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Super Cute Baby at the Beach

Some Sunshine in Our Lives | San Diego Portraits

San Diego photos, for Jaelynn and Brett, were just one activity during their time visiting our city. The sweet parents of eight-month-old Jordan, they did a great job of planning their stay. They came for “some sunshine in our lives,” but honestly, they brought the sunshine with them in their baby daughter Jordan.

We had the best time visiting San Diego! We have family nearby and brought Grandma along with us so Brett and I could spend some baby-free time together. We actually left our eight-month-old with Grandma, woke up at 5am, and day-tripped to Disneyland!

Photographers in San Diego at Crystal Pier

We went to San Diego because we have family and friends there, and we wanted some sunshine in our lives (we live in Seattle!). Our daughter got to meet her cousins for the first time and even went trick-or-treating with them (in Dad’s arms). Granted, she didn’t get any candy, but I did sneak her some teething biscuits for that adorable little gummy smile.

Photographer San Diego Family
Photographer San Diego Family

I booked a photo session because we hadn’t taken any professional photos as a family since our daughter was born. Babies grow so fast, and I really wanted to be able to document “us” before she turns one. Photos are so important to me because while memories fade, photographs don’t. As a mom, I feel like I’m constantly taking pictures of my daughter and everyone else, but I really wanted to step on the other side of the lens and document our bond, too.

San Diego Beach Photographer
San Diego Beach Photographer
San Diego Beach Photographer
Silhouette Sunset | San Diego Photographer
San Diego Beach Photographer
San Diego Beach Photographer
San Diego Beach Photographer

Going into the session, I was so afraid that Jordan wouldn’t cooperate and would throw a tantrum. I even brought Grandma along to help keep her happy . . . but we didn’t need her!! I couldn’t believe it. She was actually sick and had an ear infection that was diagnosed two days after our photos, but she was still happy as a clam! Amy is so good with kids and Jordan was just the smiliest little girl for the whole session (and even kept her bow on for a bit!).

Professional Photographers San Diego
Professional Photographers San Diego
Professional Photographers San Diego
Professional Photographers San Diego
Professional Photographers San Diego

My husband isn’t the best at smiling on command, so we always worry we will get fake smiles in his photos. I don’t know what kind of pixie dust Amy sprinkled around our session, but he looks truly happy in all of his photos, especially of him and our daughter, and it makes my heart sing!

La Jolla Photographers of San Diego Families
La Jolla Photographers of San Diego Families
La Jolla Photographers of San Diego Families
La Jolla Photographers of San Diego Families

I was pleasantly surprised as to just how much I loved the photos of just my husband and I. When Amy asked us to take photos alone, I was skeptical because I wanted my daughter in everything! But once we got the photos back I was so happy that we did it! I’ve been so wrapped up in Jordan for the last year and a half with my pregnancy and having a new baby that it’s easy to forget how it all started. It’s so important to remember the love between husband/wife/mom/dad. Our love for our daughter is so strong because we first had (and still have) a strong love for each other. These helped remind me of that.  

Photographers in San Diego
Photographers in San Diego
Photographers in San Diego
Photographers in San Diego
Photographers in San Diego

Favorite Memory: Getting to put Jordan’s feet in the ocean water for the first time!! She loves the water during bath time, but this was her first trip to the beach and she got to get her toes wet! It was so fun to see her reaction to something new, and even better that she liked it and kept on smiling!

Baby Toes in the Water | Crystal Pier Hotel Family Photos
Baby Toes in the Water | Crystal Pier Hotel Family Photos
Baby Toes in the Water | Crystal Pier Hotel Family Photos

It is so hard to pick a favorite photo. Honestly, it’s hard to even pick a top 5 because I love all of the photos so much, but if I had to try and choose it would probably be the photo of my husband and I kissing our daughters cheeks under the pier! We love to sandwich kiss her all the time because it makes her giggle and now we have it documented. To me, the photo just beams love and that’s what I want to be reminded of every time I look at it. My second favorite is the 3 of us with our backs to the camera with the sun shining and about to set between us. It’s such a beautiful photo and to me signifies that the three of us are in it together. Our little family will come before all else and with the setting sun of each day, we finish it together, hand in hand.

Sandwich Kiss Baby | San Diego Photographer
Baby Toes in the Water | Crystal Pier Hotel Family Photos

I plan to revamp our home with new photos to display! The frames around our home are full of engagement and wedding photos, but it’s time to add in our most loved gift yet, Jordan! Grandmas and grandpas will be getting some photos of their first grandchild as well for Christmas, so thanks for making that an easy gift for us Amy!!

San Diego Family Photographer
San Diego Family Photographer
San Diego Family PhotographerSilhouette Sunset | San Diego Photographer

Balboa Park Family Session

Balboa Park San Diego Family Photos

I met Lisa and her family for the first time last year on Coronado beach, and theirs was one of my favorite sessions of the year. These are gorgeous kids and it was a beautiful evening, topped off with the girls’ pretty “spinning dresses.” You have to love a little girl spinning on the glassy shore! (Check out last year’s session here.)

I was thrilled when Lisa contacted me again this year for another session. She said that after last year’s beach photos, “We wanted our pictures to capture our beautiful city, San Diego, that wasn’t the beach. We wanted something different that would still share our city with our out-of-town families.”

San Diego Family Photography at Balboa Park Organ Pavilion
San Diego Family Photography at Balboa Park Organ Pavilion
San Diego Family Photography at Balboa Park Organ Pavilion
San Diego Family Photography at Balboa Park Organ Pavilion
San Diego Family Photography at Balboa Park Organ Pavilion
San Diego Family Photography at Balboa Park Organ Pavilion

We met at the Organ Pavilion in Balboa Park, and I loved seeing that Lisa had done another amazing job with the styling! A Balboa Park photo session is a “walking session,” where we go from spot to spot and get a number of different backgrounds. This is much like a beach session, but with even more variety.

San Diego Photographer at Balboa Park
San Diego Photographer at Balboa Park
San Diego Photographer at Balboa Park
San Diego Photographer at Balboa Park
San Diego Photographer at Balboa Park
San Diego Photographer at Balboa Park

One of Lisa’s favorite memories was her kids sharing their ideas for photos. Running, jumping, spinning . . . they had all the ideas!

San Diego Photographer at Balboa Park
San Diego Photographer at Balboa Park
San Diego Photographer at Balboa Park
San Diego Photographer at Balboa Park
San Diego Photographer at Balboa Park

Lisa says she loves all of the images, but one of her favorites is the family portrait by the water. “I love how the water added to the beautiful Balboa Park background. The reflection off the water is what I like the most about the beach pictures from last year, and I felt that pic was the best of both worlds: The beauty of Balboa Park with a water reflection bonus.

San Diego Photographer at Balboa Park

Lisa plans to make holiday cards and wall displays. The images will also be used to create Christmas gifts for family members who live out of town.

Christmas Photos at Balboa Park
Christmas Photos at Balboa Park
Christmas Photos at Balboa Park
Christmas Photos at Balboa Park
Christmas Photos at Balboa Park
Christmas Photos at Balboa Park
Christmas Photos at Balboa Park
Christmas Photos at Balboa Park
Christmas Photos at Balboa Park
Christmas Photos at Balboa Park
Christmas Photos at Balboa Park
Christmas Photos at Balboa Park
Christmas Photos at Balboa Park
Christmas Photos at Balboa Park
Christmas Photos at Balboa Park

Extended Family Granchild Photos

Extended Family at Coronado | San Diego Professional Photography

The Baldwin family is such a joy to photograph! This good-looking group knows just how to dress, and they listen so well that we got SO MANY great candid and posed portraits during their session — even though there was a 3-year-old in the mix! Bailey answered my questions about their session, and I loved hearing about it from her point of view:

“Our entire family of 17 were lucky enough to spend a week together in San Diego, thanks to the Nana and Papa of our family! We took the same trip three years ago, and it was such a wonderful time, I think we’d all be happy making it a life-long tradition! We stayed on Mission Beach and loved being able to walk to the water or down to the shops and eat. It was relaxing for the adults and perfect for the kids.”

Extended Family Photographer | San Diego Coronado
Extended Family Photographer | San Diego Coronado

During our trip 3 years ago, we had family pictures taken with Amy and they turned out beautifully. It’s not easy to photograph 17 people, 9 of which are kids from ages 13 to down 3! So we knew we would love taking pictures with her again… (and we did! 😊)

Grandchildren are Blessings | San Diego Beach Photos
Grandchildren are Blessings | San Diego Beach Photos
Grandchildren are Blessings | San Diego Beach Photos

We gals worried about EVERYTHING going into the session. Haha! We had spent a lot of time deciding what to wear, and it always feels stressful to take photos with kids. Plus it was a pretty windy evening! But Amy is warm, quick, and fun, and she has a way of coaxing smiles out of little ones by being silly but still stern enough to keep them in their spot. She also somehow made it look like the wind wasn’t blowing us away!

Grandchildren are Blessings | San Diego Beach Photos
Grandchildren are Blessings | San Diego Beach Photos
Kids on the Beach | Coronado Beach Photos
Kids on the Beach | Coronado Beach Photos
Kids on the Beach | Coronado Beach Photos
Kids on the Beach | Coronado Beach Photos
Kids on the Beach | Coronado Beach Photos
Kids on the Beach | Coronado Beach Photos
Kids on the Beach | Coronado Beach Photos

Favorite memory of the session? “Amy captured the personalities of each child individually and then as a group, and I know that they’ll treasure the pictures of themselves with their cousins forever.”

San Diego Photography | Coronado Beach Kids
San Diego Photography | Coronado Beach Kids
San Diego Photography | Coronado Beach Kids
San Diego Photography | Coronado Beach Kids
San Diego Photography | Coronado Beach Kids
San Diego Photography | Coronado Beach Kids
San Diego Photography | Coronado Beach Kids

My very favorite image from the session is of Larry and Vicki (Nana and Papa). They’re standing at the water’s edge walking toward the camera, Larry is looking at the camera with a completely genuine smile on his face and Vicki is smiling toward Larry. The sun is going down in the background and the lighting is gorgeous. It is so authentic. They just celebrated their 40th Anniversary and that photo beautifully captures LOVE.

Purely Love | 40 Year Anniversary Photo
San Diego Photographer | Coronado Beach Kids

The whole family is planning to use these images for their Christmas cards, as well as hanging them in their homes. One benefit of an extended family session is that we get all the great “big family” shots but also (especially with older, cooperative kids like these) plenty of nuclear family photos, candids, and children’s portraits, too. Here are a few more favorites from this session:

San Diego Photographer | Coronado Beach Kids
San Diego Photographer | Coronado Beach Kids
San Diego Photographer | Coronado Beach Kids
San Diego Photographer | Coronado Beach Kids
San Diego Photographer | Coronado Beach Kids
San Diego Photographer | Coronado Beach Kids
San Diego Photographer | Coronado Beach Kids
San Diego Photographer | Coronado Beach Kids
San Diego Photographer | Coronado Beach Kids
San Diego Photographer | Coronado Beach Kids
San Diego Photographer | Coronado Beach Kids
San Diego Photographer | Coronado Beach Kids
San Diego Photographer | Coronado Beach Kids
San Diego Photographer | Coronado Beach Kids
San Diego Photographer | Coronado Beach Kids
San Diego Photographer | Coronado Beach Kids
San Diego Photographer | Coronado Beach Kids
San Diego Photographer | Coronado Beach Kids
San Diego Photographer | Coronado Beach Kids
San Diego Photographer | Coronado Beach Kids
San Diego Photographer | Coronado Beach Kids
San Diego Photographer | Coronado Beach Kids
San Diego Photographer | Coronado Beach Kids
San Diego Photographer | Coronado Beach Kids
San Diego Photographer | Coronado Beach Kids
San Diego Photographer | Coronado Beach Kids
San Diego Photographer | Coronado Beach Kids
San Diego Photographer | Coronado Beach Kids
San Diego Photographer | Coronado Beach Kids
San Diego Photographer | Coronado Beach Kids

Santa Hats on the Beach

Santa Hats and Baby Curls

Every year around this time, I get to do the most FUN photo session with Kendra, Gabe, and their growing family. This year, there were some special baby curls to photograph, because little Max (2) is about to have his first haircut. Kendra wanted me to be sure to get Max’s sweet curls before his big-boy cut!

Photographers in San Diego

Kendra is an amazing San Diego mom, a photographer herself, who keeps up with her three boys like a champ and always has creative ideas for their photo session. I love that their family sticks with the consistent beach location at the Hotel del Coronado, boys decked out in matching dark green OshKosh overalls and the special Santa hats knitted with care by their Auntie Megan.

Boys in a Wagon | Beach Photos for Christmas
Photographer San Diego
Photographer San Diego

Kendra and Gabe’s kids are all boys, ages five, two, and one.  She shared that getting ready for the session can sometimes be stressful. You wouldn’t know it! She is a graceful and patient mom who goes with the flow and allows things to unfold naturally. She said this year at naptime Elijah (5) was so excited to go to the beach he wouldn’t go to sleep. Max (2) fell asleep and then woke up after 20 minutes, and Rafa (1) wanted to sleep and was super grouchy at first, but he finally started having fun and cooperated well!

Christmas Beach Photos | San Diego Photographer
Christmas Beach Photos | San Diego Photographer
Christmas Beach Photos | San Diego Photographer

We all had high hopes for the Santa hats, but Kendra said, “Rafa is a summer baby and apparently I didn’t train him to wear hats!” Eli and Max loved theirs, though, and they did a great job of keeping them on.

Family Photography San Diego

Kendra said, “Eli loved running in the water, pulling Amy’s new red wagon, playing on the lifeguard tower, and running down sand mountains. He asked if we could come back soon when we can go swimming (and we did, we took them all last Saturday!)”

Professional Photography in San Diego
Professional Photography in San Diego
Professional Photography in San Diego
Professional Photography in San Diego

“Max is our middle boy. He will turn three in January and Daddy is making me cut the curls off I am dreading it, but Daddy says it is time! I really wanted to remember his beautiful curls and Amy got the best pictures of his hair in the sunset, running, wearing the Santa hat from front and back—-so we have it memorialized even though I will be sobbing soon when the day comes to cut it!”

Christmas Beach Photos | San Diego Photographer
Christmas Beach Photos | San Diego Photographer
Christmas Beach Photos | San Diego Photographer
Christmas Beach Photos | San Diego Photographer
Christmas Beach Photos | San Diego Photographer

Kendra said, “Gabe loves Amy’s photo sessions because she doesn’t overshoot—she is quick and efficient and not overly posy so the photos always surprise us, how did she possibly nail all these great shots with our rascals??!?”

San Diego Family Photographer
San Diego Family Photographer

“We often walk in the neighborhood with the kids after dinner. We call it ‘The Moon and The Stars Walk.’ It helps transition to bedtime, sometimes even puts the baby to sleep in the stroller. The moon came out and Max said, ‘The moon!!!’ Amy got a sweet photo of Max, the moon, and the ocean.”

San Diego Family Photographer

Kendra is usually the one taking pictures of Gabe and the boys, so she loved having photos of herself and the baby, and herself and the boys where they were super connected.

Mother and Child Photos Coronado CA
Mother and Child Photos Coronado CA
Mother and Child Photos Coronado CA
Mother and Child Photos Coronado CA
Mother and Child Photos Coronado CA
San Diego Photography | Christmas Card Photos

When asked about her favorites, Kendra said, “I love the family shot of us in the water and the tide is getting us all wet. I also like the family shot of us on the sand mountain and Max just took off down the hill in front of us. He is very independent and loves being outside.”

San Diego Photography | Christmas Card Photos
San Diego Photography | Christmas Card Photos
San Diego Photography | Christmas Card Photos
San Diego Photography | Christmas Card PhotosChristmas Beach Photos | San Diego Photographer

“We always do a big xmas card thru Minted and a calendar. I am a photographer so I have made a few Graphistudio albums from past Amy Gray family sessions, One year I made a collage print on the Minted website. It’s hanging above our fireplace.”

Reflection Photo at the Hotel del Coronado
San Diego Photography | Christmas Card Photos
San Diego Photography | Christmas Card Photos
Silhouette Sunset Christmas Photo at the Hotel del Coronado

Vacation at Paradise Point and Photos at the Hotel del Coronado

I was pretty sure I would love working with Tressa from the moment she contacted me, and I was right! She is so kind, and I love how she recounts her family’s experience in San Diego and in our photo session! I’ll let her tell her own story:

“We traveled to San Diego with our three young children for my cousins wedding. The trip was so special because the entire extended family attended and it gave us time to catch up and spend quality time together. It was so fun to see my younger cousins spend quality time with our children. The laughter, smiles and joy will be imprinted in our minds for a lifetime. We stayed at Paradise Point and it couldn’t have been more perfect for a young family or wedding venue. The setting was absolutely beautiful and the staff was incredibly helpful and kind. Traveling across the country with three young children can be stressful, but arriving at the beach and being with family made it so worth it. I vacationed in San Diego as a child, so it brought back so many wonderful memories. We plan to make it a tradition!

Coronado Photographer | Reflection Photos
Coronado Photographer | Reflection Photos
Coronado Photographer | Reflection Photos
Coronado Photographer | Reflection Photos

We hadn’t done a formal family photo session in two years and the kids have changed so much. We planned to do a session in St. Louis but as soon as we found Amy’s Instagram page, we knew it MUST be done at the beach. Our entire home is very much styled “California decor” (think Serena and Lily) so the photos would be a perfect compliment.

Coronado Photographer | Reflection Photos
Coronado Photographer | Reflection Photos
Coronado Photographer | Reflection Photos

We also wanted to capture each child’s individual personality as they are truly coming into their own right now.

Coronado Photographer | Reflection Photos
Coronado Photographer | Reflection Photos
Coronado Photographer | Reflection Photos

I’m a perfectionist by nature so I tend to overthink everything, and I had a lot of concerns going into the session. What were we going to wear? Was it going to be sunny? What if it’s windy? Will the kids be too tired from the wedding the night before? How would we get ready, travel forty minutes without anyone falling asleep, and transport three carseats in an Uber? Would any of the kids be shy with the water?

But it worked out! OH MY GOSH, there are just so many favorite memories! The biggest one was probably Hunter (5) falling in the ocean midway through the session. It was the moment you either want to cry because “the pictures are going to be ruined” or you embrace it and roll with the tide. Literally! I think we all held our breath a bit when he surfaced, not sure of the reaction. When he popped up, said “I’M OK”, stripped off his shirt, and kept on running, we knew the pictures were going to keep us laughing for a lifetime. Amy calmed us down and took control, forcing all of us to just get WET!

I think the neatest memory is how clearly the entire shoot is imprinted into our minds and hearts. Remembering every smile, giggle, pose, and twirl during the session. Watching each child smile into their daddy’s eyes had this momma’s heart melting. And taking a moment to just walk on the beach with Troy while watching the kids just be kids….you can’t put a price on those moments!

It’s incredibly difficult to just pick one favorite! So many images truly capture the heart of our family! All of the individual pictures of Troy and the kids just melt my heart.

Photographers in San Diego | Professional Photography Hotel del Coronado
Photographers in San Diego | Professional Photography Hotel del Coronado
Photographers in San Diego | Professional Photography Hotel del Coronado
Photographers in San Diego | Professional Photography Hotel del Coronado
Photographers in San Diego | Professional Photography Hotel del Coronado
Photographers in San Diego | Professional Photography Hotel del Coronado

And the incredible individual and action shots of the kids are perfection.

Action Photos on the Beach | Kids Playing
Action Photos on the Beach | Kids Playing
Action Photos on the Beach | Kids Playing
Action Photos on the Beach | Kids Playing
Action Photos on the Beach | Kids Playing
Action Photos on the Beach | Kids Playing
Action Photos on the Beach | Kids Playing

Pics of the three kids bring tears of joy to our eyes!

Sibling Beach Photos | Sandcastles
Sibling Beach Photos | Sandcastles
Sibling Beach Photos | Sandcastles
Sibling Beach Photos | Sandcastles

The picture of Troy helping me down from the lifeguard tower represents his true dedication to teaching our boys how to treat a lady.

Sibling Beach Photos | Sandcastles

The picture of us running down the hill represents how active we are together as a family, always laughing though it….

Family Photos on the Beach | Coronado Photographer

The picture of Hunter coming up after falling in the ocean just makes me giggle.

Wet Family Photos on the Beach | Coronado Photographer

Photos of just Troy and me are such good reminders of how this amazing family came together. Mom and Dad…! So thankful Amy captured those somewhat quiet moments.

Engagement Photos on the Beach | Couples Portraits Coronado
Engagement Photos on the Beach | Couples Portraits Coronado

We will definitely use the photos for our Christmas card this year! We will also use them in our photo gallery upstairs in the kids hallway and in our entryway frames. Grandparents have already requested theirs! Oh, and they are scrolling on our computers constantly while at work. 😊”

Coronado Photographer | Reflection Photos
Coronado Photographer | Reflection Photos

I LOVED reading all this from Tressa, and I can’t help but add a few of my favorites of this lovely (inside and out) mama. Isn’t she the sweetest? And isn’t that the most gorgeous dress?

Coronado Photographer | Reflection Photos
Coronado Photographer | Reflection Photos
Coronado Photographer | Reflection Photos
Coronado Photographer | Reflection Photos

Tressa and Troy are associated with Residential Real Estate Team – Coldwell Banker Gundaker in the St. Louis, Missouri, area. Check them out if you’re in that area and need real estate assistance!

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