It was a perfect day in Sacramento for spring portraits at the Capitol. There is one cherry tree there with the most amazing blossoms that only blooms for about two weeks out of the year and we caught it in its prime. I love this shot — it’s like “Super Baby!” haha
Last year, right on the day of my very own birthday, a special little girl was born and she was named Sage. We took her newborn pictures when she was only five days old and then Mom brought her back for her ten month pictures. On that day, I got to capture three generations of girls: Baby Sage, Mom and Grandma.
Today is January 1st, 2013. There have been a few times in my life when I have deliberately marked the day in my mind as one to remember. There was one time in 1988 (I was eight years old) and I was writing the date at the top of my school essay and I told myself to always remember that day because I wanted to think back on that time in the year 2013 and know that I was in the future (and old – ha!). Well, now it’s 2013 and I fully expected to be teleporting and ordering food out of a replicator at this point. Oh well, my iPhone and Prius will have to suffice.
And looking back on 2012 – whew! What a whirlwind! You might have noticed the blog got a bit neglected starting around July because that’s when the “holiday season” started for me and I’ve been in a dead run for 2013 ever since. With this little break for New Year’s Day, I wanted to take some time to make sure that I shared some of the many beautiful families that I had the fortune to meet and document in 2012.
One of the best parts about my job is shooting on location, so when I got the call from these lovely people to come out and visit them in their home in Lotus, CA, I was excited. However, it was whole other level of excitement when I pulled up to their stunning property which had, perched at the top of a hill, a perfect log cabin nestled amongst a grove of glowing oak trees.
I’m going to share something I’ve learned through experience and which has proven true in most cases: whatever you expect from a person, you will get. When you tell someone that they are good, that they are beautiful, that they are talented, you will elicit that in the person. On the flip-side, when you tell or show a person that you doubt them, that they are not good enough, that they could be better…guess what? You elicit that in them, too. Granting someone your trust and confidence is one of the most valuable gifts you can extend to a person because you are helping them to put forward the reality of their own basic potential: being good.
I admit, I’ve shown up to a few photography sessions in my career, and the customer, for whatever reason, was doubtful that I was going to do a good job (funnily enough, it’s usually family and friends, lol). They might question the lighting that I’ve chosen, the equipment that I’m using or the location that we’ve selected…basically, they doubt me. It’s not a nice feeling, but I’ve learned to turn it into a personal challenge that I’ll take some crazy-amazing photos of them as proof that my 13 years of experience
hasn’t been completely wasted spending time on Facebook was good for something!
However, there’s the more common (and oh-so-wonderful) experience where I show up and my customer is 100% trusting. I get to hear things like, “Whatever you want, just tell us what to do. We trust you”…music to my ears. What makes it even better is when they bring their own ideas to the table in the form of things that mean something to them. And then they release me to be inspired by their family and their lives, and because they trusted me to be good and they extended to me their confidence that I would do good work, I was good. I use this in my life constantly, trying to ignore the faults in people and confirm for them their strengths. This little tip also works miracles with children…
This family was the perfect example of trusting. Little Evan had just had his first birthday and Mom and Dad wanted to do a session in their home and a very nearby golf course at the end of their street. We talked about the session ahead of time and they said that they wanted something very natural, fun and casual — my kind of family!
Taking notes from my “Session Prep” clothing guide, mom did an amazing job picking out comfortable clothes that coordinated well without being “matchy-matchy”.
They had this automobile mobile in their home and we took it down just for the pictures — I’m so glad we did because I love these.
We went upstairs and they had two beds in their bedroom – one up high and one on the floor. I asked what it was for and they said that it was easier to sleep with the baby down low (how sweet is that?!). I wanted to make sure we included it because it’s so much a part of their lives while Evan is little. This is only a tiny peek at the fun they had playing on that bed. And one of the best parts about it was I didn’t have worry he’d roll off, lol!
Here’s the “real” bed and a perfect spot for a beautiful casual family portrait all together. Love the colors.
Apparently…Evan likes cars…especially his Dad’s BMW M3. We did a whole series of pictures in the car – here’s one from the set. He looks as though he’s ready to take off!
We walked to the end of their street and they had the perfect little corner of a golf course for a family picture amongst the tall grass and the setting sun.
I love it when I say, “How do you feel about lying in the grass?” and the parents say, “Sure! No problem!” And then I get to take pictures like this one… *love*
A big “thank you!” to this family for trusting me to create beautiful art for them and for letting me come over to play last week. It was so much fun!
And, if you liked this post, you might also like this set of family images taken in Sacramento.
I first met this family two years ago when these twins were just infants. I can’t believe how much they’ve grown and how much personality they have now!
She did a great job pulling together coordinating outfits for her and boys, mixing several different tones and patterns, but perfect in their soft hues.
Our Sacramento Spring Mini-Sessions sold out fast and were a big success with lots of new and returning faces. Here is just the tip of the iceberg with a few of my favorites from the first day.
Okay, seriously? How cute is she with those stunning blue eyes and three little teeth poking through???
This is only from the first round of mini-sessions – more previews to come in the next few weeks! Until then, I’m off to LA to photograph a very special little baby girl at only four days old! I can’t wait
For those of you who are my loyal readers, you know this about me already, but one of my favorite things about my work is discovering people. When I first started at this job, I admit, I would expect people to act or carry themselves a certain way just because of where they lived or how old they were…but I was quickly disabused of that early on. The people I work with and photograph have taught me a beautiful life lesson: to have no expectations, to discover individuals for who they are and to celebrate the beauty in that.
This family was a treasure to discover. The moment they opened their front door and introduced themselves to me, I got to walk into their world, into their home and share, if only for a few moments, the love and tenderness that they all share with one another.
I thought I’d share a few with their bright pops of color…
And a few black and whites…I’m nearly overwhelmed by the tenderness of Mom and Dad with sweet Allison. Makes my own little heart do a flip.
Until next time,
I love color – bold, muted, dark, bright – and red is no exception. I mostly just love it when we can capture so MUCH color in one spot. And how could I resist when we had a red sweater, red VW Beetle, and red tree all in one place! I love mom’s choices for their clothing — they have a great combination of patterns, colors and textures.
At one year old and with a name like “Wilder”, I just fell in love with this little man. He has TONS of personality and already has a love for music. We pulled out his mini-piano so he could show off his skills. Who knows — Mom and Dad may have a future musician on their hands and it would be so much fun to pull these pictures out, years from now, and be able to say, “He was playing the piano at ONE!”
Mom had set up this very sweet little banner for his birthday just days before, and it made for a perfect colorful element for their portraits. Oh, and the way Wilder’s hand is on Dad’s cheek…*sigh*
We caught the fall color just before the windy weather arrived — the warm reds and yellows melt together in such a lovely way behind them.
I’m completely transfixed by the picture just below and on the right. He’s having so much fun with the playground xylophone. What a little musician-man!
One-year-old “chub” – love it. And these little hands are a perfect example of such.
Playing on the back patio – check out his great little Toms booties.
We had so much fun! I’m looking forward to sharing the full gallery with mom and dad!
P.S. I’m including this post in my “clothing” category because I think they did a great job of selecting clothing that was simple (while remaining visually interesting), that reflects their personal style, and that brings together a mix of colors that already exist in their home, making these pictures the perfect fit for their home and interior decor.
Eleven months after meeting Dylan for the first time for her newborn session, we’re together again for holiday family photos. What a sweetheart she was, all cuddly and loving with Mom and Dad.
Being a dog-person myself, when mom said that she wanted their Pomeranian, Armani, in the pictures because he’s “like our child”, I was all over it. I call my own two Boston Terriers my “dog children”, so I can relate, lol! But check out his little doggie sidecar on the stroller! I love it!