Like many families during the Covid-19 shut-down, Morgan’s had to rearrange some things this summer. They made lemonade out of lemons by trekking out to San Diego from their home in Las Vegas and enjoying several days in La Jolla, where I met up with Morgan for her senior portraits. Morgan is a gifted actress and has an exciting future ahead of her. Her outfit choices were PERFECTION for our perfectly-lit evening at Windansea. And also. Her HAIR!!!!
This beach photography session was the night before I boarded the plane for Dallas to pick up our Marley! Melody texted me the next day, “Congratulations on your new puppy! Have so much fun picking him up!” and I traded her a funny outtake. Her family had just the right vibe for beach photos— happy, carefree, and FUN! Here’s what Melody had to say about their session.
We are originally from San Diego and relocated to Arizona this last year. To escape the heat we decided to visit family in San Diego and stayed at an Airbnb. While we were there our oldest, Maddy, was turning 7! She wanted to do a few things we missed living so close to the ocean so we saw the sea lions at the Children’s Pool in La Jolla, took the cave tour down to the water, we went strawberry picking, went to several different beaches, Balboa Park, and Maddy went paragliding.
Since Maddy was turning seven and Catherine had just turned five, I thought, “Let’s take family pictures—why not?” We didn’t have outfits picked out or anything since we had already been in San Diego for a couple weeks! That’s where shopping online and expedited shipping kicks in. Thanks to shopping online we were able to put some good choices together 🙂
Going into the session I was worried my oldest wouldn’t cooperate, but she ended up loving it. We are a beach-loving family, and Maddy grew up crawling into the waves, so it was fun for her. I was also worried about how the clothes would photograph, but everything turned out amazing!
(I loved the variety of images of the two girls together.)
I just love how much fun it was and how we all enjoyed being by/in the ocean where we love to be! Coronado was one of our favorite beaches and I grew up going to it since I was a little girl. It was nice to see my kids enjoying it too.
My favorite photos are probably when the girls were splashing and playing in the water. It’s the whole reason we came to San Diego—to play on the beaches and enjoy the sea.
We plan on getting canvas, making an album, and using them as holiday card photos.
What’s special about this family? SO much.
Christie and I have known each other since high school, and our photographic escapades together have included everything from little-kid playdates a decade ago to her brother’s wedding to the births of her youngest two children (Check out little miss’s birth here). My favorite memory of Christie is from my 16th birthday party. Christie’s family already had the day planned, so she couldn’t come and stay, but she dropped off a bouquet of beautiful pink roses for me. They were the first flowers I ever received. I’m so glad we could make more sweet memories on the beach last month!
Want to see the day that precious little girl was born? Check out that blog post here. Watch for one of my favorite shots of all time — the photo of her grandma seeing her for the first time. Always makes me tear up a little. 😍
Year 0, Year 5, Year 10. Gina and Omar were getting married just as I was beginning my photography career, and I was a rookie photographer, called on to capture the occasion at the church where we all attended. Five years later, their family had grown, and it was time for a beach session with their new baby girl Iris (below). Another five years have passed, and Gina contacted me for a session with their final addition, little Dahlia. Big sister Jasmine is the same age as my daughter Lissa, and she was in my Sunday school class back in the day. Catching up with Gina and Omar was a fun blessing, remembering our family’s sweet growing-up years.
Here are a few photos from five years ago, so you can see how their family has grown and changed:
And here they are, year TEN!
Toddlers and photo sessions remind me of the quote from A Tale of Two Cities: “It was the best of times. It was the worst of times.”
It’s absolutely the most important time to take portraits — but it can be challenging! The two-and-under crowd can experience every human emotion in the space of an hour, and they frequently do! Little Mason was a stand-out for being chill, full of smiles, and enthralled with the patriotic pinwheel Mom and Dad brought along. I loved the way Nikki styled her session, with her long pink dress. Beautiful family!
My first memory of Kyle, he was working at Starbucks. His mom Maria and I were just getting to know each other since our little girls were in kindergarten and first grade at the same school, and Ysabella’s big brother was a teenager, working hard as he finished high school and held down a job as a barista at the same time. Maria was very proud of him then, and she has had reason to be very proud of him ever since, as he toiled through many years of undergrad studies, got married, and braved medical school. Finally, right in the middle of a worldwide pandemic, Kyle graduated with his MD and took a quick trip to San Diego to celebrate with a photo session at Balboa Park. It happened to be Maria’s birthday, and the San Diego weather behaved itself perfectly . . . unlike Kyle’s dad Kim, who ended up donning the graduation get-up himself. (Don’t miss those outtakes at the end — they’re my favorite.)
As I was reminiscing about our previous photo sessions, I found this behind the scenes shot of a session with Bella and two friends about three years ago. You can see the personalities right there. Love them!
Even longer ago than that, way back in 2013, we did a holiday mini session. It was fun looking through those images from when Bella was just a little girl.
Ysabella is now 17 and prepping for her senior year in high school. She is the perfect model and has inherited her mom’s good looks and her dad’s sense of humor. I would say she inherited her brother’s intelligence, but that’s not how it works. 😂
So here they are, the Yuquimpo clan, 2020 edition! (Minus Kyle’s wife, unfortunately, since she wasn’t able to make the trip. Next time!)
First we got Kyle some legit graduation photos since his real graduation wasn’t the norm because of the virus, and then he switched to regular clothes for the rest.
This family portrait is one of my favorites. I love the light in Balboa Park that hour before sunset!
At our last full-family photo session, Kyle and Ysabella struck a cute back-to-back pose on the shore. They wanted to recreate it during this session. Here they are, seven years apart:
That was as long as Kim could be serious, and then this happened.
Incidentally, Kim sold us our minivan and got us a great deal at Chula Vista Mossy Nissan. Hit him up if you’re in the market for a new car.
I’m a fan of this one because you can see his glasses fogging up. Real-life, 2020-style.
And then this happened. All the fancy garb, none of the book learnin’. That’s efficiency for you. 🎓
I’ve known Vanessa since she and my sister played Maria and the Baronness in the Sound of Music back in high school. She and I taught on the same campus in our early twenties, and it was there that her “Mr. Darcy” popped the question with her classroom of sixth-graders looking on.
I was so excited to photograph her family of six last week on the beach! I was thrilled with the glassy shore, the sun shining through the pier, and her perfect styling choices. I’m so glad I got to photograph this family of six!
We started out with some mom-and-me photos and individuals while dad was parking the car —>
Dad found a parking spot!
Sarah and Mark’s minimalist wedding fell on the perfect, gorgeous day on Coronado. It was just Sarah, Mark, the officiant, and me, and we all appreciated the splendor of the natural shoreline, the big blue sky, and Sarah and Mark’s simple love for one another. Sarah looked stunning, and Mark got to wear whatever shirt he wanted. They’re off to a good start in this marriage thing!
Senior portraits represent an important moment in time, and I love the opportunity to try out different locations with 18-year-old beauties, like my friend Rachel’s sweet girls.
Once upon a time, Rachel and I were seniors together at Christian High School. Here we are in 1993, straight out of the yearbook, big bangs and all.
Rachel was the first of my friends to have a baby, and her daughter Faith graduated (also from Christian High) a few years ago. I took Faith’s senior portraits at Presidio Park, and it was her session that introduced me to the part of the park that I like the best! Gorgeous Faith has a gentle spirit that shows in her expressions:
Well, when it was Faith sister Kenzie’s turn for senior portraits, things were a little more complicated. Still, we were able to grab some outdoor shots in preparation for a grand-scale beach session later in the year, combined with full family photos. Here’s fun, beautiful Kenzie:
A pandemic portrait for posterity:
And there she goes, off to Point Loma Nazarene University to major in nursing, just like Mom & Dad.
I can’t wait to see all three of these beauties (and their favorite guy) later this summer! Time to hit the beach.
Once upon a time, when I was a total newbie at photography, I saw beautiful images by Heather Starr Photography and fell in love with her work. She was the photographer I looked up to and wanted to emulate through my first several years in the business, and we got to be good friends through a small Facebook group and “photographer playdates” when we would meet up to photograph each other’s kids. More than anything, Heather’s beach photography helped me understand what was possible in that location.
Heather moved away from San Diego a few years ago, and since then she has sent me clients and referrals, but when she texted me before Christmas to see if I was available to photographer her own extended family, I just about fell off my chair. I was so honored to get to photograph Heather’s family up in Murrieta, where her mom lives.