You may remember the Keane family from my day in the life session with them back in 2014. Well, since then they have grown by one and just welcomed baby Ivy to their family. So I was lucky enough to be invited down by Leslie and Justin to catch-up the family album with some shots of them hanging out around their beautiful home in Diablo.
One of the wonderful things that Leslie told me when she got back in touch was how much the value of the photos I took for her a few years ago have grown over time. How the little things that her kids did, expressions, games, toys they played with, have changed so much in that time and that those photos we captured, take her back to those little details that might otherwise be lost in time.
Love this family, their laid-back vibe, kids full of personality, and now their love for their beautiful Ivy.
Expecting a baby in 2018?
I’m booking welcome home baby sessions for 2018 now. These sessions are a different take on your typical newborn session, focusing not just on the cute chubby cheeks of baby but also their new place in the family, the love that is showered on them, and how your family dynamic changes. Sessions are held at home, are relaxed, natural, fun, and – as Leslie said – something that will grow in value over time.
2018 Newborn Session Inquiry
The last time I saw Nora she was this big. Now she is a year old, fearless, curious, and taking on Fairytale Town in Sacramento like a BOSS. Zooming down slides with kids 4x her age and taking one of my dearest friends, her grandma, along for the ride, it was so fun to follow Nora and her peeps around the park.
I love getting grandparents in the picture; we don’t do it often enough. When was the last time you captured the special relationship your kids have with their grandma and grandpa? Get in touch and let’s talk about a session with them together.
Last month, I went to London. On my own. No husband, no kid, no friend, no relative, and no schedule. I had only one mission: to avoid the typical tourist traps and experience London as I know it and remember it, in all its gritty, pulsating, multi-cultural glory. And, to follow my curiosity wherever that led me.
Where better to do that than in London’s iconic markets? Where tacky and trendy meet antique and boutique, where people-watching is an unavoidable pleasure, and each neighborhood offers-up its own quintessential experience.
I walked 50 miles in 4 days, carried blister plasters in my bag, and realized (painfully) just how little I walk in the U.S.
DAY ONE: Camden High Street and Camden Lock Market
Camden is an assault on all the senses. It’s a street that moves to the beat of the dance music blaring from the gaudily-adorned shop facades that reminded me of a slightly-twisted, Through the Looking Glass version of Main Street, Disneyland.
And then, just as quickly, it’s a serene canal framed by weeping willows, crossed by quaint bridges, and with views of transitioning barges, then a skyline of cranes and office buildings when you turn another.
It’s a street-food trip around the world with Korean, Brazillian, Columbian, German, Italian, French, Middle-Eastern, American (“Southern Fried Mother Clucker”), Indian, and a whole host of creative mixtures (think Korean Burritos) jostling for your stomach’s attention, beside the British staples of Fish & Chips and Pie and Mash.
This was my delicious lunch, served from a little stall beside the lock where you can watch them chop the fresh ingredients: a 3-curry combo with lamb and aubergine, spinach and chickpea curry, plus Dal, garnished with fresh mint, a dollop of yogurt, and a sweet chutney. All for just seven pounds.
It’s an indoor-outdoor market that never seems to end, winding in and out of buildings and alleyways and under brick eves that create a network of connected, mini neighborhoods each with their own personality; offerings alternating between vintage clothes, Union-Jack magnets, and modern art. There’s Alice Cooper blaring from a vintage record stall and, two-stalls down, Bob Marley jammin’ in a store merchandised from wall-to-wall with the reds, greens, yellows, and blacks of his home country.
In short: it’s not for people who don’t like lots of people or constant stimulation. In case you were wondering, I am not one of those people. I was buzzing with energy by the time I walked back to the tube station.
INFO FOR PHOTOGRAPHY BUFFS | Shot on a FujiFilm XT-1 with a 23mm 1.4 lens
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Photos from my 2016 London Trip.
Hire me to photograph your next vacation. (Serious!)
“Josh and I decided to throw together a wedding in a little less than two weeks. Kind of nuts, but kind of awesome. 15ish people, ceremony down by the river in Carmichael area, then dinner somewhere TBD. It’s going to be a beautiful hot mess, and I certainly couldn’t think of anyone else who could capture that like you.”
That was the email I got from Claire at the beginning of July. With an email like that, how can you say no? I certainly can’t.
I love small, intimate weddings, spontaneity, and these two humans. I photographed them about a year ago (see that session here) in what is, to-date, one of my craziest, funnest, dirtiest sessions EVER. If there was ever a family that embodied my mantra of “Live the moment. The dishes can wait.” it’s these folks.
We began the afternoon and Claire and Josh’s beautiful, new Carmichael home, where Claire and her family were getting ready. Meanwhile, Josh and his best friend were already down at the river fishing. The river is special to Josh, especially around the Carmichael area where he grew up and his family still lives. It was a bachelor party of sorts, ending at his truck in the Effie Yeaw Nature Center parking lot where he used his wing mirrors to tie his tie and brush his hair.
We walked down a dusty trail to an opening in the brush where the river flowed before us, just beyond a beach of river rock. And that’s where we waited for Claire and the rest of the wedding guests, who carefully tip-toed over the rocks to the arbor at the river’s edge. That’s where, in the blazing full sun, under an incredibly blue sky, and watched by a gaggle of Canadian Geese, Josh and Claire said their I dos.
It wasn’t anything like a hot mess, as it turns out. It was spontaneous and beautiful and simple and… just perfect.
We closed the evening at Fair Oaks Brew Pub in the village of Fair Oaks, where everyone sat on wooden picnic tables and listened to a local band play while they ate pretzels and burgers and drank beer, this time overlooked by the resident Fair Oaks chickens.
I loved every minute of this evening. Congratulations Claire and Josh. I am so incredibly thankful you chose me to capture the beginning of the rest of your life together.
If you know someone who is planning an intimate wedding, a second-time-around marriage, or even an elopement, please have them get in touch with me. I love photographing these events and, unlike wedding photographers focused on booking full-day wedding packages, I offer a la carte pricing starting with just 2 hours of photography coverage. Forward this post to them or connect them to my wedding portfolio, here.
If it’s your special day you’re planning, click here to let me know what you’re thinking about.
(Part One: the Mehendi Celebration is here if you missed it.)
On a cool and blustery beach, just north of Fort Bragg, two families, two cultures, and two people in love came together; imperfectly, joyfully, and beautifully. With bare feet and hair flying in their face, a 30-foot rock for an altar, and the sound of crashing waves for music; with their children as best man and maid-of-honor, and with more love than fanfare, my friend, Mala, and her Shane, made their happily-ever-after.
Here is the story of that day…
After everyone changed back into their comfy clothes, Mala’s daughter, Evani, presented her mom and Shane with a framed copy of the speech she had read aloud during their ceremony. Of all the emotional and touching moments of the weekend – and there were plenty – this was probably my favorite. The emotion on both Shane and Mala’s face (that’s Shane being choked-up in the first photo) and the tears of joy my friend shed as her daughter and new husband embraced… it was the perfect ending to the perfect weekend.
CONGRATULATIONS MALA AND SHANE!
I wish you a lifetime of moments just like this.
Know someone getting married in Northern California?
I’d love to tell the story of their day too. Please contact me to learn more about my wedding packages.
(See Part 2: The Wedding here)
Some people in life you share the good times with. Some people you share the bad. Others you’re lucky enough to be there for both the sunshine and the rain, your relationship bonded by the shared laughter and strengthened by the shared tears. My friend, Mala, comfortably falls into the latter category. She is one of the most courageous, creative, passionate, and joyful people I know. We share our immigrant status, her from India and me from England, our artistic nature, and our love of travel. Our friendship spans fourteen years with babies born and marriages made and then failed. As she said herself while we were photographing her getting ready for this, the next, beautiful chapter of her life with her now-husband, Shane: “you have been around for almost all the best moments in my life since I moved to the U.S.” It’s true and it’s humbling. This woman is my family.
Mala and Shane met online in the only way that two single parents really can these hectic days: swiping right. I knew it was serious when Mala disappeared from my social calendar and started popping up all over California with her daughter, Evani, Shane and his son, Aiden. The sparkle in her eyes when she talked about him told me everything I needed to know and so I wasn’t surprised when she returned from a Tahoe break, engaged. From the outside looking in, it looked like a whirlwind romance. But spend an hour or two with these guys and their kids, together, you realize one simple and very powerful fact: this isn’t just a coming together of two people that love one another, but the coming together of families. When people in love say they “found” one another, I think Mala and Shane’s new, blended family is exactly what they mean: together, they have been found. As I share their photos from their weekend, over and over again you’ll see that, yes, these are two people that love one another, but that this celebration is a family one, shared by both of their children.
The thriving Indian community Mala belongs to would never settle for a small wedding by the beach and so Mala and Shane planned a wedding weekend. A traditional Mehendi celebration on Friday night in El Dorado Hills and then a wedding weekend in Fort Bragg for a smaller group of friends and family.
If you’ve never been to an Indian party, you’ve never been to a party. They love to socialize and dance… and DANCE! Everyone can not only dance beautifully, it seems, but loves to perform on stage with abandon to happy, boppy, Bollywood tunes. Mala even got her non-Indian friends in on the act, choreographing a routine for some mutual friends who did an awesome job up on stage. Way to represent, girls.
Me, I hid behind my camera and tried to capture as much of all the joy and genuine love as I could, while also dancing and having a good time.
The evening began, uncharacteristically, with the bride-to-be, dressing her mother-in-law-to-be, Deb, in a Sari for the occasion. Their relationship is close and touching. Like I said… Mala found a family, not just a husband.
Part Two in Fort Bragg is coming soon. Stay tuned…