Mrs. and Mr. Goodnickels are...

  • Wife and husband photographers who live and work in the Encinitas/Carlsbad area of North San Diego County.
  • Totally obsessed with making images of you, your kids, your friends, and your grandparents.
  • Avid enthusiasts of the Sunday brunch.
  • In silly amounts of love with each other.
  • Marginally successful dog trainers.
  • Probably better than you at Wii Bowling.
  • Stupid-fun to hang out with.


What do you charge for wedding coverage?

Wedding coverage and packages for 2014 range between $1600-$4500, from one photographer for 4 hours to two photographers for 8 hours with all the full-coverage extras. All options include a DVD of your edited, high-resolution images ("digital negatives") and an online gallery; full coverage also includes an engagement session, print credit, and album credit. The photography we provide is very personal to us; since we only photograph 10-15 weddings a year, it's super important that we love our clients-- and vice versa! We understand that wedding photography is an investment, and we also want to work with the best clients for us each year, which is why we offer a variety of options. If you really connect with our work, let's chat about the details of your big day and how to best cover it!

What kind of wedding coverage do you provide?

We offer three different types of wedding coverage for a variety of budgets and wedding types: 1) Mel and Phill together for maximum coverage where we are both working as primary shooters (ranging $2300-$4500); 2) Mel as the primary shooter with our associate providing a second angle ($2100-$4000); and 3) Mel alone for smaller weddings (ideal for the 50-70 range-- no more than 100 people and 6 hours max, $1600-$2500). Elopement packages are also available for last-minute or non-Saturday ceremonies. We are happy to email you detailed information, so feel free to get in touch with us at!

What do you charge for portraits?

Single family, baby, maternity, and separate engagement portraits are $375 for up to 5 people. This includes the session for up to one hour at one location of your choice, a DVD with approximately 50-60 edited images, and an online viewing gallery. We also offer multiple sessions at a discount for families expecting a new little one, so don't forget to ask about that! Large, multi-family portraits of 6-9 people are $525 and include approximately 75-100 edited images and a DVD for each individual family. Portraits with 10-15 people are $675. During these sessions, we can do whole group shots as well as smaller break-downs. Because we really value having a personal connection with our clients as well as some spontaneity during our sessions, we are not currently offering sessions for more than 15 people.

Do you photograph family reunions, baby showers, birthday parties, product photography, etc.?

Occasionally we do provide coverage for family reunions, showers, and parties if we are not photographing a wedding on your event date; we book these events up to three weeks in advance. Event coverage begins at $500; please email us with details regarding the type of event, number of coverage hours, number of guests, whether formal portraits will be required, and number of photographers requested, and we will provide you with a customized quote for your event. We do not offer product or commercial photography; it's such a different type of job, and we love candidly photographing people way too much!

Frequent Queries


Yup. Mr. and Mrs. We made it up while we were courting because the thought of spelling either of our last names to just one more customer service representative wasn’t pleasant. As it turns out, the United States Government isn’t super-keen on both the bride and groom grabbing an alias, so it remains a pseudonym. Why Goodnickels? Well, if you’re gonna pick a last name, it might as well sound really old-money and silly. The kind of name that’ll get you into a Gatsby party. When we started the studio, calling it Goodnickels was an obvious choice. Let’s face it, if this was Schwoerke-Tornroth Photography, you probably wouldn’t be reading this right now.

How long have you been shooting?

Both of us spent a large portion of high school and college taking pictures. Neither of us pursued it professionally, though. When we met, the shared interest was rekindled, and we’ve been taking pictures together ever since. We started spinning it up as a business in late 2007 and began booking early 2008.

How many hours of wedding coverage do we need?

Coverage is the most important thing to consider when selecting or building a photography package. Your wedding photos will be loved and appreciated for generations, and missed coverage can’t be reshot! Consider the schedule of your event and what you and your family want captured. The average time couples usually hire us for is 6 hours. That typically covers your entire wedding and exit without getting ready images; or it can cover some getting ready images, the ceremony, and about half of your reception. You need to decide what will be more important to you in that case: 1) Getting ready and/or formal portraits prior to the ceremony or 2) all the drunk debauchery and/or a formal exit at the end of the night. If you want it all, please plan on having 7-8 hours of coverage.

How long will it take to receive our images?

It takes 6-8 weeks to receive your final wedding images, depending on how many hours of coverage you received and the time of year of your event. It takes 3-4 weeks to receive your portrait images. We put a lot of time and love into processing your final images, and we appreciate your patience!

How many images will I receive?

With Phill and Mel together, you will receive approximately 100 photos per hour of coverage; it's approximately 75 images per hour with Mel and our associate, and 50 an hour with just Melanie. For family portraits and engagement sessions, you will receive approximately between 50-60 images for single family sessions and 75-100 for larger groups.

How long is a portrait session?

Portrait sessions are scheduled for one hour and typically take 45-60 minutes. While we never shoot anything else on a day we have a wedding, we do often shoot multiple portrait sessions or schedule several meetings on the same day, so please, please, please be on time for your shoot.

Do you have insurance?

Yes! If your venue requires proof of insurance, we are happy to provide it. We also have a business license, backup equipment, and backup systems for all of your images. These things are really what sets apart a professional from an amateur photographer, so we highly suggest you ask these questions of every photographer you interview.

We’re a same-sex couple. Will you shoot our wedding?

Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. We’d love to. We take photos of people in love. Don’t hesitate to get in touch if that’s you.

What is your shooting schedule for the day of our wedding?

No matter what time of day your wedding is, yours will be the only one we shoot that day. Tell us what time to be there, and we’re there. We’ve got nowhere else to be. We wake up really excited about all of the great images we’re already planning in our heads, and we rush home to start processing them right away. Taking pictures of you, your family, and your friends is our favorite thing to do. We’re consumed by it, and our relationship with our clients is a very personal one for us. Seriously. We’re on a bunch of God-parent short-lists, and we like it that way.

Do you have vendors you can recommend?

We do! When you book with us, we want to help make your big day as wonderful as possible, which includes recommending vendors we have loved working with in the past. We have a whole list we can provide you with, so feel free to ask.

What type of payment do you accept, and what's your payment structure?

We are now part of the modern world! We accept credit cards, PayPal, and cashier's checks. A $500 deposit is required to hold your wedding date, and your remaining balance is due 5 days prior to your wedding. Portraits require a $100 deposit upon booking, with the balance being due 3 days prior to your scheduled session.