These holiday mini-sessions are SUCH a fun way to score some beautiful family photos at a fraction of the cost (and stress) of a full-length session. I schedule mini-session dates a couple times each year, near the holidays (November-ish) and in the spring/early summer (April/May).
I usually schedule mini-sessions at a park, where there is quick and easy access to a parking lot, and very predictable lighting all day long, so every family gets photos they love, regardless of what time slot they choose.
Though most people who participate in mini-sessions are families with young kids, that doesn't have to be the case... mini-sessions are for everyone!! Just got engaged and want to nab some engagement photos at a reasonable price? Want an economical option for senior portraits for your graduating high schooler? Just want a set of great photos of your growing kids? There are all sorts of reasons to schedule a mini-session. Just don't wait, because these time slots always fill up.
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These Prather kids... they seem to grow up right before my eyes! Especially the twins. It's so much fun to photograph this family as they grow and change and discover more about the world and one another. Each of these awesome kids is a tornado of energy and personality, and the last two are TWINS (which is, like, energy squared). When we planned the family's annual photos, we decided to try something new and head for the Santa Monica Pier on a Sunday evening in November.
Rather than work against the crowds, we decided to work with them, creating little oases of family connection in the midst of the bustle of the pier. Games, ice cream cones, climbing onto and over and through everything. I'll be honest: family photos at the Santa Monica Pier aren't for everyone. It's a little chaotic and at least two people will wind up in tears, usually at exactly the moment that everyone else is smiling. Someone will fall down, someone will wind up with chocolate all over his or her face. But if those are the photos you want (and if you scroll down you might decide those are exactly the photos you want), a set of family photos at the Santa Monica Pier just might be the wild circus ride you're looking for.
The Steinbacher family has a new baby in the house! Meet little Rhett, who arrived a few days early because he just couldn't wait to meet his big sister. We snapped these photos at home, with Rhett at 11 days old. Perfect timing for (mostly) sleepy snuggles with some open-eyed moments.
Photos at home are a great way to have newborn pictures made, because everyone is most comfortable and you have all the gear you need in case of a baby pee puddle. I recommend snapping newborn photos when Baby is 6-10 days old because newborn skin is still perfectly smooth with no breakouts (common with newborns).
Pepperdine University is a world-class institution nestled on the coast of Southern California. Students in Pepperdine's undergraduate and graduate programs may have sweeping ocean views, but it doesn't stop them from studying for the many rigors of their academic courses.
This photo shoot took place on campus at Pepperdine's Malibu campus and at various Malibu landmarks.
In a family of six, there are no fewer than 15 individual relationships (mom with each of the kids, dad each each of the kids, each of the kids with each other, and so forth). That's 15 ways to make one another laugh. Fifteen ways to know how to bug your sister. Fifteen ways to make mommy smile. Fifteen sets of memories, secret handshakes, hand-me-downs, nicknames and made up languages (or maybe that's just the twins).
What a beautiful morning this was, at Malibu Creek State Park, to snap shots of just a few of these moments and relationships between all the members of the amazing Jackson family.
Anneleise and Jai's Brea Community Center wedding photography was full of so much joy and anticipation, because this amazing couple's love for one another, solid friendship, and fiery chemistry is so evident in every moment of the day.
Together with their families, they planned a wedding day that included an impressive lineup of friends and family (live band during the ceremony what?) but maintained a day that was so totally them, and because of that I know they enjoyed their own party as much or more than any of their guests. Anneleise and Jai are devout Christians, so it would have made sense for them to include communion in their ceremony.... but why do something that makes sense?!? They opted to mix and share an Old Fashioned cocktail at the altar, as a symbol of the careful attention to detail that is essential in any successful marriage. At the end of their sunset ceremony, with all the twinkle lights switched on, they shared their first dance at the altar, accompanied to live music performed by the band of which Anneleise is a member (right?! How awesome are they!?)
For those of you planning a Brea Community Center wedding and wondering where to stage your pre-ceremony first look or family and/or wedding party photos, just around the corner from the community center is Craig Regional Park and it is a slam dunk with all kinds of dreamy trees, soft grasses, and plenty of space for uncluttered back drops. Trust me on this one.
The Horn family planned a beach vacation and thought ahead... to beach family photos! The Horns are expecting baby #2, a little sister for their son, and they are SO excited to welcome a new little one into the world.
We met at El Matador State Beach for some family and maternity photos, snapping a mix of candids and posed, laughing and connecting and appreciating the sunset as the sky turned gold and then pink and then blue.
As a photographer, I work with families, couples, and brands in Southern California. As a graphic and website designer, I work with rad companies and humans around the world.