People often comment on how it seems like I shoot at empty beaches. I will let you in on a secret: it's ALL an illusion! Yes, I do try to make things as "empty" as possible, shooting mostly only on weekdays and frequenting more of the "locals" Laguna hangouts rather than the tourist filled sands. BUT no beach is ever completely empty, especially from about May until December. And to be totally honest it can be so hard. I'm forever jealous of all those midwest shooters who find random fields of long green grass and trees and shoot till their heart's content, worrying about nothing but connection and composition. The whole time I'm trying to get these genuine moments of love I'm also dodging photo bombers and other photographers. But then again, those midwest shooters don't get this unmatched shoreline. ;-)
This sweetest family was visiting from out of state, having a little Thanksgiving getaway. We met on Black Friday. I figured everyone we would be busy shopping, or recuperating from shopping--and Turkey. Think again. My heart may or may not have literally fell into my stomach as we walked down the steps to the most crowded I have ever seen this particular Laguna spot. There were a million and one people literally right outside my frame. So close that if I would have shifted my camera one inch to the right this family would have had the throngs joining in on their family pics. But I kept things cropped tight, and we spent our entire time right down in the water, which was a win for me as nothing compares to that shoreline light.
My very favorite thing though was them. And the way they forgot about everything else going on around us. They seemed to have only eyes for each other, and happiness that made me smile behind my camera the whole time. <3