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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With You

Sure, some things I may ask you to do during your shoot may feel strange or even downright goofy.  To some.  Maaaaaybe:)

That’s where trust comes into play because I promise, there’s a reason for all of that.  During a photoshoot, images pop into my head based on what I see in front of me — the quality of light, patterns and textures in the environment, and the people I am photographing.  The best “directing” is when they feel more like spontaneous ideas between friends than directions.

Plus, it helps to know I am right there with you.  Through it all.  Laughing… being silly… being serious.

All of it.  ❤️

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Leaping into the Clouds

We loved last year’s pink unicorns, rainbow light, sounds of waves crashing against the shore, overly friendly bees, and the hot sun.  But this year, we threw caution to the wind and went for the opposite…

We hung out in a garden surrounded by a concrete jungle, thick fog, nagging gnats (ooh that is fun to say), sounds of people protesting in the streets, and the cold brisk air.

From beach to city, we embraced the Bay.  Olivia and Emma had smiles that made strangers take note and wave hello.  Emma climbed everything and had the ability to leap into the clouds — or so it felt.   And Olivia with her sweet face that turns silly at any given moment still makes me laugh.  ❤️

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Family Treasures

While I was cramming for midterms one ordinary College day, I received a phone call that broke a long silence.  It was a good friend who lived in the same apartment building.  She spoke so fast that her words blended together.  Huh?  Say that again?  When she repeated herself, all I heard were bits and pieces….

“Big fire”
“Coming towards you”
“Evacuated a long time ago”
“GET OUT NOW!”

In complete disbelief, my roommate walked outside “to see if she could see anything”.  She returned shaking.  The wildfire was not only in sight, close by, but also distinctly heading towards our building.

We gave ourselves one minute to grab what we could before running to my car.  Adrenaline was fueled by panic.  I will never forget what I grabbed:  my keys, wallet, a couple pieces of jewelry, and photo albums.  Every single photo album.  Those albums weighed like 10 lbs each, and I had to have them all!

What I learned from the Oakland Fire of ’91 is that I found photos to be one of the most important possessions I own.

That’s because a photo isn’t just a photo.  It’s something that makes memories permanent, so you can enjoy, share and hopefully treasure them for years to come, or even with future generations.  Each family I photograph has their own unique style, connection, and way of interacting, and I am grateful to have the important role of capturing this for them.  xoxo

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