Photog Friday: The Power of Peekaboo!

Again, a day late … somehow Fridays seem to slip by me! Mostly, because I spend much of my week wondering “what’s today? Tuesday? wait, Thurday?!”

Anyway, since its the weekend, let’s talk about something fun for Photog Friday – Peekaboo!

Babies & kids of most ages love it! And with a little practice, you’ll get the timing down and capture some great smiles! If you’re at the park, trees work great for this. At home you can use a door, a shower door, a blanket – get creative!

All you have to do announce, “Let’s play a game!” with my older boy I have to make it more of a challenge. I tell him to hide behind the door (or whatever) and I’ll try to capture you with my picture. It’s more of a catch-me-if-you-can with him so I’ve learned to be quick. I take a shot before we start so I know where my settings need to be and then use the first couple of peekaboos to get my focus & composition down. Then it’s all a matter of shooting at the right moment and getting them to enjoy the game. Usually, big smiles from me are mimicked by them and if you aren’t getting any giggles – make sure to squeal like they scared you or slap your forehead a few times!

Here are some of my favorite Peekaboo shots, have fun with it!!


Mommy Monday: Wild Thing 2

Well, its about time. You’ve seen plenty of posts about the first Wild Thing so it’s time for a post of the second.

So, far he’s held his own when it comes to his brother. He seems to have some strong opinions already.  And I bet you’ll notice he’s a “thinker”, an “observer”, and seems to see right through you.

He’s roly … he’s poly … he’s got cheeks you’ll want to just nibble on … here is Wild Thing 2.



Baby Session on Capistrano Beach {OC Child Photographer}

I can’t wait until this little guy comes back out for pictures this summer! We had so much fun shooting this session. He marched right out into the water like he was right at home. We chased him around the beach until we were freezing but it didn’t seem to bother him one bit.

And it always amazes me how fast they grow, seems like yesterday we did his Newborn Session …

Time flies – capture the moments!

Mommy Monday: Where Does the Time Go?

One of the reasons I love doing Mommy Mondays is because it forces me to go through shots that I might have otherwise forgotten about. Every Monday I seem to find a shot that makes me smile. I usually remember TAKING the shot but life gets busy, I rarely get back to most after uploading them. This, my friends, is the reason I take so many photos of my boys – life slips by us so fast. Time is a thief, it robs us of memories, of details, of little nuances we might not have even noticed.

Capture the images.

Yesterday was the baby’s 6 month birthday and I found myself wondering where the time had gone. I sat rocking him extra long while watching his brother play. And then came the tears – my oldest is a boy now. No longer even a preschooler. And if I hadn’t been holding his baby brother, I might not have even stopped to think about how quickly he went from 6 months to 4-1/2. They say idle hands are the devil’s tools but a mommy’s forever busy hands seem to be the thief’s accomplice.

Gone is the baby face, the pudgy hands, and the fuzzy head.

He’s a boy now. I’m so thankful I used his gradually changing face to test my lights before my session that day … I’ll be even more thankful in the years to come. By then, I’ll have forgotten about the little details of the days when when he would only smile with a promise of a lollipop, when he would let me fix his hair for him, the days when he always had marker on his face.

Capture the images.

Photog Friday: Too Grainy?

Happy Friday!

If you’ve been practicing shooting in the house, you may have noticed there are rooms with horrible lighting or distracting backgrounds. In these shots below, the lighting was decent enough to turn off my flash but that meant I needed to up my ISO. And whenever you’re shooting in low light and have to raise your ISO, you might notice that the shots look “grainy”. So, now I find myself with grainy shots with a distracting background … what can you do?

Convert them to black & white my friends! Then add a little contrast and you’re done. A grainy shot that you didn’t like in color, now looks timeless.

The black & white also embraces the emotion.

Here are some shots of my beautiful little niece at 5 months old …

You can find more posts on indoor lighting HERE and HERE. And feel free to email/comment with any questions, I don’t have all the answers but I know people who do!

Thanks for stopping by!

Beautiful Family on Shell Beach, La Jolla {San Diego Photographer}

I just loved spending time with this family. Beautiful weather, beautiful beach, AND a beautiful pregnant mommy & her gorgeous family on the beach – that’s why I love my job!  And these little girls were so much fun to play with, we ran around, we laughed, and had a great time. Their youngest was just about to turn one and soon after this session they became a family of 5 – some important moments in time!

I love being a part of a such special time in a family’s journey!


Mommy Monday: My Wild Thing

I came across these shots as I was going through my pictures for today’s post. Even though they’re only 6 months old, I see a difference in his face, a look at might have been just a phase because I haven’t seen it since, and a stolen shot of a goofy little dance that is RARELY seen in public. I see a smile that warms my heart, eyes that remind me to be a better person, a face that brings me joy. He has a spirit that tests me everyday and a character created for BIG things.

He restored a large portion of my faith, mended what I’ve let get eaten away, and is a constant reminder that I am blessed.

I’ll set the example for him on when to say ‘thank you’, how to brush his teeth, and how to add 1 + 1 but he sets the example for me on how to trust deeply, how to love faithfully, and how to dance joyfully – all things I’ve lost along my way. Seems his job is much more important and I’m not sure how I’d ever thank him other than respecting that he was sent from God.

… just goes to show you, there’s a lot you can get out of just 3 pictures that you had completely forgotten about.

Family Beach Session, La Jolla {San Diego Photographer}

I just love this family!

They’re so easy to work with and have the cutest little guy. We had great weather and it was an awesome morning. I’m honored that they would include me in their vacation to San Diego. I love it when I get to see my littlest clients go grow up through my lens.

This is one of my favorites spots … hope you’ll see why. Enjoy!

Photog Friday: Too Dark or Too Light?

Happy Friday!

This week is geared towards my friends that are still timid about the leap into Manual mode on their DSLR. So, to help ease you in, we’re going to go over a little about how to use the manual mode to fix your shots that are too dark or too light in Aperture Priority (Av mode for Canon).

Let’s say you’ve taken the shot in Av and its just too dark. Here’s the easy fix:

1. Click on your “Display” feature to see the settings that the camera used to take the shot and write that info down.

2. Switch to Manual mode.

3. Set your aperture and ISO to match the settings you wrote down.

4. Your image was too dark, so that means you need to let in more light, so you need a slower shutter speed. Because the longer your shutter is open, the more light gets in, the lighter your shot (more info on shutter speed HERE). So, for example, the camera used 1/200, so try using 1/125. (if the shot was too light, you’d adjust the other direction).

5. Take the shot. If its still too dark, keep moving your shutter speed to a small denominator (slower speed, more light, try it and it will make sense).

6. “Now my shot is blurry!” if you just said that, its from hand motion because your shutter speed has dropped too low. SO, move it back up a bit and this time raise your ISO. The higher ISO will compensate for the bump to a faster shutter speed.

DON’T read this and freak out – it sounds more complicated than it is, you can do it!

The important thing to remember here, is that you’re PRACTICING, experimenting, and USING your camera in Manual mode.

I don’t use Av mode but here is my thought process when adjusting my shutter speed for the shot below –

I rolled my 12 hour old baby’s hospital bassinet over to the window. Opened the curtains. I’m in Manual, my camera’s evaluation meter sees a lot of white in this frame so it tells me my exposure is at 1/250 (because it averages the white blanket with his skin and sees “bright!”) so I start there 1/250, ISO 200 (because I’m indoors), and f/1.4. My shot is too dark, so I adjust the shutter speed to 1/60, ahhh, now its too light! Okay, adjust to 1/125 – there … that’s what I’m looking for! Natural light, pretty shadows, and creaminess in the blanket…a shot deserving of a gift from God.

If you need more info on manual mode, you can find it HERE.

Hope that helps! And as always, comment or email me with any questions…thanks!