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Yosemite 2017

Last year’s Hawaii trip was wonderful, but this year we stayed closer to home and did a California Road Trip, featuring Malibu, Santa Barbara, San Luis Obispo, San Simeon, and Yosemite.  On the way back to San Diego, we spent a night in Anaheim and enjoyed Knott’s Berry Farm before heading home.  As they say, the best camera is the one that you have in your hands, so my iPhone 7+ was the go-to solution for times when I didn’t want to lug the big gun, but I intentionally brought my 70-200 lens to play with, and the waterfalls and wildlife at Yosemite were too much to resist!  The most-photographed activity of our vacation turned out to be a rock-stacking detour off the trail on a short walk to Yosemite Falls.  Even though it was about 11:00am, the lighting was wonderfully even and pretty because of the tree cover.  I couldn’t resist taking lots of shots of the kids and their daddies (and my daddy) stacking rocks and exploring the nearby stream.

First stop . . . Santa Monica Pier for some beach photography!  Every beach is different, and this seemed more like a morning session to me, even though it was right at sunset!  The sun actually sank 180 degrees away from the water!  That made for great blue-sky lighting.

Beach Photography | Amy Gray Photography
Beach Photography | Amy Gray Photography
Beach Photography | Amy Gray Photography
Beach Photography | Amy Gray Photography
Beach Photography | Amy Gray Photography

I skipped toting my big camera to Morro Bay and Hearst Castle, so we’re skipping straight to Yosemite.  Here we are, driving in.

Road Trip | Amy Gray Photography

Group shot on our first day in the park.  My sister’s family hadn’t arrived yet.

Yosemite | Amy Gray Photography

The next morning, we drove up to Glacier Point to get a bird’s-eye view of the National Park.

Yosemite | Amy Gray Photography
Yosemite | Amy Gray Photography
Yosemite | Amy Gray Photography
Yosemite | Amy Gray Photography
Yosemite | Amy Gray Photography

We enjoyed seeing this little guy!

Yosemite | Amy Gray Photography
Yosemite | Amy Gray Photography

This is a stitched-together panorama from my Canon 5Div.  I even got it to work as one of those Facebook panos by changing the Exim data.  Fancy!

Yosemite | Amy Gray Photography

Favorite guys.

Yosemite | Amy Gray Photography
Yosemite | Amy Gray Photography

We stayed at the Yosemite View Lodge, where the Merced River ran right outside our window.  We spent time watching it from the patio, reading, and just relaxing.  The guys took the kids down to the pool.

Yosemite | Amy Gray Photography

On the second day, we spent the hottest part of the day at the hotel and then headed back into the park for the afternoon.  We decided to go biking, and it turned out to be my favorite activity of the vacation!  No big camera shots of biking, but here’s one of the deer we met in the parking lot!

Yosemite | Amy Gray Photography

As promised, rock stacking the next morning with the whole family.

Yosemite | Amy Gray Photography
Yosemite | Amy Gray Photography
Yosemite | Amy Gray Photography
Yosemite | Amy Gray Photography
Yosemite | Amy Gray Photography
Yosemite | Amy Gray Photography
Yosemite | Amy Gray Photography
Yosemite | Amy Gray Photography
Yosemite | Amy Gray Photography
Yosemite | Amy Gray Photography
Yosemite | Amy Gray Photography
Yosemite | Amy Gray Photography
Yosemite | Amy Gray Photography
Yosemite | Amy Gray Photography
Yosemite | Amy Gray Photography
Yosemite | Amy Gray Photography
Yosemite | Amy Gray Photography
Yosemite | Amy Gray Photography
Yosemite | Amy Gray Photography
Yosemite | Amy Gray Photography

At some point, we finally decided to move on!  Here we are at Yosemite Falls.

Yosemite | Amy Gray Photography
Yosemite | Amy Gray Photography
Yosemite | Amy Gray Photography

Compulsive rock-stack picture on the way BACK.  (I seem to have an issue.)

Yosemite | Amy Gray Photography
Yosemite | Amy Gray Photography
Yosemite | Amy Gray Photography
Yosemite | Amy Gray Photography
Yosemite | Amy Gray Photography
Yosemite | Amy Gray Photography

From our balcony at the hotel.

Yosemite | Amy Gray Photography

On the road again.  One last stop before heading to Knott’s.

Yosemite | Amy Gray Photography
Yosemite | Amy Gray Photography
Yosemite | Amy Gray Photography
Yosemite | Amy Gray Photography

Poll Results | And the winner is . . .

Thank you to all who voted in my little survey to see which of the kids’ images should go on the wall at our mom’s house this year!

It was extremely close between image B and image C, and I thought C had won when I added the Facebook and Instagram votes.  When I put in the blog votes, though, they sent B into the lead.  The final tally was A – 10 votes, B – 23 votes, C – 21 votes, and D – 10 votes.  This is unscientific and some people voted in more than one place and gave more than one answer, so we will take all this with a grain of salt.  I learned from this that interactive photos and photos that show closeness and personality reign supreme!

To all of you who voted for image B — I like it a lot too.  However, even though you won, you lose.

Mom knew immediately which one was her favorite, and she voted for C, and that’s what she’s getting. I’ll print B for my house. 🙂

B.  (Winner, winner, chicken dinner!)

C.  2nd place and the one that’s actually getting made into a canvas for the wall.

Cousins 2017 | San Diego Child Photography

These kids are growing up!! Since the youngest was two, my sister Melanie Monroe and I have been photographing our four children as a gift to our mom on her birthday each June. We have pictures from 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015. Last year was kind of a bust since we were planning for our Hawaii trip, so the far-away beach photo has to suffice.

This year, the kids have hit some major growth spurts, so it was time for a good Cousin Photo 2017! We returned to the same spot we used for the 2011 photo, six years ago.

Here are the last six years’ photos.

2011 & 2012
San Diego Photographer | San Diego Child Photos
2013 & 2014
San Diego Photographer | San Diego Child Photos
2015 & 2016
San Diego Photographer | San Diego Child Photos

And the contestants for “Cousin Photo 2017” are below. Which should we pick??

A.

B.

C.

San Diego Photographer | San Diego Child Photos

D.

San Diego Photographer | San Diego Child Photos

Comment with your vote!

We always take some individuals at these sessions, and this time was no exception. Here are our kids, circa June 2017!

San Diego Photographer | San Diego Child Photos
San Diego Photographer | San Diego Child Photos
San Diego Photographer | San Diego Child Photos
San Diego Photographer | San Diego Child Photos
San Diego Photographer | San Diego Child Photos
San Diego Photographer | San Diego Child Photos
San Diego Photographer | San Diego Child Photos
San Diego Photographer | San Diego Child Photos
San Diego Photographer | San Diego Child Photos
San Diego Photographer | San Diego Child Photos
San Diego Photographer | San Diego Child Photos
San Diego Photographer | San Diego Child Photos
San Diego Photographer | San Diego Child Photos

And a random black and white that we really liked:

San Diego Photographer | San Diego Child Photos

Growing up fast!

Donna + Tom | Coronado Beach Elopement

Donna was a beautiful bride, and I was so excited to be there to see her tie the knot with her “Mr. Wonderful,” Tom. Donna and I have been friends for about ten years, since I stood her up for an interview with Marion’s Childcare. She was gracious and patient and quickly became one of the best caregivers EVER. She has been a huge blessing in my life, and I was thrilled that she asked me to photograph her “small elopement” with a few of her closest friends and family (read: massive mob of people). We headed across the way to the Bluewater Boathouse Restaurant afterward for the reception, and the evening was perfect all around.

San Diego Elopement Photography | Coronado Beach Photos
San Diego Elopement Photography | Coronado Beach Photos
San Diego Elopement Photography | Coronado Beach Photos
San Diego Elopement Photography | Coronado Beach Photos
San Diego Elopement Photography | Coronado Beach Photos
San Diego Elopement Photography | Coronado Beach Photos
San Diego Elopement Photography | Coronado Beach Photos
San Diego Elopement Photography | Coronado Beach Photos
San Diego Elopement Photography | Coronado Beach Photos
San Diego Elopement Photography | Coronado Beach Photos
San Diego Elopement Photography | Coronado Beach Photos
San Diego Elopement Photography | Coronado Beach Photos
San Diego Elopement Photography | Coronado Beach Photos
San Diego Elopement Photography | Coronado Beach Photos
San Diego Elopement Photography | Coronado Beach Photos
San Diego Elopement Photography | Coronado Beach Photos
San Diego Elopement Photography | Coronado Beach Photos
San Diego Elopement Photography | Coronado Beach Photos
San Diego Elopement Photography | Coronado Beach Photos
San Diego Elopement Photography | Coronado Beach Photos
San Diego Elopement Photography | Coronado Beach Photos
San Diego Elopement Photography | Coronado Beach Photos
San Diego Elopement Photography | Coronado Beach Photos
San Diego Elopement Photography | Coronado Beach Photos
San Diego Elopement Photography | Coronado Beach Photos
San Diego Elopement Photography | Coronado Beach Photos
San Diego Elopement Photography | Coronado Beach Photos
San Diego Elopement Photography | Coronado Beach Photos
San Diego Elopement Photography | Coronado Beach Photos
San Diego Elopement Photography | Coronado Beach Photos
San Diego Elopement Photography | Coronado Beach Photos
San Diego Elopement Photography | Coronado Beach Photos
San Diego Elopement Photography | Coronado Beach Photos
San Diego Elopement Photography | Coronado Beach Photos
San Diego Elopement Photography | Coronado Beach Photos