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Archive for the ‘family’ Category
June 19, 2013

Family Portraits with an Autistic Child

A few times a year, a parent will call in to ask if I am comfortable photographing their family along with their son or daughter who has autism and I tell them, “Yes!” I’ve been very fortunate to have photographed a number of families with autistic children, and one child in particular has made quite a name for himself here in Sacramento. I wanted to take a moment to feature him and allow you all to follow his story.

Meet Jack. At the time this picture was taken (August 2012), he was just beginning a new relationship with Biscuit, his very own adopted service dog.

jack petersen with service dog biscuit

Quoting a 2012 article from Dandelion Magazine: “Jack calls Biscuit his ‘posse,’ explaining, ‘Biscuit has my back at school.’ The duo are inseparable. ‘Biscuit knows Jack is his boy,’ [Jack's mom] says.”

jack and biscuit are best friends hanging out in Old Sacramento

And here is Biscuit in all of his charming and lovable glory. Biscuit came to the Petersen family via Good Dog!, a San Jose organization that trains and places autism service dogs.

biscuit service dog photography in sacramento

Here is the rest of Jack’s family. This image is from their holiday family portraits last year. The gorgeous woman in red below is the talented Jill Petersen, owner of Sacramento’s best full service salon, Byuti Salon and Spa. Jill has been my stylist for a little over four years now and I adore her. Plus, we have the same name, so that doesn’t hurt. Lol

family portrait with jack and guide dog

Jack has been featured in two issues of Sacramento’s Dandelion Magazine in the last couple of years. I’ve only told you part of the story. To read more about his adventure thus far, click on the two images below.

From Winter 2011:

instadog instafriendship article and photos about jack autism

From Winter 2012:

article about autism Jack and his service dog

June 11, 2013

Photo-Ready Outfits in Old Sacramento

When I pulled up to the meeting spot, I knew this was the family I was looking for because they were looking amazing in their awesome photo-ready outfits. They did such a great job at “coordinating without matching” which I’m always encouraging my customers to do. They picked a blue, yellow, white and gray color scheme which had just the right amount of pop for their Old Sacramento family photography session.

Here are the three brothers showing off their awesome posing skills — they did this on their own — how cool are they???

brothers showing off their handsome smiles during their old sacramento photoshoot

And cracking up over giving the camera some attitude. Ha!

three brothers giving some attitude to the camera

Mom is on the left with her sister on the right. Loving her bright pink lipstick!

two sisters together for their photo shoot, perfect in pink lipstick and a yellow dress

Love the colors against the red brick.

old sacramento family portraits

These five pull off this candid walking shot like old pros.

family walking casually for their candid photos

The boys love their auntie — but she’s pretty cool so it makes sense!

perfect in their color combination of blues, grays and yellows

Their clothing color scheme was just perfect for taking pictures in front of the bridge, a Sacramento landmark.

with the sun shining behind them, the family poses for their picture in front of the bridge

And then the light turned green and the cars started rolling up (while I was standing in the middle of the intersection). Ha! What a fun moment!

but then the cars came and they all were laughing and running out of the crosswalk

I had such a blast with this family!

May 31, 2013

family portraits hiking in the mountains

I’ve been photographing this family for a number of years now and when they said they’d be okay with taking family portraits hiking in the mountains, I got so excited for the shoot. It was a perfect spot for them since they are very athletic people anyhow, and they live right by one of my favorite places to go for a summer swim.

family kissing on the edge of the river overlooking the mountains

So, I’m a sucker when it comes to chunky, breast-fed babies and this little guy – oh my goodness. He is just too cute!

mom breathing in all of the baby goodness  with her son

The light, the emotion, the snuggles — ah, I love everything about this picture.

mommy kisses are the best for family pictures

And daddy kisses are the best!

daddy kisses are pretty good too when it comes to father and son pictures

There was a time when these two beauties were shy in front of the camera, but they are definitely not anymore! They seem to go nearly everywhere holding hands and smiling. They climbed all the way to the top of this ridge, turned around, held each others’ hands and looked right at me. Photographer heaven!

sisters climb the mountain together holding hands at the top

Mom emailed me ahead of time to tell me that her oldest daughter is growing out her hair and believes that it might be magical, just like the girl in Tangled (the movie). She asked if I could take a picture of her with her hair glowing so that we could carry forward the dream. Look at all of that beautiful glowing hair!

she wanted her hair to grow like the girl in the tangled movie

One of the best parts of my job is getting to watch children go from being in their mommy’s belly to growing up and becoming their own unique and beautiful person. I get to do that with this family as they come back every year to update their portraits. It’s such a gift and I am so, so grateful to be part of their lives, if only in this small way.

March 27, 2013

sacramento spring portraits at the capitol

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

the state capitol is the perfect place for spring portraits with cherry blossoms

There are times when I get really caught up in a session. As I’m going through pictures after a shoot to pick out my favorites, I laugh, I get teary-eyed, I think about my own childhood and the few pictures I have of my own parents when I was a baby…it’s a emotional roller-coaster ride but in all the right ways. It fills me with a grounding sense of love for the people in front of my camera and for humankind in general — it gets me thinking about how much we all continue to care for and love one another in spite of so many apparent reasons not to. We are a pretty special kind of creature, if you ask me.

working hard to balance her new sitting-up skills and oh so cute in her pink cardiganHave I ever mentioned how perfect six-months old is for a photo-shoot??? It one of my favorite times for working with kids because they are happy, they can make eye-contact and…they don’t run away from me yet, lol!

family walking together in downtown sacramento one of the few places you can find palm trees in sacramentoLittle Miss Vivienne was all smiles for her session. It was like she knew exactly what we were doing and she was all about it.

big baby smile with mom and dad for their sacramento family portraitsI think I’ll finish off this post with a little bit of book reading. We used these same books for her newborn session, so it was fun to incorporate them in with her six-month session.

finish off the photography session with a little book reading timeThat’s all for now! I think this family has inspired me to go back and take a look at some of my own family photos…Maybe I’ll just have to blog about those, too.

February 17, 2013

Three Generations of Girls | Midtown Sacramento Portraits

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.

mommy throwing daughter in the air in front of rainbow colors

Love all of their colorful clothes!

three generations of girls at their midtown sacramento portrait session

Just learning to walk…

ten months old and learning to walk while mommy holds her hands


mother and holding daughter in front of rainbow colors

Mom is a wonderful esthetician and you can find out more about her HERE.

beautiful mama for her very own headshot

You three are so beautiful!!