In the summertime in Aptos, you really never know if it's gonna be 75 and sunny, or 58 and overcast. It's a roll of the dice, and I tell my clients that no matter what, we'll get awesome pics (and this is true!). But it is always nice to get a real sunset, and we were treated with just that for this Sacramento-based family. I'm not sure if this is technically Rio Del Mar Beach or Seacliff Beach in Aptos, but either way it's a cool spot with lots of driftwood, a bridge, and expansive beaches that are rarely crowded. Enjoy some of my favorite pics from this family portrait session below:
Sometimes kids are shy, sometimes they're sad, and sometimes they're CHOCK FULL OF ENERGY and PERSONALITY! I had a blast capturing these guys in the morning on Capitola Beach. We had the whole place to ourselves... except when about 100 Junior Guards kids ran up and down the beach. But, you'd never know it because creative cropping and timing is everything in this business. Enjoy some of my favorites from their family session below:
Kailey is starting her senior year this Fall, but since they don't get out to the Santa Cruz area too often, we snuck in her senior portrait session last week at Capitola Beach. Kailey is a little shy, not a huge fan of the camera, but I focused on her deep reserves of snark and sass and let the magic happen. She's so great, I know she's going to have an amazing last year of high school. Enjoy the pics!
It just seems like a couple weeks ago I shot Tea and Paul's maternity shoot (squints eyes... yes, it was exactly 10 days ago!) – and now we have this new, beautiful human being to adore. Photographed in their Capitola home, I hung out with these tired new parents and got to know Vylet and her various moods. Such a cutie! Enjoy the pics below.
She's ready to pop! Only two weeks to go, but Tea was in great shape for today's maternity portrait session. We shot at Capitola Beach with her husband Paul and their two little pups, which we included in the shoot. We did a mix of natural light (hour before sunset) and "lit" shots with my off-camera Profoto B1, the best on-location setup in my opinion. Can't wait to meet the little one at our next portrait session!
Family portrait sessions with multiple generations of families can be super challenging – I mean, that's a lot of eyeballs to make sure are all paying attention to you! Add the fact there's usually a few toddlers and I really have my work cut out for me. Good thing I can dance around and be goofy to make those little ones smile. I'll admit I had a little help from an iPhone and Elmo during this shoot – I can't claim full credit for all the smiles :)
Here's a quick family session taken in Santa Cruz right after Christmas. We started at Lighthouse Field to get a few photos with some greenery, then headed our way to Dog Beach (aka Its Beach) to get a few shots there. It was amazingly beautiful out for late December, and we had fun playing around at the end. Enjoy a few of my favorites from this family's portrait session below:
I just photographed Lara and Wesley's wedding, and when we chatted a few weeks later, we realized I never got ring photos (it happens). I suggested we meet up in Felton for a quick mini-session, and they could bring their family (including adorable Boston Terrier Ori. We got a great mix of classic posed shots and some really fun candids, all in a super quick session. Check out the results!
These three brothers came together to get some formal and fun portraits at Capitola Beach for their mom. It was cold, it was early, but these guys were great and I had fun taking their portraits. We focused mostly on the group shots, both under the pier and out in the open, but I took a few individual shots as well. Check it!
So this was supposed to be a big family photo shoot at the park, but nature decided she wanted to rain. Rain hard. Since we're often relying on a bunch of peoples' crazy schedules (and the stars) to align, rescheduling was simply not an option. So we did this entire shoot under the roof art the entryway of a private residence. We had a cool blue wall to work with, and everyone was dressed in bold, vibrant colors. To make things interesting, we also had four dogs of various size and age – that's 11 pairs of eyes to sync up, but I embrace the challenge!! We weren't planning on it, but I took shots of each dog at the end of the session, so cute!!
Crazy cute family photos of these parents and their toddler son. The light at Quail Hollow Ranch before sunset was just perfect. We found a great log to sit on for the whole family to snuggle and cuddle each other. Here's some of my faves from this Felton family portrait session in the fields of Quail Hollow!
These two families came together for some merged photos of everyone, all the kids, and of course breaking it down to each individual family – all in about 30 minutes! We shot at Capitola Beach near sunset, it's just such a great location, even in December! Family photos on the beach have their unique challenges, but everyone was great and open to my direction to get the best photos possible. I'm really happy with the results, check out some of my favorites:
I last photographed Arianna with her family about six years ago – she was just a spunky little kid then. Fast forward to this moment, and you see a beautiful young woman poised to take on the world. It's so special to see families grow over time, and extremely fulfilling to capture key moments for my clients that they'll treasure forever. This was a really quick senior portrait session since we stared out with some updated family photos – but we got some great variety. Check out my favorites below!
This loving father got matching golfing outfits for his two boys for their family portrait session at Boulder Ridge Golf Club in San Jose. We got permission to shoot on a closed day, and we got a perfect break in the weather this December – the sun was filtering through scattered clouds, and disappeared over the Santa Cruz mountains right when we finished. We got some great shots of the boys by themselves as well as all three, including a fun one where dad became the "tee" – enjoy my favorites below!
If I were to design a Christmas card with a model family, I'd probably start with this adorable group of humans (and canine). I mean, how cute are they? They wore perfect outfits for this late fall family photo shoot at Quail Hollow Ranch in Felton, California. I couldn't get enough of this sassy little girl, so cute in her red and black plaid coat. Definitely got some keepers here, enjoy a few of my favorites below.
To celebrate a year of physical reinvention, Grace decided to hire me to capture her new, fit self in all her glory. Grace's biggest fan – her adorable 4yo – joined us (hey, we were shooting at a playground – it was natural). Together we took a few improvised photos around the playground, Grace showing off skills she didn't have 12 months ago. I directed both Grace and son throughout the session, explaining what I wanted to see. They are both full of energy, lovely individuals; I hope some of these photos of Grace's milestone bring smiles for years to come.
This mom and her boys has a quick mini-session for their family at Quail Hollow Ranch in Felton, California. Even though it is November, the recent rain left us with plenty of green grass and an overall beautiful setting for some amazing family photos showing off these boys' unique personalities. Enjoy my faves below!
It's been a couple years since I photographed this lovely family – they wanted to shoot at the same place we did before when their girls were littl(er) – the expansive arboretum at the UC Santa Cruz campus. These sisters are so adorable and full of personality, it really made my job easy. Check out some of my favorite shots from their family session below:
I shot Diana and Hector's wedding last May (2015), so I was really excited to find out that they're expecting to meet their newborn son in a matter of weeks. Diana is officially in town, ready to have baby and enjoy some downtime with the rest of her local family. Since they've already had one false-alarm trip to the hospital, they figured getting that maternity shoot done was kind of a now or never deal. So we met up at Vasona Park (after deciding the beach was a little too far, too risky) for a mini-session. We got a few shots in, just as the sun was setting over the Santa Cruz mountains. I love these guys, truly a wonderful couple and soon to be equally great parents. Enjoy a few photos from the maternity session below.
I shot their wedding a few years ago, then maternity, and now – look at this beautiful, growing family! I love love love that I can capture these pivotal, timeless moments in peoples' lives, it really brings meaning and a deep sense of fulfillment. We had fun exploring Capitola Beach on this gorgeous November morning – pretty much nobody there and it was so nice out. These are all natural light shots as the sun we sitting behind some thin clouds, giving us some nice diffuse light for most of the session. Enjoy my faves below!