I’m Kristin Eldridge, a portrait photographer in Long Beach, CA. On the site you’ll find details, pricing, my portfolio and the contact buttons on the left. If you’re interested in booking a session, call or email and we can discuss dates and locations.
I have a studio located in Long Beach, but I also travel for portrait sessions (newborn, baby, children and family) to Orange County and Los Angeles.
Besides being a wife, mom and a photographer, I love to cook and craft. So, if you’re interested, (beyond scrolling through photo sessions), you can check out my favorite cookie recipe or how to sew yourself a kimono!
The secret to photographing toddlers isn’t in a fast shutter speed. It’s not about your ISO or what type of lens you have. The secret to getting the best photos of a wiggly and FAST toddler is to work with them instead of against them.
I learned a long time ago that you cannot make a baby, toddler or child do something they don’t want to do during a photo session. I learned that you must make your idea their idea and run with it. Sometimes this shows up in the form of manipulating the situation. If I see a little one that enjoys pushing the limits, I might tell them…you better not smile at me. Or I’m going to come get you!
And if a toddler just want to move, we MOVE. I will have parents swing them until I count down to a pause so I can take the photo. I will have one parent chase them into the arms of another parent.
Whatever your method, just remember to make all the energy work to your advantage. Making a wiggly toddler sit still is a fool’s errand. Use all that energy to play hide and seek, so you get the biggest most authentic smile when you find them.
Have you ever tried to make cake pops? I have and the result was #pinterestfail. I’m going to leave cake pops to the bakers! But, I love the way they look and it’s fun to have a cute little treat on hand for Valentine’s Day.
Instead of spending hours trying to perfect my cake pop game, I figured out a cake pop hack. This isn’t exactly a cake pop, but it’s covered in white chocolate, decorated and sits on a little stick. And best of all, the recipe takes about 15 minutes. If that’s not winning, I don’t know what is.
Valentine Oreo Pops Recipe
All you need is a package of oreos, white chocolate chips, some red and pink sprinkles and lollipop sticks. (I found the sticks at Michael’s Craft store in the baking aisle.)
Pour out half the bag of white chocolate chips into a microwave-proof bowl. Cook for 30 seconds at time (stirring in between) until completely melted.
Gently wiggle the stick in between each oreo. I say gently because it’s easy to break the cookie. I found the key was twisting the stick, using a double stuff oreo and not puttting it in too far.
Spoon the melted chocolate on the top of each oreo. It’ll come down the sides and make it look completely coated. Place the oreo on a piece of parchment paper.
Be ready with your sprinkles because the chocolate will start to harden. We played around with different varieties of sprinkles. I cut a heart out of a piece of paper to use as a template and that worked well too.
This would be such a fun project to do with kids. Or it’s an easy treat to give away as gifts. I won’t tell if you just want to make them to eat yourself!
One year for my birthday my mom gave me a locally made salve/body balm. As soon as I opened it, I fell in love with the smell. Then I put it on. It soaked into my skin like no other lotion ever has. I started using it on cuts and scrapes, my son’s eczema and even sunburns. I quickly deemed it THE MIRACLE SALVE.
I’ve been using it every day for over a year. My skin is smoother and more hydrated. Any skin problem can be solved with this stuff. Then, one day she went out of business. After trying a few other salves that did not live up to this one, I decided to learn how to make it.
I looked on the back of the tin for the ingredients and started googling ‘how to make a salve.’ It’s actually quite simple. All you need is a type of oil and either shea butter, beeswax or both. They’re melted together and turn into a spreadable balm or salve.
The key to the salve I loved so much is the long list of herbs. The herbs are infused into olive oil (either by the sun or over low heat). The list looks daunting, but I found them all on Mountain Rose Herbs and Etsy. Buy just one ounce each and it will last a very long time.
I purchased the other oils listed on Amazon as well as the shea butter and beeswax. After making this a few times, I think I’ve finally nailed the ‘recipe’ and I’m so excited to share it with you!
Herbal Salve/Balm for Extreme Moisturizing
Herb Infused Olive Oil
Take a quart jar and add 1 Tablespoon each of these dried herbs
St. John’s Wart
Black Walnut Hulls (Powder)
Add olive oil to the top of the jar and let it sit in the sun for 2-3 weeks (stirring every other day). If you’re in a hurry, you can do it in a double boiler for an hour. After the olive oil is infused, strain out the herbs with a piece of cheesecloth.
How to make the salve/balm
Mix 4 ounces of the infused olive oil with 1 ounce almond oil, 1 ounce hazelnut oil, 1 ounce jojoba oil and 1 ounce grape seed oil in a double boiler.
Add 1.5 ounces of beeswax and 1 ounce of shea butter over low heat.
Stir until completely melted.
To test consistency, dip a spoon in the mixture and place in the freezer for 2 minutes. That will be the finished consistency of the balm.
Once you’ve reached your preferred consistency, add 10 drops each of peppermint, lavender, eucalytpus, patchouli and sandalwood.
Pour into a container and it will harden as it cools.
We were all there for the moms getting in the photo movement. It was the wake up call that we didn’t have as many photos of our moms that we wanted. Moms realized their kids didn’t need them to be anything other than present. I’m so lucky to have client moms that are not only willing, but excited to get in the photo. And when you’re happy and content, it shows. Your kids will thank you now, in 10 years and when they are a mom themselves!
Photos by Kristin Eldridge, Los Angeles Family Photographer
How to Use Pinterest for Photo Session Inspiration
I love Pinterest. I joined when the only way you could join was to be invited by someone cool. Who doesn’t love a one-stop-shop for fashion tips, recipes, DIYs and the top 100 baby names for 2018? Pinterest has grown and pretty much everyone uses the site as inspiration for their every day life. It’s now common for clients to send me their boards before photo sessions. I love that we can communicate as photographer and client in this very visual way.
I also think Pinterest has clouded our realistic minds. We believe we can create the gallery from our photo session in the form of a Pinterest board. And here’s the bottom line I tell me clients about using Pinterest to plan your photo session. Use it as INSPIRATION. These photos are not something we can copy. A photographer had a ‘magic moment‘ with their client and shared it online. It was so magical that you want that. But, here’s the thing…you are not them and I am not that photographer.
Let’s create our own magic moments. We can relax into the moment and before you know it all the stars have aligned.
Using Pinterest for inspiration is so helpful for your photographer.
Here are some ways you can do that:
Use Pinterest to plan your outfits. Seeing outfits (the colors, patterns and textures) laid out together can be very helpful with how something can come across visually.
Use Pinterest to communicate the style you like. If you show me a board of photos that are close, intimate and cozy. I get that vibe. If you show me a board of people with perfect hair and posed in a very traditional way, I get that too.
Use Pinterest to choose your location. I think this also goes hand in hand with communicating style. If you are worried about perfect hair, you should not be choosing the beach. If you want very REAL photos, I’ll help you narrow down the place you feel at home so we can get those real emotions.
Life changes in an instant when you become a parent. You go from birthing classes and prepping a nursery to going home from the hospital with a brand new baby. And there’s no class or book that can entirely prep you for that.
If you’re like many of my clients, you’ve thought about a newborn session in the months before your baby arrived. You looked at different photographer’s websites and decided on someone whose style you love. You picked someone you’d trust to hold your tiny little son or daughter. But, as much as you’ve prepared, you’re getting closer to the day of the photo session and want to make sure you get the most out of the investment.
Once a client arrives to my studio, I tell them the hard work is over. Now it’s my turn to do what I’m best at. I’ll soothe your baby. All the wraps, hats and headbands are available and I’ll even direct you with how to hold and pose with the baby.
I’ve put together a few tips to get ready for the newborn photo session that will make everything go as smoothly as possible.
How to Prepare for a Newborn Photo Session
Plan some awake time for your baby before the photo session. The easiest way to do this is give the baby a bath. It’s nearly impossible for a baby to sleep through a bath, so it’s an easy way to keep them awake. This will ensure, they’ll be ready for a nap when they arrive.
Feed the baby just before the session. You can arrive a little early to breast feed the baby. Or you could bring a bottle and feed the baby just before we start. This also helps in making sure the baby is ready to sleep right through the photo session.
Dress the baby is a snap front outfit. This will allow us to remove the clothing without disturbing the sleeping baby. If we have to pull clothing over the head, a baby will usually start to wake up.
Bring a pacifier. I know the doctor might tell you to hold off on giving your baby a pacifier. Of course, you need to do what you feel comfortable doing. But, there are times, when letting the baby soothe with a pacifier for a minute or two will make the difference in getting more photos. (And you never have to use it again if you don’t want to!)
If the photo session is at your home, make sure it’s very warm. I keep my studio very warm so that babies still feel like they are in the womb. When we do bare skin photos with the baby, this is extra important.
I love helping clients with all the small details for their photo session. Sometimes they already have a vision for what they want. And that’s awesome…more power to you! But other times, people feel stuck. They don’t know what will look good and how to organize clothing for the whole family.
Try to stick several main colors. If you’re not sure what colors you should choose, I’m happy to help. In my last post I talked about how I love soft colors and neutrals for the beach or photos at sunset. It’s so beautiful to have tone on tone. The end result is a watercolor-esque look.
But, some locations are great for a POP of color or dark tones. Today, I’ll suggest some dark tones for park that has a bit more color in the greenery. The sample photos I’m showing were taken mid-day, so they have a bit more contrast. And that’s really nice with dark to medium tones.
This particular location is located close to Long Beach, and you can click here to sign up for a photo session this fall!
You thought choosing a date and location would be the hard part. Then it hits you, what will I wear? What will we all wear? It’s difficult to put together a flattering outfit for yourself, but putting together outfits for the whole family that look good together seems insurmountable. Here’s the good news. I got you.
I personally like outfits that seamless blend into the surroundings. What I mean by that is the color tones are the same as the surrounding tones. If you’re in a glowing field at sunset, the colors will be soft. So, you can wear medium to softer colors. The beach is another example of a soft color tone.
There are so many different directions you can go with soft color tones, but today I want to highlight dessert rose colors. This means muted pink and purple in combination with cool blues will be perfect. You can highlight with a soft mustard yellow or just khaki.
Scroll down to see examples of other options that would look great at this location!
The worst call/email I can receive is someone asking if I can just meet them to take one or two photos. “All I need is one good shot of the family.” Makes sense. No one NEEDS 30 great images…you just need one or two photos. But, what people don’t understand until they’ve worked with a photographer is that the magic happens along the way. See, we’ve never met before. As we get to know each other, we find common ground. We start laughing and relaxing and things all naturally fall into place. So, I can’t meet you for one or two photos. I wish it was that simple.
Instead, we meet like new friends, cautiously at first. Guards are let down, reserved smiles turn into genuine ones and everyone walks away happy. So, as you’re thinking about hiring a photographer, invest into the person. You’ll feel and LOOK yourself and then, magic.