I have 2 boys, so I’m pretty comfortable around them. It didn’t always start that way. I have 2 sisters, so there was a lot of pink going on when I was a kid. But, raising my own boys has taught me to get my hands dirty. I’m all about the rough and tumble. Boys have so much energy, it’s my job to corral all that energy during a photo session. I love the way this session turned out. There was tree-climbing and stick-fighting and lots of hugs in between.
This is a little snippet from one of my favorite families. I’ve worked with them over the years and always look forward to seeing their sweet girls. Don’t let their sweet smiles fool you, they kill it on the soccer field too. 🙂
That’s the beauty of years of experience in the same field. You get to know families and there’s no warm up or get to know you. There’s only hugs and high fives! I’m lucky enough to have many many families that I get to see year after year. I love watching their kids grow up and see them flourish!
Photos by Orange County Family Photographer, Kristin Eldridge.
A good beach photo is easy to love. But, when is a good time to do a beach photo? And by time, I mean the age of your child. The first bit of advice I have is that in order to take a good photo, you have to love the beach. I know it sounds redundant, but if you don’t love spending time at the beach, you won’t love hanging out there for pictures. Your hair will get wind-blown and you might walk away with the soggy jeans.
If you do love the beach, YAY! I do too. A successful beach shoot involves a walking child. Yes, it’s possibly to take a baby to the beach and get good photos. But, if we’re talking best case scenario, it’s a child that can walk. Why? Because sitting and crawling babies are so tiny that even if you set them on a blanket, I have to zoom so far out to capture the landscape that the baby is super tiny in the photo. If I zoom in to crop appropriately, you lose the essence of where you are.
And there’s the sand. Sand that gets everywhere. Sand that’s shoveled by the handful into the mouths of babes. Crawling babies are just curious. They want to crawl right off that blanket and into the sand to taste it.
So, of course you can always book a beach session with a baby of any age, but my best advice is to wait just a little until they are walking to get the most out of your session!
Family Photographer Orange County // Timing is everything
I love when we can add things into a photo session that make it exciting! This time, it was these amazing vintage bikes. The twins had received them as a gift, so their mom so kindly lugged them out to the park so we could play around with them. I love how they bring such brilliant smiles to the children’s faces.
Of course, with a session like this we start with the family portraits and all the necessary things. Then at the very end we bring out the bikes. It’s funny how you don’t think of things like this until you’re a mom or until you’ve had it happen to you as a photographer. If you bring out the ‘fun thing’ and let them play, then say, now we’re going to sit down for some photos, you’ll be greeted with a hearty, ‘no thank you.’
I love having unique locations for my photo sessions. There are so many photographers in Southern California, that it’s nice to be set apart and have locations that not everyone is going to. Although, once I find a great location, I use it until I don’t feel inspired by it and then move along! So, what goes into finding a great location? Here’s a few tips that I’ve learned along the way.
1. Drive around. This may sound basic, but it’s important to keep your eyes open as you’re driving around the city. Sometimes I’m able to set apart a chunk of time for the sole purpose of location scouting, but other times I find spots as I’m doing my daily routine or maybe on the way to a client’s home.
2. See all the parts and the whole. There are times when I’m looking for a location with a sweeping landscape. I also use spots that are tiny little nooks of gorgeousness. I’ll often have clients tell me, “I never would have SEEN what you saw in this location.” So, determine what you’re needs are (big views or a little areas when you don’t need to move around and are mainly doing close-ups.)
3. Which leads me to my next tip- Ask your clients to trust you. It helps when you have a few years under your belt. But, you want your clients to feel comfortable at the location. So, if you’re leading them to an area they are unsure about and they don’t know you enough to trust your vision, it will come across in their expressions.
4. Go to the location at the time of day you are planning to photograph there. Lighting is key, so you want to make sure you’ll know what to expect. There are certain locations that I know I can only use the morning or afternoon. Some locations will work any time of day.
5. Be prepared for anything. One time I went to a location and they were renovating it (unexpectedly). I had to quickly come up with a plan B because I had back to back clients planning to arrive. I try to have a back-up location and client’s numbers programmed into my phone, so I can think quickly and be ready for changes.
I hope that helps! And if you’re wondering where this fabulous location is…these abandoned railroad tracks run throughout the city of Cerritos, CA. Another one of those times where I was driving around and noticed this out my window.
Orange County Family Photographer // How I Scout for Locations
Before you were married, did you ever think about how many kids you wanted? I came from a family of four, so I’ve always felt right at home with big families. All the chaos, laughter and fun! My own 3 kids are really close together. The first two are 19 months apart and the second two are 21 months apart. I remember having Jake and thinking, this is SO easy. All he does is look at us and smile. Let’s have another! So, we did. And our middle guy Cooper was slightly more active, but also pretty mellow. Before we knew it, we had three kids. Three years and younger. When Brent had to go back to work after Jillian was born, I kinda wanted to beg him to stay. This three to one ratio was kinda scary! But, I somehow survived and now the boys share a lot of the same best friends and Jillian is keeping up doing exactly everything the boys are doing. I love my big family. And I love being around other people’s families. I’m comfortable around the dynamics and can steer around sibling situations as they come up. Who knew all those days being overwhelmed at home with babies and toddlers would be on-the-job training!?
(PS-mine are now 13, 12 and 10)
// photographs by Orange County family photographer, Kristin Eldridge.
I’m nearing the end of photo shoots for 2013. I still pinch myself that I get to do this job. I put a post on instagram that I have clients as friends and friends as clients. I guess that’s what happens after almost 6 years in the area! I and truly love each of you. I see family after family that love each other AND has style to boot! Life is good, friends!