Crackers and Caterpillars

When you have three young boys — ages 2, 5 and 7 — there is a good amount of activity, volume, and adventure.  “There’s never a dull moment,” says James (the dad).  :)

Crackers and caterpillars were the main attraction for Nathan, Evan and Logan, but for me, it was all about their soulful eyes and sincere smiles.  (And lucky me, I get to watch these boys grow up!!!  I’ve been photographing them since Nathan was in diapers and was the only child!)

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The Joy of Family Life

The joy of family life is not about having everything “perfect”, but rather, being able to roll with whatever comes your way and having fun no matter what.

The C Family encountered a couple injuries, car sickness, soiled clothes, wet shoes, dirt on faces… and it didn’t stop anyone from having smiles on their faces.

They were also in a fabulous area of San Francisco with the beautiful Bay as their backdrop, yet were completely happy playing on building ramps, signs, bike racks, spider-infested basements and the edge of streets!  Jason and Emily wanted to do whatever their girls, Jules and Audrey, wanted to do… and it was awesome.

This is what family JOY looks like!

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Dreaming About Baby

The beautiful Arezou and her husband, Pedram, are expecting a baby this Spring.  There are many thoughts and emotions that expectant parents have during this time (mostly excitement and love!!!), and I feel so fortunate to be the one to document this amazing time for them.

This San Francisco Lifestyle Maternity Photography session could have run into a bump in the road (see what I did there?!!  hee hee) because the weather forecast slated that day to be rainy with periods of HAIL!  Instead, we had gorgeous weather and had a ton of fun because this lovely couple were relaxed, ready to try anything, and enjoyed their time together.

I loved walking around with Arezou and Pedram, hearing their love story and how they met when they were at school, and getting to know them.  I know they will be incredible parents, and I can’t wait to meet the little bundle of joy who will be loved endlessly.  <3

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Every image from this shoot is a “favorite”, but these two images below have a special meaning because they were taken in unlikely places!  (They were both next to heavily traversed areas.)

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*PHOTOGRAPHY TIP*

When you’re in a highly photographed location, look for different ways to see it.  :)

Favorite Images Of 2014

Thanks for all your Facebook votes the past few weeks on your favorite images.  I truly appreciate it.  I value your opinion!  It’s great for me to know what images resonate with others.

There are always surprises in how the favorite images shake out.  For instance, one of my favorite Light images (the one of two sisters with what looks like “fire”) hardly made it on people’s radar, but a simple headshot of a young female student got into the Top 5!  So interesting!!

So here they are… your Favorite Images of 2014 (as of today)!

BEST MOMENTS OF 2014

A “moment” can be a split second of time, which makes it extra special. Or it could be a moment that tells a story — whether sweet, emotional or humorous!

#1:  Brothers and Best Friends

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#2:  First Kiss

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#3:  A Quiet Moment

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#4:  Splish Splash

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Tied for #5:  End-of-Day Father and Daughter Moment; Miss Personality

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#6:  A Mother’s Job

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MOST DELICIOUS LIGHT OF 2014

The photos that made it into this category were chosen based on imagining the same image with different light. I asked: “Would I love it as much then? Or is the light so significant that it elevates the image, and it wouldn’t be as memorable otherwise?” If the answers were no and then yes, they made it here! :)

#1:

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#2:

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#3:

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#4:

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#5:

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Tied for #6:

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Tied for #7:

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Keith and Rosabel’s Engagement

There are some things that you “just know”!  Let me tell you about my cousin Rosabel.

Rosabel is intelligent, stylish, and charismatic.  She enjoys fine dining, a good laugh, witty banter, and a good pair of jeans.  More than anything, she is someone who doesn’t hesitate to share her opinions.  She is the opposite of the symbolic Disney Princess whose happy ending happens when a man saves her.  Rather, she is a strong, independent woman who doesn’t let anything stand in the way of her goals.  She is a force!

And then she met Keith.  <3

She is still all those things, but when she is with him, she turns into an ooey gooey sugary puddle of love.

From the first time I met Keith, I knew they would get married someday.  I really did.  Call it a sixth sense!  I could tell by the way they interact with each other.  The way he looks at her.  The way she allows herself to be ‘soft’ around him.  It is a side of my cousin that I’ve never seen before.  And it’s tearfully sweet.

For their Lifestyle Engagement Photography session, we walked around Rosabel’s neighborhood in San Francisco, hung out by a wine bar where they had their first date, and ended in the Presidio where Keith bikes.  It was a fun-filled afternoon that perfectly represented them.

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[Fun fact:  This diamond ring belonged to Keith's great grandmother!]

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The Bear Family

My first photoshoot for this family was of their baby in a bear jacket.  My second shoot for this family was this weekend, and it included their newest addition who wore a full-body bear outfit.  And the cuteness didn’t stop there.  Christy endearingly calls her husband “Bear”!  Adorable, right?!!  (I love this family!)

On this cold and foggy Winter morning, Christy, Rich, Melanie (2 year old), and Audrey (5 months old) had many tender moments, memorable funny lines, and beauty.  Beauty was all around… The location, the kids, the interactions, the emotions.

It was everywhere.

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Baby Bear’s first time sitting by herself!!!

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“I am going shopping,” says Melanie.  “Shopping for broccoli!”

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Fun Family Moments

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Tender Moments

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Melanie leading the way

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Sisters sitting together — on their own — for the first time.

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Melanie showing me the contents of her purse, as all girlfriends do with each other.  (She is my buddy!)

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Happy baby

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Beauty at it’s purest:  a mother’s love.

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Day In The Life: Chris and Sinead

When you take two gorgeous people with magnetic personalities and plop them in a distant land — let’s say, Costa Rica — they will find each other.  That’s what happened to Chris and Sinead, but even more romantic than that.

This Styled Couple’s Photography session was in San Francisco.  It started at their home, which was in the same neighborhood where I lived before I moved to the suburbs!  It was so great to do an entire shoot in this special area of the city.

The biggest treat was getting to know these two charming people who are so obviously meant for each other.  Their love was palpable.  <3

For their photoshoot, Chris and Sinead hung out at their home, dressed to the nines, and whizzed over to a few favorite spots by the way of Uber.  It was the quintessential urban photoshoot!

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All I Want For Christmas

Anthony, Elaine and Ian remind me of my favorite holiday song, which goes something like this:

(Imagine me singing this, but with a much better voice and a full band in the background!)  :)

I don’t want a lot for Christmas
There’s just one thing I need
I don’t care about the presents
Underneath the Christmas tree
I just want you for my own
More than you could ever know
Make my wish come true…
All I want for Christmas is you.

The C Family are just like that.  They are happy just being together and need very little to laugh and enjoy themselves.

It is a joy to be around people like that.  What a great photoshoot to end the year.

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And this NOW and THEN is for Anthony…  :)

Look at how much your little man has grown from our first photoshoot together in 2008 til now.

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Couldn’t Ask For More

This Lifestyle Family Photography session had fun activities that resulted in high-pitched squeals as well as quiet activities that were so beautiful that pedestrians stopped to look.

My favorite time was this peaceful moment when Sabrina laid with her mom on a hilly slope and watched the leaves fall over them.  It was as if time had stopped for this to happen.  Had 5 minutes passed or 50?  It was really breathtaking.

By the way, if I could give out awards, I think Dave and Winnie would win a “Coolest Parents Award” because not only were they totally fine with their well-dressed kids getting wet during their shoot, but also, they encouraged it!  Right off the bat, Dave put his hand in the fountain (filled with rain water from the day before) and then sprayed Sabrina and Oliver’s faces!  My jaw dropped when I saw that!  Good thing Winnie came prepared with a suitcase of “just in case” clothes because it wasn’t long before Sabrina was soaked to the bone.

Winnie and Dave’s intention that day was to let their kids have fun and be themselves.  And well, the kids love water!  :)

I couldn’t ask for more.

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San Francisco Fog

One of the coolest things about little kids is how they don’t worry about many things adults worry about, like weather or getting dirty.

Just check out the faces of Maddie and her lil’ sister Vivi, and you’ll see what I mean!  Through dense morning fog to the wet ground, they ran around the San Francisco park like any other day.

It was great to see The P Family again.  Last time, Vivi was just born!  Um, yea, I’d say she has changed a little;)

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[Check out The Dream Shoot if you want to see images shot in super dense fog.  Or how about a Typhoon Shoot?  There is beauty in all kinds of weather!]