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:
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family photos at the beach
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…
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:
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:
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 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!
It's been a few years since I shot with this adorable Santa Cruz family, this time there's 5 of them instead of 4! So great to see families grow over time and capture these moments forever. We had their family portrait session at Natural Bridges again, definitely a popular destination for locals as well as visitors having a destination photo shoot. Enjoy some of my favorites below!
Adorable little brothers and their parents run around at Natural Bridges State Park in Santa Cruz, California. We had an awesome first family portrait session together, I can't wait to shoot with these guys again in a couple years. Check out my favorite photos below!
I love repeat family portrait clients – it means I am continuing to serve my community well, and clients are excited about what I can produce for them. It's not easy having family photos taken (I know, I've got three kids myself), so I appreciate the effort made by small families like Sam and Shaina here to get dressed up, take time off from work, and meet me at the beach to take some photos, regardless of how crazy their day/week/year is going. I pride myself in being quick, efficient, and getting the best side of peoples' personalities without being forced or awkward. It's just a matter of patience and experience, I think. It was great having Shaina's parents and sibling's family out for this year's family portrait session – a greater challenge, for sure, but worth it!
Below are some of my favorite photos from the family photography session. Thanks for checking it out!