Her Everyday Self

There you have it.  I blinked, and now I have a teenager!

Some things I expected with a teenager (a little bit of envelope-pushing that keeps me on my toes) and some things I didn’t (her interests remained the same as the last few years).  Mia still loves reading, collecting stuffed animals (curses to whoever invented Pusheen – haha), creating handmade toys, and the color aqua.

She still wakes up at 6am no matter what, laughs at my jokes, and can’t resist picking up any book she passes on her way to eating/sleeping/showering/leaving/doing her homework.  :)

She is the same big-hearted, caring soul as when she was a toddler giving away all her snacks to her friends even when she was hungry and the preschooler who rushed to cheer up crying strangers at the park.

For her birthday shoot this year, we agreed it needed to represent her everyday self.  It can’t be “styled”, like the Fairytale Shoot.  Or while wearing things she doesn’t normally wear, like the hat in last year’s shoot.  So Mia wore clothes she’d wear to school, brushed her hair, and grabbed her favorite baseball cap and a book that was lying on the table.  Simple.

We drove 5 minutes from our house since the location wasn’t the highlight; it was my Mia Pie.  ❤️

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Sunshine When it Rains

When it’s foggy and drizzly, you have to make your own sunshine!

Jasper, Willa and Ansel, along with their parents, had fun running around Golden Gate Park in San Francisco last weekend.

Was it dark and wet that day?  *shrug*  We didn’t even notice!  :)

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Most Delicious Light of 2017

Here is Part 2 of the Favorite Images results!

MOST DELICIOUS LIGHT OF 2017

Photos considered in The Most Delicious Light category were images where light played a significant role in the overall image (i.e., if the light was different, the quality, mood, or story of the image would change).

#1

Diagonal shadows and light at bath time

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[FYI:  This image isn't originally cropped this way; I cropped it more at the bottom out of respect and child safety.]

#2

The parting fog under the bridge

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#3

Fantasy-like glow on the beach

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#4

Brown reflected light from the forest floor

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#5

Pure white light
[Commercial Photography]

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#6

Light from above

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#7

Sun after weeks of rain lit up the moss on the trees

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Tied for #8

Morning fog rolling across the lake

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Sun-kissed tree swing

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#9

perfect storm of sunlight:  reflected light on the family, sun streaming through the trees to light up the background, and a ray of light as backlight!

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Click here if you want to see last year’s Favorite Images.  Don’t forget Favorites of 2015 too!
Are you still reading this?  Ooh la la… okay, here is one more:  Favorite Images of 2014:)

Best Moments of 2017

Each year’s Favorite Images results are always surprising to me.  This year, we had the most ties.  It was also a year that had the most Commercial Photography images selected.  The list is long, so I am splitting it up into two parts.  Here is part 1:  results of the Best Moments of 2017!

BEST MOMENTS OF 2017

A “moment” can be a split second in time, or it can be a moment that tells a story — whether sweet, emotional or humorous.  Some images could fall into both categories of “moment” and “light”, so the decision was based on the weight each factor had on the individual image.

Tied for #1 

Pink Unicorns

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Music Class
[Commercial Photography]

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Tied for #2

Parental Guidance

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Sibling Affection

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Tied for #3

Dudes Dancing

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Love and Laughter
[Engagement Shoot]

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Tied for #4

Peek-a-Boo

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Biggest Smile

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Tied for #5

Educators Do More Than Teach
[Commercial Photography]

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Golden Color Cast (from a blade of dry grass that blew in the wind)

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#6

Friendship and Support
[Commercial Photography]

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In Full Color

Like the many hues and shades of colors, there are many feelings to sense, people to meet, and experiences to have.  To live a full life is to have as many of these as possible.

Priti and Rachad know how to live life in full color!

Last year, we had a sunset shoot on a boat in the Bay, and last weekend, we shot early morning in the Mission District between garages, litter, and bikers.  We embraced the contrast.  Regardless of when and where we shoot, this family has all the feels.  You may even be able to tell we had a little bit of fun too!  ;)

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Blessed

Once in awhile I have a family shoot that floods me with mushy feelings of how blessed I am.  This weekend’s family was one of them.

I’ve been photographing Dave and Winnie since 2009 when their only baby was Colby, their puppy.  We brought Colby all around town and even into a bookstore (shhhh, no one saw).  And then I saw them in 2011 to photograph their darling baby girl who wore a little tiger onesie for her one year old birthday.  I remember “Bina” smiling through all the outfit changes.  Her little face was — and still is — heart-melting.

To watch this family turn into a family of four (five, counting Colby) and then see the kids grow up makes my heart swell.

Alright, let’s get to the photos!  We have to start with this series of Dave and Oliver because I can’t stop looking at them without smiling.  ❤️

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One of a Kind

No two shoots are the same.  Whether I am photographing the same family multiple times or a different family in the same location, every shoot is one of a kind.

Just like the families who are unique in their relationships, interests, goals, achievements and struggles… their photoshoot images should represent their uniqueness too.  That’s why I will always shoot in this style of portraiture.

Lifestyle Photography has always been my favorite.

Take Dai’s shoot this weekend, as an example.  This was their first professional shoot ever!  And it was my Nth time shooting at this location, but it was the first time I had a fairy princess cast spells there, the first time I found currants growing on vines, and the first time I had a little fella with suspenders eating benches and plugging daddy’s ear — tee hee!

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Say Nothing

I admit it.  I like to talk, especially when it is about topics I am passionate about — like art and photography, marketing, color and light, friends, meaning of life, parenting, life lessons, my family, my puppy.  But sometimes, I find it healthy to step back and say nothing.  (I can see my husband slowly shaking his head right now.  haha)

I met this boy, Henry, last weekend.  I have sooooooo much to say about him and his parents….how they interact with each other, what they did at their shoot, their relationship.

Instead, I’ll let the images tell their story.  ❤️

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Superglue

After the rain, everything is quieter.  Greener.  Fresher.

It was really beautiful to photograph, even without the sun.  The farmland by the woods was really quiet and empty, and the green color of the moss on the trees and the damp leaves illuminated.  Even the smell… it was invigoratingly clean.

The best part of the shoot, however, was seeing Alex and Roberta’s girls and giving them great big bear hugs.  I’ve missed seeing their smiley faces and how sweet they are with each other.  These two are the ones who makes me wish I had a sister.  Their Superglue bond is undeniable and a joy to see.

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Glow

Some may think it’s a “pregnancy glow”, but I think it’s a glow from being Christine.  :)

I had never met Christine til the day of her shoot, and right away, I could see she had a personality that glowed from the inside.  You know what I’m talking about!  She smiled a lot, had the kindest eyes, and was thoughtful to strangers around us at the park.  I found myself hugging her, like I had known her for years.

On top of that, she had the cutest baby bump that, even at 37 weeks gestation, you could only see when she stood sideways.

Daddy-to-be, Kevin, was funny and cool.  He had the kind of dry humor that I love from growing up in the East Coast.  I had a really fun afternoon with these two, and I know they’ll be wonderful parents to their little one.

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