Why You Should Include Yourself in the Annual Photos | Laguna Beach Family Photographer

I get it, getting the studio or mini session pics of your kids only is much easier. There is no dresses to stress about, hair or makeup to be done. Not to mention the awkward feeling of having a lens in front of your face. You get to stay behind the scenes, jumping up and down and making all the faces to get those little laughs. All while having none of those faces recorded down.

I didn’t get into photography until both my kids were past the baby stage. As I was looking through these sweet pics I felt an ache that I do not have any like it for myself. And to be even more honest, just recently have I started trying to get into more than just an iPhone shot. 
As moms it seems there is always a reason. For me, I simply thought photos of my kids were enough. And I have a billion memory drives full. But there is something so indescribable about the way a photo tells your story. The way you fit right there together with them. Like a jigsaw, one incomplete without the other... your life is worth capturing too. Get in the frame. 

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Looks Like Film Feature | Newport Beach Family Photographer

This pic made it on Looks Like Film today! It always leaves me in a bit of shock and awe to see my work up there with such jaw dropping photographers. 
Even more so as mine just really isn’t quite like the rest. I’ve never been one to stay too good with latest trends, and my editing has followed suit. It’s either dark and moody or light and airy that’s “in” right now, and here I am in some vibrant and contrasty world of my own. 🙈 But as much as I drool over all the rest, I just keep marching to the beat of my own photography drum. And you know what, for the first time in a long time I think I’m ok with that. I’m happy with where I am, in love with all the amazing families I get to meet. And slowly learning those same middle school life lessons: sometimes just being you is enough.

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Canadians in the OC | Newport Beach Family Photographer

This sweetest Canadian family were in the OC for vacation. In their journeys they were only going to be in Newport beach for one day. And oh my goodness, what a day it was!

Crazy enough there were dark clouds directly above us and it rotated between drizzle and rain most of the time. At one point I had to put my camera away for fear of it being completely ruined and we gave it ten minutes to slow down. But the sky over the Ocean never stopped giving out alll its colors and I ended a wet, happy photographer. ;-) By the time I reached home it was pouring rain for the rest of the night and far into the next day. Like nature itself had decided to hold off half an hour more—just for them!

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Getting in the Frame | Orange County Family Photographer

I finally did the very thing I have pushed hard for so many other momma's to do: I got in the frame. I take photos for a living and yet generally call an iphone selfie with my kids good enough. But this week I threw on a dress, handed my camera off to my husband and--YOU GUYS--I did not realize how much they would mean to me!! These kids are my whole world and to be their momma is the greatest gift of my life. Seeing us together like this made me so much more emotional than I had imagined... And made me realize more than ever that being a photographer isn't just a "job," doesn't just pay the bills. I get to give pieces of the heart away. How amazing is that?? Also, a friendly reminder to get in the frame more--not just the selfie kind either. ❤️

(These were taken during our recent vacation to Cancun: home of some crazy gorgeous beaches!)

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Light Seekers

“Nothing can dim the light that shines from within.” ~maya angelou

This is the second time I have gotten to have these girls behind my lens this year and it is always something so very special to me. This momma is just so great and we always end up staying till after dark, not because I’m still taking her pictures, but simply because we can’t stop talking! ;-) And Newport showed up for us too: the beach almost empty, the tide low, and the sun on point. Just loved capturing these sweet memories with them.

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From Beach to Beach | Orange County (And Cancun) Family Photographer

We spent this past week in Cancun at the exact place my husband and I came for our honeymoon nine years ago. We've come a long way in that time. From starving college kids without a clue, to having two babies of our own. I wouldn't trade it for the world. <3 
Also, I am overly obsessed with the beaches here!

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It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Fall | Irvine Family Photographer

One of my favorite things about the fall in Orange County is the way I get to really mix up the beach shoots. And this one didn’t let me down! Backward waves, tasty hands, and the most smiley face ever! At one point I held this little doll while his mom and dad got comfortable on the blanket. He gave me a big hug, patted my face, chatted his little squeals and made me want allll the babies!

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Naps and Baby Bumps | Newport Beach Family Photographer

Being happy all the time is simply exhausting. ☺️ This doll laughed and cuddled and then just fell asleep. Those ocean waves do make for some great white noise! I first met this beautiful fam when soon to be big sis was only a little baby herself. One of my all time favorite things about photography is getting to watch families grow. Its like that saying “kids don’t keep.” But then I get to have the crazy privilege of capturing those fleeting moments in time.

Also, side note, the beach is my own happy place once more as the summer crowds have went back home and we get this gorgeousness mostly to ourselves again!!

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Mixing Up the Beach Vibes | OC Family Photographer

This was my second time at this little desert gem right here in Orange County. And oh my goodness I keep falling more and more in love! I get asked to shoot at the beach 98% of the time, and I totally understand why! But those few 2% times when people ask for where I recommend for a non beach location I am kind of a lost. ;-) I cannot wait to now start showing this little slice to those inquiries! And although I will always say yes to Laguna and Newport there are some really great advantages to the mix up. Number one is no one around you besides the random hiker from time to time. Getting your photos taken is awkward enough being alone, put a crowd of bystanders and swimmers constantly walking in your shot or just sitting and people watching you and you can take that awkward up a million degrees. ;-) Add to the crowds a roaring ocean and never ending sands and oftentimes kids want very little to do with their parents. And I don’t blame them! There are seashells to explore and waves to conquer. But places such as these are simply kind of boring—haha—which makes tickle fights with your dad and snuggles with your mom a much easier thing to come by. And lastly, you get to wear shoes! Whether thats a great thing or not is up to you really but I felt I needed a third point to wrap this all up. ;-) I’ll let the photos themselves give a number four…

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Desert Love in the OC | Orange County Family Photographer

Interrupting my blog with some desert love. 🌵 This was my very first time at this new location and I wan’t complaining about my lack of ocean at all! I do love the beach a crazy amount but one can only shoot there so much before the eyes crave some change. ;-) And hello gorgeous family to bring it!! They were the sweetest and most fun bunch and I loved every last second I got to spend with them.

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Capturing the Gold | Newport Beach Family Photographer

My kids are just 18 months apart in age, and most likely those first years were often simply a matter of survival. Of making it from one nap time to the next feeding. But I don’t remember any of that. I only can recall the good. The dance parties and belly laughters, the cuddles and forever adventures. I guess it’s the miracle of motherhood, the way we sift out the gold alone and hold it tight... These parents are in the trenches of life with littles. But a few more years and they will only remember the joy. And that is why I love this job. Because I get to show them how much gold they really did have.

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Why I Don't Have a Favorite Genre of Photography | Laguna Beach OC Photographer

I recently read a most amazing answer from another photographer who was asked what her favorite type of genre was to shoot (families, newborn, engagement, etc). She responded it wan't the type of session that made it a favorite but rather the individual people themselves. It was like I suddenly had this epiphany that I probably knew somewhere back there but just never fully thought out. Happiness and kindness are like magnets. And beautiful souls is my favorite genre. Every single time. 

I don't shoot weddings and so I naturally don't do a ton of engagement photos. But these two are getting married in Texas and decided to celebrate first they would capture some memories at their favorite of all places--the beach. And my goodness Laguna showed off for us in all its colorful glory! So perfectly fit for them. Two people who were so obviously made for each other. 

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Laguna Lovers | Orange County Family Photographer

It’s always a slightly odd feeling when I photography adults only. They actually do what I ask and stand where I place them for at least three seconds at a time.😜 These two were the best and made me want to start shooting these so much more! Just no weddings.😉💏

We met in Laguna for a high tide sess and I think the water worked its way to our advantage. This generally crowded place was almost empty making for all those great landscape shots that really is the point of shooting at the beach, right? ;-) A little wet, a lot of laughter, and all the good times. 

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Rolling With the Waves | Laguna Beach Family Photographer

“I wish I had not always been in a hurry to get into the next thing: dinner, bath, books, bed. I wish I had treasured the doing a little more and the getting it done a little less.”
~Anna Quindlen

When you let the kids run in the water a lot of fun happens. When you jump in with them I am your new best friend forever. ;-) This life with young kids has in moments of stress and frustration, but mostly its joy. All the good kinds of pure and happy little voices full of laughter and excitement. I have found that the best sessions, the one that fill my photographer's heart to overflowing, are those where the parents don't stress about perfectly behaved, clean, or calm kids. Its the ones who embrace life as it really it. Who simply enjoy their time together. This is when the real magic always happens. 

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It Takes A Village | Orange County Newborn Photographer

Getting to watch new parents care for their newborn baby has to be one of my favorite parts of being a photographer. The mutual love and care that overflows from them without a second thought. The way they immediately team up in diaper changes, feedings, soothing and cuddling shows first hand how beautiful family really is. One helpless babe, two head over heels in love adults, and I get to capture it unfolding in front of my lens. It may not yet take a village in the terms we often think of things. But it takes their little village together, learning one another's rhythms, adjusting to their forever life together. And my goodness what an amazing village it is. <3

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Those Long Sandy Walks | Newport Beach Family Photographer

These parent’s sunsets used to consist of long leisure strolls along the beach, hand in hand as they calmly watching those ocean blues crash along the shore. Now those same hands are swinging and dancing babies and making sure no is being washed away by those same blue waves. The best part though? These are the sunsets they wouldn’t trade for the world. And these are the kinds that make my photographer heart soar. 

Also that heart of mine, once a die hard Laguna beach lover is falling feet first for Newport now! I am totally and utterly obsessed with this place!! The light, landscape, colors, and not to mention very minimum crowds have me so excited to get here each and every time! 

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Mom and Me in Newport Beach | OC Family Photographer

A glance at my feed and it’s little secret I am slightly obsessed with connection between moms and their babes. I’m an obsessively in love with my kids momma and so it just kind of oozes out of me I think. 😆 And this mom and me session in Newport Beach gave me all the mushy feels. Because her story is beautiful. Her life deserving to be documented. This day for no other reason than one: she is mom. And that is always enough.

If your even slightly interested in having your own mom and me photo sess, do it! Your kids deserve to see how beautiful their momma was, how deeply she loved them. The way their simple being with her brought pure joy to her face. These are not just memories for you, but for them too. 

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Surprise Proposal in Newport Beach | OC Family Photographer

She thought they were coming to take some photos while vacationing here in Newport Beach. Me and soon to be finance had secretly discussed the game plan over the phone a few weeks prior. And mad props to this guy because he kept his chill the entire time beforehand. She had NO idea, which made it all the more beautiful. I had the best time ever capturing this priceless moment for them and cannot wait to see all their future has in store!! 

Also, if any guys out there are wanting to do pop the question, get in touch! I have enough surprise proposals in my pocket now I have the plan mapped out for us! ;-) 

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