Lifestyle Photography

Authentically Fun Family Photography | Bay Area Family Photographer

I laughed so hard during this session at a local park here in Mountain View. Give me a family with a toddler, a preschooler, and an elementary schooler - and I’m in my element. The more active they are, the better! (And that’s why you’ll always find me wearing sneakers during family shoots.)

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I know that most parents worry that their kids will act crazy and silly during our photo session. And the truth is… they probably will. I speak from experience with my own kids. But that’s ok! As a storyteller, I never ask or pressure kids to be anything other than authentically themselves. If your kids want to run around during the shoot? No big deal - that’s how I’ll shoot them. And I’ll probably ask the parents to run around too. If they want to climb on Dad? The higher the better, and Dad should get ready to swing them around and toss them in the air, too.

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I’ve got lots of kid-tested-and-approved tricks (and let’s be honest, a fart joke or two) to turn the craziness into magic. Trust me, and we will get GREAT photos that capture your family’s real vibe. I want to give you photos that reflect who you and your kids really are - not a stiff posed portrait with fake, awkward smiles.

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Here are some of my favorite images from Theresa and Vince’s family session. They were such a fun bunch!

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A Growing Family Session | Bay Area Family Photographer

This is the fourth time I’ve been lucky to photograph Rea, Richie and their (growing!) family. Our first shoot together was when Rea was expecting their older daughter, and now that little girl is about to become a big sister in just a few weeks.

I love watching families grow over the years. As a parent myself, I know how the days with babies and toddlers can feel long and short at the same time. Kids grow and change so quickly. I want my families to have the pictures that help them remember what they felt at each stage in their lives.

Congrats Rea and Richie - I can’t wait to meet your new arrival!

Here are some of my favorite images from their session.

A Cozy Afternoon at Home | Bay Area Family Photographer

I started doing in-home family photography sessions this past year, and I just love them! It’s so special to be invited into a family’s comfortable space to document their lives. While epic outdoor locations can be amazing for photographs, to me, there is no location more meaningful than the place where a family lives all of their everyday moments.

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Lesley and Jeff were some of my first clients. I have loved capturing their family and their boys throughout the years. They moved into a new (gorgeous!) home this year, so we celebrated that with a comfortable lazy afternoon at home. When energy started running high (see: the bed jumping photos), we got outside into their neighborhood to explore, laugh and run around.

Here is a peek at some of my favorites from this session.

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A Playful Family Afternoon | Bay Area Family Photographer

Every family is different, so every family photo session should have it’s own unique feel! My goal as a photographer is to have each session reflect a family’s true personality and character. I start off with a pre-session questionnaire to start getting to know the family. Then we work together to pick a location. There are a few things I look for when picking a location:

  • It should be meaningful to the family in some way.

  • It should have a variety of settings so that the family will have a diverse image gallery.

  • It should be a great backdrop for a fun family activity.

I loved photographing Clare and Philippe’s family earlier this fall. We chose their neighborhood park, which was perfect for a casual, relaxed vibe. The family rode their bikes over, which set the tone perfectly. We explored the park, rode bicycles, and played on the playground. I loved capturing a typical, playful afternoon with their family.

Here is a peek at some of my favorites from this session.

Splashing on a Rainy Day | Bay Area Family Photographer

I had so much fun photographing Devon and Ken’s family in November. This was a session that almost didn’t happen. We had to reschedule it twice due to the bad air quality from the horrible wildfires here in Northern California. We were so happy to finally get some much needed rain, and we certainly weren’t going to let that stop us from having our session.

So we decided to embrace it. We threw on rain boots, rain jackets, and got outside, just as the sun came out, to make some rainy day magic. I love photographing when it’s wet out. The air feels fresh and clear, the light is pretty, and the colors are typically bold and vibrant.

Family sessions are best when we play, explore, and have a bit of adventure. I love when families trust my vision and aren’t afraid to get silly (a little bit wet!) in the interest of making some great, memorable images. And who doesn’t love jumping in puddles?

Here is a peek at some of my favorite images from this session.

Photographing Toddlers | Bay Area Family Photographer

I dig two-year-olds. It’s one of my favorite ages to photograph. I’ve got lots of toddler tested and approved tricks, but two-year-olds absolutely make you work for it. Just see how sweaty and tired I am at the end of a session with toddlers! I like to give them the space be themselves, explore, and get comfortable with me and my camera. I will always follow their lead and never pressure them to do anything other than be authentically themselves. Stuffed animals and lovies (or even mom’s car keys!) are always welcome. Once we get in a groove with each other, magic happens.

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As a parent of little kids myself, I know how endlessly exhausting days with a two-year-old can feel. But those moments are also fleeting, and before you know it… your two-year-old is taller, leaner, off to kindergarten, and a full-fledged big kid. I want to stop time for my families so they always remember how they felt and what they were like at this stage in their lives.

This is the third time I’ve photographed Rea and Richie and their family. I first photographed them when they were expecting their daughter, then again shortly before her first birthday, and now as she is an active, adorable toddler. Take a look at some of my favorites from this session.

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What to Wear for Your Family Photo Session

The most common question I get from the families that I photograph is “What should we wear for our session?” Here is my best advice for how to dress for your upcoming family photography session with me.

Be Yourself!

My most important piece of advice is to be the best versions of your everyday selves. Don’t feel like you need to morph yourselves into something you saw on Pinterest. I am capturing memories of YOUR family - as you are at this moment in time. Be perfectly yourselves, and I will show you that your family is perfectly beautiful, exactly as you are.

Dress as you normally would, wear what you’re comfortable in, and look like yourselves. If you’re jeans-and-boots people, wear your favorite jeans and best boots. Like to dress up? Rock a fab dress. Some of my favorite family sessions feature bare feet, shorts, and flip-flops.

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Above all else, it's most important that you feel comfortable and feel like yourselves. If you feel uncomfortable, you will look uncomfortable, and that will come through in your photos. So don’t stress about your outfits! Just go for the best version of your everyday, natural look.

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Specific Tips on What to Wear

  • Don't worry about having "matching" outfits. Gone are the days of awkward family photos with everyone in the family wearing matching denim and button down shirts.

  • While not matching, you definitely want your family’s outfits to coordinate. I suggest picking 2-3 colors in the same family that are flattering for all of you, and working those in. Some good examples of color combinations are: blue-purple-gray, brown-tan-red-denim, green-navy-white, blue-khaki-yellow, etc.

  • Classic styles and combos are best. Solid colors and simple patterns work great. Try to avoid anything super-trendy that may look dated in a few years.

  • My family sessions involve a lot of movement. I’ll ask you to walk, sit down, play with your kids, and maybe even dance a little. Choose clothing that you can easily move around in. If you choose to include skirts or dresses in your clothing choices, I recommend full skirts that will allow for movement.

  • Please avoid all-white shirts and/or pants (unless you're wearing a white shirt with a sweater over it, or a similar look.)

  • Please avoid any clothes that have logos, writing or characters on them.

  • Avoid scruffy, dirty sneakers, if possible. (Not always possible with active kids, I know!)

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Questions?

If you have specific questions, please email me. I’m always happy to review outfit choices or make family-specific recommendations.

Family Photography Matters | Mountain View Family Photographer

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

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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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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Golden Hour at the Lake | San Francisco Bay Area Family Photographer

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

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

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

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

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. 

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

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!