Archive for 'Family Sessions'

I’ve had the pleasure of photographing the R Family every holiday season since I moved to Arizona, and each year, the kids grow even more adorable and always full of personality. The best part of working together every year is that we’ve become friends (there may be talk of marrying off two of our kids so that we can be related). It has been a very tough year for them, so I wanted to give them a session and photos to remember a fun holiday season. We set up a lakeside holiday picnic, complete with marshmallows, cookies, and candy canes (best picnic food ever!) To give a dramatic effect to their photos, all of these were photographed using off camera flash, first as a fill light, then after sunset, for some drama and contrast. They really love them, and I can’t wait to get their Holiday card this year and hang it up on my wall of cards! 🙂


9 months old already! As part of my “Watch Me Grow” plan, I get to play with this family every few months and photograph Mr C as he grows and reaches new milestones. We went to downtown Gilbert for a casual feel and captured some pretty darn cute photos of Mr C and his mom & dad. He’s kind of a serious little dude, always looking around to see whats going on, filing all the details away and then when he feels like you’ve earned it, he turns on the charm with an adorable smile. And seriously, that outfit!! Ack! So stinkin’ cute, dressed up like a little model. He tried to throw the hat to the ground when mom first put it on him, but then he left it alone for most of our time together. It was also his first time wearing shoes and he got a kick out of rubbing them together and listening to the noise that it made. The funniest moment (for us as spectators at least) came when mom set him down on the grass. Arizona babies have no clue what that green stuff is, or why it is touching them! His first reaction was to lift his hands, but since they were supporting him, he could only lift one at a time, while glaring at us for torturing him like that. I can’t wait for his first birthday, its just around the corner!!


Check out 2 of his other sessions here & here….

I had the pleasure of photographing the C family 2 years ago when their son was still a bump & then a baby. Now that they’re expecting baby #2 (a girl!), we got to do it again! We went to a simple location in Gilbert, with pretty golden light and lots of space for the boy to run and have fun. Mom was worried about taking photos with a toddler, since we hadn’t done photos since his newborn session. I gave her my quick “all will be well” speech let her know that there’s no controlling 2 year olds in sessions, I just follow their lead. We laughed, ran & jumped; had fun and created some beautiful photos for their walls.  I’m really excited to meet baby sister in a few weeks and get to help them plan out their wall display incorporating the new baby’s photos & big brother’s baby photos! Enjoy their slideshow & photos!

<3 KC

Returning clients are always amazing to work with! This is one family that I’ve literally watched grow in front of my lens. Kady-bug was a tiny baby & Kyler was a spunky toddler when I first moved to Mesa and their mom, Tonya, hired me for family photos. We’ve gotten together every year since (and twice a year for a couple of years). She’s always got some fun idea or vision for what she wants the photos to look like, or is up for whatever new & crazy idea I’ve got in my head. We make a good team. This year was extra exciting since we added in the extended family of aunties, uncle, grandma & new baby cousin. I was lucky enough to photograph Tonya’s brother & sister-in-law’s wedding last year, and super happy to meet their beautiful baby at our session…

Tonya’s request this year was an Autumn feeling. Driving north wasn’t in our plans and since we live in the Phoenix Valley and “Fall” doesn’t really happen until January, I scouted out a location that could be altered in processing to give us a very warm, autumn-y feel from their images. The Riparian Preserve in Gilbert is a favorite location of mine because of the variety it offers. It just happens to have an intriguing area with red dirt surrounded by trees & bushes. We spent the majority of our session hanging around this area, playing and switching up the groupings of family members and then wandered to the water after an outfit change (Go Hawkeyes!). And since our session was right before Halloween, of course the cuties wanted to show off their costumes!!

The funniest part of the session by far was the baby’s reaction to burlap & pumpkins. She had just woken up after napping in the car, was changed into a super cute dress, and then plunked down with the “fall” items around her; she looked first to me, then to her parents, then gave the BIGGEST boo-boo lip a baby can give. She didn’t cry, just looked super sad. I took the one photo, then scooped her up and handed her to mommy. I’d rather take a few extra minutes to have a happy baby than stress one out to tears! A cuddle, a snack & she was happy to play the rest of the time!

When Danielle contacted me last year and asked if I took candid photos, including “2 year old tantrums or adolescent boy smirks”, I laughed and assured her that I was game for anything! She wanted a session that showed each of her kids’ personalities just as they were at that moment in their lives. Last year’s session was super fun, set in the desert and full of laughs & dirt/rock throwing, but that’s a story for another day. This year, we discussed a green space, somewhere open that the kids could run, be silly, and again, just be themselves. We settled on Freestone Park in Gilbert and after a last minute reschedule due to a crazy high temp of 95* on our original date, got together this past weekend to capture some amazing images! The water was sparkling, the sun was shimmering through the trees and their clothing fit the casual style of their session. Couldn’t be better! But I think the best part about this family is that they know that while I’ll direct them a little bit and pose here and there for what we call the “gramma photos” (you know, the ones that gramma loves? where everyone is lined up and looking at the camera smiling?), for the most part, we just have fun and play the entire session! Want to climb a tree? Sure. Feel like jumping across the bridge? Absolutely! Done with my requests and really just want to blow bubbles? Let’s do it and I’ll be ready to photograph it as it happens!

At our view & order appointment this morning, they decided to replace the gorgeous canvas storyboards that we created last year (and move those elsewhere in the house), and I couldn’t be more thrilled for them to look at these beautiful little faces up on the wall every day. It struck me as we were examining last year’s images just how much the kids have grown. Seeing their personalities from the previous session preserved for the last year and knowing how different they already are just cements how important it is to print and display your photos. The kids get to walk past these photos every day and see just how much they are loved and how flippin’ fun their family is!! And that’s pretty cool.

PS- I had a hard time narrowing it down for this post, so there’s a boatload of photos below! Enjoy!!

Going back to my hometown means catching up with longtime friends. Megan grew up with us and is my sister’s best friend which pretty much makes her my adopted little sister; they were inseparable growing up and I love that they are still really close friends as adults. Now she’s married to a handsome (and super nice) guy and they have an adorably crazy little dude! I love her sweet family, it was so awesome to get to create beautiful photos with them. She messaged me when she found out that I was traveling to California and wanted me to help them make a fun announcement to celebrate their big news of baby #2! Of course, I was sworn to secrecy, and did my best to keep it from my sister. Megan ended up blurting it out the day before our session, relieving me of secret duty!

Big Brother is huge into super heroes, and we decided the “Every Hero Needs a Sidekick” idea we found on Pinterest was perfect! The only props we needed were a cute book & his super hero outfit, simple and easy. We met up downtown and had a blast, running around and creating cute photos! Here are a few of my favorites and the announcement she used on Facebook to tell her family & friends!

Have a fun idea for a family or maternity photo session? Use the “Contact Me” tab to send me an email and let’s chat!



If I could pick up and move this location (& this family) to Gilbert, AZ I totally would. Filled with green trees & TONS of ivy, and those awesome wooden steps, I fell in love with this little corner of a park on my most recent visit to California. And this family, well, they are just awesome. The kids are adorable, hilarious and so fun to play with; mom & dad are some of the nicest people I’ve ever met and both have an awesome sense of humor. I think I smiled at our photo sessions as much as they did!! We always have a great time when we create their photos (we’ve been working together for 5 years now, crazy…) but I think these might just be my favorite photos of theirs. A session where they just enjoyed each others presence and truly lived in the moment to create something special… The kids played ring around the rosy, jumped up and down the steps, giggled & loved on mama and daddy.

I’m really excited to work with mom and put together an amazing wall display for their home! Its going to be gorgeous!!

For photographers curious on editing, this set (and the others from the same location) were edited using Jessica Drossin Textures “Autumn” overlay. Her entire line of textures are amazing for adding that extra “pop” to a set of photos.

Creative locations can bring out the best in a family session, especially when its somewhere that the kids are comfortable to run, play and be themselves. As frequent visitors to the Phoenix Zoo, the C family knew that the smiles we’d get in photos would be real ones and that the little Colombian town near the Andean Bear was a good fit for their bright, casual style! This session took place last year, when the kids were 2 & 3, usually the age that we just try to contain them to a specific space, but never actually assume any real control. Running, jumping, giggling, playing, way more fun to capture this age and get photos to remember all the little details. Plus, after we gave the kiddos their lollipop treat, we snuck mom & dad off to get a few photos of just them. Something that I highly encourage all parents do!

This Mom & Me session last year was the result of my oldest daughters best friend & her mama needing new photos for their holiday cards. She wanted something simple, fun and festive. We selected Veteran’s Oasis Park in Chandler, AZ as a great spot because of the water, natural landscaping & open space. Located in town, but designed to let you enjoy nature. We wandered around the park, found some fun spots to stop for photos and of course, joked and laughed most of the time. Its always nice to see a mother-daughter relationship filled with fun and I love the card design that they selected to send! Excited for another session this year!


Traveling to my hometown always means reconnecting with old friends. Nicole and I went to high school together, and much to my chagrin, I couldn’t remember who she was when she called. Of course, as soon as I saw her again, my memories of high school returned and I felt like an idiot. Thankfully, she forgave me and introduced me to her beautiful family!! The props that she selected couldn’t have been more perfect for the setting. In our pre-session talks, she said that she wanted a Fall feeling to her photos, and after location scouting, I found an awesome park to give that feeling. Since I had flown, I couldn’t bring any of my usual props or furniture with me, so she went shopping for all of the accessories we’d use. We had been on the hunt for a wagon (I called all of my local friends and family with no luck), it just so happened that the nursery where she picked up all the pumpkins had one for her to borrow, it was fate.

I think she was concerned that the boys were rambunctious, but I reassured her that sessions are meant to be fun, free & just a little bit crazy. By letting the kids play and have fun, we create the moments of laughter and giggles. It may look chaotic, but trust in the process! We’d set up a new area, have a couple laughs,  take a few photos, and then say, “Ok, be free for a few”, which they knew meant they could explore the area (avoiding the dirt), and come back for more photos in a couple minutes. The little one was a rock star, totally hamming it up for the camera and showing off her adorable smile! Overall, it was a super fun session with a feeling of fall and I can’t wait to see what the family chooses to hang on their walls from it!!

<3 KC

Mr K is one of our “Watch Me Grow” babies, and he’s 9 months old now! He’s a super fast crawler, pulls himself to standing on just about every surface and has no fear at all! We’d set him on the bench and he’d try to look over the edge at the ground below. (Needless to say, mom’s arm has been digitally removed from all of the photos of him alone). Since he was due for his 9 month photos, the whole family got in on the action and we had a ton of fun out at the Riparian Preserve. The leaves are starting to change, bringing Autumn to the desert. It was a fabulous morning aside from the mosquitoes and we walked the trail to find fun little spots while saying hi to all of the other visitors enjoying the park. Mr K & Miss E were fascinated by how many dogs were passing by, and as luck would have it, both smiled huge whenever one would walk by. Made getting the smile-y photos that much easier! Big sister has been in front of my camera since her time in the belly, and has no problem hamming it up now! I love her sass and sparkle. She’s a mischievous little one! I can’t wait to see these printed and hung in their home…. Going to make a great addition to their growing wall of photos!

PS- The last family photo is an out-take that just cracks me up. Mom & Dad are smiling and have no clue that the little one has kicked his shoe off and that the big one is less than interested in smiling for me! 😉

One of the best parts of living & running a business in a community as close as Power Ranch is getting to meet neighbors and create beautiful photos for them! The Fuller family met me out at the Clubhouse Lake on a rather humid morning for some fun. It was a session for the kids: Their middle girl had just turned 2 and wanted to show off her adorable tutu, the youngest is at the fun age where she smiles on cue and their oldest celebrated his fifth birthday and was totally game to ham it up for the camera!

Trying to get 3 kids to cooperate for photos is a magical game requiring patience, skill and a huge sense of humor. We’d get all 3 settled into position, snap one photo and the 2 year old would jump up and RUN! There are quite a few out-takes of her just running out of frame. But, sure enough, we got a winner.

The greatest miracle of all though, happened with the family shot. Mind you, I’ve done hundreds of sessions with family groupings. It almost always involves multiple poses, multiple photos (and sometimes a little help of photoshop) to get that ONE great shot. It was the end of the session, we decided to grab one quick shot of the whole group since everyone looked so nice; and whatever came out of it, it would be fine. We are still amazed by the awesome smiles that all the kids showed off for that one photo. I only shot 3 frames and all were gorgeous! And its going to look beautiful framed and hanging in their home! Plus, check out the cute storyboards that mom had me design to go in their dining room to replace last years!

(I had to share one of the running out-takes. 2 year olds are awesome!!)