My best photo sessions happen when I can focus on present over perfect. Photographing kids can sometimes be like herding cats, so it’s better to go with the flow than against it. If everyone is looking and smiling at the camera, GREAT. If everyone is happy, but not looking at the camera, AT LEAST NO ONE’S CRYING.
But seriously, when we can relax into the rhythm of what a family is (ie: not perfect) things will be better than perfect. I love working with this family because they appreciate the in-between moments.
It’s hard in the middle of a stressful situation (like a photo session!) but try to remember to stay calm. Attitudes are contagious and when parents set the tone, the kids will follow. I love to see families laughing, joking and just having all kinds of fun. Even if they’re not looking at the camera, it’s perfect.
family photographer orange county, Kristin Eldridge
I can travel up and down the coast from Manhattan Beach to Laguna Beach and never tire of the the sunshine and deep blue water. It seems like most clients want to have a photo session at the beach at least once. This was my first time taking this family to the beach. We started with B’s newborn session in my studio, the next year was in the studio for his one year, then to a local park and now at three years old, we settled on Seal Beach.
This was the perfect place for an adventurous three year old. He started out a little timid, but by the end of the session, he was completely drenched. We had so much fun capturing all it is to be THREE!
Orange County Spring Mini-Sessions will take place on April 1 at the Bolsa Chica Wetlands. This is such a beautiful sunset location. It’s close to the beach, so you’ll get the wispy type foliage that grows by the water. There’s also an inlet of water and paths with fencing. Lots of great options for photos!
This type of photo session is great for kids or families. You can even invite grandparents and make the most of the time!
Cost: $100 session fee + $300 session fee for kids only and $350 for families
Location: Bolsa Chica Wetlands
Sign up: To reserve your time and receive directions to the location, click the time links below to check out with Square.
II Family Photographer San Juan Capistrano II Are you ready to adventure? If your kids are old enough to travel in the car without getting cranky, you should consider doing a photo session with a WOW location. If you’re lucky enough to live in an area where these types of locations are in your backyard, well, lucky you. I grew up in Montana and this would be the type of location I’m talking about. Which is quite amazing, but has it’s drawbacks. My sister is a photographer in Montana and while she has an abundance of scenery, almost half the year she has to consider things like rain and snow. Have they plowed the roads yet? In California, we are stuck on permanently sunny. Well, at least until this year.
Maybe the beach is your WOW location, but for so many of us, we see the ocean every day. So, we want to be in an environment that’s different. This location was in San Juan Capistrano and it takes about an hour to get there from Long Beach. It’s a bit of a commitment. Families have to plan ahead, allow extra time, extra snacks, extra bathroom breaks…you know the drill.
But for this family, who I’ve photographed since Emma was a baby (!) making the drive to San Juan Capistrano was worth the effort. I absolutely love their color way, their natural interactions…the whole thing just works in this spot. So, if you’re on the fence, consider what your WOW location is and make a plan to go there and document it!
II Family Photographer San Juan Capistrano II Kristin Eldridge is a photographer servicing Long Beach, Orange County and Los Angeles.
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