Welcome to the world Zara!! This birth was so special because it's my FIRST ever (other than my own, which I don't remember) that I've been in the room for. Mama Rina has been a friend of mine for years and as their family has grown, I've photographed baby bumps and kiddos and cuddles, so I was SO honored when she asked me if I would be willing to photograph the moments of Zara's birth. I jumped for joy and quickly cancelled everything in my social calendar for her due date week.
And then the full moon came and it was Father's Day and pretty much all the stars aligned for Zara to come into the world a few minutes after midnight on June 17th. I've never experienced something so earthy and heavenly at the same time. I couldn't stop talking about it for the next week.
Enjoy clicking through Zara's birth photos (or at least the ones that are G-rated enough to be online!)
How ultra-fitting that Malibu burst into a riot of green regrowth and bright yellow wild flowers in the months after the Woolsey Fire, right around the time Maile's belly is bursting with the life of the Arroyo's first son. Baby Apollo, you're going to be a legend.
A quick foggy fall session at El Matador with the Kurtz family, which recently acquired a new member!
What a delightful afternoon: perfect springtime light, tipping shades of gold over the crests and hillsides of Malibu's coastline, plus a family of three-almost-four in a sweet season of expectation and excitement. The Mancuso family—Brad, Liz (8 months along with new baby), and soon-to-be-big-brother Justus—and I spent an hour exploring one of my favorite hillsides up Corral Canyon in Malibu. With dizzying ocean views, soft grasses most of the year, and the glowing depths of the canyon behind us, everywhere we turned was a frame-worthy portrait backdrop. Add to that little Justus stealing the camera show, and a little magic was bound to happen.
Wow wow wow, this is magic. With a little one turning two, a new baby on the way, and so much love to share, the Zachary family showed up on this windy hillside in Malibu with all the smiles, snuggles, and nose kisses.
This Corral Canyon location has it all: sweeping ocean views, golden hillside, canyon backdrop, and all pretty much hidden from roads (and people for that matter).
Little did we know, less than a week later after these photos were taken, new baby Zachary was with us earthside. Like I said.... magic.
I've said it before and I'll say it again:
I. Love. At home. Photo shoots.
And here's why:
1. It's part portrait sitting and part photojournalism. As you can see, some of these photos are posed and Christmas-card or frame-worthy. Cool. Totally what most people want for family photos. BUT, lots of these photos are the "in-between" kinds of moments. The snacks on the kitchen floor. The diaper changing and "Let me show you my room!" kinds of scenes that only happen when kiddos are comfortable in their own space. You don't get stuff like this at a park or at the beach. This is magic, and it only happens at home.
2. It's a time capsule. Not only will you have photos of your little looking the way they do today, but you'll have a snapshot of your whole space. Years down the road, these frames will trigger a whole host of memories, from "Oh, I remember that painting!" to "Look how small the trees are," to "Whoa that was before the remodel!" These photos aren't in a sterile studio or impersonal park; they're in your home.
3. Everyone is way more comfortable. You. Your kids. Me. Your pets. No one is going to get a parking ticket. No one has to hike to the "shoot location." No one is worried about random strangers in the background. It's just all you, your family, and your love, in your space. So kick your feet up onto the couch. Take a break to nurse your child. Change your outfit if you're feeling it—because you can!
A mini sesh as sweet as Guine and Urundi's mini me, Gabrielle. We may have gotten lucky with a knockout sunset, but even if we hadn't, I'm sure Gabrielle's giggles would have lit up the sky.
I'm the youngest in a family of six, so hanging out with the Jackson family always hits a special little heartstring. It's fun for me to imagine my own family being at this stage (because I definitely don't remember it) and also so see another family of six who is a stand for big love, big laughter, big hugs and cuddles, and always says yes to adventure.... like walking down 900+ stairs to the beach, then all the way back up to the clifftop like champs.
I think you have to have a pretty warm heart to endure a blustery, down right chilly afternoon portrait session at Zuma Beach in November. Mind you, "chilly" in Southern California should always be taken with a grain of salt, but Mike, Stephanie, and little Mila brought all the cuddles and snuggles, despite the stormy seas.... and these photos are even better because of that.
What a wonderful time of year to be celebrating family and a new baby, on the way in the spring!
I've been loving these at-home shoots lately, even and especially when there's a newborn in the mix. There's nothing like taking a few minutes to freeze time, especially when it feels like it all moves way too fast.
I live in Malibu, Calif.,