There’s something about the texture and color pallet…


That perfect mix of beach and textured rocky cliff…


The most epic location… requires a little adventure… and yes, that’s the Long’s. Again. Because they choose the best spots!



Another epic spot requiring a little adventure…


What’s better than rolling hills….

M I N I S E S S I O N D A T E S :

SLO HILLS Sept 8-9

GRASSY DUNES Sept 2 and 16





Email with any questions! ka@kelliavilaphotography.com


Location, Location, Location!

Freedom. Confidence. Security. Unashamed. Uninhibited. Fearless.

All are characteristics women should have, often we don’t, we forget, we hide. We look left and we look right before we do anything to be sure we have the company of other women and the approval of whomever we value as our influencers. We forget that we can own the air in any room we enter with our presence. Our smile and our energy can change the atmosphere where ever we go. For good and for bad. Leading with that gift is so powerful and such a gift to those around us. It’s easy for us to get small and forget how necessary we are in this world.

Something happens when I photograph boudoir and even senior portraits and maternity. The women who leave my studio are different from when they arrive. It’s something that happens as they believe in their own unique beauty. They decide to smile truly and allow me to really see them. I don’t know why vulnerability cultivates confidence but if I could bottle it up and share it with every woman, that’s what I would do. That feeling of watching woman giggle as they walk down my stairs is a gift to my heart. Sometimes it makes me cry, a good cry. It’s special. I want to create images that cause more of that. But not just with boudoir, with classic, timeless, bold portraits. Portraits with emotion and truth. Portraits that capture the mess and the beauty. Portraits of women in all seasons and stages of life.

I invite you to come to the studio for a portrait session. Maybe it’s boudoir. Maybe it’s maternity. Maybe you are or have a senior graduating and want to offer her the gift of being photographed in a way that elevates their self esteem. The investment is nothing compared to the outcome. Let me do what I do, give me creative freedom and expression. Don’t look at what someone else has done. Don’t try to copy a look or a pose. Just come, be free, confident, beautiful. If you’re ready, click below and let me tell you more about what we can do together…

Studio Portrait Sessions starts at $375 | Boudoir Sessions $700 | Headshots $175


To Every Woman…

If you’ve followed me for more than 5 minutes, you know how much I love photographing and championing women. Not that I don’t love men, I sure do, but as a women who’s struggled in all the ways women struggle, I want to shout from any pulpit or platform I can that women are incredible beings with many super powers and if we fully understood what we are capable of and made for, the world and more importantly, our families, would be better for it.

I don’t just photograph women as seniors and women as mothers, I photograph Boudoir because I believe in intimacy and self love. I love to see a women realize her unique beauty and how that can change her confidence and her relationship. Marriage is damn hard. Intimacy makes it easier. It’s literally the key.

Not every woman is ready for Boudoir. And Boudoir is not the only way to recognizing your beauty and significance. Sometimes, seeing yourself in a portrait through the eyes of someone else, can change how you see and understand yourself. As a mother, I’ve recognized that how I love myself, care for myself, see myself directly affects how my 14 year old daughter does. She’s learning from me simply by being near and watching. She’s absorbing whatever cutler I create in my home and it can have huge impact on who she grows into. For the good and for the not so good. So be careful with yourself. Be careful how you treat yourself. Be careful how you love yourself. Someone else’s heart my depend on it. Not to mention your own.

Last week, my sweet client and friend Cambria came to town with a blue dress and an excitement to shoot. The day was grey and gloomy but we decided to embrace the moody vibes and play in the dunes amongst the Eucalyptus. The black and whites are my favorites but holy damn, that dress is fire!!! Cambria wore it well, as she wears everything so well. It’s the smile for me. And the hair. And the incredible personality and heart. She’s an all ’round babe in every way. Check out her pretty Instagram and notice the Bohme link in her profile where you can snag that ridiculous blue dress!

If you love what I captured with Cambria, I’d love to photograph you as well. Maybe it’s not in a formal dress on the beach. Maybe it’s in my living room with a backdrop and good window light. Maybe it’s Boudoir, maybe it’s a formal headshot, maybe I come to you…. I’d love to photograph you.



She said she’s been waiting for this shoot in this place for years! Her name is Cambria and this is the only place her Senior Portraits should be taken; Cambria CA! I love how well we worked together. She let me do my thing and she brought all her style and incredible energy… My approach to senior portraits is a bit untraditional. I want it to feel like a photoshoot for a magazine. I want you to fee like you’re the influencer and this is your campaign. I want you to see how lovely and lovable you are. You’re in the most exciting time of your life, one that will leave a permanent mark on who you are. I am so glad to have a moment in time with you that you’ll always remember. If you’re interested in booking your own session, here’s a page with info and link to view availability!


Cambria | Class of ’22 Senior Portrait Session

I’ve been photographing this babe since she was in 8th grade! We’ve been dreaming of an epic shoot for graduation since then and epic is definitely what we got!

“What’s an Adventure Session?” Glad you asked… It’s when we level up your portrait session with a location that’s incredible, it usually requires a trail, a hike, maybe a drive but mostly it requires some wanderlust and major style! Your wardrobe can absolutely be extra, you’ll get a lot more images, and we’ll take a bit more time to make all the magic happen! Ask me about scheduling your own Adventure Session! Here’s how it went down with Lillie Hodges…

Glam: Brittany IG: @brittanys_glam | Rachel IG: @colormebronzesunless

Wardrobe: Jeans, floral dress, crochet top, Alan Jackson Tee, shorts, black formal dress


Senior Portraits, Adventure Style

If you’re a senior or the parent of a senior, here’s some pro tips on making it the best senior session possible, after all, these sessions have become a kind of “right of passage”. Especially for the girls! A professional photo shoot with amazing clothes, hair and makeup is really everything to a girl in the funnest season of her life…. So here’s what you should and should not do


Hair and makeup up with a pro!  I have a girl… just ask

Wardrobe you LOVE. You should feel amazing in everything you wear. When you schedule a session, I send you inspiration for this to help you choose…

Bring a hype girl! Who can also help with outfit changes and makeup touch ups…. We all need a hype girl!

Select an epic location! We can do this together. Pick somewhere that’s you! If you’re a beach babe, then let’s go to the beach! 

Pick a photographer who represents your style! 

Print your photos! Don’t let them live on the World Wide Web! Let me make a beautiful album with all your favorites for you! 


Don’t settle for wardrobe you don’t feel amazing in!

Don’t let your bff do your makeup unless she understands makeup for photography. 

Don’t bring your whole family or your boyfriend along. Only bring people to your session who can make you feel confident and help you have fun! If that is your boyfriend and family, then bring them, if not, I’ll be your hype girl!

Don’t bring too many wardrobe changes that take up more time than you have. 3 changes for a regular session is great, or you can add time to accommodate more changes! 

Don’t wear heavy eyeliner, it can look like dark shadows around your eyes and that’s expensive to fix in editing. 

When you schedule a senior session with me, I’ll send you lot’s of info to help you prepare. Wardrobe Inspo, hair and makeup referrals, and more… If you’d like to schedule a session or find out more… Follow the link!


Senior Portrait Must Do’s and Please Don’ts

Some say don’t pose, just let it all happen organically. Well actually, there’s nothing organic about a camera and a stranger in your face so, I say, both! 

When I’m with clients photographing families, children, seniors, couples.. I’m shooting for more than just the client. The client likely has a grandma, a mom, an auntie, a future self… While wind blown hair and big laughs are full of life and natural, Your grandma doesn’t always want that on her wall and your yearbook requirements are likely a bit different. So I’ve made it a priority to pose some and direct organic moments all at the same time. 

A timeless portrait with eye contact and smiles is a unicorn photo when you have small kiddos but it’s not impossible. It’s what I start with and then I let moments unfold. When your toddler waddles away and begins to explore, I’m tagging along, capturing chubby hands in the grass and little feet in the sand. When your sweet baby girl reaches up to be held, I’m capturing daddy lifting her up and giving her a little toss in the air to cheer her up. Dads are good for that. When you bend down to discipline your 5 yearly for not listening during family photos, I’m shooting your hands on his face and your eyes locked on each other. You have no idea but I’m grabbing all the moments in between the ones I set up. I’m also setting scenes with easy instruction. Kiddos, do what you do, run as fast as you can to daddy and then tickle him! Or 12 year old, hug your mom and hold her for a minute. While you’re there, tell her thank you for being awesome and promise you’ll never get a girl friend;) If a sweet moment + laughs unfold,I’m high speed shooting all of it!

So If I tell you to stand in a way and look at the camera but then it all falls apart, that is ok! I’m there for it. The moments you think are wasted and no good, I’m finding the memories.


Posing vs Directing

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photography mentor, mama and guac lover.

Hey, I'm Kelli Avila.

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I’ve been at this business for 10 years. It’s the very thing that lets me provide for my 4 children as a single mom. I know what it’s like to feel inadequate and overwhelmed. Your business should be a boost to your income and your confidence level and yet, at the beginning, that idea can feel like a far-fetched dream. Let me show you the ropes with real talk, perspective and discerning advice. You’ll leave inspired and informed.

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