Posts in Family
Family Photography Session

San Diego Family Photographer

While I love family photography at the beach! I also love exploring and heading off to adventurous locations and having your family portrait session in a place that fits your family. These lovely little humans with Mama and Papa are avid climbers and low-key ninjas that can travel straight up a cliff before I can even get my camera on!

For this Family Session we travelled to their natural habitat and took a combination of formal portraits and lifestyle photographs. I remember this day was extremely bright and also the sky was extremely gorgeous. It was the bluest of blues, and prompted me to tell them a story about how one day a couple years ago, I was driving along and noticed the sky was an incredible shade of deep blue. It reminded me of a story my Mother told me, about how blue the sky was when she was growing up and how different it looks now. Well, I was thinking this must be the blue she was talking about! So, I went on with my day and didn’t think anything else of it. A couple months later I happened onto an online article about a atmospheric storm that had happened over India a couple months back, and I found it really interesting. Several hours after I should have been asleep, I had found that what caused the extremely blue sky that day was the geomagnetic storm over India! WOW….How cool was that! Anyhow, I told them this story and about how we may be having a geomagnetic storm somewhere and then we kinda left it at that.

(I’ll get back to more on that later)

Before, I get anymore sidetracked, please take a look at these recent photos from our Family Portrait Session!

One of the best things about being a family photographer is that I get to hang out with kids all day! In the photo above, they found some fossils and told me all about them!

 

(back to the blue sky story)

So, a couple weeks after our family session, my curiosity got the best of me and I googled “recent geomagnetic storms” and sure enough there had been a huge burst that was heading our way from the Sun and had reached Earth early that morning before the Session! How amazing is that?

(…okay, I’ll get back to the family)

There are some family’s that you meet and you just can’t forget them! It’s like wonderful souls finding each other and you know that someone you’ll always stay connected. I hope I get to see them again next year for another family session!

The desert is definitely an interesting environment and one that you should definitely consider if you and your family likes to hike and travel to some truly amazing locations in the Southwest.

In the picture above, it was the only shade we could find to squeeze into. And, they still rocked it!

Whether you’re looking for a formal or lifestyle family session, I got you covered. If you only need Children’s Portraits, I got you covered there too! If you’re not looking to book yet, scroll all the way down and Subscribe to keep in touch!

What To Wear: Summer and Fall Family Portraits

San Diego Portrait and Family Photographer

It’s humid. It’s hot outside. Like Death Valley hot when you don’t have an A/C in San Diego. Yes, I’m being a little dramatic. And if this Summer is anything like last Summer here in SoCal then I deserve to whine about it just a little bit. Other times it gets chilly in the mornings and evenings, so what then?

But photography-wise, fear not! Here are some cool wardrobe tips for you and your family in order to make sure your Summer Portrait Session is lit, er, I mean, ice cold:

  • Try to wear light-weight fabrics that let your body breath, but still look polished. It’s definitely okay to show some skin, too. Shorts work for those blessed in the leg department and thin maxi wraps are a favorite of mine. Linen will wrinkle and doesn’t travel well, so try to avoid it!

  • Ride the Summer accessory wave. I’m talking sunnies and hats for you ladies and gents and personal fans are nothing to be embarrassed about.

  • Bring summer-appropriate props. You can even use them to compliment your wardrobe. Summer is a time to let loose and have fun! Maybe it’s a beach ball, a pool floatie, a lollipop, a popsicle, or messy ice cream cone. The colder, the better.

  • Select shoes that are comfy and give Summer vibes. Flip flops are my personal fave but open-toed anything, and even barefoot on the beach is the best!

Here are a few ideas for hot Summers and cooler Falls on individual outfits that coordinate well together!

First, I’ll start with Mama, as I recommend beginning by selecting a choice and color that feels the most comfortable and building the rest of the outfits from there.

What To Wear Ideas for Mom | San Diego, CA

Here are a few What To Wear options for Dad too: I know it’s hot in the Summer and nice shorts and a button up will look perfect! Great Fitting Jeans and button up Dress Shirts in the Fall are what I recommend the most!

What To Wear for the masculine gender and non-genders in your Family Photos!

Next up, let’s take a look at how to dress your boys: You can go as easy or as complex as you like here, as toddlers look super cute in overalls or suspenders and bowties! If we are planning a Session on the Beach, barefoot is the way to go!

What To Wear for Family Photos for the Boys!

Last but not least, let’s consider the little girls in your life: Feel free to add fun stuff for them in layers. Such as a tutu and fairy wings over their main outfit!

What To Wear for girls in your family photos on the beach or inland!

These style can all be mixed and matched and colors can be nearly anything! They shouldn’t be matchy matchy, they just need to go together. I never suggest prints right away but they can be done if worn properly! You might be wondering, why no prints? Large prints actually make you look larger in your photos. Small prints can also cause too much distraction against the landscape if not planned properly on my end.

Apart from clashing with the landscape they can also distract from your faces and your emotions that come through when your interacting with one another. But what if I love prints and have my heart set on a floral dress? We can make it work! Text over the choices you’re considering and I will find a way to make sure you look the best you can!

Here are some Summer related tips to consider when planning your Session, here.

I hope this helps! And until next time….

With Love and Light,

Heather

10 Best Tips: Summer Family Portraits

San Diego Family Photographer

After relocating from 5 plus years in the Desert, I’m always prepared for Summer, but are you? Here are ten tips to help make sure your Summer Portrait Session goes off without a hitch.

1. Dress appropriately. Summer means hot and humid weather, which can lead to sticky hair, sticky clothes, and sticky bodies. Choose breathable, lightweight fabrics that don't weigh you down. Breezy dresses work well for any location. As for shoes, sandals are a great option.

2. Think about head to toe details. If you are planning to be on the beach, you will be barefoot most of the time. When showing your toes, you’ll want to have manicured feet. They don’t have to be perfect, but a little attention to your toes, goes a long way. If it's a windy day, a hat or scarf can really keep things under control.

3. Extra consideration for your hair. If you or a family member's hair reacts to humidity in a negative way, go for a hairstyle that doesn’t leave you feeling insecure throughout the shoot. A simple braid can help keep your curls intact until we begin shooting. You can wear a headscarf as well to help keep frizz away as well. As the Session progresses, hair will eventually become the last of your worries, and we will get great shots even if it’s super windy or your hair goes fro.

4. Pack necessities. When packing for your Session, I recommend bringing the following: Plenty of water (more water than you think you need), a healthy snack such as almonds, a scarf to cover your shoulders and face, an umbrella or hat if needed for shade, face powder and lipstick for touch up. Please avoid sunscreen and any SPF products as they reflect light and will affect your photos. You won’t want to burn during your Session either, so your scarf or umbrella will help with this and we will take as many breaks as we can in the shade.

5. Be creative. Summer has so many seasonal activities that lend themselves to create fun and interesting photo sessions. For example, there's the San Diego County Fair, Summer markets, San Diego Zoo, festivals, outdoor events, farmers markets, San Diego Night Market, and plenty more. I’m more than excited to create your photos in front of the ferris wheel, riding a carousel, or browsing the farmers market.

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6. I don’t want you to overheat. If this year is anything like last year, we are in for a heat wave. Sometimes it's hard to move a muscle when the sun is scorching outside, but no matter what mother nature throws our way, we're going to have an amazing shoot. We'll spend all the time we can in the shade, dash into some A/C when possible, and I will never push it. A hand spray bottle that has a fan can work miracles on a hot day. Throw some ice in it and it is truly amazing.

I once had a two hour Session near Palm Springs in 124 degree weather and that didn’t include humidity which was extremely high. We took breaks every two minutes and ice water was our best friend. I’ve been through extreme weather and will help you prepare for any condition.

7. Incorporate props. The outdoors during the Summer is not only the time to soak up that Vitamin D, it also works for enjoying a few Summertime props into your shoot. Visually striking treats and goodies such as lollipops, ice cream cones, cotton candy, hot dogs, funnel cakes, ice pops, sparklers, and, well you get the picture. These delicious treats can be used towards the end of the shoot, so that are more free to mess up your makeup and wardrobe a little bit.

8. Consider the Crowds. Summertime, especially in San Diego, lends to large Summer crowds at the beach and around town. More remote beaches work wonderfully to avoid a huge crowd. Also some neighborhoods and parks have markets and festivals, that draw in huge crowds. Don’t worry too much though because your photographer will be able to help you navigate and find your best options to consider.

9. Book Early. Personally, I get many families who book their Summer Sessions 3-6 or even 12 months in advance. Weekends go first and so do Sunset Sessions. If you plan early enough, you can get your ideal location and time and even have time to plan out more fun and adventurous sessions. More and more National Parks are requiring permit lotteries and longer wait times. So, with proper planning, you won’t be let down when a permit can no longer be attained.

And last but not least…


10. Try to avoid Weekends. Weekends are the busiest. It usually isn’t as fun doing a Session on the weekend because parking can be a pain in the you know what and the crowds are at their peak. Even inland, people are out and about everywhere. Last year, the lines never seemed to let up! Now, while Summer is great for Mojitos on the rooftop patio, it isn’t ideal for carrying a heavy child on your hip and keeping your eyeliner in place while fighting the crowds. Weekdays are ideal for your Session and more areas will be accessible as opposed to special events on the weekends. What if it can’t be avoided? That’s okay, we’ll make it work!

Now that you know what to consider, let’s look at coordinating suggestions here.

Outdoor Family Portraits

San Diego Outdoor Family Photographer

One of my favorite things that having so many years of experience behind the lens allows me to do, is go back and forth during the week between Weddings and Portraits. It’s so special to me to be able to follow my family’s from their engagement portraits to their wedding day on to their maternity, then their newborn lifestyle sessions, and then I get to see the families grow and the children get bigger and bigger. We become a sort of family and I learn exactly how to make their experience better and get them what I know they will want. This wasn’t something I was able to do when I first started out all those years ago.

I think it’s pretty rad that I’m able to experience everything from a first kiss as a married couple to baby’s first steps and before you know it, the babies are running around and I’m chasing them getting in some fun candid photos.  

Recently, I was able to find not only an amazing family that had so much love bursting at the seams but one that shared with me a wonderful experience in so many ways. Mama was raising some happy and truly awesome kids and we decided that their Family Portraits would be perfect on a farm. Not any farm...this farm had animals. It’s called Forever and Always Farm. Tucked away in the hills outside of Murrieta is a wonderful family that runs a wonderful farm. There were several new baby lambs due at the end of January and so we scheduled our day and crossed our fingers! There were six baby lambs that were just a couple of days old when we arrived and we were lucky enough to get a short break from the rain! Thank You sun Gods!

Not only were the baby lambs as precious as you can imagine, but there were some awesome Alpacas, plenty of chickens, mama lambs, and a loyal dog to keep them all in order. The kids had never met these animals before and it was so exciting to be able to pet them and watch them play together. Check out the Venue here.

Take a look at some of the fun we had at this farm outside of San Diego! 

I wanted to play around a little with this first portrait and ad some film scratches. I think it turned out great! It reminds me of being back in the 90’s growing up.

Child Portrait with baby lamb in San Diego
Two Baby Lambs at San Diego Farm
Girl with Baby Lamb taking Family Portraits in San Diego

It turns out one of the baby lambs had white eyes which is rare!  You can see it pretty clearly in the first and second pictures - and in the following photo its the lamb on the right.

Lifestyle Child Portrait with two baby lambs in San Diego
Family Portrait of Child in San Diego

The cutest baby boy with rosy little cheeks!

Family Portrait Location in San Diego on a Farm
Child in Family Portraits in San Diego
Baby Lamb at Forever and Always Farm near San Diego
Childrens Portraits in San Diego
Child Photographer in San Diego
Family Portraits in San Diego
Forever and Always Farm Display

Definitely the cutest kids ever! Make sure to include suspenders if you can ;)

For Animal and Flower Farm Family Portrait Sessions, Spring is best but there are plenty of great opportunities to take advantage of year round. 

Check out Forever & Always Farm for Wedding and Family Portrait Bookings if you’re in Southern California!  

 
Newborn Photography Questions

San Diego Lifestyle Newborn Photographer

Newborn Photography Sessions are a beautiful thing. Especially from a newborn lifestyle photographer.

Having a newborn baby is such a life-changing moment that it will make you realize your true capacity for love. Time is fleeting and they grow up so quickly. Naturally, recording those first few days entering this world is something you want, but how do you go about finding a photographer? How do you prepare for a Portrait Session with your newborn & family when the last thing you feel yourself, is pretty? Many of you have found this post because you are trying to find answers to some of the common and not so common questions you may have about your Newborn Picture needs. Here is some useful information that will hopefully answer most of your questions when you are considering hiring a photographer!

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Newborn Photography Sessions should be scheduled within the first 10 days of life. There are several reasons for this, so it’s important that unless you have unplanned circumstances involving the baby’s health that you schedule your Newborn Photos within that 10 day window. Newborn Sessions can be done after 10 days but many photographers may decline booking a Session after those 10 days, so if this is a possibility, you should definitely ask your photographer what their policy is.

Typically, there are two options for the actual photos. One option is a Studio Session where your baby will be posed. You can travel to a studio or many photographers will come to you and setup everything in your home. Babies are usually placed in an arranged setup that more often than not include a basket of some kind. You will also get shots of them posed on pillows. They may be wrapped or naked, but usually both. (Think Anne Geddes). The next option you have is a Lifestyle Session. This will be a Session held in your home and will include your family interacting with your new baby. 

One of the biggest concerns I hear from new Mama’s is that they are worried about someone coming over after their newborn has just come home and while their home is a mess and they aren’t feeling confident or pretty. If that is something that has crossed your mind, I want you to know that your photographer is not judging you. We have all been there and guess what? You just had a baby! You literally pushed a new human being into this world a few days ago. You are going to be tired, sleep deprived, you may have not even had a shower in days, your home might even smell like days-old trash! I promise you, these things are nothing to stress over and totally normal. No one expects you to be Super Woman at all times! No respectable photographer is going to go around telling stories about your messy home. You should be proud of your family and feel beautiful because I promise, you are beautiful, and you’re the only one that may not see that right now. Years down the road you will be so grateful you stopped worrying and took the photos.

Some photographers offer Portrait Packages that include Newborn Sessions. They may also offer Fresh 48 Sessions and Maternity Photography

Here are a few photos from a recent Newborn Photography Session here in San Diego in my preferred method - Lifestyle Photography!

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Details and skin imperfections can be fixed in Photoshop or be kept natural with minimal fixes to preserve the authentic story. One of my favorite things about Lifestyle Sessions is that they are raw and authentic. It portrays your family as you are and in a way that shows your love and careful attention to your new baby.

If you have any additional questions you would like to ask, leave them in the comment section below!