Okay, so most newborn sessions happen at home, but lately I’ve been doing newborn(ish) family sessions on-location, in a redwood forest, or in this case, on the beach! Working with little kids means I don’t go into a session with a preset idea of exactly where it’s going to go. I may have some loose ideas, but it’s all about interacting with my subjects and deciding on the fly the best path to take at that moment. Maybe kids are in a “pay attention” mode and I’ll take advantage with some posed (directed), well-lit shots. Maybe that falls apart quickly and we transition to fun, candid playtime. Flexibility and a good attitude is essential to a successful portrait session with kids! The gallery below is the perfect example of the pace and random nature of a typical family session. For the baby, I made sure the parents brought along a blanket, and I was able to find a shaded spot behind a large piece of driftwood; dad held my light-source low so I could control the light for those shots (thanks dad!). Anyways, enough words, enjoy the pics:
This adorable central-California family rented a house near Seascape in Aptos, CA to celebrate their mom’s 70th birthday, and even though it was windy, chilly, and occasionally very rainy, they wanted to capture this special 3-generation get-together with some professional photos. I knew we had some little ones in the mix, so I made sure I worked quick and with all my skills on hand to make it a fun experience for everyone. Here’s a few of my faves from the session…
This little darling just turned one, and of course she deserved to have her very own photo shoot to commemorate the occasion! I love this whole family, they made it really easy to get a bunch of keepers in a short amount of time. We had our family portrait session on a Saturday morning in Vasona Park, Los Gatos – and being the dead of winter and all, we pretty much had the place to ourselves. Enjoy my faves below:
Peyton's senior high school year has arrived, which means PHOTO time! She brought her childhood stuffy to the shoot, but mostly showed off her goofy, fun, flair-for-the-dramatic side for the rest of her senior portrait session at Capitola Beach. The weather was great, Peyton was fantastic in front of the camera with multiple outfit changes, and I think we ended up with a few keepers that Peyton and her family will treasure forever. Here's a few of my personal faves from the senior session:
I've had the pleasure of seeing these boys grow up over the years and take a few photos along the way. Their personalities really come out in this beach photo shoot in Capitola. I love getting people to come out of their shell a little so I can capture their true essence. Here's a few of my faves from their beach family portrait session below!
Shooting multi-generational families can definitely be a challenge – the grandparents may have limited mobility, and the youngest grandkids, well they have limited attention spans! But you know what? I always embrace the challenge. If a few families come together to make this happen (and believe me, it can be stressful getting everyone going and keeping them clean), then it's my duty to kick ass on their behalf and get the shots they want and then some. Sue is the matriarch of this extended family, and we got some great shots of the whole clan, the individual families as well as lots of candids and other fun groupings. Enjoy my faves below :)
It's been a while since I've shot at Four Mile Beach in Santa Cruz. It's a total surfer's beach, I rarely see any casual beachgoers there, which honestly makes it a great location for family photos. Tons of privacy, easy access, and being relatively unknown makes it a great choice. This family has kids going off to college, so this was the last pre-empty-nest-opportunity to get some family pics. They were lovely to get to know, and we had some great light to work with at sunset! Here's some of my favorite photos from their portrait session:
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!