Sep 15th

Ocean Portrait Water Sessions {A mother and her sons}

toddler in the waves mother toddler pacific mother son in the waves mother son in the waves ocean mother and sons playing in the ocean mother and sons at beach mom and sons in the ocean cover email option brothers playing in the pacific brothers playing in the ocean boy in the ocean boy in the ocean wavesSalty waters, warmer than ever, sunsets with cloudy skies, this is the perfect season for me! This water session celebrates Mateo and his newly found skills in duck diving waves. The mom began telling me how she almost now regrets teaching him this skill, and I too remember the feeling of having a boy out in the waves just learning of their power and unpredictability, worried sick for his safety. With mama back in the white water with the three year old, I set the camera down, and grabbed Mateo’s hand as we charged through a few sets together, ducking under the bigs, and floating over the mid sized waves. What a joy it is to celebrate the gorgeous ocean, precious boy, and glorious new skill than to photograph him with his mom and brother. I am so lucky!


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Aug 27th

Beauty Beyond, Family Portraits seaside

family portrait girl yelling family portrait on tidepoolsfather and daughter near the oceanfather on the beach with daughter family playing secret cove couple kissing young boy green eyes girl and the ocean father daughter pacific swimming familly portrait in the pacific body surfingAt first glance you might look at this family and think, “Are they for real?” And yes, I will have to say, they are ridiculously good looking, in my best Derek Zoolander voice. But to me these four are so much more than that. The gorgeous mom got me through some really long toddler days back when our oldest boys were young. We are those friends that start off hanging out because you simply like each other, and then you slowly feel your hand squeezing tighter and tighter and then you realize your friendship is a lifeline of sorts, and you treasure it in a way that cannot be measured. I owe so much to this gorgeous family, and adore their babies like they are my own. Dylan is the one friend that I can say has known Cj since bottle daze, and the one friend I hope he grows old with. This sweet Cami is just bound to make waves in this world, and if you can keep up with her, you will have the time of your life, no doubt.

So yes, on the surface they are gorgeous, but to me so much more. They are gorgeously kind, and loving, and my treasured friends. I am so lucky.


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Aug 17th

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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Aug 3rd

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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Jul 22nd

Capturing summer vacation using your phone camera

Processed with VSCOcam with p5 preset Processed with VSCOcam with g3 preset IMG_5426 IMG_5593 IMG_5743 IMG_5796 Processed with VSCOcam with t1 preset IMG_5962

It all starts with grand plans pinning away photos of warm water or gorgeous pools, and your mind starts imagining a wonderful week on vacation. You start to get excited, even when the day is just around the corner you can’t stop thinking about this wonderful break in your usual day where you get to enjoy a week filled with fun and games with your family. No obligations, no appointments, just spending time together hanging out frolicking in the sun. And then the thought hits you, you still have a toddler. That adorable yet stinky kid knows nothing of this so called break, and has not made a mental note in his attitude. As it turns out, on vacation, toddlers still throw major tantrums when they don’t get their way. They still think it is funny to run away mid diaper change and try to pee on something. This destination has not suddenly made going out to eat ANY easier. Pool time and beach time? Wonderful! Yet instead of chasing them around the park, you are now chasing them from the “cold pool” to the “hot pool” about every five minutes. Worse yet, nothing in this new so called home is toddler proof, and so a few basic minutes of checking instagram has become a monumental task so as to keep the toddler from jumping…off the balcony.

Years from now I know I will look back and be thankful we did go away and do things, and the memories will be good ones of spending time together. But the main reason I will be able to look back and even remember this trip is because of pictures I took with my iPhone. Toting out to the pool two diapers, sunscreen, snacks, floaties, towels, hats, drinks, AND a camera would have been way too much for me. There are moms out there who I am sure this would be no thing, but for me, the only way I was able to relax was to leave the camera back at the room. Heck! I even made sure the phone was in a water proof case every time. Do you know how long it takes a scheming two year old to toss a phone into a pool? I’ll save you the brain power, its about 10 seconds. Not long enough to get to him and catch him mid throw when you are waist deep in warm water overlooking the pacific.

So here are a few images I was able to get using my iPhone.

My underwater casing was from Optrix.

The rainbow ocean shot was taken at La Bufadora in Ensenada, Mexico.

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  1. Wendi

    Oh thank you! Seeing your beautiful pictures of the kids always playing and smiling leads me to think you live in a ‘perfectly adapted”, “aren’t they precious” dream land. I don’t wish difficult times or hard situations on anyone (usually) but I appreciate you taking time out to set the record strait. Parenting can be super hard and far from relaxing, so thanks so much for being real. Love you guys.

  2. admin

    haha! so nice to know that my pain eases yours! just kidding!!! we have tons of hard days, and I agree, super hard is a good way to put parenting, and relaxing on the opposite end of what i usually feel. i would love to see you guys!

Jul 10th

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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Jul 3rd

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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Jun 23rd

Love can take you anywhere

When I was a teacher, one of the perks of the job was the excuse to read children’s books all day long. There were so many beautiful stories that you could read aloud to your students. One of these books was called Grandfather’s Journey. This was a sweet tale of a man who made the huge choice to immigrate to America from Japan. He told the tale and the theme of the story was that once you move from one place to another, you have a huge problem. You fall in love with where you moved to, but you long for that place you once called home. If you moved back “home”, you would long for the distant land you were once new to. What truth! Even just moving counties I can see this to be true. I long for the bustle and energy of a life lived right outside of Los Angeles, but know I would miss the quiet and beautiful outdoors of the place I now call home.

One of my past students contacted me about photographing her and her new husband. What an amazing gift that social media has brought to me. It has the ability to bring people from your past back into your life. I remember this student so well, she was amazingly thirsty to read, learn and write! This brave, beautiful, intelligent girl also made the move to live with her husband in Europe. She was traveling back to the US and asked me to capture them as they are now, young, in love, and with the whole wide world as their blank page to write upon. If you read any of her writing, even as a second grader, you would know that she will have lovely stories to tell. I cannot wait to read them. young couple at beach

ocean couple follow mekiss on tidepools  engagement photos couple at beach beach weddingsecond grade

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Jun 19th

Central Park Proposal

I lurched around the corner of a huge tree hugging the waters of Central Park’s Lake in New York City. The boughs of the tree weighted down heavily, the tips of them rested in the water. Just as I neared the water, a young couple leaned into each other and kissed. Quickly I snapped a photo with my phone. How romantic. Their kiss lingered long enough that the world around them seemed to stop, and they unknowingly drifted into the banks hitting the rocks that lined the water. When I looked at my camera, I decided I loved the picture, and thought not much more of it. Knowing they were just feet away, I excitedly walked up and told them the serendipitous event and asked if they wanted to see the picture. The young girl had a tear streaked face, she was crying! He just asked me to marry him!!! And I said Yes! I couldn’t believe my luck, and now theirs. Photography has evolved for sure. There is not a chance I could have gone home, developed my film and tracked these two down. But with the technology of a cell phone and ten digits, I could share this with them.Processed with VSCOcam with t1 preset

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  1. Lynne Slouka

    Wow! What a treasure for them!

  2. Michele

    What a moment to capture! Only you.

  3. admin

    Thank you for reading it Lynne, I really really hope so!

  4. admin

    Haha! I could see you doing this too!

Jun 19th

NYC with Michelle, Karen and Canon

brookyn bridge highline sun IMG_2597 Nicoloff does New York nyc skyline at sunset NYC31 Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset view from one world observatoryLast month I entered a contest from Canon, From Light to Ink. Like most contests, I entered with the intention of winning. I mean if you don’t try and win, what is the point right. So there is this time, that time just after you hit submit, and before you know the results, that you think you have a chance.

I honestly had about a half a second to be sad that I didn’t win the prize, a trip to New York City, because in the same breath that my friend told me she won, she asked me to go with her! Yipee! So it goes to say you should definitely have talented friends, and when you do, be very very VERY nice to them. Michelle Nicoloff is someone that I have talked about time and time again, I adore her, but beyond that, she is so so good at ocean photography, and her children love to be in the ocean, so it is a match made in heaven. She celebrates the title of the contest “Embrace” and her winning photo, Sounds of the Pacific,  was hung in the Joshua Liner Gallery.

We had a few obligations as far as meetings go, but they only proved to be opportunities to meet some amazing people. We were able to meet John Stanmeyer, Jacob Santiago, and Karen Grubb to name a few. We talked with John, an amazing National Geographic Photographer about changes in photography, social media, and making a living doing what you have to do. In Three days we fit in One World Observatory, Brooklyn Bridge, Dumbo Park, Highline, Subway rides, Top of the Rock, Central Park boat ride, Taxi rides, the Flat Iron, Shake Shack, really good coffee, and a ton of laughs.

It is such a different lifestyle in such a big city. It was also a huge treat to have a break from my toddler and his tantrums. Although I thought once or twice about my kids, it was such a treat to be on my own exploring the city with no one lagging behind, or screaming their head off, or complaining about the walk!


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