October 1, 2016

More Beach Love and Water Sessions


Another water session that was completely good for my soul! Loved every second, especially that I love these kids like family. Watching families grow up is by far the biggest perk of this job. We couldn’t have been luckier with the sky this night! It just went from pretty to poetry at the end. We were lucky to follow Emerson’s advice and simply,

“Live in the sunshine, swim the sea, drink the wild air.”

kids on a rockmom and daughter huggingfamily at the beach kids reflection at the beach girl running into the waves boy in the waves kids playing in the water siblings at the beach siblings playing in the water girl being covered by white water girl watching waves at beach boy riding the waves at beach girl chasing birds ar the beach kids playing in the beach

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  1. Theresa

    Stunning work!

December 27, 2015

White Christmas

This year we decided the best thing we could give our kids was their first white christmas. It was a huge gamble, although everyone has been predicting this huge el niño winter, snow was not guaranteed. We rented a cabin up in Big Bear Mountains, and hoped for the best. On the 24th, we hopped into our Christmas jammies and perched ourselves up on the couch with the fire to our backs, waiting for the storm to roll in. No one was able to stay up late enough to see the first flake fall, but by morning our cabin had six new inches of soft white powder on the porch, and we were all elated to open presents and get up on the slopes.

Kellen informed me in the parking lot of his first day ever snowboarding that he was going to go on a box. All I could think was “so cute” and replied, “don’t worry if it doesn’t happen today, you can do it another day.” After all he had to master standing up without falling. All that worry aside, all he did that day was box looping. A new term I am coining for this kid. All it was all day was tow him up the hill on his star wars chopper to the top of the box, and watch him go down. What a nut! But at three, he is destined to be a Emergency Room regular. Maybe blame the older brother? Even though he did fall, it was as if he understood that that too, was part of the journey. This picture explains the emotion of the day to a tee.

If you are reading this, I hope you had a wonderful holiday with your family, making new memories.



toddler snowboardingtoddler snowboarding bear mountaintoddler shredding snowboardingtoddler on a burton snowboardtoddler learning to snowboardtoddler grom snowboardingtoddler walking near a laketoddler on thin icetoddler in warm jacket toddler in snow jacketthin ice snow toddler snow storm snow play fresh snow young boy

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October 20, 2015

Top 6 Locations to Take Family Photos In Orange County



We are so lucky to live in a place as magical as this is. Orange County, California has great weather, and beautiful parks and beaches, it can be a bit overwhelming to decide what backdrop you want to have for your holiday photos. Weather you are taking them yourself, or hiring a professional, your location can have a big impact on your photos. When choosing your location, think of what best represents your family. These are my top 6 favorite places to shoot photos here in Orange County, in no particular order.

1. Peltzer Farms Christmas Tree Lot- Nothing is more holiday than a Christmas Tree Farm, that is if you are celebrating Christmas! The location is beautiful, and sure to put you in the holiday spirit with the holly smells. For a small fee you can have a professional take your photos there too!

tree farm

2. Ocean Tidepools- Of course check the tides before you head out, but it won’t even feel like photo taking to your kids, it will be like one big school field trip! Kids will have fun, and you know what happens to our faces when we are having fun right? Real natural smiles! Booya!


3. Open Spaces- Irvine Landmarks  just invited me to see some of the expansive open spaces that they are in charge of preserving, for-like-ever! So that is good news. It may take time narrowing down where you will go,but with over 20,000 acres you are sure to find a hill or path that will be perfect for pictures. Bring a kite, wagon or bike for some added fun for the family.


4. Piers- From Seal Beach to San Clemente, piers offer shade and variety in your beach pictures, and there is bound to be one you haven’t been to yet. Start under the pier for some fun, then end up ontop to watch the sunset. Maybe your pier will even have a Ruby’s at the end, to provide you with plenty of bribes for cute smiles!

under the pier family photography

5. Parks- Fun Orange County Parks  has done the research for you so if you need to see pictures before you go, I am sure Michelle has already taken one for you. You can also see if there are bathrooms or open trails for you to explore. Just make sure if you have young kids that you don’t start at the play structure as it will be difficult to pull them away!


6. San Juan Capistrano Mission- The Mission is a gorgeous backdrop for your family photos. Call before hand to be sure you reserve a spot if you are going with a professional, there is a small admittance fee, but it is gorgeous and your kids will love the fish!

mission San Juan

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October 18, 2015

Backyard Pool Photography Session

boys underwater cannon ballpool photo session brothers underwater cannon ball teenage boys underwater underwater handstand portraitThis family and I have been working together for almost seven years. That is amazing luck, because they are the kindest, most amazing family that shares the same kind of values I do. Time spent with them is joyful and fun. But sadly we are running out of creative locations to shoot their family. So this years session, we thought we would do it under the water of their very own swimming pool.

They deliver what I boldly state as THE most creative christmas card in all of Orange county. I challenge you to find one more crazy and creative then the one we create together. One year they created the board game of LIFE out of their whole year, and I contributed a small piece of the puzzle by way of cover photo of the family. This year the idea will be amazing, she has already run it by me, and we are excited to work on it together. But for now, I want to share these fun photos of a pool play session that we created together. My favorite picture of the day was the selfie they took when I handed my camera over to them!underwater selfie


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January 30, 2012

More catch up…

jumpnewport-beach-children-photographerfamily-photography-newport-beachnewport-beach-photographyThis was a great weekend in my household. We celebrated seven years with my precious and crazy wild child. Birthdays are fun when you do things like open Lego sets and jump on trampolines all day! We topped it off with a first time trip to the monster truck show in Anaheim. A seven year old dream come true.

Like I promised, a few more family sessions from November….

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  1. michelle nicoloff

    love these images!!!! I wanna see more sessions, my friend:)so happy you had a great weekend celebrating your “wild child “7th bday:) love you!

  2. Pamela Golan

    LOVE LOVE LOVE! Noel you are a great photographer and what an amazing family!!! I am sure you had a blast. xo, Pamela

September 11, 2011

Family of Four Photo Fun…..

family-and-balloonskids-and-balloons-photographyboy-and-a-balloonballoon-family-photographymom-and-daughter A parking lot under the roaring sound of planes landing at the airport was the back drop for this photo shoot. It’s a family favorite location for this family, and it turned out to be a fun filled session of four giggling kids, and the small chance that six over sized balloons might allow one of them the opportunity to fly.

If you are thinking of creating something fun and different for your holiday session, give me a call so we can start planning. Like always, My customers are way ahead of me in the planning sense, and due to a high volume of emails I have realized that the season is upon us.

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January 9, 2011

Sisters!!!! Newport Beach, Balboa Island

No matter the age, sisters are my absolute favoritest group to have the honor of photographing. It is no secret that I love mine, that they are my best friends, and that my life without them would be so lame. (that seems extreme, but it is true) So the fact that these girls are BEAUTIFUL, is just an added bonus. They couldn’t take a bad picture.

Speaking of sisters, this is how cool mine are! For Christmas, we have slowly morphed our tradition of gift giving into gift making. It becomes so memorable. So you probably guessed that I gave photographs….. and from them I got, homemade candles that smell better then the yummiest Yankee candle, chocolates and candies of many sorts, a hand-sewn bag, knitted sweater, and a bracelet made with stones. I am one lucky sister. As are these three.


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  1. michelle nicoloff

    Gosh…they are beauties!!!!!!

  2. Gretchen

    They are all beautiful!

  3. Cindy


January 3, 2011

Family, going big!

The family I grew up in wasn’t small. There were five kids, and we all got along, all of the time. Well, that is how I remember it anyway. Five was perfect. Add one friend each in the house, and it got full quick. But the noise, the friends, the chaos, I LOVED it! When a big family comes my way I get so excited and I feel right at home.

So, we got the formal shot out of the way, then played at the beach. So my style!


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  1. Michele K

    Noel the pictures are gorgeous! What a beautiful family!

December 28, 2010

The Mission

This was the first year that I scheduled a session at the Mission in San Juan. But once I scheduled one, I scheduled three more that same week! Loved, loved, loved, that location! Somehow inspiration came to me through the walls of history, and Spanish influence, and the amazing architecture. Or maybe it was just the beautiful families that inspired me. Whatever it was, I was happy to find a new spot that just screams CALIFORNIA!! I used to teach 4th grade, and California history has to be one of the best perks to teaching that grade. The missions are so special and unique to California.

family-photo-session-at-san-juan-missionmission-san-juan-photographyorange-county-family-photographyAnd I am gonna have to promise to catch up on the holiday blog posts. So many families to share…… so little time!

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  1. Michele K

    Beautiful family & amazing pictures! Love the colors & the location!

  2. Jackie Culmer

    LOVE! You captured all the beauty and love in this family. So heartwarming.

  3. michelle nicoloff

    So beautiful Noel….such a gorgeous family!!!

  4. Julie

    Oh those Stoeckleins…why can’t we all photograph so well? Amazing pics Noel! And I’m so jelous of the location. So beautiful…

December 14, 2010

Family Session in Shady Canyon

Here is a session from October that I have never had the time to post. A beautiful family with an amazing backyard view.

irvine-shady-canyon-photographerphotography-shady-canyonshady-canyon-photographyThere is a faint, tiny light ahead. It just might be the end of my tunnel. Just a few more orders to finish up, and then I will be able to enjoy this season with ice skating trips, and manatees, and baking cookies. I cannot wait! Hope yours is great.

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  1. Gretchen

    Such a beautiful setting for such a beautiful family!

  2. Michele K

    Beautiful Noel! Beautiful family and gorgeous images, as usual. :O) Happy Holidays to you & your family!