Who Wants to Mix Up the Beach Vibes??? | Orange County Family Photographer

Ok, I will start with saying I LOVE the beach. We moved to Orange County for those ocean waves and spent our first year almost no where else! I also love shooting at it, and it is where families generally always ask me to photograph them at. I have no complaints. ;-)

BUT as much as I love those Ocean blues, my eyes do enjoy changing up the scenery from time to time. I feel like my camera breathes out a small “thank you” with each fresh click. So when this family told me they wanted to go with a more rustic vibe for their session I definitely did a little happy dance inside. It was such a fun and relaxing time together and I didn’t lose my voice from shouting over the waves either! ;-)

Alsooooo, how could this post be complete without a huge mention of these outfits! I generally recommend for families to choose coordinating, over matching colors. But for momma and me dresses that are this adorable, I’ll make an exception. Mom’s outfit is from one of my all time favorite shops https://morninglavender.com/, a big online shop but lucky for us Souther Cali girls, located right here in Old Town Tustin! And baby’s adorable matching piece is from a local boutique I just heard of, https://twinsiesrock.com/collections/girls/products/aurora-maxi-skirt-mu

rustic family photo session in Irvine, CA
rustic family photo session in Irvine, CA
rustic family photo session in Irvine, CA
rustic family photo session in Irvine, CA
rustic family photo session in Irvine, CA
rustic field and trees family photo session in Irvine, CA
rustic field and trees family photo session in Irvine, CA
rustic field and trees family photo session in Irvine, CA
rustic field and trees family photo session in Irvine, CA
rustic field and trees family photo session in Irvine, CA
rustic field and trees family photo session in Irvine, CA
rustic field and trees family photo session in Irvine, CA
rustic field and trees family photo session in Irvine, CA
rustic field and trees family photo session in Irvine, CA
rustic field and trees family photo session in Irvine, CA
rustic field and trees family photo session in Irvine, CA
rustic field and trees family photo session in Irvine, CA
rustic field and trees family photo session in Irvine, CA
rustic field and trees family photo session in Irvine, CA
rustic field and trees family photo session in Irvine, CA
rustic field and trees family photo session in Irvine, CA
rustic field and trees family photo session in Irvine, CA
rustic field and trees family photo session in Irvine, CA
rustic field and trees family photo session in Irvine, CA
rustic field and trees family photo session in Irvine, CA
rustic field and trees family photo session in Irvine, CA

Family Photos in Spring Means So Much Green | Orange County Photographer

By far the main time I get asked to do photos somewhere other than the beach is in the fall. And I get it, you want your kids to look as close to age as possible when sending out those family Christmas cards. BUT, as much as the brown fields can lend their own rustic charm, there is just something so whimsical about that green. When decorating your home it is even said that, “Green also has a calming effect when used as a main color for decorating. It is believed to relieve stress by helping people relax.” Who doesn’t want your family photos to feel relaxed, right? :)

It took me four long years to finally accept our brown landscape as it’s own charm. And then all these crazy rains came to SoCal and dashed that all to pieces! I thought there was no where I loved shooting at more than the beach, but this spot gave me a run for its money. AND, it wasn’t as much the landscape as the ease of the entire time with this sweet family. There were no loud crashing waves making me shout out everything I wanted to say. There were also no crashing waves to make the kids want to do nothing but jump in and totally ignore their parents. ;-) We weren’t all shaking from the icy cold winds by the end, and big one for me, there was no else around, making it both comfortable and easy for all of us.

SO if your thinking of mixing up the beach vibes, especially in the springtime, this may be just the right idea for your next photoshoot!

family photos in a field in Orange County, CA
family photos in a field in Orange County, CA
family photos in a field in Orange County, CA
family photos in a field in Orange County, CA
family photos in a field in Orange County, CA
family photos in a field in Orange County, CA
family photos in a field in Orange County, CA
family photos in a field in Orange County, CA
family photos in a field in Orange County, CA
family photos in a field in Orange County, CA
family photos in a field in Orange County, CA
family photos in a field in Orange County, CA
family photos in a field in Orange County, CA

Why I Love Awake Babies Too | Orange County Newborn Photographer

I’ll start by being totally transparent here and admitting that sleeping newborns are in fact much more easy to photograph than awake ones. When they sleep you simply place them as you want them and snap away. You can bunch up their arms and legs, reposition the angle of their head, and move about grabbing different angles from the same position. Awake babies are a much different story. They get much more irritated with us, they make faces, and often become crossed eyed. They often move their head in positions not facing the good light and get upset before you have a chance to grab more than a couple snaps in one place. BUT regardless of all that, I still love those wide eyes. Yes, it is more work. Yes, you have to overshoot each scene. But yes, that eye contact and little expressions are everything!

It’s one of the main things I love so much about lifestyle newborn photography. Because we don’t have to spend hours getting them to fall into a deep slumber. We just go with what they give us, and capture all those real life moments that can’t be replaced.

This doll rotated between awake and catnapping, and omgoodness she gave me all the baby fever too!

lifestyle newborn photo session in Orange County, CA
lifestyle newborn photo session in Orange County, CA
lifestyle newborn photo session in Orange County, CA
lifestyle newborn photo session in Orange County, CA
lifestyle newborn photo session in Orange County, CA
lifestyle newborn photo session in Orange County, CA
lifestyle newborn photo session in Orange County, CA
lifestyle newborn photo session in Orange County, CA
lifestyle newborn photo session in Orange County, CA
lifestyle newborn photo session in Orange County, CA
lifestyle newborn photo session in Orange County, CA
lifestyle newborn photo session in Orange County, CA
lifestyle newborn photo session in Orange County, CA
lifestyle newborn photo session in Orange County, CA
lifestyle newborn photo session in Orange County, CA
lifestyle newborn photo session in Orange County, CA
lifestyle newborn photo session in Orange County, CA

Newborn Photographer of the Year Award!!! | Orange County Family Photography


Omgeeee you guys!!!!! Out of only 29 images this one was included and put me in Looks Like Film’s best newborn photographers of 2018!!!!!!! I really have no words for how surreal this is! The insane talent in this photography group is top of the top. I scroll through it way too often and simply drool over all the beauty and creativity. And to somehow be a part of it... no words. 🤯 Big thanks to this baby boy for smiling on cue too-I think he knew how much it would mean to me. 😆🙌💃🏼😭

I’m often known as the beach photographer here in Orange County, and I have no complaints there either! But, I also LOVE photographing new babies and their families, both in the comforts of their home or right at the hospital too! Those first weeks with my own “babies",” now 6 and 7, will forever be etched into my soul as the most life changing moments I will ever know. Love that can never be put into words right there in front of you. And those photos that I have from that time, all the way from the big camera to iphone snaps, still bring tears to my eyes when I look at them today. I remember this every time someone invites me into their own new life together. I don’t take it lightly and I try with everything in me to capture those newborn memories I know they will never want to forget.

You can see the full link of newborn cuteness overload here too! https://www.lookslikefilm.com/2019/01/30/newborn-photos/

orange county best newborn photographer of the year

That Time I Put On A Long Dress Of My Own | Orange County Family Photographer

On Christmas Day my kids gifted me with photos together. It was the best ten minute present I could have asked for. I have so many goals and dreams for this new year, but at the end of the day being their mom is still number one. And so I put on a dress and we played in the field for a mini Christmas sunset. Those who have met me taking their photos have seen nothing but yoga pants and a pony tail—and probably flip flops if it was a beach session! But although on the day to day I am a comfort girl through and through, especially when chasing littles and squatting at a seconds notice to “get the shot.” ;-) BUT there is such an extra element of whimsical when you are dancing in a field or running at the beach with fabric flowing.

If you don’t take photos for a living you may have never realized there are often elements in a frame that catch the eye of the viewer. But everything should have a purpose for its being. A HUGE element of pictures is in fact movement, and “flow.” Hair blowing, dresses swishing, scarves flying—they all add a subtle but impactful brush.

whimsical motherhood family session in Orange County California
whimsical motherhood family session in Orange County California
whimsical motherhood family session in Orange County California
whimsical motherhood family session in Orange County California
whimsical motherhood family session in Orange County California
whimsical motherhood family session in Orange County California

Brown Field at Sunset | Orange County Family Photographer

When I first moved to Orange County I will admit that besides the beach this nature didn’t really do it for me. I grew up in Michigan where fields where rolling green and trees not only where green but even took their turns changing to oranges, yellows and reds. And so all this brown just didn’t do much for me. Cali has this way of luring you in though It seems. When I first moved here I laughed at the women walking around in their UGG boots and jackets. Now, I am one of them! And in the same way I guess I have grown to love the desert vibes this place hold. I adore the contrast it gives to families in their nice picture clothes. The way it makes them pop out from the backdrop rather than be swallowed into it. The golden tones it takes on at sunset. And mostly the way it really says home…

family photo session in Orange County, CA
family photo session in Orange County, CA
family photo session in Orange County, CA
family photo session in Orange County, CA
family photo session in Orange County, CA
family photo session in Orange County, CA
family photo session in Orange County, CA
family photo session in Orange County, CA
family photo session in Orange County, CA
family photo session in Orange County, CA
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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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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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E is for Ella | Orange County Newborn Photographer

E is most definitely for Ella, and I think her name should mean "happiest baby in the history of ever." And the interaction and connection between this family was so strong it totally melted me. In home sessions are some of my all time favorites. Don't get me wrong, I do love my beaches, but there is just something so raw and pure about shooting in your own home. The place you spend so many intimate hours. The rooms that are all tied together with a million sweet memories. This was their first home as a family of three. This room the first she will call her own... Ok, I will stop of all the sappy writing now, but for real, there really is no place like home. 

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Instagram's Top Pics for 2017 | Orange County Family Photographer

To be totally honest, I'm not much of a social media fan. I'm on the whole bandwagon of it making us lose personal connections, constantly comparing, and wasting way too much precious time. BUT the majority of my sessions this past year came straight from Instagram hashtags, and the amazing families I met make it 100% worth it for me! Another love is also the way I now follow and keep a little up to date on their lives and children's growth. It always makes it seem like I just saw them at the next photo session, even though in reality it has often been an entire year's time! 

I try to never base my love for a photo on the number of "likes" it generates, but still it was fun to see what pics made it to the top of my engagement this past year. Seems like beaches and babies are my thing, and I'm not complaining at all about that! There are also some pictures and me and mine sprinkled in there as well, usually at the beach of course. ;-) 

Would love to see you over there! I try to stay pretty active and current on it! @lifenowphotography

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Twining | Irvine Family Photographer

If you were ever wondering what the most laid back baby in the history of ever looked like, your search ends here! Sweetest little thing ever, she happily chilled out our entire time together! And talking about sweet, can you even with those mom and me matching outfits?! We met at one of my favorite spots right here in Irvine! A little nature in the middle of the city, and always mostly to ourselves besides the few hiking by here and there. I won't lie it is a bit of a trek up to the top of the hill, but totally worth it with this view and skyline! 

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Time Change Winning || Irvine Family Photgrapher

I have heard a million and one complaints about this week's time change. Kids are waking too early, sun sets too soon... Wait--sun sets too soon!! As an obsessive lover of all things sunset this time of year is my dream days. Summer sunsets so often means fussy kids, hungry kids, exhausted parents, and all while we are trying to capture these happy love filled memories. I am now meeting all these families at glorious 4pm. After naps but not yet dinner. Nearly empty beaches and trails everyone else is still at work and just getting out of school. This time change thing has made my heart so happy. As did these four!

This mom told me she was so awkward in front of the camera. How I wish this is what my "awkward" self looked like! It's what I love so much about lifestyle photography. You don't really have to think about the camera, but instead just be present with the ones you love most. <3 

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Sunshine On a Cloudy Day | Irvine Family Photographer

Orange County brought us its rare clouds, but this family had enough sunshine to totally make up for it! Such a relaxed and fun time I had with them! And this little ray of sweetness just melted me, with every single face she made being my favorite ever! They choose the best little spot for their photos as we were able to walk high up on the hill and enjoy all that moody sky goodness! Love the earthy tones--and those pops of red couldn't have been any more perfect! And after lasts weeks 100 plus degree heat wave, it was finally cold! Like 70 degrees cold! Haha, the Michigan in me would just die, but I guess that I've now been here long enough that even I felt like the jacket was appropriate for photos. ;-) 

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Full Hearts || Irvine Family Photographer

You know that saying, "Full hands, full hearts" when I look at these parents I think "Reeeeaaaally full hands, overflowing hearts." <3 With two year old triplets and a baby their life is a constant adventure. I personally think they need to have at least five more babies, with how cute they make them! But perhaps they deserve a few years off in between. ;-)  We met at one of my newest favorite spots in Irvine  for a wild ride kind of evening! But oh how I loved capturing all these fleeting moments with them! <3 

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B Family | Irvine Family Photographer

Oh my heart! Sweetest family ever right here!! We met at one of my favorite spots right here in Irvine for a perfect evening of laughter and adventure. And these two boys just melted me! They were all boy for sure, with the energy to prove it. But alongside it came the sweetest little hearts of love. They made it way too easy on me! Allll the heart eyes for the B family. <3 

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Why You May Not Want to Rush the Newborn Pics | Irvine Family Photographer

I will start by stating I absolutely love newborn sessions. I love the newness, the rawness, the quiet (or sometimes loud) beauty of those first few days as a new family. BUT after this evening I now know that I equally love it when baby is a few months old too! Still so little, so dependent on her momma for her every need, but at the same time so alert and aware, following the sounds of voices and fully enjoying her time outside. Those two month old faces she gave me were pure sweetness. 

The second thing that I just loved about our time was watching her momma. Those first few weeks with a newborn are a blur of emotions, little sleep, and trying to remember what day it even is. Although still so new, this mom had already learned her girl's rhythms and was able breathe in and really enjoy herself. 

My last thought is shown in the pics themselves--we were outside! Mom had the choice to leave her bed unmade, dishes in the sink, and the laundry basket piled high. Not saying she did, just that she could. ;-) She was able to capture these beautiful moments with her baby washed in deep greens and golden lights. 

In conclusion I love both newborn and a few months old pictures the same. But its something else to consider, and decide what may be the better fit for you. <3 And also, how sweet is this Christmas theme mom chose for the two of them?! 

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Holiday Photos Begin | Irvine Family Photographer

Holiday sessions are now in full force, and I love it! Yes, there is less sleep going on, and one or two (or three or four) extra cups of coffee. BUT, I get to meet so many wonderful families, and this makes my tired heart so grateful! There are a million and one different photographers to choose from here in just Irvine, let alone all of Orange County, and I cannot say how much it means to me when a family chooses me capture their love. Like these four, who I got to spend yesterday evening with. My goodness they filled me with so much joy! Our original location was a no go due to the wildfires that swept through the day before, but I think this adorable little spot fit them even more perfectly! And what better way to capture the holidays than with real pinecones around you! Let's be honest, it doesn't get any more Christmasy than that when it comes to Southern California! ;-)

And so although I am editing like a madwoman I just had to take a quick break to share this beautiful day!  

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Collect the pinecones...

Collect the pinecones...

Show off the pinecones...&nbsp;

Show off the pinecones... 

Be done with the pinecones! Haha, life with big brothers!&nbsp;;-)&nbsp;

Be done with the pinecones! Haha, life with big brothers! ;-) 

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Hi Tarah!   Confirming for next Friday (Oct 20)! Also, where and when?  Thanks!
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Mom & Me | Irvine Family Photographer

This lady right here is a total mom boss! Working, getting her Master's degree, and being a rock star mom to three crazy adorable kids. Not to mention, managing to also look amazing herself! Her babies adore her, which was so evident throughout. <3 We met at one of my favorite spots in Irvine and even managed to sneek in some pretty green colors in the middle of our Orange County fall season (i.e. brown season!) ;-)

Life with kids is no joke! Its hard work and frustrations. There are tears from both babies and parents. But at the end of the day, after they are all tucked into bed, we somehow forget the tears, and instead remember the smiles. The cuddles and tickles, and never ending silliness. And those are the memories I love to give. 

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Little Brother Coming Soon | Irvine Maternity Photographer

There is something so unexplainably beautiful to me about capturing maternity pictures. They have never seen his face and yet their love already so deep they would die for him. It is the miracle of birth. The cycle of life that shows us there is still so much hope in this world. This family was as sweet as they come. Such a relaxing evening walking the trails and capturing the cutest bump. I could only laugh too as I thought how different pictures will be for them after baby arrives. Calm and relaxing probably the last word in their vocabulary. ;-) 

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