What a lovely day for fall mini sessions! It was definitely a hot day, but once I found a patch of shade beneath the beautiful oak trees out at Testarossa Winery, I was set! I started the day pretty early to fit in as many sessions as possible. Admittedly, at first I was a tiny bit worried it would be too bright since I'm a sucker for golden hour shots, but once things got going, I was more than happy with the lighting. Some shade does wonders! Wendy and Kevin came all the way down from South San Francisco with their adorable baby girl for their first set of family photos! I was super flattered they made the trip down and was pleasantly surprised Hailey was calm as can be. She looked straight at the camera right off the bat and I knew this session was going to be a breeze! For only 3 months old, Hailey did fantastic. It was the perfect amount of time for baby girl and I think the shoot was a success! Stay tuned for some more photos from other mini sessions that day ;-)
Filtering by Tag: Natural lighting
This has been such an exciting year for so many of my close friends! Between engagements and new babies, it's been such a treat to photograph these special moments for them! Last December Shanay and Andrew they told us the news that they'd be having a baby this year and of course we were incredibly happy for them. Fast forward a few months and they are just a few weeks away from welcoming a baby boy into their lives! To commemorate this beautiful time, we headed out to Four Mile Beach in Santa Cruz for some sweet maternity photos. It went from really hot in San Jose, to pretty cold and windy on the shore. Luckily Andrew and Shanay were good sports about it all and we just had to laugh off the wind blown hair and the chilly temp! It's always a good time shooting with friends, no matter the circumstances. I can't wait to meet their little one and see these two loving people become parents. It will be such a joy! <3
In this next installment of the Vivify Workshop wedding inspiration shoots, I've got some amazing vendors to feature today! For starters, how cool is this table design by Mariee Weddings with the artistic elements of Pleasanton Rentals, flowers by Bloom Bar Coand stationary compliments of The Idea Emporium?!Read More
It's always funny when you meet someone and you just click and later you find out, you could have met them a long time ago through some mutual connection! That's actually how I feel about meeting my own husband. We grew up in the same church and even though we went there for years, our paths never crossed until one unique Sunday morning.Read More
When Brenda told me she wanted to have a romantic beach setting for her engagement shoot, I immediately was game! With the weather we've been having, it's been hit or miss with the sunshine so I definitely had my worries approaching the shoot.Read More
I've finally reached the end of my series of my Costa Rica travels! This post is full of adventures through our stay in Monteverde & Santa Elena and was definitely the highlight of our trip! We started off on a Cafè de Monteverde coffee plantation tour (which deserves a whole post of it's own really) and it was full of information not only about coffee, but of the town itself. It defnitely was all very interesting to learn! As coffee lovers ourselves, it was nice to see the creation and life of a bean from birth to final product. Gives me that much more respect for daily cup of coffee (ok more like 2-3 cups). Besides our coffee tour, we indulged in a zip-lining canopy tour which was amaaazing! Unfortunately most of this experience lives only in my memory as I did decide to leave my valuables back at our place. Sorry, I got scared I'd drop my precious DSLR! Another big highlight of our stay here was of course the family we stayed with. Teresita and Eli were such gracious hosts! Their property is a like a forest of its own, complete with trails, plenty of wildlife and plants of all kinds. We ended up staying just down the road from their house in a little apartment above Eli's mother and sister's house, known for it's view of the sunset (Spanish: atardecer). It was perfect. Private, quaint, and included a giant delicious breakfast handmade for just the two of us every morning! The best part was the sense of community at the main house. People from all over the world were staying in the cabins on the property and we got to meet a bunch of fellow travelers! If you read through my last post, you know how much I love meeting new people and how it makes the trip so much better and the memories that much more valuable to me. I'll keep this post short, as I know there's lot of photos below! Just a forewarning, our trek through the Santa Elena Reserve was in the heart of a cloud forest (persistently moist and foggy terrain) and it was something out of a movie to me! There was all encompassing green. Everywhere. Bright green leaves, moss, ferns, bushes just surrounding us. I feel like my photos don't do it justice, but hopefully you still get a sense of the sheer variety of flora and fauna and ethereal beauty that lives in Costa Rica! Pura Vida!!
Teresita and Eli's adorable son Esteban showing us around the property and showing off his tree climbing skills!
Visited this little cafe on more than one occasion! Below is the traditional way to brew Costa Rican coffee. Got one of these as a souvenir as well!
As an avid craft beer drinker, Nick definitely grew weary of seeing pretty much only three varieties of beer everywhere we went. My husband was a happy camper when we found this little gem in the heart of Santa Elena!
Our lovely host family! Huge thank you to you all!!
I'm a people person. I always have been. I want to connect and relate and really get to know people. When I travel, of course I love taking photos and seeing all the wonderful sights, but one of favorite things about traveling the world is meeting people! That's where the soul of the country comes from anyway, right? There's no denying there is vast beauty in Costa Rica and I'm so glad I got to witness it all driving around the country in our little Suzuki Jimny rental car, but more than that, I'm happy to have met such warm and hospitable people! When we were booking this trip initially, we thought we would use a timeshare and stay in a gorgeous resort on the Pacific Ocean. I imagined a swim up bar at a pool and tanning in the sun. Sounded like a great way to relax! Then we found out, the timeshare was a no go, so it was back to the drawing board. Trying to keep costs low was a big thing for us, so instead of springing for that luxury resort on the water, we scoured Air BnB! Honestly, I'm so glad we ended up going that route. It suited our traveling style so much better! With the places we found, we got to know ours hosts and not just a front desk clerk who may or may not have been the same each day. Air BnB allowed us to meet local people, as well as fellow travelers, instead of cooping us up in our hotel room. Don't get me wrong, I have nothing against hotels or resorts! But since this was my first experience with Air BnB, I got to see another side of traveling that I really loved!
In my last post, I introduced you to La Fortuna and our adventures at the volcano and waterfall. Our trip then took us around Lake Arenal and then to a little town called Los Tornos. Literally, a very small place with a tiny shop and mostly just the land and it's community. It was about 20 minutes outside the main tourist town of Santa Elena, which was no easy trek. I likened the drive into town to the Indiana Jones ride at Disneyland...a bumpy ride indeed, but I digress! Los Tornos is home to our sweet, sweet host Ermida! She owns a huge farm (finca in Spanish) complete with coffee beans galore, bananas, plantains, lemons, starfruit, chayote and a ton of other produce. She's definitely a self sufficient woman! Upon arrival, she was making her own cheese and in her hospitable nature, brought us over not only the fresh cheese, but also milk from her cow, eggs from her chickens and lots of fruit and veggies from the farm. It was an incredible start to our stay! We had our own little cabin on the property, but she was only a few minutes walk away in her own house. The next day we spent the majority of it with Ermida in fact. Being that she spoke almost no English, it was a true test of our very little Spanish, yet also a testament to how cultures and languages can blend when everyone is willing to put in the effort. It really was a wonderful day. She made us a hearty lunch, took a drive with us around town, and then showed us her expansive farm, pointing out each and every different kind of plant she has. It was our very own private tour and it was lovely! I could go on and on about our stay here, and it was only two days, so you can see she left a big impact! I'm so grateful to have met her and glad we exchanged emails so we can stay in touch. Sorry for the long post guys. I can get carried away when I'm on a roll! Enjoy the photos from the farm!
When Kim initially reached out to me asking for portraits of her daughter and son, she said they might bring their puppy too for the shoot. Don't get me wrong, I LOVE dogs, especially puppies, but on a photo shoot they are often unpredictable and you never know if they're going to listen when you call them or give them a command. This wasn't the case with sweet little Cooper. He was the cutest pup! Seriously, looked like a teddy bear and felt even softer than one! He even looked at the camera when you called him; it was perfect! Having only had him for a week, Karly was definitely in love and couldn't resist his snuggles. Who could blame her? I wanted to cuddle with him too! We grabbed a few photos of just Karly and her brother Chad too, but ended the shoot with the whole family...Cooper included. Enjoy the cuteness below!
Being a portrait and wedding photographer, I've been able to witness so many beautiful moments unfold. I love that I am able to photograph such special and intimate times in people's lives. It really is such an honor! When Heather asked me to do these maternity portraits for her and her husband Matt, I was extremely excited and flattered! Being a photographer herself, she had so many people she could have asked and I was really grateful she thought of me!For a little back story, I met Heather last year through a photographer's referral circle. It started simply as a couple names on a Google doc, but Heather took the initiative to bring the relationship offline and made a coffee date with me! I'm so glad she did! We had a great time getting to know each other and found we have a lot in common. Later that year I was second shooting with Heather on multiple weddings and we clicked so well. It was so nice to have a new friend in the photography industry. Funny enough, she was pregnant nearly every wedding we shot together and kept it a secret! I don't know how she did it...it would have been so hard for me to keep my mouth shut! Well the secret is out now and her baby boy is coming next month!
For this shoot, Heather wanted to incorporate the city she and Matt have been living in for over 5 years. Their apartment is nestled in North Beach of San Francisco and really has some great views of the city. Literally a block down from their place is the perfect spot to take photos with the Transamerica Pyramid in the background. Classic cityscape shot! We had some time with their adorable pup, Birdie, and then we were off to Fort Point. It was an overcast day and the forecast said rain was coming, but the clouds held out until the very last part of the shoot! Heather looked amazing throughout the entire thing, even though it was a chilly day. Her adorable floral hairpiece from Bud Stop and her lacy crop top and red skirt all went together so well. She was radiant! It was an afternoon of adventures and I had a wonderful time! Thanks Heather for asking me to be a part of this special time in your life and for entrusting me to create these memories for you! I can't wait to meet your little boy!!
Heather and Matt live on such a cool street! They have the view of the Bay Bridge right outside their doorstep! We wrapped up at their apartment and headed out to Fort Point. Poor Birdie wanted to come with us!
I could go on and on about how wonderful Rodney and Allisha are! Seriously, these two are so sweet, hospitable, hilarious and all around fun! I was introduced to this couple by one of my past brides (thanks Erin!!) and I'm SO glad I get to shoot their upcoming wedding in August at the Eagle Ridge Golf Club. Allisha was actually a bridesmaid at Erin's wedding, so I've already got a taste of how much fun she is out on the dance floor. That's my kind of girl! Every interaction with these two has been nothing short of wonderful. I had the best time shooting their engagement session. It was full laughter from the moment we started and that's when I know the photos are going to turn out genuine and full of life! Rodney and Allisha didn't disappoint. I can't wait for their big day!!
I'm so lucky that I have a job that takes me to so many cool places! I especially love the opportunity to shoot at new places because it's always a chance for me to explore and find new favorite spots to suggest to my couples. Cat and Josh now reside in Rhode Island, but have family in the Berkeley area, which worked great for a winter break engagement shoot! These two were in the Bay Area for the holiday season and I jumped on the opportunity to conveniently schedule their engagement photos. Being that they are from out of state, this was actually the first time meeting them and what a joy it was! They are such a cute couple and so down-to-earth. We had a great time walking around the botanical gardens and finding unique places to shoot, all the while getting to know each other better. I love how much joy and laughter they exuded during the whole shoot. They were so natural with each other and made photographing them a breeze...always a plus in my book! I'm really looking forward to their wedding this June at the beautiful Monterey Plaza Hotel.
Such a beautiful and rare engagement ring! It's actually a cherished family heirloom, which makes it all the more special!
Say what you will about Facebook, but personally, it's been a great way for me to connect with friends, family and even clients! Thanks to my lovely sister being friends with various ladies from our high school, Lyra reached out to me for a family photo shoot because she had seen lots of photos of my work that had been posted over the years. Thanks social media! For the shoot, we found a spot just off the beaten path that had these beautiful eucalyptus trees. We had originally planned the shoot for Coyote Hills Regional Park in Fremont, but Lyra found a picture of this location about 10 minutes from the park that looked great. I came a little early to see if I could find the same patch of trees she had seen in the photo (since it was literally just a trail off the road) and to my surprise, I found it! The backdrop of the trees, the dirt path and the light at just the right time of day was perfect for this shoot. Little Aiden had a blast running back and forth on this trail and it kept his spirits high. I bet he slept real well that night after all his running! Enjoy my favorites from the shoot below!
In the final set of images from my mini shoots this year, I've got another darling family of three with SUCH a cute little one year old girl! Emily was so stinkin' adorable, I could have photographed her all evening! She was a mover and shaker and loved my dinosaur friend from Shutter Huggers. She mostly wanted grab it off my lens and play with it though, haha! I had a wonderful time with the Smolen family and just kept shooting till we lost our last bit of sun behind the horizon. I met so many friendly, fun and loving families this year and I'm so grateful to have made new connections with them all. I'm definitely looking forward to next year's round of mini shoots! Follow my blog to be the first to find out when they'll be!
Here's my second session of the week that I shot at Holbrook Palmer Park! Such a cute family with the sweetest little girls. I can tell Addy is a great big sister already to her 6 month-old sister Emily. It was darling watching her try to get her to smile for the photos, even though baby Emily seemed a little camera shy. I love big sisters, since I have two amazing ones of my own! Both of them had such beautiful blue eyes and blonde, blonde hair. Darling girls and I hope I get to photograph them more over the years as they grow up. It was another quick session, but full of giggles and big smiles. Glad I had the opportunity to meet another wonderful family during the holiday season. Big thanks to the Hughes family for connecting us!
When Erin and Aaron first reached out to me looking for photographer for family photos, I was honored! I mean, I'm ALWAYS flattered when any client asks me to photograph them, but this was even more special to me because they had just moved from Arizona and were in the market for a new photographer. And if anyone knows, there are SO many photographers in this area and lots with great talent! They could have contacted any one of them, but I'm so happy they reached out to me! Such a sweet couple and a darling one-year-old baby boy! And if you're curious like I was, red hair runs in the extended part of the family :-) I wish I could have spent more time with them, but being that it was a mini session series I had to cut it off and meet the next family (which will be featured tomorrow)! I think we got some great shots of the happy family of three, although I do hope for many more sessions with them in the future!
The second installment of fall mini shoots is here today! I can't get enough of this hidden gem just outside of Alum Rock in San Jose. I wish this trail had a proper name, but maybe it's best I keep it as my own little secret :D It's the perfect spot for some fall foliage and has enough space to roam around to mix up the background. It was a great location for my session with the Hughes family! They were such a loving bunch with the sweetest little kids. Tanner was full of life and Allie has the brightest blue eyes! Loved our shoot and hope we can do another next year!
I just love fall. The colors, the brisk air, the excuse to wear boots and scarves! Now I have a new favorite thing to add to my list... fall mini sessions! This was my second year offering them to clients and it turned out to be a hit! It was such a great way to meet so many new families and their adorable little kids. Hopefully I'll be able to photograph these families for years to come! First in this week's series of mini sessions, I'm featuring Kate, Mike and Greyson: A fun-loving couple with their sweet little 2 year-old boy. Greyson was a bit of a tough shell to crack at first, but he sure did love when his daddy threw him up in the air! We got the timing down just right...throw him a couple times, laugh and giggle and then click! It's always funny how when I put my camera down, the real smiles always come out. Sometimes I get lucky when we call it a wrap, but then I keep taking shots on the way back to the car. I have my tricks ;-) Big thanks to Kate for setting up this shoot with me. Hope to do more with you guys in the new year!
Can I just say, Katie and Cam are adorable! I think it's so funny that they said they are normally awkward in front of a camera and not very photogenic. Ha! First of all, they are such a good looking couple no matter the face they were making they made it look good ;-) But really what it comes down to is that they are so in love, every photo shows that authenticity and adoration for each other. That's all I care about anyway...showing off their love in a snapshot! Between their giggles and embraces, I think we got some great photos from the shoot. Rancho San Antonio was the perfect spot for a fall engagement and we got there at the perfect time of day before our light hid behind the hills. And you all know I'm a sucker for some epic golden light! I'm really excited for Katie and Cam and am so happy they asked me to be even just a small part of this special time in their lives!
If you know me at all, you know I love kids. Enough to have worked as a tutor for all ages of elementary school, as a preschool aide, and as a nanny for a family of three! I find my experience with young children has been more than helpful when it comes to photo shoots with little ones! I'm no guru, that's for sure, but I know how to let my guard down, have fun and downright be silly in order to get genuine smiles during my shoots. It's not always easy, especially if the kiddos are fussy or really have no desire to take pictures whatsoever, but it's fulfilling when I finally get those true moments when they crack a smile and open up to the camera for me. The best moments are the giggles, the kisses for mommy or daddy and when they are truly just having a good time!
I just have to say, I'm such a lucky person. I get to go to weddings all the time and witness beautiful ceremonies where two people, madly in love, vow to care for one another for the rest of their lives! It really is such an amazing and heart-warming commitment. You'd think after seeing countless people get married I might be a little jaded by the whole thing, but I'm definitely not! I hope to witness many, many more weddings in my years to come. Personalized vows are always my favorite part because they give a deeper insight into the couple's relationship and their deep devotion to each other. Erin and Edgar's vows were SO sweet! They were thoughtful, funny and altogether beautifully said. I actually had tears in my eyes as I tried to see through my viewfinder to capture the precious moments. The whole day was really fabulous! From the venue, to the wedding party to the food and the epic dance party at the end of the night...it was such a pleasure to photograph this wedding! Which again, is why I'm so lucky. I get to work with great couples, see beautiful venues, witness constant smiles and laughter and go to a party nearly every weekend! I feel extremely blessed. Thank you Erin and Edgar for asking me to photograph your wedding day and entrusting me with these very special memories. It's all because of people like you that I can make this dream job a reality!
Shout outs to all the vendors!
Venue: Willow Heights Mansion Florals: Giselle Ribeiro of Deluxe, Design, Decor Caterer: The Grove Restaurant DJ or Entertainment: Justin Horrell from Willow Heights Mansion Photo Booth: Willow Heights Desserts: Kim Brandon from The Grove Restuarant Hair Artist: Charmaine Boyer from Sola Salon Studios Makeup Artist: Kim Baker