Live in Color | OC Newport Beach Family Photographer

My style of editing has most definitely evolved from when I first started photographing families four years ago. But since the very beginning one thing that has always drawn me in has been color. It’s why I will not let my skies blow out, even though it would make the editing process much easier. It’s why I love when families fill their outfits with dashes of colors, rather than all neutrals. I find myself pushing the vibrant line constantly and it makes me happy.

But, I’m not going to lie, sometimes while I scroll through my Instagram feed, my explore page, my favorite photographer muses, and see the way the edits are so vastly different from my own I start to feel like the oddball out. I sometimes tell myself I'm going to just start stripping my photos of color and take on the moody emotional look, or blow out the background into white glowy goodness and become a bright and airy girl. More than any other reason just to feel like I kind of belong. That I can join in their groups and feel that sense of community. But as many times as I say it, as many times as I try, I simply find myself somehow unable to do so. I love color, like an insane obsession with it, and I just can’t stop that right now.

The best part though: I may not be the “in” right now as far as the latest trends are going, but not everyone else is either. And time after time families tell me they chose me BECAUSE of my colors and light. And so I’ve learned that the greatest thing of photography is that art is subjective, and when you stay true to yourself you will find your people. :)

colorful family photo session in Newport Beach, Orange County, CA
colorful family photo session in Newport Beach, Orange County, CA
colorful family photo session in Newport Beach, Orange County, CA
colorful family photo session in Newport Beach, Orange County, CA
colorful family photo session in Newport Beach, Orange County, CA
colorful family photo session in Newport Beach, Orange County, CA
colorful family photo session in Newport Beach, Orange County, CA
colorful family photo session in Newport Beach, Orange County, CA
colorful family photo session in Newport Beach, Orange County, CA
colorful family photo session in Newport Beach, Orange County, CA
colorful family photo session in Newport Beach, Orange County, CA

June Family Vacation | OC Laguna Beach Family Photographer

I’ve read all the info on SEO and google ratings, and with that the one thing I’ve always tried to stay on top of is blogging. But we went to visit allll the families for the past two weeks doing a triangle from Orange County to Alabama to Michigan and back again. It was so much fun, crazy relaxing, and all the memory lanes. But although we chilled it was busy chilling, visiting and adventuring, and everything photography went to the wayside—or should I say seaside. ;-) I had all these ideas that I was going to finish editing all my previous week’s sessions and blog a few posts. At the end of it I managed to barely keep up with my emails! But the break was so needed, and refreshed my mind that was reaching burn out. I now feel ready to bring on all the soaked summer family shoots!

Annnnd speaking of family, oh my heart I loved my time with this one! So much joy and love all tangled up between them. And in the middle of all this May gray/ June gloom Newport beach decided to give us a break and brought its A game sunset!

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laguna beach family photographer in Orange County, CA
laguna beach family photographer in Orange County, CA
laguna beach family photographer in Orange County, CA
laguna beach family photographer in Orange County, CA
laguna beach family photographer in Orange County, CA
laguna beach family photographer in Orange County, CA
laguna beach family photographer in Orange County, CA
laguna beach family photographer in Orange County, CA
laguna beach family photographer in Orange County, CA
laguna beach family photographer in Orange County, CA
laguna beach family photographer in Orange County, CA
laguna beach family photographer in Orange County, CA
laguna beach family photographer in Orange County, CA
laguna beach family photographer in Orange County, CA
laguna beach family photographer in Orange County, CA
laguna beach family photographer in Orange County, CA
laguna beach family photographer in Orange County, CA

My Sessions Now Include a Picture Slide Show!! | Orange County Family Photographer

Hello all my old and new and forever beautiful families and couples! I am SO EXCITED as I just added video slideshows to all my sessions!!! Every time I pick up my camera I strive for my photos to not just be a pretty picture but to capture a piece of your real life story. And I feel like for the first time I am going to be able to really show that. I’ve also noticed in just this short time of playing with these how it is pushing me while shooting to reach deeper. To not worry so much about the single canvas but rather that entire life filled album.

This is your story, always worth capturing.

*If you are viewing on your phone flip horizontal. :)

Mom & Me in Newport Beach | Orange County Family Photographer

Mom and me sessions will forever ever ever have my heart! It’s probably mostly because I am a momma myself, and love my two kids so much it literally hurts sometimes. To capture the bond between a mother and her child, that sweet love and pure joy—it leaves my photographer heart with so much happiness.

This day was stuck in the middle of the infamous Southern Califfornia “May gray, June gloom,” but right as we met up the sun decided to peek out at the point where the sky meets the water and give us the most beautiful soft colors. Not to mention this mom’s dress creating its own gorgeous pop!! Vici dolls is one of my all time favorite shops for women’s dresses and you can quickly see why!

Also lucky for us was the day’s gloomy skies all early afternoon making for a beach almost entirely to ourselves! There was one other man taking some landscape photographers and that was about it—photo shoot winning! :) I do love summer beaches and the way you can jump right into the water, but I’ won’t lie, I’m going to mourn the fact when we have to start getting tricky with the angles to avoid the photo bombers. There is just something so liberating about being able to go wherever you want and capture the moment exactly where it is happening.

Enough about all that though, here is some sweet mom/daughter love for you:

mom & me photo session in Newport Beach, Orange County, CA
mom & me photo session in Newport Beach, Orange County, CA
mom & me photo session in Newport Beach, Orange County, CA
mom & me photo session in Newport Beach, Orange County, CA
mom & me photo session in Newport Beach, Orange County, CA
mom & me photo session in Newport Beach, Orange County, CA
mom & me photo session in Newport Beach, Orange County, CA
mom & me photo session in Newport Beach, Orange County, CA
mom & me photo session in Newport Beach, Orange County, CA
mom & me photo session in Newport Beach, Orange County, CA
mom & me photo session in Newport Beach, Orange County, CA
mom & me photo session in Newport Beach, Orange County, CA
mom & me photo session in Newport Beach, Orange County, CA
mom & me photo session in Newport Beach, Orange County, CA
mom & me photo session in Newport Beach, Orange County, CA
mom & me photo session in Newport Beach, Orange County, CA
mom & me photo session in Newport Beach, Orange County, CA
mom & me photo session in Newport Beach, Orange County, CA
mom & me photo session in Newport Beach, Orange County, CA
mom & me photo session in Newport Beach, Orange County, CA
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mom & me photo session in Newport Beach, Orange County, CA
mom & me photo session in Newport Beach, Orange County, CA
mom & me photo session in Newport Beach, Orange County, CA
mom & me photo session in Newport Beach, Orange County, CA
mom & me photo session in Newport Beach, Orange County, CA

Baby Makes Four | Newport Beach OC Family Photographer

The first time I photographed this Orange County family big brother was just turning one. I have no words to describe how much it means to me when families come back again, especially for such special milestones of their life together. I shoot so many people from out of state while vacationing here in Newport and I absolutely love it for sure! But there is something so very special when I get the chance to watch kids grow behind my lens.

Their fourth baby... I remember when I was going to have my second child-the thoughts of how I could possibly love him the same as my daughter. She was my whole world, my heart so big for her it literally hurt. What if I loved him just a little less? 
And then I saw his face for the first time and laughed at that ridiculous fear. 
I always think it’s the most miraculous thing about being a parent. The way our heart seems to only expand. 

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family photographer in Newport Beach, Orange County, CA
family photographer in Newport Beach, Orange County, CA
family photographer in Newport Beach, Orange County, CA
family photographer in Newport Beach, Orange County, CA
family photographer in Newport Beach, Orange County, CA
family photographer in Newport Beach, Orange County, CA
family photographer in Newport Beach, Orange County, CA
family photographer in Newport Beach, Orange County, CA
family photographer in Newport Beach, Orange County, CA
family photographer in Newport Beach, Orange County, CA
family photographer in Newport Beach, Orange County, CA
family photographer in Newport Beach, Orange County, CA
family photographer in Newport Beach, Orange County, CA
family photographer in Newport Beach, Orange County, CA
family photographer in Newport Beach, Orange County, CA

World's Happiest Baby | Newport Beach Orange County Family Photographer

Seriously, I can’t even with this face!! From the moment I met him to the time I said goodbye he rotated from chill to smiley and back again. I so badly wanted to take him home with me! And although it looks all sunny and pretty, it was in fact freezing and windy in Newport. We even had the entire beach to ourselves as everyone else in Orange County deemed it much too cold to go outside. ;-) This guy didn’t let it faze his happy little self though, and made all my photographer heart dreams come true. Annnnd we cannot finish without pausing to gush all over this little blue man suit and hat too! Seriously, how crazy good did he pull it all off?!

sunset family photography session in Newport Beach, Orange County, California
sunset family photography session in Newport Beach, Orange County, California
sunset family photography session in Newport Beach, Orange County, California
sunset family photography session in Newport Beach, Orange County, California
sunset family photography session in Newport Beach, Orange County, California
sunset family photography session in Newport Beach, Orange County, California
sunset family photography session in Newport Beach, Orange County, California
sunset family photography session in Newport Beach, Orange County, California

When the Earth Becomes Your Mural | Newport Beach Orange County Family Photographer

If there is one thing I have learned living here in Orange County, it is that Newport Beach never has two skies the same. One day will be cloudless while the next will have so many clouds we cannot even see the sun. I have also learned the weathermen are actually weather guessers 90% of the time. ;-) They will tell us overcast and gray and then I show up to a breathtaking sky. Or they will declare pure sun and last minute a marine layer will blow in and take over the sand. I have found that more often than not I should just go with it, as when I first started I rescheduled some epic skies thinking they were going to be pouring rain!

I have also learned to embrace whatever the weather gods choose to give me, as really how can you go too wrong at the beach, right? Cloudless days create bright, glowing happy moments. Overcast days make for some pretty soft blues as your backdrop. It’s all part of SoCal nature and I love embracing all the varieties of its beach life.

With all that said though, there do seem to be these rare days when the clouds honestly feel like they are singing down all their good luck and happy vibes on me, turning the entire landscape into a real life mural. Raw colors just waiting to be captured and painted on the canvas of my editing software. ;-)

And lastly, how could I leave this whole color painting photography rant without pointing out the importance of your own outift choices as well. The pinks and blues this family chose just pop off the pictures in such a beautiful way here, adding that touch more beauty that really goes such a long ways. We all of course have our own styles and there is no “wrong” piece. BUT, imagining the same backdrop with all black and browns just wouldn’t be the same for me. So when going through your own photo session wardrobe ideas, remember to think about those beach colors, and the ways you yourself can add those pops of color and vibrance to your family’s canvas!

lifestyle family photoshoot in Newport Beach, Orange County, CA
lifestyle family photoshoot in Newport Beach, Orange County, CA
lifestyle family photoshoot in Newport Beach, Orange County, CA
lifestyle family photoshoot in Newport Beach, Orange County, CA
lifestyle family photoshoot in Newport Beach, Orange County, CA
lifestyle family photoshoot in Newport Beach, Orange County, CA
lifestyle family photoshoot in Newport Beach, Orange County, CA
lifestyle family photoshoot in Newport Beach, Orange County, CA
lifestyle family photoshoot in Newport Beach, Orange County, CA
lifestyle family photoshoot in Newport Beach, Orange County, CA
lifestyle family photoshoot in Newport Beach, Orange County, CA
lifestyle family photoshoot in Newport Beach, Orange County, CA
lifestyle family photoshoot in Newport Beach, Orange County, CA
lifestyle family photoshoot in Newport Beach, Orange County, CA
lifestyle family photoshoot in Newport Beach, Orange County, CA
lifestyle family photoshoot in Newport Beach, Orange County, CA
lifestyle family photoshoot in Newport Beach, Orange County, CA

I Think I Need Another Baby | Orange County Laguna Beach Family Photographer

How many kids do you have? I used to think two was the perfect number, but my goodness all these babies I surround myself with and I just swear I need one more!! 🙈 I blame it solely on moving to Orange County too. This weather and surroundings just makes them too happy for me to resist! And speaking of Orange County, hello rain soaked soaked landscapes, turning even our deserts green! Seriously, I was in photographer heaven high this evening seeing all this formerly dead brush suddenly full of life and color!

The family to match it wasn’t too shabby either. ;-) SO much love and happiness between them, they were a breeze to have behind my camera! Happy first birthday to this real life doll as well. You just have to scroll to the end to see how she picked up her entire cake too. ;-) Smash cakes, green deserts, soft skies, and girls in pretty dresses—I couldn’t have asked for a better evening!

family photoshoot in Laguna Beach Orange County California
family photoshoot in Laguna Beach Orange County California
family photoshoot in Laguna Beach Orange County California
family photoshoot in Laguna Beach Orange County California
family photoshoot in Laguna Beach Orange County California
family photoshoot in Laguna Beach Orange County California
family photoshoot in Laguna Beach Orange County California
family photoshoot in Laguna Beach Orange County California
family photoshoot in Laguna Beach Orange County California
family photoshoot in Laguna Beach Orange County California
family photoshoot in Laguna Beach Orange County California
family photoshoot in Laguna Beach Orange County California
family photoshoot in Laguna Beach Orange County California

Obligatory Footsie Pajamas at the Beach Pics | Orange County Family Photographer

We moved to Orange County when my babies were only two and four years old! We came to the beach pretty much daily, because after two straight winters in Cleveland, OH, “hello we are on a sunny California high.” ;-) I’m still here A LOT doing photo sessions, but as a family it’s become quite rare. But this year for Christmas I put footsie pajamas in their stockings and they would quickly became the favorite gift of the year! They wear them together absolutely every chance they get and are immediate besties. :) When they suggested we should take some pictures of them together I jumped on that one immediately because who knows how many more of these they’ll give me? From little toddlers watching in wonder at the waves to school kids looking for treasure among the rocks, why do they have to grow up so fast?? And can they just stop now? Memories don’t wait, birthdays don’t take a year off—take as many pictures as they will allow you. Even if the wardrobe of choice means a onesie.

Happy New Year everyone! Resolutions of adventure, love, and happiness in the smallest of moments with the littlest of people… And also super side note but winter beaches means super low tide season where all the rocks that are usually covered show all their glorious rocky selves. I.e. my favorite time here!

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newport beach orange county family photographer
newport beach orange county family photographer
newport beach orange county family photographer
newport beach orange county family photographer
newport beach orange county family photographer

My Top Instagram Photos for 2018 | Newport Beach Family Photographer

I often get asked how people find me here in Newport, and the number one, believe it or not, is Instagram! Those crazy hashtags that everyone makes fun of actually work! You are allowed to use 30 per post and I never leave it at 29! Through that simple symbol # I have had the chance of photographing people from not only all over America, but also the world. Orange County is a popular destination with its beautiful beaches, crazy amazing weather, and of course its number one, Disney Land. And with it I have been so extremely fortunate to not have a “slow” season here, as family vacations happen all throughout the year.

Through Instagram I have not only connected with some amazing families but also other photographers as well. It is good at taking that lone man job, and creating some great connections and much needed encouragement in the photography world. With changed to the algorithm I will admit this form of social media has kicked my behind this year as I’ve tried over and over to get my work seen. But as much as I want to rip my hair out somedays, and as much as it seems like they keep showing my posts to less and less, somehow those hashtags keep doing their thing!

And although I don’t like to base any worth on what pictures do “good” or get the most of those coveted “likes” on there, it’s still fun to take a look at the end of the year and see the top posts. I have learned I definitely post more horizontal than vertical shots, and that would probably be because for whatever reason I always shoot mostly landscape orientation! I’ve also learned that babies and beaches are my thing. Surprise, surprise… although I did sneak in a little desert this year as well. ;-)

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Where To Have Family Photos When You've Already Done the Beach | Laguna Photographer

It’s no secret I shoot at the beach—a lot! But what about when you’ve already done the beach thing, maybe even more than once? It is a pretty place, and totally nothing wrong with redoing pictures there till the day your kids tell you their through. ;-) But every once in a while families come to me wanting to mix it up. And since you can’t truly get the water out of me I have fallen in love with this quiet little haven in the desert, with surprise surprise an ocean in the backdrop—haha! I just discovered this OC spot late this summer so haven’t had too many sessions here yet. BUT wanting to change that up for 2019! And with that, here’s a little peek into the foothills of Laguna.

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natural family photography in Orange County ,California
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laguna beach family photographer
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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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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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newportbeachfamilyphotographer
newportbeachfamilyphotographer
newportbeachfamilyphotographer
newportbeachfamilyphotographer
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newportbeachfamilyphotographer
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newportbeachfamilyphotographer

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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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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lagunabeachfamilyphotographer

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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Let Me Show You Who You Were | Laguna Beach Family Photographer

I feel like so often we take a photo to remember “we were there.” Every new place we snap another pic. The latest restaurant, vacation, school function—it didn’t quite happen without some form of documentation. And I don’t think this is a bad thing. Believe me, my phone is overflowing with my kids’ cheesy grins. 📷 But I don’t want to take your picture so you can remember ‘you were there,’ but rather, ‘who you were.’ And whose you were. And that your story was always worth documenting.

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How Does the Photo Make You Feel? | Newport Beach Family Photographer

I have one driving goal every time I pick up my camera. And it’s not to show you what it looked like, but rather, how it felt. You have iphones and dslr's to snap the scene. Selfies and even selfie sticks to get everyone in the family right there in the frame. I don't want you to choose me so that I can grab a pretty picture of bribed smiles and perfect poses. I want your messy beautiful life with kids. I want to capture the way your heart sees your babies, the way it melts right into puddles of that ocean when you see the excitement in their eyes. The joy that fills your soul as they laugh and splash in the waves. Ten and twenty years from now I want you to look back and not just remember how tiny they were, but how much their love filled your life. And in ten and twenty years from now I want those now grown babies to look themselves and see what a beautiful childhood it was. 

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Why I Choose Photography

I actually started this photography journey without even thinking about pictures. I had a mom blog, not the latest trends and foods kind, but words of encouragement to other mommas in the trenches of life with littles. After a couple of posts went “viral,” I decided I wanted better photos to go with the writings, and so I learned the in and outs of my little camera and shot my kids like a mad women. Shortly after we moved to Cali and on some crazy whim decided I would start photographing families. I wasn’t very good! I slept little and studied everything I could get my hands on. I’m not naturally talented at this—at all. I don’t have an eye for creative composition or technicals. I draw stick people with my kids and my home would come in very last place at better homes and gardens. 🙈But although I have spent the hours teaching myself the technicals, I didn’t choose photography for fancy crops or angles. I choose it because of that Mom blog. That driving passion to show women how beautiful their life of momma really is. To see the love and passion, the joy and safety their children feel when together. I think we often feel embarrassed to admit how hard it all is sometimes. The stresses and fears, the nonexistent work/play balance, the forever wondering if we’re enough... But we are. She is. And to show her this. To show her that in the middle of the wonderings and wanderings she is doing something right, that is why I still choose photography. Because every mom deserves to have her story seen.

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