Annual Playdate

I know I sound like Cheesy McCheeserson, but some shoots feel more like I’m playing and hanging out with friends than a job.  Nah, let’s be real, it’s almost every shoot.

From the time Danny pulled his car into the parking lot, I hopped out of mine and saw little Rory’s excited face pressed against the window.  Then Emily drove in with Dex who looked like he grew a foot taller than the previous year.

SQUEEEEE…

There was no time to waste.  We all darted into the arboretum, so the playdate photoshoot could start!  :)

Bay-Area-lifestyle-children-photography-siblings-hugging-and-whispering-to-each-other-on-wooden-footbridge  Bay-Area-lifestyle-photography-bush-with-orange-and-red-berries

Bay-Area-lifestyle-children-photography-young-girl-holding-up-fruit-that-fell-from-tree

Bay-Area-lifestyle-photography-dark-green-leaves-with-glistening-beads-of-water  Bay-Area-lifestyle-family-photography-father-cracking-up-after-dancing-with-kids-in-park

Bay-Area-lifestyle-children-photography-young-siblings-sitting-on-fuscia-bench-and-laughing

Bay-Area-lifestyle-family-photography-family-hangs-behind-while-preschool-boy-walks-forward-in-garden

Bay-Area-lifestyle-photography-wish-tags-blowing-in-wind

Bay-Area-lifestyle-family-photography-woman-holding-preschool-son-by-red-barn

Bay-Area-lifestyle-family-photography-making-funny-faces-by-red-barn

Puzzle

Family is like a puzzle.  It can be a big puzzle with lots of pieces, a small puzzle with big pieces, or anything in-between.  The pieces can be made up of individuals who are blood-relatives or individuals who are close to your heart, but not related to.  The puzzles can be complicated or simple, serious or fun.

We are all a part of a puzzle and our puzzles are all unique.

Sometimes, just sometimes, I get to photograph a family that visually fit together like pieces of a puzzle too!  ❤️

South-Bay-lifestyle-family-photography-toddler-girl-and-preschool-boy-holding-parents-hands-on-bridge

South-Bay-lifestyle-photography-lake-park-cupertino

South-Bay-lifestyle-children-photography-kids-sticking-face-and-hands-through-slats-on-red-bridge

South-Bay-lifestyle-children-photography-young-boy-holding-bridge  South-Bay-lifestyle-photography-moon-above-line-of-clouds-and-blue-sky

South-Bay-lifestyle-family-photography-holding-hands-while-walking-across-red-bridge

South-Bay-lifestyle-family-photography-mom-and-son-playing-store

South-Bay-lifestyle-children-photography-smiling-toddler-girl-peeking-through-parents-legs

South-Bay-lifestyle-family-photography-playing-at-bench

South-Bay-lifestyle-children-photography-toddler-girl-sitting-on-bench-while-boy-too-close-to-photographer

South-Bay-lifestyle-family-photography-father-spinning-toddler-daughter  South-Bay-lifestyle-family-photography-parents-hugging-children-on-path

Mochis and Monsters

There were mochis and monsters at this shoot.  Well, more like mochi-eating monsters, which weren’t as scary as they were playful.  :)

The mochi-eating monsters and their parents also shared the lake with a couple of deer, ducks with laughter-sounding quacks, and a VERY large group of turkeys.  It was a fun and eventful morning.  It had a different feel than their Lake Shoot last year that was foggy and quiet.

The moments where the family melted into each other and laughter infected others around them required great concentration to continue shooting because what I really wanted to do was take pause and breathe it all in!  ❤️

Bay-Area-lifestyle-family-photography-sitting-on-bridge-for-picnic

Bay-Area-lifestyle-family-photography-woman-smiling-at-her-daughter

Bay-Area-lifestyle-children-photography-two-young-girls-standing-on-bridge  Bay-Area-lifestyle-photography-closeup-of-bush-by-lake

Bay-Area-lifestyle-photography-two-black-ducks-swimming-in-lake-view-from-behind-tall-grass

Bay-Area-lifestyle-children-photography-two-sisters-laughing-while-hugging-in-fuzzy-bush  Bay-Area-lifestyle-children-photography-young-girl-running-forward-as-monster

Bay-Area-lifestyle-photography-deer-in-hill-of-trees

Bay-Area-lifestyle-children-photography-young-girl-with-arms-up-closeup

Bay-Area-lifestyle-family-photography-woman-hugging-and-gazing-at-her-daughter-by-lake  Bay-Area-lifestyle-family-photography-standing-carrying-and-holding-hands-by-lake

Sama on the Bay

Donning Mediterranean colors, Priti and Rachad with their little ones had vibrant personalities to match.  They played, laughed, hugged each other, and gave themselves bunny ears.  You’d think they’ve done this before!  ;) (SQUEEE!  This is actually their 9th shoot!)

It was obvious being on the water is their happy place.

So we climbed aboard their new boat, Sama, which they named after their children/their heart — Samir and Maya — and means “sky” in Arabic.  *swoon*

Though we’ve had photoshoots on the San Francisco Bay before, this time was different.  I climbed into another boat in the middle of the Bay, so I could capture images of the family from outside their boat.  With nothing to hold onto, except an assuring hand and Rachad’s shoulder, and my cameras dangling to my sides, I jumped.

I love a good challenge.  Shooting subjects on a moving boat while on a boat that is zipping around and flying over waves is a challenge indeed.  And loads of fun!  Check out Sama on the Bay…

San-Francisco-lifestyle-family-photography-mom-and-son-embracing-while-sailing-in-bay

San-Francisco-lifestyle-children-photography-young-siblings-playing-on-sailboat-in-bay-3  San-Francisco-lifestyle-children-photography-young-siblings-playing-on-sailboat-in-bay-2

San-Francisco-lifestyle-family-photography-waving-at-friend-while-sailing-in-bay

San-Francisco-lifestyle-couple-photography-man-kissing-woman-on-sailboat-in-bay  San-Francisco-lifestyle-couple-photography-man-hugging-woman-on-sailboat-in-bay

San-Francisco-lifestyle-family-photography-playing-on-boat-while-sailing-in-bay

San-Francisco-lifestyle-family-photography-walking-on-boat-while-sailing-in-bay  San-Francisco-lifestyle-family-photography-sitting-on-edge-of-sailboat-in-bay

San-Francisco-lifestyle-family-photography-sitting-on-boat-while-sailing-in-bay

San-Francisco-lifestyle-family-photography-sailing-in-bay-with-golden-sunflare  San-Francisco-lifestyle-children-photography-young-girl-with-arms-around-little-brother-in-front-of-boat-sailing-bay

San-Francisco-lifestyle-family-photography-with-arms-out-while-sailing-in-bay

San-Francisco-lifestyle-family-photography-laying-in-family-boat-bed

Typhoon in the Marsh

If you look carefully, you will see the tall grass blowing in the typhoon-like wind.

If you look carefully, you will see the adoration in the eyes of the couple.

If you look carefully, you will see a sister and brother who genuinely enjoy each other’s company.

If you look carefully, you will see children who respect and love their parents, and vice versa.

If you look carefully, you can tell I loooooooooooooove this family to pieces!  I love how they travel the World, and yet always remain thoughtful, humble people who enjoy the simple things in life, like a good joke, some bubbles or a walk down memory lane.  xo

South-Bay-lifestyle-couple-photography-man-and-woman-hugging-in-marsh

South-Bay-lifestyle-family-photography-walking-on-walkway-in-marsh

South-Bay-lifestyle-children-photography-siblings-hugging-on-marsh-walkway

South-Bay-lifestyle-children-photography-siblings-hugging-and-laughing-on-marsh-walkway

South-Bay-lifestyle-children-photography-preteen-girl-taming-curly-hair-in-wind

South-Bay-lifestyle-couple-photography-man-kissing-woman-in-marshland

South-Bay-lifestyle-couple-photography-walking-away-on-walkway-in-marsh

South-Bay-lifestyle-family-photography-boy-listening-to-his-father-at-park

South-Bay-lifestyle-family-photography-girl-serenely-sitting-on-moms-lap

South-Bay-lifestyle-photography-mom-and-daughter-photobombed-by-wild-turkey

South-Bay-lifestyle-family-photography-standing-close-by-marsh-in-evening-light

Joy

While editing last weekend’s photos of Jeff, Louisa, and their adorable, playful munchkins, I can hear upbeat music… wait for it… even when I’m not playing music!

I know, I know how this sounds, and it’s not good.  However, that’s what Joy is like to me.  I can hear happy music.  I can feel joy in my heart.  And it makes me want to go out and hug someone or volunteer in a soup kitchen or rescue another puppy.  (In case my husband is reading this…. honey, it’ll only be 5 more puppies.  heh heh)

Check out my visual story of Joy…

Bay-Area-lifestyle-children-photography-preschool-girl-riding-on-dads-shoulders

Bay-Area-lifestyle-children-photography-young-boy-with-hands-in-pockets-laughing  Bay-Area-lifestyle-photography-closeup-fuzzy-plant-thingie

Bay-Area-lifestyle-family-photography-woman-carrying-toddler-daughter-near-snake-art

Bay-Area-lifestyle-children-photography-young-boy-as-flying-superhero-in-moms-arms

Bay-Area-lifestyle-children-photography-toddler-girl-joyful-and-smiling-with-bubbles-LG

Bay-Area-lifestyle-children-photography-young-boy-and-toddler-sister-sitting-on-bench-touching-snacks-in-mouths

A Whole Lot o’ Love

I am washed with a feeling of calm and friendship whenever I see Sara and Brian.  They just have that way about them, I can’t explain it, but it’s somewhat magical.

And I’ve known their boys since they were babies.  I still pinch myself that I get to watch these cuties grow up as part of my “job”!

At the end of their photoshoot, Aidan walked up to me completely unprompted and said in the sweetest voice, “Thank you for taking our pictures!”  Awwwwww.  I feel so much gratitude for being able to do what I love…with the people whom I love… in a city that I love.  That’s a whole lot o’ love!

San-Francisco-lifestyle-children-photography-brothers-hugging-on-pier-with-wash-of-golden-sunlight

San-Francisco-lifestyle-photography-restaurant-by-pier-in-morning

San-Francisco-lifestyle-family-photography-happy-family-walking-on-pier

San-Francisco-lifestyle-photography-pigeons-sitting-on-pier  San-Francisco-lifestyle-family-photography-father-holding-son-with-touching-noses-2

San-Francisco-lifestyle-children-photography-brothers-standing-at-railing

San-Francisco-lifestyle-children-photography-young-boy-peeking-through-bench-slats

San-Francisco-lifestyle-children-photography-preschool-boy-crouched-by-bench

San-Francisco-lifestyle-photography-ferry-building-bullcart  San-Francisco-lifestyle-family-photography-picking-up-drinks-at-ferry-building

San-Francisco-lifestyle-family-photography-laughing-during-snack-break-ferry

San-Francisco-lifestyle-family-photography-having-a-snack-at-ferry-building

The B’s Knees

Just like the slang “the bee’s knees”, this family with all B names is the best of the best in generosity, kindness, compassion, and (with the girls) athleticism!

I had such a fun morning photographing Bella, Bailey, Brianna, Brenda, Benny…and their newest addition, Baci, who just turned 1 year old.

I’ve known Brenda since our College days at Berkeley, photographed her engagement to Benny, walked down the aisle as her bridesmaid, photographed her belly when she was pregnant, and known her kids since they were born.  There is so much history between us that it makes for our time together even more precious and her shoots that much more intimate.

Bay-Area-lifestyle-family-photography-standing-together-with-puppy-far-view

Bay-Area-lifestyle-family-photography-laughing-together-with-puppy-among-trees  Bay-Area-lifestyle-photography-funny-furry-looking-green-leaves

Baci:  “Where’d She Go?”

Bay-Area-lifestyle-pet-photography-fluffy-white-dog-looking-for-girl

Bay-Area-lifestyle-teen-photography-three-sisters-sitting-together-on-stone-wall

Bay-Area-lifestyle-family-photography-girls-making-arm-muscles-in-reflection  Bay-Area-lifestyle-family-pet-photography-walking-downstairs-with-puppy

Bay-Area-lifestyle-family-photography-man-and-daughter-hanging-out-on-rooftop-garden

Bay-Area-lifestyle-family-photography-mom-and-daughters-laughing-by-trees  Bay-Area-lifestyle-photography-woman-in-pink-dress-standing-and-waiting

Bay-Area-lifestyle-family-teen-photography-group-selfie

When a family takes selfies at the end of their photoshoot, I… PHOTOBOMB THEM, of course!  :)

IMG_4190

Tots To Teens

When you’ve been photographing a family for 11 years, you get the awesomeness of watching tots turn into teens!

It means feeling excited to see how much the “kids” have grown and catching up with the parents.  It also means your subjects can feel comfortable enough to be serious or playful — or anything!

Ahhh, I had a wonderful afternoon hanging out with friends… whom I happened to photograph simultaneously.  heehee.

Bay-Area-lifestyle-family-teen-photography-relaxing-on-tree-branch

Bay-Area-lifestyle-family-photography-mom-and-teen-daughters-laughing-0  Bay-Area-lifestyle-photography-green-leaf-branch

Bay-Area-lifestyle-photography-New-Guinea-wooden-statue-2  Bay-Area-lifestyle-family-photography-mom-and-teen-daughters-laughing-1

Bay-Area-lifestyle-photography-New-Guinea-wooden-statue

Bay-Area-lifestyle-teen-photography-sitting-on-tree-branch

Bay-Area-lifestyle-family-teen-photography-serious-about-Jenga-in-statue-garden-3  Bay-Area-lifestyle-family-teen-photography-playing-Jenga

Bay-Area-lifestyle-family-teen-photography-when-Jenga-falls-in-statue-garden

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.  ❤️

East-Bay-teen-photography-concept-shoot-lost-in-a-book

East-Bay-lifestyle-teen-photography-girl-holding-pullup-bar East-Bay-photography-concept-shoot-wire-fence-with-colorful-background

East-Bay-lifestyle-teen-photography-girl-headshot-windblown-hair-sunflare

East-Bay-lifestyle-teen-photography-girl-sitting-against-wall-with-tree-shadows

East-Bay-lifestyle-teen-photography-girl-looking-down-while-laughing-with-windblown-hair East-Bay-photography-concept-shoot-long-grass-weeds