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Archive for the ‘family’ Category
December 13, 2016

Empire Mine Family Portraits

This family session was done at the Empire Mine in Grass Valley, which makes an amazing location for portraits. The old buildings and stonework are fun to photograph in and around, and make great backdrops for fall family portraits.

This particular family session was special to me because this family has been with me since the beginning of my business. I’ve been super fortunate to watch their little boys grow up in front of my lens over the years.

I’m glad I got a chance to photograph them this fall in the gorgeous autumn colors. The boys had a blast running around and playing in the leaves, and overall it was a wonderful day for outdoor fall family photos.

Family of Four at Empire Mine Portrait of a family of four Little boy playing at Empire Mine Mom holding her son

brothers standing in front of a green door at rustic empire mine

Family portraits at Empire Mine in Grass Valley California Family of four playing at Empire Mine

throwing fall leaves at empire mine in grass valley for family portraits

Young by playing outside

If you’re interested in capturing some family time together, contact me at so we can start planning your session!

September 13, 2016

Family Portraits by the Sacramento River

I’ve been photographing this wonderful family for the last few years and when they told me they’d be moving across the country only a few days after their photography session, I thought we needed to make this one extra special. We picked a pretty spot by the river at my favorite time of year when the yellow irises are blooming and the ducklings are swimming circles at our feet. With four kids (including twins) we always have a blast and I’m grateful to Dad for having the energy (and amazing strength) to help me get shots like this one:

el dorado hills family photographer jill carmel

This family is such a TEAM. The kids love to help and they seem to have their own language — everyone just gets each other.

roseville family photographer jill carmel

I live and die for hugs like these!

sacramento family photographer jill carmel

All four kids smiling and no head-swaps! Yes!

davis family photographer jill carmel

These girls can look this cute for a full session and come back for more.

carmichael family photographer jill carmel

As you can imagine, there was a full-on running race down the hill right after this picture was taken.

sacramento family portraits jill carmel

And our parting shot, because, why not???

folsom family photographer jill carmel

Here’s a recent review to share with you: “We ABSOLUTELY LOVE the photos.  All day yesterday, different members called us with tears, laughter, amazement and joy over how you captured expressions, relationships, stories and radiant light all with jaw-dropping clarity and color!   WOW!  The consensus is that these are THE BEST photographs of our family- ever!  I can’t tell you how much I appreciate your creating lasting memories with such artistic subtly, drawing out the best of this family.   You have such talent, Jill.” — Murray M.

If you’d like to schedule a fun and natural family portrait session for your family, just give us a ring at 916.933.8352 or email at

August 22, 2016

Fall Holiday Mini-Session Locations in Sacramento

Each year, there is a lot of excitement surrounding our Fall Holiday Mini-Sessions here in Sacramento! We have several beautiful and easy-to-access locations to choose from. Here are a few samples to give you an idea of what each spot looks like:

OLD SACRAMENTO: Brick, wood and historic buildings. Great for kids to run around and a fun place to grab some ice cream after the session.

old sacramento fall family mini session

old sacramento fall family mini session

STATE CAPITOL: Offers beautiful stone floors and walls, as well as lush green backgrounds all year long.

state capitol mini sessions sacramento

sacramento state capitol fall family mini session

sacramento state capitol family holiday mini session

EL DORADO HILLS (park setting): If you love oak trees, this is a perfect spot for you. The texture of the leaves and bark compliments fall outfits perfectly. Conveniently located in the Serrano area.

el dorado hills mini sessions

el dorado hills family holiday mini session

EL DORADO HILLS (Pond): A charming little spot tucked away within a residential neighborhood. Backgrounds will include a willow tree, a little pond and lots of green grass.

el dorado hills family mini session

el dorado hills holiday mini session

FAIR OAKS: I’m a big fan of golden grass and this location has no lack of it. The light is beautiful in the morning hours and the oaks trees frame family portraits perfectly.

fair oaks sacramento family mini sessions

fair oaks sacramento fall family mini session

DAVIS ARBORETUM: One of my favorite spots for its soft afternoon light. Lots of greenery here and beautiful tree-filled backgrounds.

davis fall family mini session

davis holiday family mini session

LAND PARK: Pretty park setting with trees, grass, and textured stone structures.

Land Park sacramento family holiday mini sessions

sacramento land park fall family mini-sessions

August 16, 2016

Land Park Family Summer Portraits

When this mom called me for her family summer portraits, I immediately connected with her over her wish to capture a moment in time, to remember her family just as it is now, living on a darling little street, only a block away from beautiful Land Park. She wanted to remember some specific places in the park that her little boy had been going to on an almost daily basis and I loved that idea. Imagine having pictures from your own childhood of your home, neighborhood and your favorite places to play, with mom and dad at your side.

Land Park Sacramento summer portrait photo (1)

We tickled and ran and played and then Dad threw him up on his shoulders, and without being prompted, he set his sweet head down and gave Dad a squeeze. I melted.

Land Park Sacramento summer portrait photo (4)

Running through the playground!

Land Park Sacramento summer portrait photo (3)

Swinging on the swings!

Land Park Sacramento summer portrait photo (6)


Land Park Sacramento summer portrait photo (8)

Snuggles with Mama.

Land Park Sacramento summer portrait photo (5)

Flying high in front of his favorite playground!

Land Park Sacramento summer portrait photo (2)

Land Park Sacramento summer portrait photo (7)

Land Park Sacramento summer portrait photo (9)

One last quiet moment on the sofa, reading his favorite dinosaur book. What great memories to have forever.

Land Park Sacramento summer portrait photo (10)

If you’d like to capture a moment in time for your family, give us a call at 916-933-8352 or email us at to book your very own photography session.

August 5, 2016

McKinley Park Roses + Family Pictures

The McKinley Park roses make the perfect backdrop for family pictures in Sacramento and it was no exception on this well-timed cloudy day. I love the bright sun for photographs, but the soft light of an overcast sky is just better for some locations and I was glad for it on this day.

I’ve been photographing little Bennie since he was in his mama’s (perfect) belly and have had the opportunity to photograph him every year since then. For this session, his mom really wanted an image of Bennie playing with his best friend and I think we nailed it! Running through the roses and even the dog looks like he’s smiling!

boy running with his dog through Mckinley Park rose flowersAny time I find a dad who can throw their child in the air super high, I HAVE TO take a picture. I can’t help myself, it’s just too good! And aren’t they just the cutest people ever??? I want to put them in a magazine!

MckInley Park family portrait photos

Mama tickles and cuddles – it’s the name of the game with little boys.

mom tickles her little boy in front of the roses at Mckinley Park for portraits

little boy smiles for pictures in front of the blue irises at Mckinley ParkLoving those killer smiles! father and son at Mckinley Park for portraits and laughing