Family Photography Matters | Mountain View Family Photographer by Sharon Kenney

One of my favorite things about family photography is watching families grow over the years. I want all of my families to have a memory of exactly what their family was like at an exact moment in time. I would love to capture these memories for your family this year.

Making Memories

This is the second time I've gotten to spend time with Deborah and her family for a photography session. I couldn’t believe how much they’ve grown since our first session together. Their son was just a toddler at the time, barely walking without holding his dad’s hand. And their daughter, who was just finishing up preschool, is now growing into a thoughtful, kind and smart big kid.

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The Little Moments

As a parent myself, I can't quite believe how fast the moments that you swear you'll never forget start to slip away. Siblings holding hands and giggling together. A dirty little hand holding rocks. Snuggling in dad’s arms. Whispering in mom’s ear. When I think of my favorite memories, it’s always the little moments and small details that make my heart full.

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A Summer Evening at the Park| Mountain View Family Photographer by Sharon Kenney

I first met Michelle and her sweet family last fall for our first photography session together. I was thrilled to shoot another session for them again this year.

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At Home Portraits

We started off the evening at their home. This session was just a few days before they moved from the Bay Area to the East Coast. We did a short shoot in front of their home and included the family dogs, Sandy and Reese. I was more than happy to love on these sweet dogs a little bit.

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sharon kenney family photography mountain view girl portrait

Off to the Park!

We headed off to their neighborhood park here in Mountain View. They had done some previous family sessions at this location, so it was a nice way to wrap up their time in the area. My own family used to live in the same neighborhood, just a few blocks away, so heading to this park brought back a flood of memories for me. Both of my kids were born in this neighborhood, and we spent a ton of time here when they were babies and toddlers. It was great to see it again, and especially to see it hold special meaning for another family too.

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Time to Play!

I structure my sessions to leave lots of time and space to play, explore and relax. I want my sessions to be a way for families to connect with each other and spend time together. What better way to do that than through play? We ended our session with the girls swinging, climbing, and showing off their crazy good monkey bar skills.

 

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Dads Are Awesome! | Bay Area Family Photographer by Sharon Kenney

Over the years I’ve been photographing families, I’ve seen lots of tips about “how to handle dads.” There’s an assumption that dads have been cajoled into a family photo session by their wives and would rather be anywhere else.

I disagree.

Maybe I’ve just gotten lucky, but most of the families that I work with have some pretty amazing dads - dads that are absolutely on board with doing a fun family photography session.

I’ll never ask dads (or anyone in the family, for that matter) to sit stiffly and awkwardly smile for me. I love to photograph dads doing what they do best - playing with their kids, being silly with their kids, and laughing with their families. That’s all I ask - just love your people, have fun with them, connect with them… and try to forget that the woman with the giant camera is there. ;)

In honor of Father’s Day, here are some of my favorite “dad photos” from this past year.

And I can’t forget my all-time favorite dad (hint: I married him)!

Preschool Birthday Portraits | Mountain View Family Photographer by Sharon Kenney

I was so happy to take Ritisha’s portraits for her 4th birthday! She has gone to preschool with my son since they were two years old. It's been so much fun to watch her grow from a shy toddler in the two-year-old class into an outgoing, confident big kid about to take on her final year of preschool. (It happens so fast, doesn’t it?!) Just look at how adorable she is in her gorgeous red dress! 

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The Setting: Cuesta Park, Mountain View

We met for a golden hour session at Cuesta Park in Mountain View. Cuesta Park is one of my favorite local parks for photography sessions. It gets beautiful light in the evening, and there is an array of magical spots throughout the park that let me give each session a variety of different looks.

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Photographing Preschoolers

Parents sometimes worry that their young children won’t sit still for photos or won’t look at the camera. I say... the more movement the better! We’ll run, jump, twirl and play - which are all great ways to get lovely, playful portraits that capture a child’s true personality. (Plus, I have lots of tricks up my sleeve for active children - that may or may not include fart jokes. ;)

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sharon kenney family photography mountain view preschool portrait
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Golden Hour at the Lake | San Francisco Bay Area Family Photographer by Sharon Kenney

I absolutely loved meeting Vimala and her family this year! We got together for a fun, late afternoon photo shoot in November. The golden hour (the hour prior to sunset - my favorite time for a shoot) was gorgeous that day. The kids were absolutely adorable and tons of fun. Toddlers and preschoolers are my favorite age to photograph. They always make me work hard for it, and these two were no exception. But it's so worth it to freeze the fun-loving, silly, free spirited-ness that comes with this age. It was also great connecting with another creative, business-owning mom of little kids (hmm... sound familiar?) during our shoot. (By the way, check out Bentoganics to see Vimala's delightful bento box lunches!). 

Here are some of my favorite images from their session at Shoreline Lake in Mountain View - a popular spot for my fall family sessions this year. Enjoy! 

A Crisp Afternoon in the Redwoods | San Francisco Bay Area Family Photographer by Sharon Kenney

I always love when I get to meet a new family, and meeting Kristin and Dustin and their family was no exception. I was honored to do their family photos as a new family of four. Baby Quentin, adorable and cute as can be, was newly 12 weeks old. My kids are past the baby stage, so I loved getting a little bit of baby time with him. Big sister Grace was so sweet and caring to him - I loved seeing their bond. We spent time exploring Redwood Grove in Los Altos, one of my favorite local spots. It's full of redwood trees and greenery (and sometimes a creek, depending on how much rain we've had). 

Here are some of my favorite shots from their session. Enjoy! 

A Fall Afternoon in the Park | San Francisco Bay Area Family Photographer by Sharon Kenney

I just love family sessions during the Fall season. Here in Northern California, our weather stays warm and summer-like through most of October. November afternoons are crisp and full of golden light. This sweet family and I spent a lovely afternoon at Cuesta Park - one of my favorite locations right here in Mountain View. Cuesta Park is full of redwood trees, green grass, and one of the best playgrounds in the area. Adjacent to the park is the Cuesta Park Annex - a lovely open space full of oak trees. 

Here are some of my favorite images from our silly, playful, mid-November session. 

A Fun Afternoon at the Lake | San Francisco Bay Area Family Photographer by Sharon Kenney

I've known this family for several years, and it's been a blast watching their three sons grow. I just love photographing them - they are loving, hilarious, silly and adventurous. 

For this session, we spent a fun afternoon at our local lake. We explored, found lots of rocks and sticks, threw rocks in the water, ate gummies and laughed a ton. Their oldest son had so many fun ideas for how to pose with his brothers. I'm pretty sure he's got a future as an artistic director. :)

Here are some of my favorite images from our time together. 

Six Years Later - The P Family | San Francisco Bay Area Family Photographer by Sharon Kenney

Back when I was first learning about photography, right after my daughter was born, I convinced a good friend to let me shoot some photos of her newborn son. I had an entry-level camera, a kit lens, and not really any clue what I was doing. I was also pretty sleep-deprived, having a newborn of my own at home. I tried the best I could at the time, but the pictures were... not great, if we're being totally honest.

But that shoot ignited the spark that is my love of family photography. What I got from that experience is that, if I wanted to take my passion seriously, then I needed to study and learn and challenge myself in order to grow. 

Fast forward six years... what was once an experiment is now a growing business. I was thrilled when this same friend asked to become an actual client. It was a joy to photograph this family that I have loved for so many years. And to get photos of the little boy that was my first-ever newborn shoot. 

The RT Family | San Francisco Bay Area Family Photographer by Sharon Kenney

This session was really special to me. I did their maternity photos last summer, but this was the first shoot we've done with them being a family of three. I was so excited to meet their baby girl. She is soooo cute and full of personality. She'll celebrate her first birthday in just a few weeks! My own kids are past the baby stage, so I'll take any chance I get to love on a sweet baby. :)

The P Family | San Francisco Bay Area Family Photographer by Sharon Kenney

I had such a fun time with this local family! We scheduled a family session that included the boys' grandfather, who was visiting from Australia. I felt so welcomed and honored to be invited into their home. Some children are shy at first, especially in front of the camera. But the boys were wonderful hosts, and immediately pulled me outside to meet their dog, see their garden and tell me about all of the veggies they were growing. This session was the fantastic end to a lovely Bay Area spring weekend. :)

A Morning with the Grandparents | San Francisco Bay Area Family Photographer by Sharon Kenney

I was so excited to do a session for this family, especially because we got to include the grandparents! We've had an incredibly stormy and rainy winter here in the Bay Area (so long, California drought!), and the date for our shoot came right in the middle of a wave of storms. We crossed our fingers, hoped for the best, and luckily... got a fantastic morning!

A Favorite Family | San Francisco Bay Area Family Photographer by Sharon Kenney

I was so happy to photograph Jeff and Lesley and their sweet boys again at the end of last year. They were one of my first ever clients four years ago (not to mention being awesome friends)! It has been such a joy to photograph their growing family over the years. This year, we luckily got a break in the Northern California rain, so we headed out for a fun late afternoon shoot. 

A Late Summer Family Session | San Francisco Bay Area Family Photographer by Sharon Kenney

It's so much fun to shoot photographer friends! I had a great time doing a family shoot for my friend (and fellow photographer!) Deborah and her sweet family. We spent a lovely evening just before sunset at Cuesta Park in Mountain View. It was a great excuse to let the kids stay up a little bit late, and inspired us to get our families together for a dinner picnic. 

Side note - Deborah is an awesome photographer. She shot my son's birthday party over the summer, and gave us some of my favorite photos ever of my own family. 

Rea & Richie's Maternity Session | San Francisco Bay Area Family Photographer by Sharon Kenney

I got behind on blogging this summer, but I wanted to share Rea and Richie's maternity session from earlier this summer. We had so much fun spending time together during the shoot. Rea was gorgeous and positively glowing. Their sweet baby girl was born a few weeks ago (that's how behind I am on the blog...)!

Meet Baby Chloe | San Francisco Bay Area Family Photographer by Sharon Kenney

Photographing a new baby is always special, but Chloe's shoot was extra special, as her mom has been a dear friend of mine for over fifteen years. Not only was I so excited to meet this sweet girl, but I was so honored that her parents trusted me to take her newborn photos. You're an absolute gem, Chloe - and I can't wait to watch you grow!