Ray of Sunshine

Lawrence and I told the doctor not to reveal the gender of our third baby when I was pregnant… but I already knew it was a girl.  Or maybe it was because I prayed and prayed and hoped for one.  SO BAD.

So when my third and last baby entered the World, and my doctor held her up and announced “It’s a girl” like what I’ve seen in movies my entire life, I cried.  I cried the ugly cry, but no one, including myself, really cared at that point.  I had a healthy, pink, perfect baby girl!  She arrived 3 weeks early, but based on her already squishy baby face and body, you’d never know that.

I was so happy and loved her so much from that very second.  When she was only 2 months old, we had regular moments where we’d lock gazes, giggle together, exchange smiles… and when she was an older baby, we ‘sang’ together in her quiet nursery before she’d sleep.

It is now nine years later, and Avie is still that person who makes me smile just by looking at her face.  She still follows me around like the cutest shadow and thinks her mommy is the best, most important person ever.  She makes sure I know this from her love notes and drawings whenever there is a piece of paper or foggy mirror.  She is my own personal ray of sunshine, and I feel incredibly blessed.

Happy 9th birthday, Avie.

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Best Moments of 2018

Now, onto Part Two of last year’s winning images.  This one is about moments!

A “moment” is defined as a split second of time ~OR~ a moment that tells a story, whether sweet, emotional or humorous.  My all-time favorite images are the ones that capture a story and have incredible light, so some of these have both! ❤️ *swoon*

BEST MOMENTS OF 2018

#1

A Father’s Love

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#2

This Way, Together

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Tied for #3

Too Many Kisses

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Cracking Up

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Tied for #4

Left:  Happily Married
Right:  Teaching the next generation how to pray

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Autumn Leaves

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Tied for #5

Where’d she go?

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Uncontrollable Laughter

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Click here to see last year’s winning images:  Best Moments of 2017, Most Delicious Light of 2017.

Most Delicious Light of 2018

It is time to reveal the winning images from last year!

The photos that made it into this category were chosen based on the role light played in the image. Specifically I answered the questions: “If the light was different, would I like it as much?” “Did the light effect the mood or story of the image?”  Then that collection of images went into a Facebook album for public voting during a set time period.

Aaaaaaand the winners are….. ☺️

MOST DELICIOUS LIGHT of 2018

#1

The brownish fog in the woods, the vertical lines of the trees, the perfectly balanced boys to their father, the gently curved sticks that mimic a rainbow.

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#2

The spotty light highlighted the rainbow bubbles, which complemented the joy on the little girl’s face.

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#3

Sunlight can be a softbox-spotlight.

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Tied for #4

Candles at twilight held by children means blue light on white shirts and a warm glow on faces and hands.

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The Bay Area fog creates a romantic mood for this couple.

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#5

The haze and glare from the strong sun on the San Francisco Bay made this sailboat image surreal.

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Wait, what?!!  You want more? ☺️ Alright, click here to see last year’s winning images:  Most Delicious Light of 2017.

Meaning of Life

My photoshoot of Tim and Jen’s family was my last one of the year, and it made me contemplative.

Perhaps it was because I had the spirit of Christmas coursing through my veins, but I was thinking how their photoshoot perfectly culminates the meaning of life.  Let me explain.

It had been about a year and a half since I last saw Tim and Jen.  During that time, they got pregnant and had their 4th baby!  Also during that time, there were big events around us, including deadly wildfires, which made us postpone their shoot 3 times.  So this was their 4th photoshoot date!  Though disappointed, we rolled with the punches and were grateful for when we saw each other.  We even recognized a few benefits of this later shoot date:  baby Mia was more social and there were fewer people at the park.

At the shoot, the older siblings kept hugging and kissing their baby sister, unprompted.  The affection and easy playfulness between everyone was peppered by Tim’s humor, which always makes me laugh.  And my catch-up time with Jenny highlights how fortunate I am to have clients who’ve become friends.

Seeing the silverlining, spending quality time with family, loving unconditionally… this is how life should be. ❤️

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I Really Do

With the end of the year rounding the corner, I look back and think of all the things that made me laugh, brought me a sense of wonder, or made me stronger.

These “things” always boil down to events and personal experiences, never material items.  I only hope that my kids feel the same and can appreciate experiences more than possessions, even into adulthood.

One of the experiences that consistently brings me gratitude and joy is when I’m on a client shoot, I get to play with kids and watch them grow up year after year.  [Fun little secret:  When I worked in the Corporate World, I’d be one playing with the kids at company parties!  I’ve always loved kids.]  Also, catching up with clients (the adult ones) is like drinking hot cocoa with mini marshmallows after a day of skiing.  It’s relaxing, comforting, and sweet.

I can’t say this enough, I have the best job in the World.  I really do. 

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True Colors

One of my favorite songs from the ’80s came to mind when I was photographing the Masse Family.

So don’t be afraid to let them show
Your true colors
True colors are beautiful
Like a rainbow

This was not only because there were amazing colors in the environment and in their clothing, but also this was their second shoot with me, and I could tell they were very comfortable being their true selves.  And these colors were beautiful.  ❤️

Wishing you all a happy holiday season and a new year of sharing and appreciating the colors around us.  xo

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Dragon’s Lair

Sometimes my shoots take me to far away lands, like in a dragon’s lair where we were engulfed by the hazy breath of these mystical creatures.  We had to hide in crevices, climb up on boulders, and prepare to fight with long sticks.

Kim and Ashish kept their family safe and warm, as usual, and thankfully didn’t encounter dragons… THIS time.

Wishing you all great adventures – both real and imaginary.  xo 

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Fly on the Wall

Last weekend, I was THE happiest fly on the wall.

I followed around Erin, Pete, Clara, Greta and Lola as they walked around their neighborhood, visited a bakery, cut plants in their backyard, and hung up ornaments on their fresh Christmas tree.  I had the pleasure of capturing a slice of their life during this holiday season.

Home Lifestyle Shoots have a different pace than my regular Lifestyle Shoots because there is less direction and set-up, so the resulting photos are more storytelling images.  It was a lot of creative fun, but even more so, it was soooooo nice to see this family again.

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Sunny

After weeks of devastating wildfires here in Northern California, hazardous smoke choking the air, and now heavy rainfall, it is a visual breath of fresh air to look at these incredibly warm and sunny images from Courtney’s Senior and Family Shoot.

Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh.

In fact, everything about this shoot was sunny, not just the sky.  The bond of these siblings; the laughter from poking fun at one another, like Ted and his inseparable bag (tee hee); the bold and playful family who danced, jumped, and pretended to be zombies — the funny kind.

Regardless of what is going on around us, feeling sunny sure makes things better!

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Meet KJ

Meet KJ.

He has squishy cheeks and soft golden brown hair.  He knows how to self-soothe his teething woes.  Swinging makes him sleepy.  His face lights up with the sight of a cutie orange.  He will look at anyone who calls out the name of a fruit.  He is an expert crawler, but wet grass is yucky.  He loves playing with dad and snuggling with mom.  His mouth is leaky, but he doesn’t mind because he’s a mellow fellow.  He loves his Air Jordan sneakers because they match his dad’s.

And today he is one! ❤️

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Happy 1st birthday, KJ!

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