MAGIC HOUR

I have all kinds of sessions that I've never shared here so I'm planning to roll them out and relive them all again!

This family's session was especially fun because this is a repeat family. It's always such an honor to get to capture families through the years. I love seeing how big the kids have gotten and how the family dynamic changes as the kids get older. We booked the session for my favorite time to shoot: magic hour – that hour right before sunset when the light is golden and beautiful. 

The love they have for one another is so apparent. This first image is my favorite kind of family portrait – I love the way Dad and his daughter are embracing, the way Mom is simultaneously adjusting her daughter's clothes and enjoying her son's goofiness, the golden light... it's all magic. 

Sometimes people tell me they don't think their family is interesting enough for photos. I promise – your family just loving each other and being themselves will be plenty interesting.

There was a lot of jumping and running and tickling and general fun to be had during our time together and the scenery of tall grass and large oaks was a beautiful backdrop for it all. After we were finished and walking back to the car this glorious magic hour light gave me this image with their long shadows behind them. This is why I never put my camera away even when we're done! You just never know when an image is going to appear.

If you're looking to capture images like this of your family, send me a message. I'd love to design a session that's just right for your family.

 

my own at homecoming

I don't get my kids in front of my camera nearly enough. I was thrilled when they wanted me take photos of them on homecoming, although the logistics were quite a challenge! Their respective groups were meeting in different parts of town at the same time, so I had to do some quick shooting but I'm just glad I got to give each of them a little love!

This is her first homecoming. Luckily for me, this spot was right across the street from where she was getting ready. #thatworks The light was so beautiful, and so was she. She told me her friend's sister and sister's friend (are you following that?) were going to do her hair and makeup, and I didn't know what to expect - but wow!

Such fun hair!

Next we raced across town to capture him at his last homecoming. Sniff! Where does the time go?

This was their first homecoming, back when they were still just best friends. : )

LIMITED EDITION MINI SESSIONS BOOKING NOW!

I am thrilled to announce the return of last year’s wildly popular mini sessions! These limited-availability sessions will be offered on four dates this fall. 

The details:
Your mini-session fee of $250 includes 20 minutes of shooting time. These sessions are open to families, kids, couples and individuals (this is a great time to get some new headshots!). A week or two after your session, you’ll be shown 10 images in a private online viewing gallery where you can instantly download all 10 high-res digital files to use any way you'd like—for your annual holiday card, prints for your home, or maybe as gifts for Grandma and Grandpa.  

These limited availability sessions are filled on a first come, first-served basis. The mini session fee of $250 is required to hold your spot, so book yours as soon as you can to get the time you want.

While a mini session can't compare to the completely custom experience of a full session, they are perfect for capturing photos for a holiday card or to mark a milestone. If you prefer the luxury of a full custom session at your home or the outdoor location of your choice, the calendar for the remainder of 2015 is open and dates remain. 

I'm looking forward to seeing your family in front of my camera this season!

DID YOU SEE THE SUPERMOON LUNAR ECLIPSE?

We were sitting outside enjoying a rare relaxing evening in the backyard when we wondered aloud when and where the moon would appear. The next thing we knew it rose directly in front of us, giving us front row seats from our lounge chairs! I scrambled to go find my camera and a tripod to try to get a few shots. I don't know much about photographing the moon, nor do I have the best equipment for that kind of thing, being a portrait photographer, but it was still super cool to see what I could capture. They are not NASA quality, but I enjoyed the process. : )

THE 5-MINUTE PHOTOSHOOT

She was already standing here, telling me a story when I realized I just had to capture her as she is, right now.

The hat. The outfit. The phone. The way she is sitting, all limbs, on those stairs. She just turned 10 but she seems so grown up. #tweenager There are lots more "likes" and "totallys" in the conversation these days. She's up to 49 juggles with the soccer ball. She just got a skateboard.

All it takes to capture this moment in time is five minutes and a conversation. I don't ask kids to smile or do anything other than be themselves. I'm so glad I took the time to get the camera out this morning!

as seen on bhg.com

Now that the post has gone live over at Better Homes & Gardens I can spill the beans on this super fun shoot! We had all the ingredients for a great party – six adorable kiddos, balloons, confetti, fun crafts, amazing treats, and ice cream served out of the most adorable pop up ice cream truck tent. Here are some of the images we got of this amazing shindig:

The party was styled by Melissa Johnson of Best Friends for Frosting fame and she outdid herself. We've been wanting to work together for a while now and I'm so glad we finally got to collaborate on a project.

These kids were so full of personality (and energy!) after all the sugar they ingested.

This party was so colorful and happy and the light was so pretty. I bet they're still finding bits of confetti around the house : )

The desserts by Sweet Cakes by Rebecca were all so beautiful – it almost seemed like a shame to eat them. Here is the lovely setup before the kids tore into them:

From crown making to cereal necklace crafts to cutting out custom ice cream cone wrappers, these kids had a ball.

ice cream cone tutorial.jpg

To end the party, the kids went outside to have some ice cream. How cute is this ice cream truck tent?

It was so fun to be a part of this project. Check out the feature over at Better Homes & Gardens and Best Friends for Frosting for sources and more info!

glowing

Brittany and I work out together and we hatched a quick plan to do this shoot while on the exercise bike : ) I'm so glad we could squeeze this session in before her little guy made his arrival. We had so much fun finding pockets of pretty grasses and light. Her dress and necklace we just stunning and made her glow even more than usual. She was such a trooper about tromping through pricker bushes and up and down hills and dealing with the crazy wind. We captured some beautiful shots of this fleeting time and I'm so glad we could fit it in.

Brittany's mom joined us for the shoot and it was so fun to have her along. I loved this selfie moment:

We shot until we ran out of light – it was just too pretty to stop!

Can't wait to meet her little bundle of joy soon...

Now Booking Holiday Mini Sessions!

The holiday season is officially underway! Starbucks has the red cups and Target has a giant Santa in a sleigh greeting you from the ceiling when you walk in. I always want to rail against these early signs of the holidays, but if you can't beat 'em, join 'em - you might as well knock off the "get our holiday card photo taken" off your to do list!

There are still some spots available for the the 15th and 16th so if you're interested, contact me asap!

Fields of gold

When I moved back to California from England in fourth grade, I remember the cover of my history textbook had a photo showing "the golden hills of California" on it and that photo looked just like the hills surrounding my neighborhood. I thought those hills, dotted with oak trees and complemented by a cloudless blue sky were the prettiest things I'd ever seen, maybe because they looked so different from the gray skies and green landscapes I'd been surrounded by in England.

I still find this time of year when the grasses have turned golden to be so beautiful and am surprised to hear other people describe them as dead and brown. When the sun shines through the tall stalks, they shimmer and glow and create the most magical light.

See what I mean?

We were having quite the heatwave when this shoot was scheduled (a high of 106 degrees - ug!), so we made the decision to switch the shoot to the next morning to take advantage of cooler temperatures. Even so, we were still melting out there and were feeling for the triathletes who were competing just steps away from us. If we were this hot and sweaty from just picking a few flowers and walking through the fields, we could only imagine how they were feeling!

Family fun in the country

This was a super fun session with this family on their amazingly beautiful property. I knew it was going to be a great session when I walked in and their footwear was this cool!

This is the second time I've been lucky enough to photograph these boys. They have really grown up in the years since I've seen them...and they've added some pet swans to the family!

Last time I photographed just the boys, but this time I was thrilled to capture memories of the whole family. It's so important that parents and their kids and the love they share are captured to remember forever. 

Having recently lost my stepmom to cancer, every photograph of her is so precious to us. What if something were to happen to you? Do your children have photographic reminders of how much you love them? How you look when you laugh? There is no better time than now to make sure. No one will care that you wanted to lose a few pounds or wanted to grow your hair out first – your loved ones will treasure every last image of you. I'm certain of it.

OK, I'm off my soapbox now. Enjoy some more fun images from this session : )

But really... if you haven't captured your family and what you look like now in the last year, it's really time! It's a fun way to spend time together and when you see the images of your family's love in photographs, you'll be so glad you did. Let's talk about your perfect family session!

and puppy makes five

I traveled to Washington state last week and photographed this adorable family. They just added their newest member, 10-week old Finnegan. Oh my gosh - if I'd brought my bigger camera bag, I just might have tried to smuggle him out of there with me.

As always, the weather here was beautiful (I swear these gloomy weather rumors are a ploy to keep the rest of the country from moving here. I have visited this area during every season of the year and had amazing weather every time. Coincidence? Hmmmm....) This family's yard is like a park and was so green and lush. Due to the drought in California, we had greenery like this for about a nanosecond this year.

I'm not sure who had more energy... the puppy or the cute little guy you see behind him!

There's so much love and energy in this family and I had such a great time capturing it for them. 

If anyone else is interested in having me come to your area to photograph your family, just drop me a line!

what I'm editing today

Just a little sneak peek of the photos I'm editing today... This session could not have been more fun! Golden light, beautiful wildflowers, and a fantastic family sharing a magical evening together. We had some mosquitos try to dampen our fun but we were prepared with bug spray. I didn't think to spray any on my face though, and after the session I realized that anywhere my face wasn't covered by my camera was fair game for the attack. But that's OK – to capture these images, a forehead full of bug bites was completely worth it. Completely.

As you can see from these images, this time of year is pretty amazing for an outdoor session. Contact me about scheduling your own session while we still have this lush greenery!

folsom family photography christie spencer photography

workspace wednesday

Today's all about paperwork... what is in that pile, anyway? Time to sort, file, purge, make lists, and plan. All with good coffee steaming in the "Life is Good" mug, birds chirping and a gentle breeze coming in through the window. Going to light that "Be Amazing" candle and do this! Hope you have a great Wednesday as well!

workspace wednesday.jpg

Behold, a finished project!

This post will be the inaugural post of a category I’m calling “Pinned There, Done That.” I pin things to my Pinterest boards all the time, and I’m determined not to just pin them and let them collect dust – it's all about action! So here’s an example of something I pinned that I adapted for my house. Sometimes the projects are quite literal, as in this case, and sometimes it’s more of a feeling, a color palette, or a technique I’m interested in recreating. But anyway… this project’s about zazzing up the end of my hallway.

The door to the garage is visible at the end of the main hallway in my house, through my laundry room. When you turn the corner to the hall, that door is the focal point. A few years ago, I painted the door with chalkboard paint and every now and again the kids or I will scribble something up there, but it’s really haphazard and not nearly as cool as I’d like. I was really looking for something that would make a statement as you come around the corner and see that door at the end of the hall. Something more like art. Then I promptly put it somewhere near the end of my to do list.

Cut to a few weeks ago when I introduced my kids to the movie Ferris Bueller’s Day Off. It’s become a huge hit in our house and many of the lines are quoted back and forth. Then I remembered that I had pinned a great chalkboard version of a F.B.D.O. quote on Pinterest and knew I had the answer to my art!

The talented folks at Friends of Type created an amazing rendering of this John Hughes quote from the movie. Since I’m not nearly as talented as they are, I completely copied their beautiful design to the best of my ability – theirs looks way cooler but I’m really happy with my laundry room upgrade!

Oh, man...don’t look at the gross carpet or trashed linoleum or ugly orangey-oak cabinets in these shots. Imagine beautiful hardwood floors instead. We are a “shoes off” house and yet our carpet is still pretty disgusting. I’ve lived in this rental house for nine years now and if I had only known I would be here this long I would have made some changes that I would’ve felt good about getting so many years of use out of. Hopefully the chalkboard art and the gallery of photos on the wall (soon to be highlighted in their own post) distract from the flooring. I've also been wanting to paint the cabinets a gray color, but I have a feeling my time in this house is coming to an end (sniff sniff!) so there’s no point in spending time on that labor-intensive project now. Knowing that the end is near though makes me want to beautify any remaining spaces I can with some quick fixes, and feel like I “finished” what I started here in this house. 

Not only is there a focal point at the end of the hall now, it adds a little more fun to our house which is important to me and the quote is a good reminder for us all.

Have you done any Pinterest-inspired projects? I want to see!

no joke... i'm starting up the blog again

I've tried having a blog in the past, writing about how I was going to post regularly and then... crickets. All the while I'd have guilt about the fact that I wasn't posting, and then I'd finally write a post about how I was going to be better about blogging, and, well, I'd be back to the start of the game board again. 

So, obviously given my track record it makes even less sense that I'm trying again, but here goes! April Fools' Day seems like a fitting start to this latest chapter. In theory, I'll be posting some photography, some DIY and decor projects, recipe tries and some general randomness. 

And because every post needs a picture, here's a random one from the other day. My oldest, who is over six feet tall and getting so grown up, but also still just a fun-loving kid.