Since tonight seems to be a night of confessions, I guess I should admit that these photos are even older than the last post. 8 months I want to say? And even more impactful than the last set, not only do these two now have a child, rather than the cute baby bump pictured below, they have a 7 month old….as in she is much closer to being a walking toddler than a newborn baby and I still haven’t blogged the maternity photos. Yikes. I really should stay more on top of this.
But again, in the spirit of honestly, I am just going to admit that sad fact and go with it. Here is how this blog post would have read, particularly if I posted it in a more timely manner.
At 30 yrs old it is no longer an odd thing for your friends to be having babies. In fact, at this point, it seems like the “in” thing to do. Kris and I seem to be the minority (just as we were when we were amongst the first of our friends to get married when I was just 24 yrs old) in holding off on having babies. What can I say? We’re just having to much fun with each other right now. But I digress. I will say, when it is your closest friends having a baby it is still huge news and a major adjustment (albeit an exciting one).
Jenn was my “big sis” in our sorority back at UCLA. As such, you can imagine we have had some fantastic times together. Much of those were centered around our love of snowboarding an our pact that we would never schedule ourselves with Friday classes during Winter quarter so we could take long weekends up to Mammoth. This is a perfect segue into one of my favorite pastimes, including an “oldie but goodie” photo. Here is a shot of the two of us on one of these trips to Mammoth. This particular one from the 2004 season (and I wish I could have found an older one, but that might have required the extra step of scanning an actual print, who does that anymore?).
Since I waited the greater part of a year to blog this session some of the details are fuzzy but I seem to recall I had to talk her in to doing a maternity shoot (as I have done with several friends). Having never been pregnant myself, I certainly don’t know what it feels like, particularly in the later stages. I know having a belly is not something we ladies are used to and the idea of taking photos in this state might seem uncomfortable. But I firmly believe that it is such a unique time in everyone’s life that it should be documented. I am pretty sure I always use the pitch, “worst case is you hate the photos and then you don’t ever have the share them, but at least you will have them.” I don’t think I have ever had a friend regret taking these maternity photos (unless they are lying to me, in which case, keep lying friends).
Jenn’s husband is a big-time fisherman (to put it lightly). I admit it has led to some friend jealously from me as her priorities shifted from our frequent snowboard trips to their frequent fishing trips. But I am never one to shy away from trying something new and he has successfully assisted me in catching fish (often times many fish, which I demand of course) every time we have joined them on a fishing trip, so I guess I’ll give him a pass. It is because of this longtime love of fishing and the ocean that I have to give him credit for selecting the location for our photo shoot. He suggested we take their photos at the Bolsa Chica Wetlands in Huntington Beach which I had never been to despite living so close. Let’s just say, it’s become one of my favorite local photo shoot locations. Well done Jonathan.
Enjoy the highlights below:
Thank you Jenn for trusting me enough to do a maternity photo shoot when you were unsure of the idea. Thank you Jonathan for helping me discover a new and fantastic photo shoot location right in my backyard. And Jonathan, I forgive you for taking my go-to snowboarding partner making her your lifetime fishing buddy.
What happens when your business picks up and you don’t know how to deal with it? First, you get incredibly excited and inspired at the amount of different photo sessions you have in front of you. Second, you take said photos and feel even more inspired by all the great material you have to work with. Third, you work tirelessly to turn around the edits of said photos to get them back to your clients in a reasonable time period. Fourth, you move on to the next shoot and repeat. As you can tell, I clearly have missed a very important step in this process, which is sharing with you all these wonderful photos. #Fail.
I could dwell on how far behind I am on this blog. I could backdate my entries to make it look like I was much more on top of my game than I actually am. Instead, I have decided to just be honest and let the cards “play how they lay” (a poker term I might add, have I mentioned I’m a big poker player/fan?).
This is a photo shoot from last July. Yes. I am that far behind. But let’s move on from that fact (and the fact that this child looks totally different and more grow up by now) and just enjoy the details of this shoot like it was yesterday. Here is how I would have wrote the entry:
It’s time for another session with the very handsome Mr. Liam Fyfe for his 1 year photos. Mama, Jenn, already had a vision for the photo shoot (which I love by the way, I am always open to new and fun ideas from my clients). We took the photos about a month in advance of his 1 year birthday because she wanted to use them for his birthday invitations. Jenn bakes for a living (true story) so it was only appropriate she would want to do a “cake smash” photo shoot for these 1 year photos.
Jenn made the beautiful and very color coordinated, cake herself (who doesn’t love the extra special nature of a personal touch like that). And then to top it all off, she knew she was doing a dinosaur theme for his birthday party so she styled him accordingly. If I remember correctly it was one of Dad, Bobby’s, family members who she enlisted to make the very creative (and freakin’ adorable) hat Liam wore for the shoot. No amount of description here will do it all justice so without further adieu, enjoy some of my favorite images from the shoot:
As always, thank you Jenn and Bobby for allowing me to help capture your memories. I think your child is spoiling me. He is just too handsome and comfortable in front of my camera. But I love it.
I love me a good theme. And this is not just a love within the realms of photography. In life I love a good theme. Theme parties. Holidays. Sports teams. Any reason to dress up or work within a defined theme always gets me excited.
When my good friend and client numero uno, Chelsea, came to me wanting to do a superhero themed shoot for her boys 1 and 3 yr old photos to go with their upcoming joint birthday party (their birthdays are just 1 day apart) my mind filled with ideas. Having seen a few superhero themed photo sessions from some of my favorite photographers I pulled a few inspiration images for her to get the kids outfits together and I got to brainstorming a location.
One of the shoots I used for inspiration came from DrewB Photography (blog entry of that shoot can be found here). I loved how the open field worked with the theme of the shoot, allowing her subject (her own son) to run around and really look the part of a superhero off to save the world. So with that Chelsea and I chose an open field near my home and went to work. As always she came prepared with her boys already decked out and with a few outfit changes so we got to shooting.
Almost 1 yr old Kai has a smile that just won’t quite and almost 3 yr old Nohl did not disappoint in the running around the open field department whenever we requested it. In fact at one point he got to running off with such vigor that Dad Paul had to show off his kickball-trained speed to chase him down before he dropped off a cliff. Yikes. Perhaps it was a defense mechanism because Mom Chelsea decided to have Nohl just rock superman undies for this part of the shoot. Too cute. Sorry Nohl, I know you will hate both of us for that when you are a teenager.
Per usual, here are a few of my favorites from the shoot:
…and last but not least, a shot of Nohl making a run for it. Paul is just out of frame about to take off to catch and save him from certain death. Obviously he succeeded.
I love repeat bookings. I love it because #1, it tells me they were happy with their previous photo sessions. Hooray! But #2, it gives me a chance to try something new with people I am familiar working with. My friend, and repeat client, Shanna called me wanting to book a family session. But this was not like the previous family session I had worked with her on for their holiday photos back in December. She wanted to do something bigger. She wanted to book a large family session that included her in-laws as well as a Mother’s Day gift to her Mother-in-Law in addition to sneaking in some “mommy and me” photos of just her and her daughter Vivian to give to her Mom for Mother’s day.
While I was excited about the shoot (who am I kidding, I am always excited about shoots) and at the challenge of working with a whole extended family, as I got closer to the shoot I realized this was going to be no small task. I find in my experience as you add one more person into a photo, capturing just the right image where everyone is happy with their expression, angles, etc, become exponentially harder. And we weren’t adding just one more person into this Brewer family session. We were adding 4 (Kevin’s Mom, Dad, Brother, & Sister) for a total of 7!
Shanna had clearly prepped everyone well for the shoot as by the time I arrived to our chosen location, Shaw’s Cove in Laguna Beach (one of my favorites) they were all ready to go and had their game faces on. We got a couple nice shots of the whole family and then played around with a couple different combinations to take advantage of the unique opportunity of having everyone together. Shanna had wanted to do this shoot for her Mother-in-Law as the last time they had all gotten together like this for nice photos had been at Kevin and Shanna’s wedding several years ago. And with the addition of little Viv it was clearly time for an update.
Enjoy some of my favorites from the session:
And lastly, I’ve said it before but I can’t emphasize it enough, always love a good series of candid photos. This one of Shanna, Viv, and Auntie Karolyn is no exception:
The only thing I love more than reconnecting with an old friend through this little photography endeavor is when said friend re-hires me for another photo shoot! It is easy for clients, particularly when they are friends, to say how beautiful the photos are or how much they love them when I first send them over, but when I know for sure they were happy is when they come back for more! It really makes my day.
It has been about 6 months since my last photo shoot with Jenn, Bobby, and their little man Liam. Like all little ones do, Liam has grown and changed so much since I last saw him. I could already tell what a handsome (and very photogenic) little man he was when I did his newborn photos back in October and this fact was proven again when we took his 6 month photos in Laguna Beach recently. He made that stinky kelp on the beach look good!
To top it all off, as if I wasn’t already sure the shoot was a success, I sat here forever struggling to narrow the images down to my standard 6 or so favorites for the blog entry. I loved them all!
Take a look at this expanded preview section and you will know what I mean:
…and just for comparison here is a look back on one of his newborn photos from just 6 months ago (I know, you parents are probably laughing at me, but us “Aunties” are always baffled at how quickly and how much the little ones change in such a short amount of time):
What do you do when your friend moves across the country to go to law school, meets a southern gentleman, falls in love, gets married, settles down, and starts a family? You hope that she comes home to visit her family on your coast frequently, and wait for airline miles to rack up and big events that demand you go visit yourself.
While I admit I suffer from a severe case of wanderlust, I honestly can’t say that Fuquay-Varina, a suburb outside of Raleigh, NC was on my short list of places to visit. The first event which called for such a visit was my when my friend Jen, AKA Tiger (I wish there was a cool story for the nickname, there isn’t, it’s just Jen is a very common name and to eliminate confusion with all the other Jens we know it is what her college friends decided to call her), got married in 2011.
After visiting her new home of North Carolina I can see why she stayed. First of all, it’s beautiful, and unlike Southern California, there is open space everywhere. Secondly, the food. There is a reason Paula Deen’s southern cooking is popular despite the uproar of how rich, fattening, and unhealthy it all is. It’s delicious. One word. Bojangles. Look it up. It became a my guilty pleasure. Mmmm. Biscuits. Thirdly, the people. Everyone just seems to be a lot nicer and more polite in North Carolina. I know those all sound cliche but I found them to all be so true in my limited experience visiting there.
A second visit was called for when she had her first baby, Benjamin Robert Russell Jackson (big southern gentleman’s name for such a little man), last October. There is only so much video chatting you can do with your friend showing off her new little man before you know you have to go visit and pinch his cheeks in person. It took until February to get the airline miles together and schedules lined up for a visit. It was worth the wait and worth the coast to coast trip.
Benjamin, or Benji, or “Tiger’s Cub,” as I prefer to call him, is his mama’s boy. What I mean by that is he loves to sleep and can sleep anywhere and anytime. I know what you’re thinking, “he’s a baby, of course he sleeps.” No, seriously, he sleeps like a champ, anywhere and anytime and for long periods of time, unlike any baby I have ever seen. It is incredible. But mama always loved her sleep so it must be in the genes (Dad’s been know to nap it out like a pro when he has the time as well). Benji looks a lot like Dad Matt, and already has a slew of lady-killin’ looks down. Per usual, I had to stick my camera in his face for a little mini-session to catch some of these adorable and flirtatious looks. Enjoy the highlights:
And who doesn’t love them some loooooooong baby eyelashes: