Olivia and Emma had an adventurous morning with their parents. They hunted for gold, explored a forest to find mushrooms, and avoided trolls at the bridge!
There was also a lot of hugging, kissing and hand-holding, which made it a perfect way to spend a sunny morning after days of rain showers.
There is nothing more glorious than being cuddled between the golden sunlight, the blue-est of skies, dancing waves on your favorite Bay, and the laughter of children who are happily building forts out of pillows and playing make-believe.
Last weekend, I had the pleasure of sailing in the San Francisco Bay with my long-time clients (now friends), Priti and Rachad. Bonus was seeing their children: Maya whom I’ve known since she was a baby and Samir whom I met when he was born!
We sailed to a little cove in Sausalito, played there for awhile, and then headed back to the city just as the Super Moon appeared. After we docked, we celebrated with wine and cheese while we continued to catch up.
Ahhhhh… it was a glorious day.
If you mashed together the stories Alice in Wonderland and Charlotte’s Web, you’d get this shoot! It was so full of life and personality that we didn’t even need the sun to keep us warm or brighten our day. (It sounds hokey, I know, but just look at the images and you’ll see what I mean!)
I feel incredibly honored to step out of my usual lifestyle shoots to take on this special extended family project. <3
Now check out Wonderland at the Farm…
One of the things I teach my kids is how their attitude effects the outcome of situations. For instance, if one of my kids thought “I’m just not good at this”, they will perform differently on a test or at a game than if their attitude was “I can do this!”
Simply put, a good attitude is important.
So when it looked like The C Family would need to reschedule their shoot for the second time because of bad weather, Roberta and I remained positive. And we went for it!
No matter what happened during their shoot — be it sprinkles, brief showers, or high winds — we looked on the bright side. The result was magical. We encountered many things that we would have missed had we rescheduled for a sunny day, like glorious ribbons of sunlight, dramatic clouds, sparkles of light from the drizzly rain, and even a rainbow. A RAINBOW!!!
The next time you’re in a rut or things aren’t going your way, know that it won’t last forever and amazing things can happen because of them.
There are positives to all negatives!
If you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.
~ Dr. Wayne Dyer
I love seeing how other family’s children interact because parents sometimes interpret that as goofing off and not following directions while I photograph through everything because, to me, that kind of interaction photographs well!
In fact, I believe that kids picking on each other, tugging on each others’ arms, and even making fun of each other is what happens between kids who get along! Those that don’t get along won’t even look at each other. haha. I have to remember that the next time I’m with my own kids in a store, and someone starts complaining that a sibling is standing too close to them! This is Sibling Love.
Anyhow, I almost did an entire blog post on Clara and Jason just to prove my point, but I thought it’d be more fun for their parents to see a few shots from their entire shoot. So check out some of their lifestyle images from last weekend…
Last year was a test of The L Family’s photoshoot endurance because it was freezing, like literally freezing! Their kids, Rory and Dex, were so little too, and with little ones, they can’t fake comfort when it doesn’t exist, and they aren’t bribe-able. (Is that a word?!! ha. Parents know what I am talking about!) I still remember not being able to change the setting of my camera because my fingertips were numb! But for Danny and Emily, they found ways to make it a fun experience for the entire family, frost-bite and all!
This year, we made sure it was warm and sunny by doing an ancient Sun Dance at noon for seven days. Just kidding. They booked their shoot earlier, so they could choose an earlier date!
It was a lot of fun to play games around this breathtaking garden and to observe the baby koi fish and turtles swimming. My favorite activity was catching up with Rory. Rory isn’t one of the parents. She is 4 years old. (Well, “four and three-quarters”, as she would say!) I’m sure this sounds like I’m exaggerating, but I’m not… we walked around and talked like old girlfriends.
Towards the end of the shoot, I told her I’d miss her and she asked her parents if I could go home with them. Sigh. I miss her already.
Oh and here’s a pic of me and my “old girlfriend”, Rory! (Thanks, Danny, for taking that of us!)
I am not a morning person, but I can’t deny, there is a certain calmness and peacefulness that exist in the mornings. Especially in the city, I notice the blatant absence of traffic, busy stores, and people shuffling to their destination.
Instead, I hear birds, whispers of the sole person walking, tires slowly turning on an empty street. It makes me want to do yoga, meditate or do tai chi in the park. Alright, not really the last one because that’d turn out to be more humorous than zen-like, but it does make me love morning photoshoots!
Last weekend, Jo and Meilani met me early morning in Union Square where they had coffee and hot cocoa, shopped, walked around, and laughed at the long line outside the Apple store — heh heh. It was such a nice morning, minus the two (hmmmm, what’s the politically-correct term… housing-challenged?) belligerent people whom we ran into along the way. One was wearing a jacket on top and see-through tights on the bottom…and nothing else. Such is life in the big city!
Check out this urban mother and daughter shoot in downtown San Francisco…
After photographing Evy and Ethan since they arrived into this World, I can’t help but feel connected to them. Thus, it was imperative that I spend part of their shoot playing with Evy and holding baby Ethan. <3 Admittedly, I breathed in Ethan as much as I could. We’re talking my face was in his hair. Can you say awkward? The fresh scent of a baby is like sniffing a bit of Heaven! Well, Brent called it something else, but I’ll leave it at that.
There is always a lot of joking around and laughter when I see Heather and Brent. I love it when clients turn into friends because the shoot feels just like we’re all hanging out. In any case, we had a lot of fun and the kids were incredibly well-behaved. The weather in San Francisco was bright and crazy-hot that day, even in the early morning hours, so I had to “find the (good) light”.
Now check out Heather, Brent, Evy and Ethan in the park on this gorgeous Autumn day…
When I started my business, I didn’t know if it would become more than a hobby or if it’d fizzle out after a year. So with each booking, I’d ooh-and-aah. At the end of each client shoot, I’d marvel at the fact that I was able to do something I love and someone liked my work enough to pay for it. It still blows my mind sometimes. Maybe it’s from the kind of childhood I had (cue violin – haha), but it’s with this kind of attitude that makes me want to improve and continue to grow. Complacency is a virus I never want to have.
So this brings me to my recent shoot with The L Family.
I’ve been photographing Julie, Chris, Callie and Ian for 8 years. Each year, I am excited when they book their shoot (and Julie books early too – yay!) And each year, I can’t wait to see them. I have watched Callie get braces and get them off! I’ve watched her become a preteen. I’ve watched Ian grow into an inquisitive boy who starts most conversations with “You know what?”
Seeing my clients is seeing old friends. I am grateful. <3
Take a look at The L Family in The Golden Forest…
In one of my Psychology classes at UC Berkeley, I learned about the different kinds of love. I remember pondering which kind “was the best”. I was probably 19 years old, so the topic of love sounded mystical. Almost fictional. Now, at the age of *cough cough*, it’s entirely different. Do I label love? No. Do I weigh which kind is better? No. Are there many forms? Sure, but…
Love is love, it’s that simple.
That brings to me to the photoshoot I had last weekend in San Francisco. I’ve known The M Family for many years. Over the years, things change. For instance, the kids get older, taller, wiser.
One thing, no matter what, stays the same: their love for each other. There’s a realness in true love that you just. can’t. fake. Joe, Yolanda, Teo and Nea have that! It’s in the way they look at each other.
It makes my heart melt a little. <3