August 17, 2015

Family Ocean Photographer {Water Sessions}

child photographer ocean ocean child photography mermaid ocean phtography ocean photography father kids ocean photographyLast year I began a quest that took me on a whole new journey in my photography. I decided to move forward and offer sessions that end in the water. The kind where we would all be duck diving and splashing and having fun. These sessions are not for all families, but there are families out there who can relate to me.
A water session might be right for you if:

1. It is hard to get your kids out of the water at the beach.

2. There is almost a bucket full of sand in your car at the end of any given week.

3. You own more than just two wave riding boards, most likely you have one of each size.

4. You have surfline ap on your phone, or follow tide and swell charts online.

5. You want to remember this time in their lives when your children could play all day in the waves.

So this week I was lucky enough to have THREE families sign up for this kind of session. It was a dream of a week.

Let me know who is next. :-)




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August 3, 2015

Texas Family Visits the Pacific

boy running in ocean seagulls family on the beach with baby father son snuggle in grass mother and son looking at each other mother and toddler laughing salt creet beach toddler on grassNothing could be sweeter than reconnecting with a dear friend. This family stopped by their old stomping grounds of California all the way from Texas. The kids were obviously cute enough to eat, and had a blast playing at the beach. The mama, well she was an old roommate from college, and it was a joy to connect with her once again in person.

Facebook likes have nothing on a real live hug!!!

I asked the oldest son to sit down on a rock, and he asked me “what is that?” Thinking he didn’t know what a jetty was, I said, “people moved these big rocks here to keep the sand from eroding. Now can you sit on it please?”

He still didn’t move, “no, that!”

What skipped my eye was a VERY Large seal sitting right next to the rock I asked him to sit in. Haha! So glad he was paying attention. I would have died if he approached it!




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July 10, 2015

Balboa Fun Zone, California Adventure with Famlies

balboa ferrybalboa bars  balboa fun zone  girl and her pinwheelbalboa fun zone ferrybaby boy and family girl playing in the waterfamily with kids kids and sail boats

This is the photography sessions I want to be known for. The session that starts with a grand plan to have fun. Where we gallop off into one happy event after another of pinwheel flying, boat sailing, Ferris wheeling, ice cream eating kind of fun. The one that always ends up with kids in the water, getting wet, and having a blast. One such place to do this is to start right there on Balboa Island in Newport Beach, watch the sail boats go by, hop on a ferry and head to the Balboa Peninsula Fun Zone. Eat a treat or two, maybe take a whirl on the Ferris Wheel, and then head back for splashing in the water by the boardwalk. And of course don’t forget your bubbles.

The best part about a session like this is that the kids don’t even know what hit them. No stuffy sit-in-the-chair while the lady gets the shot kind of task, just good old fashioned California Adventure fun. And the most fun thing about it is, there are so many adventures to be had in Orange County. You can Hike, Tide Pool, Kayak, Swing, Ride, Explore, so many places, and I am excited to go find them all.

This family comes from far far away in a land called Norther California. And although there are adventures up there too, I am glad they always save one adventrue a year to have with me. Watching these two grow up has been one of my most treasured blessings on the job. Thank you sweet family for including me on your adventures.



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July 3, 2015

Adventure Photoshoot in Newport Beach, two kids and a puppy!

Recipe for a chaotic Photo session:

1 package of bubbles

1 Labrador puppy

2 rambunctious littles

Large Park

Dash of hide and seek

4 slices of watermelon


daisygirl on swinga gril and her bubble  watermelon summersiblings and a puppyThis family. These two. I adore them all. It is the kind of session where you almost wish you didn’t have to take pictures and could just hang out and chat all day. It becomes like a wonderful playful romp in the park, and remembering to take pictures becomes something I almost have to ask siri to remind me of every two minutes. And the bestest sessions of all are always the ones where we plan an adventure together, no matter the size. This one started with a watermelon picnic, and ended running down the grassy hill at the playground. All after a lengthy game of hide and seek of course.

What is precious beyond precious to me is to watch siblings bond. Watching them giggle together or hold hands, or run down the hill falling all over each other, it is my most happiest of places. Isn’t it funny how different sibling love can be? There can be sisters who bond over sparkly shoes and hair bows, or like these two, caring and protective older brother on adorable little sister. It will get me every time. I adore that relationship, and love when I see parents foster that above all else.

Just this week one day I was near breakdown level in my toddler filled day, barely able to find the humor in all our tantrums and drama over little things. Kellen woke up from his nap naked, having peed allover his bed. His own protest to an afternoon nap. I dragged him against his will to the park so he could maintain some composure while his precious blanket was washed. When I got back, I was dreading the fact that his blanket would still have a good thirty minutes to go through the dryer, but to my surprise, CJ had heard the washer go off, and on his own accord, put it through the dryer. An amazingly simple task that took him two minutes to do made my entire day! I forgot all the days meltdowns when I saw Cj bring down the warm blanket to give to Kellen. Sibling love, a precious gift.

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March 25, 2015

Collecting wildflowers


ribbon and girls sisters baby lovewildflower fieldsbeautiful girllady bug  baby family and flowers family fun flower fields flower picking flying in flowers joyful mama and baby mom and baby mom and dadShhhhh, don’t tell them these are weeds.


It really does feel like yesterday that I was shooting the oldest girls newborn pictures. And now she can sing every single word to any song in the sound of music, and has two younger siblings that are just as fun as her. Love watching this family grow!

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January 8, 2015

Favorite Families of all time

Even though I should probably not be saying this, I have a list of favorite families of all time. When they email me, I get super excited the moment the email hits my inbox. The camera in front of my face usually hides a big old smile the whole time I am there. I couldn’t hide if I tried though since it is so big, it probably stretches over the sides of my camera mask. This is one of the families.

There is a beauty inside these four that pours over their gorgeousness. The mama, has a quiet patient way about her that inspires me to be more gentle with my kids. You can tell she is unaware of that sweet kindness, she doesn’t think she is kind enough I am sure. You know the drill, hope your kids behave and get disappointed a few times along the way on any given day. But to be patient and loving even when it is hard, that is a gift I tell you, and she has it.

The dad is so comfortable playing with his boys you know he does it often, and they are close as close can be, without even trying. They always take beautiful photos, because being together is what they do best I would guess. All I do is sit back and try to capture what they are doing naturally. Lucky me.

boy playing near pier brothers wrapped in a blanket brothers family at sunset family beach blanket family fun at beach family having fun family playing at beach family portrait orange county mom and son kissing roasting marshmellows at beach

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September 1, 2014

Family Picnic Under a California Oak


One of my most favorite locations here in Orange County is sitting under the California Oak trees of our open spaces. They are everywhere, and if you need more ideas on where to go for your family picnic, see Fun Orange County Parks website that offers endless ideas. Summer is about over, but playing outside is year round in Southern California. Check that wonderful resource out for more ideas that fit your family style.

At this particular session, we enjoyed a foodless picnic blanket, and ended with a smash cake celebrating this baby’s first year. There are a few deer that visited us at the end of this family session, and it was magical even without our encounter. family on a hill family picnic under a tree girl running down hill kids picnic kids under a tree sibling love

baby boy

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July 30, 2014

OC Family Magazine Cover shoot

OC Family magazine work has been a huge source of joy for me over the past few years. Meeting local writers, inspirational moms, and families not only expands my orange county world, it blows my mind with happy and joyful people I would never have had the privilege to meet. One of these local celebrities in my eyes is Becky Brumfield who writes her own version of motherhood on a dare-you-to-not-laugh-out-loud blog at Hippo Brigade, and her husband Pat who designs for Normalcy. To see the cover shot, and how it turned out, see OC Family’s online version.

Collage 2 mom and sonfamily love

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July 3, 2014

Residential Homes, Commercial Shoot


When I was in High School I used to drive by a local street that I loved. There was a tiny white house on Italia. It was probably built in the early 1920′s, and most likely in the square footage of under 1000sf! I loved that sweet little house. I imagined fixing it up with a little TLC, raising my kids there, and riding our bikes to the downtown area for coffee. The idea of owning a house was such a dream of mine, that I saved up and bought my first house when I was 23 years old. It was everything. I still remember the smell, the details of the windows, and the way my husband and I settled into our adult lives together. It was so little, but it was my first home, and it was as if I bought a castle on the beach, because it was everything to me.

Combine my love of families, and my love of homes, and you get a job shooting families for a home builder! East Haven is coastal neighborhood of 14 homes in Eastside Costa Mesa. Single-family homes, 3 bedroom plus loft, 4 bedroom or 5 bedroom, Approx. 2,247 sq.ft What a treat! We captured first steps, toddlers, and babies-to-be, as well as couples with the cutest dog kids ever! Here are a few of my favorites.

baby and daddy at home couple home first steps girl bike home girl on scooter at home kids at home dog young couple first home

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June 11, 2014

Explore California: an Adventure in Wildflower Hunting

It turns out my most favorite thing to do is explore. If I were born 200 years ago, I would be tempted to join the forces in exploring the country. Waterfalls, tall trees, beaches, mountains all to be discovered and labeled. That is the life I would see myself living. Sometimes, I can convince a family or two to join me on one of these explorations, I call them Explore your Backyard. (Just named that as I was typing!) So many pirate caves, secret coves, wildflower patches and parks to explore here in Southern California. If you are looking for an adventure for your family, and want me to join along and document that expedition of sorts, email me!!!

Here is a wildflower hunt. Kellen and I stumbled across a wildflower patch of poppies, and when this family called and mentioned that their favorite thing to do was hunt for wildflowers, I knew we just had to visit our hidden gem. There was a small walk to get there, but what troopers these two girls were. It was seriously the BEST little “Explore your Backyard” adventure of the year.

Soon I will be posting two more sessions I had with Explore your Backyard. daddy daughters daddy daughter wilderness children laughing wildflower hunting wildflower hunting california spin daughter father sisters picnic picking flowers nature walk california family mom daughters mom daughter happy girl happy family flowergirl flower wreath girl father daughter family picnic Family adventure


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  1. Valerie Johnson

    What a wonderful idea Noel! Please sign me up for exploring your backyard news!

    Valerie Johnson