Don't Skip the Maternity Photos | OC Newport Beach Family Photographer

I may or may not be guilty of saying this about every genre of family photography. I mean, what’s better than capturing people who love each other, right? Add one of our gorgeous Orange County landscapes to this mix and who am I to complain? BUT, maternity sessions have and will always hold a very special place to me. There is just something so unexplainable about this moment is our life as a new mom. This special place where it all began. Where we anxiously were awaiting this new life growing inside our own body. Worries, fears, hopes, joy—the beautiful unknown.

I know what it’s like to be pregnant, I had two babies of my own. We don’t always feel gorgeous and most days the thought of glamming up can easily be shot down with some sweat pants instead. ;-) But if there is one thing I will never regret having done is maternity photos with my first child. To this day I have a large canvas hanging in her room and she loves to mention how it is her inside of me. We often think we will remember exactly what it felt like, how we looked, the moments that happened. But life has this way of turning the past into fuzzy memories. It’s the beauty of photography though. It helps bring back some of those hazy scenes.

Such a gorgeous evening we had for this sun soaked maternity session last week! After what seemed like an endless eternity of SoCal’s “May gray/June gloom” it seems that those summer skies are finally gaining the upper hand! And I just love the way the colors complimented this momma’s blue dress too! The sweetest people you could meet, these two are going to be the best parents. I cannot wait to see them with their soon to be here little guy.

maternity photo session in Newport Beach, Orange County, CA
maternity photo session in Newport Beach, Orange County, CA
maternity photo session in Newport Beach, Orange County, CA
maternity photo session in Newport Beach, Orange County, CA
maternity photo session in Newport Beach, Orange County, CA
maternity photo session in Newport Beach, Orange County, CA
maternity photo session in Newport Beach, Orange County, CA
maternity photo session in Newport Beach, Orange County, CA
maternity photo session in Newport Beach, Orange County, CA
maternity photo session in Newport Beach, Orange County, CA
maternity photo session in Newport Beach, Orange County, CA
maternity photo session in Newport Beach, Orange County, CA
maternity photo session in Newport Beach, Orange County, CA
maternity photo session in Newport Beach, Orange County, CA
maternity photo session in Newport Beach, Orange County, CA
maternity photo session in Newport Beach, Orange County, CA
maternity photo session in Newport Beach, Orange County, CA
maternity photo session in Newport Beach, Orange County, CA
maternity photo session in Newport Beach, Orange County, CA
maternity photo session in Newport Beach, Orange County, CA
maternity photo session in Newport Beach, Orange County, CA
maternity photo session in Newport Beach, Orange County, CA
maternity photo session in Newport Beach, Orange County, CA
maternity photo session in Newport Beach, Orange County, CA

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. :)

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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

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

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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
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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

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
newportbeachorangecountyfamilyphotographer-33.jpg
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!

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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

A Letter to My Daughter | Newport Beach Orange County Family Photographer


In a world that teaches you to fit in, I pray you always stand out. In a society that is slowly letting your gender rise, I pray you soar. In a life where peers will judge you by everything outward, may you trust your heart. Know your worth is more than gold. That you are enough... go live every last one of your dreams sweet girl. I’ll always have your back. 
Love, mom ❤️

All the cards seemed to align for this evening. They had an early day at school, I didn’t have any photo sessions, and it was somehow not raining—its has rained more than ever before here in Newport! Well, in all of Orange County and Southern California actually, but Newport is where it hurts, as I can’t be shooting family sessions in the rain! ;-) We did a very last minute run over to the beach for about 15 minutes tops before it got too dark and we had to head back to the car. But such a perfect 15 minutes it was to me. These guys are my whole world, the reason I became a photographer, the ones I used to get behind my lens daily. Lately though, it is becoming more and more rare. I don’t want to forget any of it though. Any of them. I want to look back at crisp clear memories. Of not just the way it “looked” that day, but rather how it felt. How my heart leapt being with them. Motherhood has been the greatest gift of my life. And these two are my whole world.

family photo session at Newport Beach in Orange County, CA
amily photo session at Newport Beach in Orange County, CA
amily photo session at Newport Beach in Orange County, CA
amily photo session at Newport Beach in Orange County, CA
amily photo session at Newport Beach in Orange County, CA
amily photo session at Newport Beach in Orange County, CA
amily photo session at Newport Beach in Orange County, CA
amily photo session at Newport Beach in Orange County, CA

Motherhood Session | Newport Beach Orange County Family Photographer

Motherhood sessions are one of my very favorite things to capture as a photographer. And for totally biased reasons, since I am a mom of two, and 100 percent obsessed with them. :) Newport Beach has such a whimsical feel to it and I just love the way it shines its light and colors on all the connections that are present with mommas and their littles…

My son was sitting nonchalantly on my lap the other day, his little hand in mine, when it suddenly hit me like a ton of bricks. The realization that is, of how quickly we were approaching the end of it. Between the two of my kids I have had a little one in my life for over seven years. Hugs and kisses, cuddles and hand holding, waking up with small bodies pressed against mine, it’s all so second nature. Something that in the moment I must have always felt would just be present. But my “baby” is turning six next month. Six! And as we sat there together that day I suddenly realized how fleeting it really was, how irreplaceable.

I tried to remember the way it felt, what his little hands looked like in mine... I knew then that in ten years from now, when his sixteen year old self won’t be sitting on my lap any longer, that most of the things I concern myself with now, stress about—maybe even lose sleep over sometimes—won’t matter. What will matter were these simple moment. Small and fleeting and all mine for a little while longer. 
So as I go and clear my box of Kleenex I just wanted to give these words to all you mommas of littles: always hold them a little extra longer.

mom and me photo session at Newport Beach in Orange County, CA
mom and me photo session at Newport Beach in Orange County, CA
mom and me photo session at Newport Beach in Orange County, CA
mom and me photo session at Newport Beach in Orange County, CA
mom and me photo session at Newport Beach in Orange County, CA
mom and me photo session at Newport Beach in Orange County, CA
mom and me photo session at Newport Beach in Orange County, CA
mom and me photo session at Newport Beach in 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!

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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

Vow Renewal at Sunset | Orange County Newport Beach Family Photographer

They left their kids with the babysitter and chose to celebrate their ten year anniversary with a vow renewal at Newport beach. There have been times in my photography journey that I have felt deep emotions behind my lens, but this one left me having to stop the tears. Marriage after kids honestly isn’t celebrated enough. Here’s to falling more in love each day. 

My goal every single time I go into a photo session is to capture real and authentic emotion. I incorporate lots of movement, games, prompts, etc. Anything to keep your mind off of the big camera in your face and instead focused on one another. But for moments like this my only “job” was to focus on them. No prompting for this kind of emotion. Just raw love to be seen.

Newport beach sunset photo session in Orange County, CA
Newport beach sunset photo session in Orange County, CA
Newport beach sunset photo session in Orange County, CA
Newport beach sunset photo session in Orange County, CA
Newport beach sunset photo session in Orange County, CA
Newport beach sunset photo session in Orange County, CA
Newport beach sunset photo session in Orange County, CA
Newport beach sunset photo session in Orange County, CA
Newport beach sunset photo session in Orange County, CA
Newport beach sunset photo session in Orange County, CA
Newport beach sunset photo session in Orange County, CA
Newport beach sunset photo session in Orange County, CA
Newport beach sunset photo session in Orange County, CA

Why I Love Colorful Clothing at the Beach | Orange County Newport Beach Family Photographer

A quick glance through my photos and it’s little secret how much I am obsessed with color. In fact, I don’t even give black and white edits! Blue, green, orange, pink, red, purple—just give me a rainbow please! I actually did get a real live rainbow once and only once; probably the happiest day of my life!

I often get asked what colors to wear when taking photos at the beach and although there is that color wheal of what goes with what, mostly I just say choose color. Blacks and browns simply just don’t cut it for me. Of course I don’t mean as a side along, like dad in blank or brown pants is totally great! But a long black dress on the beach, although so crazy elegant in a million other venues is just not my vibe for the sand.

The beach is filled with the most exquisite colors around. I literally feel my heart start beating a little bit faster in those last 20 minutes when everything around me suddenly takes on the deep hues of magic. And nothing makes me happier than when the clothing of the families I am photographing makes its own pop of magic right along with it!

This doesn’t mean you have to show up in neon. Actually please, please, please never wear neon—haha! It doesn’t mean the clothing has to be super rich and vibrant either. In fact, often the softer shades are best as when colors are too rich things can get a little overpowering when the sun shines on them, and also cast that very color onto your skin. No one loves a green face! ;-)

So with that, come ready to have a great time. And bring those colors with you!


Also totally unrelated to clothing but you may be wondering how my kids were in the water in the middle of January. Was it a sudden heatwave day? Not in the least! It was freeeezing, no one else was even close to the water. My kids are simply crazy. I’m not one to talk though, I left with dripping wet pants too. Anything for the shot, right? ⛄️ 🙌

family photo session in Orange County at Newport Beach, California
family photo session in Orange County at Newport Beach, California
family photo session in Orange County at Newport Beach, California
family photo session in Orange County at Newport Beach, California
family photo session in Orange County at Newport Beach, California
family photo session in Orange County at Newport Beach, California
family photo session in Orange County at Newport Beach, California
family photo session in Orange County at Newport Beach, California
family photo session in Orange County at Newport Beach, California
family photo session in Orange County at Newport Beach, California
family photo session in Orange County at Newport Beach, California
family photo session in Orange County at Newport Beach, California
family photo session in Orange County at Newport Beach, California

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

What To Wear for Family Photos | Orange County Family Photographer

By far the most stressful part of planning your family’s photo session is deciding those three little, very big, words: WHAT TO WEAR.

But no worries, I got your back, momma. ;-) FIRST and most exciting is your own personal access to an amazing and easy to use styling service! It is going to take 90% of the pressure off your hands. By simply clicking through and answering a few questions you will be well on your way to looking and feeling amazing come photo day. And it is no cost to you either but included with your session!

Along with the service though I do have some pointers to help you along your happy shopping way:

  1. Coordinate, don’t match:

    Choosing colors that go together nicely but aren’t the same shade is much more pleasing on the eye and keeps you from blending into a four headed monster. ;-) So rather than everyone in blue for example, go with some blues, pinks, whites, and grays.

  2. Choose Mom’s outfit first:

    This one may sound strange but I find it to be very important! If you don’t absolutely love what your wearing before the session, you will not like it in your photos either. This is your day to really go all out and feel great! Put on that very favorite dress, in your very favorite color, and start coordinating the families around it—believe me, you will thank me after! After all, those kids look adorable in whatever! ;-)

  3. Go With the “Flow”

    The whimsical element that flowing dresses brings to a session just can’t be matched—at least in my opinion. ;-) So go for anything that catches wind and your photos will thank you!

  4. SQUAT! A session with me generally entails a LOT of playing, bending, squating, and throwing up babies. This is all about capturing those fleeting moments, so make sure your clothing allows the freedom to do so. :)

  5. Avoid Black:

    This one is personal and goes to my style of shooting. A quick glance and it’s no secret how much I LOVE color. I don’t even give black and white edits! The landscape itself lends pops of its own but a HUGE player, believe it or not, is the color of your clothing. And black simply absorbs it, giving my pop loving heart little to work with. ;-)

  6. Avoid overly bright and neons

    So after all that color advocating there is an overboard, and that is anything crazy bright or neon as they will turn to the extreme with the way I edit, not to mention often reflect that color right onto your skin!

  7. Be comfortable:

    This is especially crucial when it comes to the kids. Brand new shoes sometimes cause little feet to blister and starchy shirts on a boy who spends his days in t-shirts may not be your best option. Happy kids make happy photos!

  8. Accessorize

    Suspender, bows, hats, scarfs, anything extra is always fun to add some extra texture to your style!

  9. Ask away!

    I LOVE to work with you in all your planning efforts so feel free to reach out as your starting to prepare! Once you get this part down, comes all the fun! :-)

And with that here’s a family who killed it in all these areas! Also, mom’s dress is from https://www.vicicollection.com/ One of my all time favorite shop for women and of all places they are actually located right here in Newport!!

Another big favorite for the women is https://morninglavender.com/ —Their dresses are so perfect for a beach shoot! And located right in old Town Tustin here too. :)

Some other shops that I love:

https://www.baileysblossoms.com/ (they have the cutest pieces for the kids—and all at such amazing prices too!)

https://www.joyfolie.com/ (for moms but especially for young girls their dresses are my favorite)

https://www.zara.com/ (for all the kids—they have the most adorable and trendy pieces and have a location right here in South Coast Plaza too!)

Places such a Gap, H&M, Urban Outfitter, etc, all work for some great staples for all the guys as well!

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whattowearorangecountyfamilyphotographer
whattowearorangecountyfamilyphotographer
whattowearorangecountyfamilyphotographer
whattowearorangecountyfamilyphotographer
whattowearorangecountyfamilyphotographer
whattowearorangecountyfamilyphotographer
whattowearorangecountyfamilyphotographer
whattowearorangecountyfamilyphotographer
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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!

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
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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My Biggest Inspiration | Orange County Family Photographer

I’m a firm believer that without inspiration you will burn out fast as a photographer. Yes, there is that pretty finished work you get to deliver at the end. Yes, Newport Beach is kind of my office. ;-) BUT, the race to the finish line isn’t always so colorful. Running a business, no matter how much intertwined with your dream, is hard, and oftentimes overwhelming. Just like anything in life usually is. And so we all must find that something to push us through. Grabbing our inspiration from all different avenues. By far one of the main things that keeps me wanting to go forward are those “small” emails and texts I get after sending a photo gallery. The ones that tell me how much the photos mean to them. Some go into great detail and emotion and I’m not going to lie,I read them over and over again. And then I save them, to read again on my bad days! Side note: if you like your photos, please tell me—my heart needs to know it. ;-)

But even beyond that comes another inspiration for me, my biggest one—or two that is: my babies. Who really are not babies anymore but five and seven. Hello time, please slow down! They are the reason I picked up a camera in the first time, the ones I shot day and night for two years straight. Literally too, as I took on a “365 challenge” which means you really do have to compile one photo from every day of that year! They are the reason I have grown from photos that remain for our families eyes only to ones I am now proud to hang on my walls. Much more than taking their picture though they inspire me simply because they breathe. I’m inspired to support them in reaching all their dreams. To show them they can do anything if they want it enough. I continue to pick up my camera because of them. Hoping that someday they will find a dream of their own, and not stop pursuing until they have fully grabbed hold.

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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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natural family photography in Orange County ,California
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That Comparison Game | Newport Beach OC Family Photographer

Photography is a saturated market filled with all kinds of jaw dropping artists. It can be so easy to look at the work of others and start thinking I should try to emulate that. My beach pictures should have more of “this,” my families should do more of “that,” my composition, angle, light, humor, drama, etc should go every which route.

I am reeeeally big about forever trying to grow as a photographer. I spend hours reading, listening, shooting, pushing myself daily to become better in this craft. But I have also been learning a lot myself this year. A lesson not taught on light or connection, but rather that it is ok to just be me. That my style is unique to the person I am. I don’t have to edit like that famous person or dress someone like that other. I just need to shoot in the way that makes my heart happy. That gives laughter and sweet memories to these families faces. And in stopping to compare myself to everyone else, I find that I can really enjoy the entire process, from the session itself to the editing to the delivery.

To remind myself of all this I did something really cheesy this year. I have my own custom preset that I use to edit my photos. Each one of course is still hand edited to be tweaked exactly to that lighting situation. But its a base that give all of my pictures a uniformed looked. Its not what is “popular” right now in the photography world. Everyone is dark and moody or light and airy and here I stand in this rich and vibrant world. But color and light make my happy, and so I have decided to stop trying to fit into anyone’s mold, and instead just be me. And that is what I named my preset: “be you.” And every time I click to add it to my photo I remember all these things again.

"An artist should never be a prisoner of himself, prisoner of style, prisoner of reputation, prisoner of success." ~Henri Matisse

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newport beach OC family photographer
newport beach OC family photographer
newport beach OC family photographer
newport beach OC family photographer
newport beach OC family photographer
newport beach OC family photographer