January 28, 2015

Self Portrait Session

This is what an ideal girls’ night looks like to me. Pacific Ocean, warm golden light, the best of friends, and cameras. The hard part is letting go in front of the camera when it is your turn, but in the end, I am happy to put up with it if I can photograph them right back.  I for one have a hard time facing my personal image, so looking at photographs of myself without cringing is really hard. This was a place that we all felt super comfortable, in front of friends that we knew loved us exactly the way we are, so it was the best possible circumstance.

When I look at Mali Workman, and Michelle Nicoloff I see so much beauty. As hard as I try to see the freckles, and long dark hair, and deep brown eyes, I just see the kindness and love that they have towards the world. I see the unending patience they have with their kids, and their ability to see beauty around them everywhere they go. This gives me hope that they too see past the details that meet me in the mirror each morning.

beautiful mom blanket pacific flipflop shoes in the pacific michelle nicoloff noel besuzzi pacific ocean portrait portraits

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February 19, 2014

My Turn


My toddler is almost a year and a half, and as a result, there is never a dull moment in my life. So the saying goes, the years are indeed short, but the days can be long. In between taking every single dish out of my cupboard and climbing onto the refrigerator, there are moments of sheer joy and cuddliness that will never return. Look at my nine year old. Nobody claps when he learns a new trick, or word- and kisses, forget about it! Those are rare at 9! But here it is, the face of a kitchen re-organizer, household safety checker, trashcan empty-er, dog loving bundle of cuteness that I cherish each and every second as of late. And, as the busy season of mine dies down, it is now my turn to turn the lens onto my family, and create snippets of what will soon be gone.    curly hair toddlertoddler beach toystoddler at beach low tidetoddler curly hairtoddler at the beachsurfing toddler beach

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  1. Theresa

    Perfection, that you get to call your own! Awesome shots! You nailed a perfect moment in time.

April 20, 2012

New York City

family-portraits-in-new-yorknew-york-family-tripcentral-park-swing-new-york-citycentral-park-zooJust a few pictures from spring break adventures in New York City. We did just about anything you can imagine when you think of New York. We went home with sore feet, tired legs, and no regrets. Each day was filled with adventure after adventure returning to our hotel room a little after midnight each day. Good thing we were on Pacific Standard Time.

As we were getting off the plane, CJ turned to look at me with the most serious question. “So mom, what other city have I not been to?”

Oh, there are a few more CJ, a few more.

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  1. Gretchen

    Love this! And what CJ said. Priceless.

  2. Corinne

    Great images!! Love cj’s question, the world is his to explore. : )

  3. Julie

    I love that shot of the three of you!

October 13, 2011


“ Nothing happens when you sit at home. I always make it a point to carry a camera with me at all times…I just shoot at what interests me at that moment. Elliott Erwitt

It shouldn’t be surprising to hear that I love to take pictures. I am taking pictures as a job, and when I am hanging out with my six-year old, I am taking pictures with my phone. It is really an obsession of mine, this phone picture taking thing. It has also been named iphonography. The art of taking pictures with your iphone. There are some like Sion Fullana, who make a profession out of this hobby. For me, it fits into my pocket, and doesn’t disturb my lifestyle while allowing me the opportunity to be creative ANYTIME, and capture those precious moments I share with my son.

It is a chance for us to remember the things of today that make us smile. It has also allowed me to stretch my creativity to see the world around me in terms of a picture. How can that stop sign be framed? What will make that umbrella stand out? What is the best way to show that sunset? Will that bird sit still for me one moment longer? Can I capture something beautiful right here, right now, no fancy camera involved?

I love it so much, I have been writing about it over at OC Family for over a year now as imoments mommy. I write about how camera phones have changed my life and how my poor point and shoot cameras see less and less daylight as my iphone camera improves.


If you are considering a journey of your own down this creative path, I do have a few warnings for you.

1. Obey all traffic laws when seeing something beautiful out your window, don’t be afraid to stop the car and get out, it will happen a lot.

2. Watch the sky, especially during sunsets and sunrises. You will not be disappointed.

3. Buy the largest capacity phone you can. You may take over 100 pictures in one day!


4. Have fun, and start creating your own imoments.

You can also find me as imoments on Instagram.

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  1. Gretchen

    These are better than the real photos I try to take! Amazing!

  2. Deena

    Great photos with an iphone. Of course, it’s the artist in you that makes the photos look so perfect. Now I am even more excited to get the iphones tomorrow!!! BTW, Haley recognized her glasses in the picture above and she wants to know when we’ll see you next :-)

  3. Julie

    Love these Noel! And I loved your story about the waterslide on the OC Family blog. You are such a talented writer…you had me laughing out loud.

August 6, 2011

Boy in Bodie

I am going to go ahead and say something out loud to you all. Fortunately CJ cannot read, as this could possibly cause him hours and hours of therapy in his future. When I found out I was pregnant, I really, really, really, reeeeeally wanted a girl. Me and this future girl already had nail dates, long shopping trips for prom dresses, dance lessons, and hair-braiding nights planned. It sounded fun. But once we found out it was going to be a boy, I went and put those plans on a big fat HOLD!

And now, my evenings are filled with trips to practice involving a ball of some shape, and we never color anything, only erase marks that are drawn where they shouldn’t be at all. We dig, get dirty, go to baseball games, dress up as super heroes and have stick/rock collections that will knock your socks off if you ever got to see them. We get hurt. We have trouble staying out of trouble, and an easy time finding a hard way to get places. We talk about poop and body noises more than I would like, and we even triumphantly phone-videoed an arm sound that was recently perfected. When at first I imagined doing some of these boy things, a part of me cringed. A part of me that didn’t understand it all.

But somewhere along the line, while watching my boy giggle over burps, celebrate over home-runs, and wonder over all things living, I fell in love with a whole new set of plans. Plans I would have never picked out for myself, but would now never trade for the prettiest princess costume around. When I kiss his smelly dirty head after a long full day of play, it is starting to smell wonderful to me. It smells like adventure. As I watch him play at the beach so fearlessly, I start to feel a bit like I know what it is like to be a child as a boy. It is a strange and awesome feeling to fall in love with a childhood that you knew very little about. And I am starting to think it is a gift.



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  1. Gretchen

    Oh my how wonderful! You always seem to find a way of putting into words and photos the feelings I love to read and experience second hand. Thanks for the wonderful reminders of having children! Love the photos of Bodie too!

  2. michelle nicoloff

    Exactly what your mamma said!!! Girl you make me cry!!! This is sooooooo beautiful…your words and your images touch my heart! I am blessed to call you my friend:) LOVE YOU!!!

  3. Nicole

    Such a well-written moving post. You sound like an amazing mommy!

  4. Mali

    And it IS A GIFT! Only when you have a boy and a girl you realize that it really doesn’t make a difference. The excitement in our kids eyes are so much more meaningful than out own excitement that, as a mom, it doesn’t matter if it’s over pretty nails or a collection of rocks. These images are awesome!!!

September 24, 2010

I can suppose only that, like…the rest of them, she was melted because he had all his first teeth.


sibling-love-newport-beachJust a few of the holiday sessions I have been working on, and feel so blessed by the fact that in the fall, you will most likely find me at world famous, beautiful beaches here in California, hanging out with my favorite sized people.

Speaking of favorite sized people, I think I am having just some small kind of melt down today with my very own. Just slightly. CJ came to me after school yesterday with a loose tooth. You heard me! Loose. Do you even know what this means? J.M. Barrie described lost boys and Peter Pan for that matter in one common phrase that was mentioned at least four times in the book. They never grew up, because they still had their baby teeth!! So, what does that mean to me? I am loosing my baby. sniff, sniff

But somehow in that great plan that is life, he is exchanged for a very lovely and well behaved boy. The lovely part for sure.

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  1. Amanda Bevington

    Love this post! Beautiful images and beautiful sentiment….Ben keeps asking when his baby teeth will become loose. I say…”not too soon baby, not too soon” : ) Our album is amazing!!! Thank you again for capturing our family so brilliantly!! We will cherish this always! xoxo, A

  2. Jackie Culmer

    What an amazing experience to get to witness this shoot and then see the final outcome! You are so talented and amazing at what you do. I’m so glad I stalk you. ;)

  3. Mali

    These are so sweet! I LOVE the last one :)

  4. Debbie

    Really beautiful photos! Not sure how I find our blog but love all your images, especially these beach ones!!

August 24, 2010

Summer, imma gonna miss you……

but it will sure be a lot easier to get some work done seeing that we wont be at the beach almost every dang gone day!

Here is a video that I made only using my phone. I know, I am still not over the fact that this can come solely from a phone as a tool. I wrote a review about iMovie, the application over at OC Family.

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  1. Kimberly

    I love it! I haven’t used imovie on my phone yet. I’m inspired.

  2. Mali

    Adorable!!! CJ and Juliana are either going to love this video or feel totally shy when they watch it in a few years :) But I’m sure you and Michelle will love it forever :)

  3. michelle nicoloff

    I swear I can watch this a zillion times…it just makes me smile:)

August 3, 2010

The Great Sequoia: Camping

sequoia-national-parksequoiaA sure fire way to have a great time camping is to check some important items off your list of campsite necessities.

Here is my list: Flush-able toilet, private “beach”, fishing poles, refrigerator, ceiling fan, screened in porch, bed, proximity to national park. All Checks on this family vacation. And I know there are a few of you out there reading this and asking how that is actually “camping”. Right? Well, this is about as close as I would like to get. Thank you very much.

One day we thought we would go on a small little harmless hike to a itty bitty lake. It sounded easy, only 3.4 miles. BUT…… apparently, hiking up an elevation of 2,200ft is not considered “easy” by any definition of the word. I seriously thought I was in shape, BEFORE the hike. During the hike I thought it would take a miracle to keep me alive. But alas, we made it to the lake, passing deer, snow, mosquito heaven, and a few other cool things. And it was so worth it. So sorry I didn’t bring my good camera this day, because I felt like twirling around at the top singing “The hills are alive” it was THAT beautiful.

The National Park was so amazing, it is hard to believe that we hadn’t visited it before now. That black and white photo actually has CJ at the bottom of one of the trees. A great way to put your life into perspective is to realize how small you really are!

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  1. Diana Mattar

    Great images Noel. We’re actually going camping to the Sequoia this weekend! Thanks for the camping tips.

  2. michelle nicoloff

    LOVE! Makes me wanna go camping!!!! And anxious to get the 24-70mm:)

  3. Amanda Bevington

    SO great! I’m with you…camping with room service is the way to go : ) But, makes me want to brave the great outdoors a bit too! Love the ones of CJ! Adorable!! xo, A

  4. Julie

    I think you could photograph my backyard and make it look like a vacation destination. Awesome pics! And CJ totally looks like Rodney in that close-up.

June 26, 2010

Special Day: Kids Take the Field at Dodger Stadium

Sometimes I see my child walking through this world full of opportunities and experiences that are so amazing, I feel sorta guilty. Especially in baseball. On more than one occasion I have had to move sections in batting practice because getting three balls thrown up by players is enough…. share the love, right? Well this night was another one of those special experiences. CJ had the opportunity to take the field with a Dodger player. He was beyond excited. Notice the child skipping onto the field, that would be his take on life! kids-take-the-field

By far the best part of the night was right before they told him who he would be running out with. His favorite player, Russel Martin plays catcher, and he was hoping to get to meet him. Once he found out that he would, he looked shocked and scared at the same time, looking at us both in disbelief. But I have to say, as cute as CJ’s face is here, his daddy in the back right looks equally excited!russel-martinWe are so grateful to the Dodgers for giving us this amazing experience, and to Caroline who took such good care of us that night. This continues to be the happiest place on earth for our family.

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  1. Gretchen

    Looks so fun! He is so excited. Rod mostly! Love the photos.

  2. michelle nicoloff

    I need to go with you to a game…you have all the luck…or maybe it’s skill:) What an amazing memory for CJ…AND ROD!!!!!!!!!!!!! I love these NOEL…especially the image of his feet on the seat:) xo

  3. Jenelyn

    What a wonderful day for your family. Fun, fun memories. So special. And awesome photos too. :)

April 21, 2010

Boys and Capes

boys-and-capesWhat is it exactly about boys and capes? The magic, the transformation, the super powers all rolled up in a couple of yards of terry cloth and a sewing machine. The first time my sister gave this to CJ, he must have worn in for 72 hours straight, while running as fast as he could. (You might have even seen him at the Spectrum, park, or grocery store wearing exactly this!)

But it has since become a glorified bathroom towel, and I somehow missed out on capturing the importance of this item in our life, so I revived it special for this session. Wanted to document the super powers it held, while it still holds them.

Mud stained jeans was his idea, and a blog post for another day.

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  1. michelle nicoloff

    and i was there for the special session…and i keep smiling!!! these are just fabulous!!!

  2. Cindy Chen

    I love these!!! So creative and I love the motion in the first two!

  3. christine bentley

    I LOVE LOVE LOVE THESE!!!!!!!!!!