It was recently my son’s 7th birthday. Like I mentioned in my girls’ Fairytale Shoot, birthdays aren’t my favorite.
I’ve learned from having my dad, stepmom and other family members pass away that you have to enjoy the everyday moments because what may seem small and inconsequential now are often the things you’ll miss the most later in life. Reading bedtime stories to your kids, helping them brush their teeth, teaching your kids how to tie their shoes.
Soon, we as parents just sit back and watch our kids soar, with wings, on their own. It is a miraculous thing to watch, and I am filled with pride when they develop new skills and with joy when they learn new things about themselves. I just don’t want time to move too quickly.
I am glad Ian still feels comforted to be with me when he is having a bad day. He holds my hand when we are out and carries my bags like a gentleman. He gives me kisses and shows me things he is proud of or excited about. He gets sad when I am sad, which I don’t prefer, but it touches my heart that he can be empathetic and caring. He loves to read, hates to write, and has discovered a love for soccer. I’m trying my best to soak it all in — my heart, my soul, my memory.
I don’t want to get too sentimental, so I’ll just share with you some photos I took for Ian’s birthday shoot at a library and a few of my favorite quotes about children. <3
Enjoy the everyday moments, my friends! xoxo ~annie
Family = where life begins and love never ends
Silence is Golden….
Unless you have Kids,
Then silence is just Suspicious.
While we try to teach our children all about life.
Our children teach us what life is all about.
I didn’t think it was possible to adore these kids and their sweet family EVEN MORE than I already do!
Seeing Mateo and Anea speak respectfully to one another and play gently together…. my jaw dropped in awe. (Really! I came home and told my hubby all about these amazingly sweet kids.) Hearing Mateo come up with lines to his latest poem during our hike in the woods… my heart melted. Watching Nea stop what she was doing to smile at me showed how she grew up with me and my camera… my arms hugged her. Twice.
So I’ve learned it first-hand: the impossible is possible!
What do you do when you plan an early morning shoot in the city to get coastal fog and cool air in a location you’ve shot at a million times, a lush woodsy park…
But once you arrive, you are greeted by unusually bright sun and discover that California’s severe drought had dried up most of the woods, so the area was now mostly dirt and piles of dead branches?!!
You veer off-course to get some urban images and then hang out on an uprooted, fallen tree. That’s what!
Check out how much fun The S Family had a few days ago in San Francisco! Dirt schmirt…we didn’t care.
I love a family who can play a mean game of Go Fish! We’re talking a game where no one holds back and you’re out for blood.
Alright, fine — I’m kidding about the “blood” part, though there may have been a tad bit of cheating. heehee. Hey, it’s all in the name of FUN, right?!!
The C Family came from Seattle for their Lifestyle Photography session. When deciding on a location, they wanted one that wasn’t covered in green grass because that’s what they have in Seattle. Since California is in a severe drought, this wish was easy to fulfill unfortunately. There isn’t much green here. We need rain!
Now it’s time to Go Fish!
Thank you, Alan, Carol, Ethan and Maddy, for visiting me in the East Bay! I had a blast getting to know you and hope you had a safe trip back home. xoxo ~annie
I have been blessed with meeting this lovely family seven years ago and photographing them twice a year ever since. (I get choked up when I think about how much their children have grown!)
This year, their two shoots were complete opposites, yet complimentary. Yin and Yang!
At their last shoot, The F Family was in downtown San Francisco and it rained so hard that we ducked indoors the entire time. This past weekend, it was gorgeously sunny with white puffy clouds. It was warm, which is uncommon at the coastline in San Francisco, with an iconic Bay Area breeze. The dense fog was there to greet us, then cleared, so we could see the entire length of the Golden Gate Bridge. Again, this is something that doesn’t always happen.
With the weather being so nice, Kai, Maya and Nina, along with their parents, were able to do A LOT!
They flew kites, climbed rock walls, played in the sand, investigated marine life, and explored an old 1900′s battery (army artillery area). Through all the activities, they were united as a family and relaxed to be themselves.
By the end of the shoot, I was covered in sand, my shorts were wet from the surf, I suffered a cut on my knee from kneeling for a shot… and I had a smile on my face the whole time.
I feel so much gratitude for doing what I love and having clients who have believed in me and trusted me all these years. I realize they have watched me grow in my career (and grow old in age — haha) as much as I’ve watched their children grow. And that is pretty cool.
With the help of his youngest daughter Christina, Stephan surprised his wife Anja and daughter Mirella with a photoshoot in San Francisco during their “holiday” from Norway! He booked the shoot months earlier, but only revealed the surprise after they arrived. What a thoughtful and romantic gesture!
Stephan left it up to me to choose where to shoot, so we went to the base of the famous Golden Gate Bridge. There, the wind was so strong that it felt like I was sky-diving again, but falling horizontally! To walk, I only needed to lift my legs and the wind would push me along like an impatient mother duck to her wandering ducklings.
Even with the cold and unforgiving wind, the shoot went smoothly because The B Family were unfazed by the weather and found enjoyment in being together. In San Francisco. With me.
I couldn’t ask for anything more.
Amidst house renovations, a brand new baby, visitors, an active toddler, two big dogs, and a holiday, it is safe to say The L Family had a lot going on when I came over for their shoot. If you met them though, you wouldn’t know it because they were so cool, calm and content!
This San Francisco Lifestyle Photography session had two parts: an indoor newborn and family session at the house and an outdoor session in their neighborhood. It was all shot in a relaxed, lifestyle manner, which captured personalities, relationships and stories.
Check out this sneak peek of The L Family hanging out together and how 7-day new Ryan sleep through most of it. hee hee.
Ssssssstretch and freeze!
Ryan waking up to gaze at his mom
Ben believes sharing is caring
On a bed of clouds
Fun on the clouds
In the neighborhood
This East Bay Lifestyle Photography session of The W Family was full of exploring, fruit-picking, tail feather-shaking and, most of all…
Cole enjoyed blowing bubbles, but no more than hoarding all the milk boxes — haha. He also had so many funny sayings. It was as if a grown man was trapped inside his little 3-year old body because… how could he come up with all of this on his own?!! He cracked me up all morning.
Mia loved picking flowers. She was warm and playful. She also really enjoyed being wherever I was! She made a fantastic shadow. I tried to out-run my shadow a couple times, but it never worked.
Simon and Connie: You have a wonderful family, and I am honored to be your first family photographer! xo ~annie
The best gifts are those that you will remember forever and are priceless. Brian knew that for his wife, Tara, this would be a Lifestyle Family Photography session. So we had her Christmas present shoot on Mother’s Day. Makes sense to me!
I absolutely love this family. Kevin and Marinn were so sweet to each other and full of personality, and Brian and Tara were laid back, “got” my vision and trusted me.
Thus, they were in a barn, in a tree and in a cemetery! Seriously. How cool are they?!!
This weekend’s Lifestyle Family Photography session in the Peninsula went something like this…
“Weeeeeeee!” (swinging), “Hahahaha!” (telling stories in a tree), “Indy!” (playing with their four-legged baby and watching him steal the balls), and lots of family sweetness.
The entire session took place in The C Family’s blissful backyard. I wonder if they’d mind if I pitched a tent and camped back there for a weekend… with my husband and 3 kids!