Adventures in Family Photography

Photographing children and families with children is one of the best parts of what I do…and a great workout; trying to keep up with youngsters is no joke!  Not long ago, I once again had the lovely experience of photographing Shannon, Rachelle, and their growing family — one of the sweetest you could ever meet. And just like all my returning family clients, I am truly honored to know them, watch their family grow, and capture their most important moments for them.  I love these sessions because they feel like a reunion with old friends.

I first had the pleasure of photographing Shannon and Rachelle at their wedding in 2008. Then came pregnancy and newborn photos with darling boy Dylan and, recently, the same with darling girl Ellie. Ellie was still in mama’s belly at the time of this shoot, but she arrived happy and healthy soon afterwards and was absolutely precious in her recent newborn portraits. (Stay tuned for more on Ellie.)

Notice how happy everyone looks in these images, especially little Dylan? Well, there’s a bit more to the story. See that beautiful stone stairway? The minute Dylan saw it, all he wanted to do was climb, and climb, and climb some more. He was on a mission and simply had no time for photos. It would be an understatement to say Dylan was unhappy when we suggested a break from climbing. And he wasn’t shy about sharing his feelings.


So how did we get from that state of mind to these happy images?  With a little patience and a lot of fun. Through years of experience, I have learned to quickly build a rapport with young kids and redirect if things start to go awry. For starters, I first spend time just connecting — without cameras and other equipment. I gauge whether a child is in a shy or outgoing mood in order to match their energy. I might even enlist them as “assistants”, asking them what we need to get done and how they think we should do it.

In Dylan’s case, something as simple as a silly face contest did the trick. Before you could say “stairway”, he was all ready to smile for the camera!

Parents often worry that their shoot won’t go well if their children aren’t perfect angels at all times. But no one’s are, and that’s okay. This is supposed to be fun!  Kids don’t have to be perfect to have a perfect family portrait photo shoot. They just have to be themselves, have fun, and we get to make it great!

– Nancy

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Ruby Hill Golf Club Wedding

I was fortunate to photograph this charming couple for both their engagement session and wedding.  Amanda and Pedro were married in the historic Mission San Jose in Fremont, followed by an amazing celebration at the Ruby Hill Golf Club in Pleasanton.  The weather was perfect, the bride & groom were a dream to work with, and the venues were stunning….what more could I ask for?!?



Larkspur Wedding Photography: Debbie & Rick

It was a real treat to photograph Debbie & Rick’s wedding at the Tavern at Lark Creek in July.  I photographed Rick’s sister’s wedding some years ago, and it was really special to see familiar faces in their family and share in the excitement of adding a new sister and daughter-in-law.  It’s clear how much they love Debbie and what a great “match” the two of them are…all very inspiring!

Thank you so much for letting me be a part of your celebration, it was a perfect day!


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Bay Area Engagement Photography

I’m looking forward to photographing Amanda & Pedro’s wedding next year at the Mission San Jose with a reception at the lovely Ruby Hill.  For their engagement session I suggested Mills College, where we had a great time roaming around.  Nothing better than hanging out with your best friend on a beautiful summer day, right?!  And for me, it’s a dream job!

Amanda & Pedro: you two are such a charming couple, as everyone can clearly see!  Your sweet personalities really come through in these images.  Thanks for a great session!


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