The other day we went to Seal Beach to walk around and let the kids play in the sand. It’s hard to believe how fickle this Southern California weather is right now. One day is all beautiful and sunny….as it should be…and the next day a temper tantrum of rain gets thrown into the mix.
I didn’t have to photoshop too much trash out of this picture of Seal Beach Pier…ha!
Jake was happy to work on his sand castle and stay relatively clean.
Cooper and Jillian on the other hand, were jumping off the sand dunes and we had to basically hang them by their feet to get all the sand out of them when they were done!
This is my first video post on the blog…Cooper and Jillian attempting to jump at the same time.
Today I’m going to share pictures from two different sessions. I better double time it if I don’t want to end up sharing Christmas pictures this spring!
These sisters are so sweet together and I love the brilliant purple against the leaves…such a stunning combo!
Macie just had her first birthday, so we ended up doing a quick outfit change and took some vintage-inspired photos. I love the way her white dress, the painted bench and filtered light all works together…so pretty!
Here’s another cute photo session from this fall. I think we had to reschedule like three times because of weather, etc. When we finally met and the weather was perfect, I knew it was meant to be!
Isn’t this little girl’s hair amazing! She was just as sweet as can be too!
I’ve really enjoyed being able to go back through old files for blog posts. Sometimes I get so busy with jobs that I really am not able to keep up with all aspects of my business and the blog tends to be the main thing that falls through the cracks.
But, I want to be able to share what I’m up to…you shouldn’t have to miss out on all my fabulous clients’ pictures just because I’m busy!!
This is another one of my favorite hole-in-the-wall locations. I was able to do some really great shoots here this fall, thanks to Jessica and all her friends! She’s a favorite client and her kids are just too cute! Her twin boys keep me on my toes and big sister Olivia is the perfect assistant to help keep them in line. Here she is cracking up and trying to hold them both!
I got some amazing individuals of each of the kids…totally capturing their personalities. And I thought they looked particularly nice in black and white.
Love love this family! I can’t wait for our next shoot.
Wow…the day after Christmas. I can’t believe it’s come and gone. This year, I had more time than usual, so I spent hours in the kitchen cooking and baking. That’s something I love to do. In fact it was my most favorite hobby until I discovered photography. Anyway, I photographed a few of my projects to share on the blog.
Every year we kick off the season with a concert at church and it’s always amazing. It’s nice to be reminded of why we celebrate Christmas. The hustle and bustle can take away from the true meaning, so I love that we take the time to do this. My father-in-law conducts the orchestra and choir, so it makes it even more special.
We had a nice Christmas Eve dinner because it was the day most of our family members could be there. But, that didn’t stop us from having a big Christmas dinner too! Jake helped me all day with the preparations. He loves to cook and bake…probably the most of all the kids.
We made pan-fried onion dip for an appetizer and it was delicious! It was a new recipe for me and like all of Barefoot Contessa’s recipes, it was filled with things not so good for you. Soooo, I tried to balance it out with lots of veggies and some handmade crackers. We use mini-loaves of bread that my mother-in-law makes and top them with a little olive oil and garlic salt, then pop them in the oven.
This is a totally simple recipe, but it comes together so well!
Cut the onions in half and then slice them into 1/8-inch thick half-rounds. (You will have about 3 cups of onions.) Heat the butter and oil in a large saute pan over medium heat. Add the onions, cayenne, salt, and pepper and saute for 10 minutes. Reduce the heat to medium-low and cook, stirring occasionally, for 20 more minutes until the onions are browned and caramelized. Allow the onions to cool. Place the cream cheese, sour cream and mayonnaise in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and beat until smooth. Add the onions and mix well.
Some great friends sent us a smoked turkey, so I just made some macaroni and cheese (I’ve posted about them before-recipe here), mashed potatoes (Jake peeled the whole 5 pound bag for me!), a green salad and some homemade cranberry sauce.
I love making cranberry sauce because it’s so easy and it tastes like you did something incredible. I just use the recipe on the back of the bag of whole cranberries…that you find in your produce section of the market. Serving it in an antique bowl makes it even better.
Okay…on to Christmas day. My mother-in-law makes the most amazing cinnamon rolls, so we had those for breakfast, snacked on veggies and onion dip, then had our big Christmas dinner. I made prime-rib. My meat thermometer was broken since the last time I used it, so we just had to totally guess it and thankfully it turned out perfect. We all love tons of horseradish…the stronger the better! I made a double batch of mashed potatoes and macaroni and cheese from the night before, so it made it easy to just throw them in the oven. Then we did sauteed mushrooms and a broccoli salad to top things off! I have never been a huge fan of broccoli salad until my mom introduced me to this recipe. It’s the perfect combination of tangy and sweet. She wrote the recipe down for me with no measurements (ha!) so I eyeball everything. You basically add a little mayo, vinegar and sugar to chopped broccoli, red onion, bacon and craisins.
Jake and I also made a pumpkin cheesecake that turned out amazing. It was a little labor intensive, but totally worth it. We got all fancy dancy and took out my frosting tips for the cinnamon whipped cream. It was served with my mother-in-laws famous apple pie. Then we all died from consuming wayyyy to many calories!
Place rack in center of oven.Preheat oven to 350°F.Make crust: Combine all crust ingredients in a bowl.Press onto bottom of 10 inch springform pan and bake for 10 minutes.Remove to cool.Make filling: Whisk together pumpkin, eggs, spices, salt and ¾ cup of the sugar.Cream together cream cheese and remaining sugar.Beat in cream, cornstarch and vanilla.Carefully beat in pumpkin mixture.Pour into crust. Lift pan 1 inch off counter and let drop (this breaks up any air bubbles in the batter that may contribute to cracking). Bake for 40-45 minutes, or until center is set. Run a thin, sharp knife around edge of pan to release crust (this too helps inhibit cracking).Let cool, covered loosely, overnight.For cinnamon whipped cream: Beat cream until foamy. Beat in sugar and cinnamon until the cream holds soft peaks. Garnish with cinnamon whipped cream.
I have to leave you with a few pictures from Christmas morning…
I can always count on Cooper for a fantastic reaction to gifts. This year was no exception.
I’m also hoping to find out Cooper’s secret for ripped abs. I wouldn’t mind having abs like that.
Who says California doesn’t have seasons!? Somewhere in October I managed to find a wall of leaves that changed colors as it got colder. It was so fun to pretend we live in a place with gorgeous fall foliage…now the leaves are gone and we’re left with rain. Lots and lots of rain!
I guess we give up fall foliage, but we never have to wear more than a sweatshirt in the coldest December weather. Not a bad trade off.
I love this cute family…I get to photograph them a few times a year and it’s always a pleasure!
Kids are unpredictable. Maybe that’s why I love them as subjects. I never know what’s going to happen when I walk into a session. Even if I’ve photographed the child before, maybe they’re going through a shy phase…maybe they had some extra sugar that day, or maybe they just missed a nap. I make decisions on the fly and I have to creatively come up with a plan for the session…while it’s happening!
The session started out (with one of my most favorite clients!) with smiles and laughs, but lack of sleep and changed nap schedules, etc. left us in a bit of a crunch. So, I pulled out every trick in the book! We tickled little sister with leaves, played hide and go seek, did a little exploring and when all else failed, snuggled with mom.
(LOVE this picture.) Most importantly, I love that you would never know the situation was less than optimal. I always say I was born to do this. Nothing ruffles me…I have my own 3 crazy kids and melt-downs have been part of my life for, well what feels like forever! So, even if there’s a kink in the plan, your pictures will still turn out wonderful. They will capture life as it unfolds. My favorite thing.
This has got to be a first…two blog posts in one night! I’m on a roll! I’m actually just kind of caught up for the moment and I have oh, I don’t know, NINETY SEVEN photo sessions I haven’t shared because I’ve been too busy. Anyway, this adorable family lives a little ways from Long Beach, so I did a little location scouting to find this location for them. I’ll definitely be going back. It’s a small park that backs up against an equestrian center. I love the white fences and the lighting is just amazing.
Such a cute little girl…and that hair! I love redheads.
I love family pictures that are a bit less posed. This one just has me smiling!
While we were in Arkansas, my camera got a good workout! I had fun taking pictures of all the goings-on of the day as well as family pictures for all that were staying at the house with us. I also managed to fit in three photo sessions from clients I met the year before when I worked with Terra Tots in Fayetteville.
I meant to post these photos last week, but I came home to a FULL workload and a nasty cold. So better late than never!