding his surgery was completely surreal. I know so many people were praying for us and I can’t even begin to explain the peace I felt.

April 9, 2014 - 4:16 am

Heather Avis - I can’t get over how stinkin’ adorable he is. What a story. so glad God crossed our paths.

April 9, 2014 - 4:48 am

Tammy Cerulli Dinan - He truly is a beautiful miracle.

April 9, 2014 - 5:48 am

Christi Carlson - Beautiful Michelle!!!

April 9, 2014 - 6:15 am

Sharon Sullivan - Heather sure got that “stinkin’ adorable” right. I can’t think of words to describe how incredibly cute that little sweetie pie is.

April 9, 2014 - 1:45 pm

Caitlin Fitztufts - So moved by your strength through all of this. We continue to pray.

April 9, 2014 - 4:00 pm

Becky Rees McClure - So beautiful. Thank you for sharing.

April 10, 2014 - 6:17 pm

Karen Roebuck - congratulations on your beautiful baby boy! God bless you all

Mom Photography Workshop 101 :: January 18th 2014


Saturday, January 18th 10am-1pm


Orange, CA


Moms who need help learning how to use their DSLR camera correctly to get the best shots of their kids.

This class is not for people who are looking to start a photography business, learn advanced photography skills or learn about post-processing – but email me if you are interested in a workshop like this and maybe I’ll do one in the future =)

 What’s Included:

A workbook filled with all the info covered in the workshop so you don’t have to try to memorize or write down everything I say.


A child model to practice your newly learned shooting skills on – that sounds really weird!

What you’ll learn:

The meanings of scary words such as: Aperture, Exposure, Shutter Speed and ISO (and why they are all so important)

How to stop using the auto setting

How to get that awesome blurry background you covet so much

How to find the best natural light – indoors and out

How to get natural smiles from your kids

We’ll talk about lenses and their capabilities

And there will be plenty of time for one on one instruction and questions

What you’ll need:

A DSLR (Digital Single Lens Reflex) Camera – if you don’t have one just yet, that’s ok too, I’ll have an extra one on hand for you to practice on

Your camera’s instruction manual (if you don’t have it, look online for a copy)



I am limiting the class size so there is time for one on one instruction so space is limited =)

Your payment holds your seat. Payment is non-refundable, but you can sell your seat to someone else if you can’t attend.

And here is a handy dandy way to pay:

January 23, 2014 - 5:53 am

Linly Baltazar S. - Am sad that I missed this. Are you planning on having another workshop in the future?

Our baby boy

We found out back in July that we were expecting baby number 4. We found out in September that it’s a boy, our first boy! We were overjoyed. Then two weeks ago I had the 20 week ultrasound. As soon as I looked at the screen my heart sank, I knew something wasn’t right. I also knew that the tech couldn’t tell me what was wrong. We went home and I spent way too much time on google images comparing my pictures to pictures online. I was a wreck. I cried all night long and maybe got an hour sleep. When I woke up, a friend on facebook had posted Jesus Calling for the day. Here is the entry:

I am Christ in you, the hope of Glory. The One who walks beside you, holding you by your hand, is the same One who lives within you. This is a deep, unfathomable mystery. You and I are intertwined in an intimacy involving every fiber of your being. The Light of My Presence shines within you, as well as upon you. I am in you and you are in Me; therefore, nothing in heaven or on earth can separate you from Me!

As you sit quietly in My Presence, your awareness of My Life within you is heightened. This produces the Joy of the Lord, which is your strength. I, the God of hope, fill you with all Joy and Peace as you trust in Me, so that you may bubble over with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.

“I am the Lord; I have called you in righteousness;
I will take you by the hand and keep you;
I will give you as a covenant for the people, a light for the nations.” Isaiah 42:6

“And do not be grieved, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.” Nehemiah 8:10

“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.” Romans 15:13

As soon as I was done reading, the phone rang and it was my OB, Dr. Linzey. He said that they discovered three things on the ultrasound: He has a hole in his heart, he has fluid on his brain and his intestines didn’t form properly. Dr. Linzey then told me that these three things together are signs that he probably has Downs Syndrome as well. He then told me that I needed to go in that day for a better, high quality ultrasound.

I knew that I had to tell the girls what was going on, they had already asked so many times why I was crying. I went downstairs and Gretta was looking at the ultrasound pictures from the night before and said “what are these two dark spots on his stomach?” I started crying, then she started crying and then Rox started crying. I told them that I’m sorry and that I am trying to be strong and then I told them what Dr. Linzey said about his heart, brain and intestines.  Rox just kept crying and crying and Gretta said ”I’m not worried, God is in control. God made his body and He knows what He is doing.”

An hour later I was in another ultrasound room with the same tech we had the night before. As soon as she saw us she said she was so sorry that she couldn’t say anything last night. I told her that I totally understood and that I knew something was wrong and I didn’t ask her anything because I knew she wouldn’t be able to answer me anyway.  We were with her for what seemed like an eternity while she measured tons of things, then a doctor came in and measured some more and spent forever looking at his heart. When she was done she told us that his heart is severely deformed. He is missing the crux of his heart and he will need surgery immediately after he is born. She also said that the three things (heart, brain and intestines) point not only to Down’s Syndrome (also known as Trisomy 21), but possibly Trisomy 18 or Trisomy 13. If he has Trisomy 18 or 13, they wouldn’t do any heart surgery because he wouldn’t live past a year anyway. Then she said something about a pediatric cardiologist and something about intestine surgery, but by this point it kind of sounded like the adults talking on Charlie Brown but a thousand miles away. Then she asked if we were ok…..Um we were completely in shock. We walked out of the office in a daze.

We went home and all I can say is that within 24 hours I felt a peace that passes all understanding. I’ve heard that Bible verse a million times but I’ve never truly experienced it.  It’s nothing that I did to conjure up feelings of trust or faith or peace. All I know is, is that God did a work in me. I know that He is in control, He made my baby and He doesn’t make mistakes. He has allowed this to happen for a reason and I will trust Him. I know that He can heal him, and if He chooses not to, I can honestly say that it is well with my soul. Not my usual response to crappy things in my life. This is supernatural. When I am weak, He is strong.

God has already done so may amazing things through this situation. He has showed us that we have so many amazing people in our life – so many people have stopped by to hug us, texted or emailed prayers and encouragement, brought us dinner, flowers, baby clothes and other gifts, offered to drive the girls to school and practice, offered to watch the girls while I go to doctor appointments, offered to take their vacation time from work when the baby is born to help us. Eric’s mom even offered to hop on the next plane from Florida just to come be with us. I am so overwhelmed with the outpouring of love. I never knew my heart could be broken into a million pieces and at the same time feel so full!

Another amazing thing that God has done: Here is just one of the many facebook messages I got from someone I don’t know:
“I know I don’t know you, the story of your baby came up on my news feed from a mutual friend commenting, I just wanted to say thank you. My day hasn’t been great and I was mad and frustrated. Upon reading your story I realized this woman is having it worse than I but yet she’s seemingly at peace thanks to the love of God and the people around her. Your strength made me get down on my knees and pray for the first time in over 4 years. Again, thank you for being a strong woman of faith and I’m sorry about this hard time and I pray that God shows you his plan in all this.”
My boy isn’t even born yet and God is already using him in mighty ways! So thankful!!!!

It’s amazing how something like this can make you so unbelievably grateful for the blessings (big and small) in your life.
We are trusting in God. We know that He has been and continues to knit our precious baby together inside me. We know He can heal his body and our hearts. Please pray for us to have strength, hope and continued peace. And most of all for healing for our baby boy.

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November 25, 2013 - 7:12 pm

Chelsea - I’m continually think of you, Michelle, and praying for you and Eric and healing for Baby. I’m in tears every time I read your posts, but am so thankful that the Lord has given you peace!

November 26, 2013 - 6:29 pm

Ashton Phillips - I don’t know you but major hugs and will be praying

November 27, 2013 - 4:25 am

Melissa Holt Huyett - Praying for you.

November 27, 2013 - 5:11 am

Alicia Kruger Duzman - Thank you for your inspirational post. God is good.

November 27, 2013 - 8:11 pm

Julie Cohen - Precious sharing Michelle. We will keep o prayin here for you in CO.

November 27, 2013 - 10:44 pm

Jeanette Dawson - Praying