Christmas Minis 2019

Every year, I choose a different location and experiment with different lighting for my Christmas Minis. Usually I do it outside, where the lush green of Florida winter does nothing to add to the Christmas/wintery feeling. This time, I did most of the mini sessions indoors against the bright bay window of my dining room. With enough decorations and overexposure of the window, you can just imagine cuddling by the sparkling tree on a cold, snowy day. However, the gem of each picture turned out to be the Christmas spirit brought by the families photographed. Their smiles were especially merry and bright this year!

And I did one mini-session outside this year. I love this tree at Treaty Oak Park in downtown Jacksonville. The branches seem to be a metaphor for this beautiful family and the closeness they share.

Thank you to everyone who made these sessions fun and meaningful. This is my favorite time of the year because it helps you remember what is important.

See you next year!

2019 Christmas Minis are Coming!

I think what every mom/wife wants for Christmas is a good family picture. You would be surprised how hard that is to deliver. With grumpy husbands, underwear-flashing daughters, raspberry-blowing sons, crying babies, it’s a miracle we come out alive. I guess I’m just talking about my family, but if you feel the same way, let me make it easy for you. Come to my indoor studio and put a star on the tree, throw some cotton snowballs, and hug each other while smiling (only naturally, of course). I promise you’ll come out of it alive and with beautiful memories of the ones you love most!

Christmas Mini Sessions are just around the corner…

Date: Saturdays, November 16th & 23rd, 2019

Place: Indoor Studio (close to Losco Rd. in Mandarin area). Jacksonville, Florida

Times: Mornings, from 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

What: 20 minute mini-photo session (perfect for kiddos, quick family pictures, and Christmas cards).

Investment: $75

You get: 10 edited digital files/print release.

You can set up a time through here. You can also check out 2017’s Christmas Minis here and 2018’s Christmas Minis here. See you there!

Windy Day at Camp Milton – Family Photoshoot

Right before Christmas, I had scheduled a shoot with Machell and her family. On the day of the shoot, it was uncharacteristically windy – with gusts of wind at 25 mph.

“Should we change to another location?” Machell asked me, worried the wind would cause a problem in the flat, open fields at Camp Milton. I pictured hair being blown in faces, and people squinting. I also pictured the beautiful fall colors and yellow grass of the fields – something that you can only find a couple months out of the year in Florida. “Let’s risk it!” I said, and with heavily cloudy sky and chilly wind, I headed out to location.

I’m so glad we did! The cloudy sky gave beautiful even light. The wind pushed everyone’s hair back – in perfect model fashion. Machell’s family even brought their dog, who was so picture perfect and made everyone else smile. I’m glad for the little unplanned surprises that make a photoshoot better than planned.

Fanaaj: Newborn Session

The first time I handled a newborn session, I was hesitant to touch or position the baby. Even after handling two babies of my own, other people’s babies seem so fragile, they could break. This session was so great for me, because the mother – and my good friend – trusted me completely and gave me full creative control. I did a lot of rocking and soothing and swaddling (quite messily I might add), but it all paid off in the end because this newborn’s perfection was able to shine through.

My friend has a bright loft in her house that was perfect for a quick family portrait.

Christmas Minis 2018 – Losco Park

Among the spanish moss-covered trees, I had the privilege of photographing two beautiful families. I had props and music to make an festive atmosphere, but the thing that brought the most fun was climbing on the trees! 

Glad to herald in the season by helping these families remember what is most important to them. Can’t wait to do this again next year!

Christmas Mini Sessions 2018

Imagine an Asian lady, balancing on top a wobbly apple crate, trying to cast lines of pom pom yarn over a tall branch while sweating profusely. It was a good idea in theory, but in reality, a lot of work!

I’ve been thinking all year of a new Christmas Mini Session set-up, and I kept coming to the idea of hanging things off of trees. When I came across photographs utilizing yarn-ball garlands, I thought I could put a Christmas spin on it and bring a little snow to sunny Florida.

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So come and play under the trees! Christmas Mini Sessions are just around the corner…

Date: Saturday, November 3rd, 2018

Place: Losco Park – Jacksonville, Florida

Times: 4-6 p.m.

What: 20 minute mini-photo session (perfect for kiddos, quick family pictures, and Christmas cards).

Investment: $75

You get: 10 edited digital files.

You can set up a time through here. You can also check out last year’s Christmas Minis here. See you there!

 

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Conrad: Newborn Photo Session

Sometimes newborn photo session make me nervous because they are unpredictable. So when I arrived at Conrad’s parents house, I was relieved to hear that he had cried the whole morning so now he was tired and ready to be photographed. Parents out there, any way to plan for this for your next newborn photo session?

Those eyes…

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Conrad’s mom said she wanted a minimalist life-style shoot. In the past, I’ve depended heavily on props or unique locations to engage children or make interesting pictures. So this was a stretching moment for me, but in the end, I liked it! There is nothing to distract from family interactions and the sweet moments they shared.

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We shifted him to different positions, held him, passed him around, and he still stayed asleep 90% of the time.

This next picture with baby and big sister was tricky. Big sister didn’t want to cuddle Conrad, and when I loomed over her with the camera, I became scary. So with the help of Mom and Dad, we laid her on the bed and held a laptop playing her favorite movie above her so she could watch while lying down. Then slowly we shifted Conrad closer to her, and like a sneaky hunter in the wild, I moved in – watching and waiting for the perfect moment. That’s what I call a parent-photographer team.

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Some daddy-son moments:

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Some mommy-son moments:

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Mom has a beautiful, contemplative smile.

Some behind-the-scenes of what daddy-daughter were doing in the meantime. Even though it doesn’t seem like anything big, I can imagine this being a cool thing to remember: “Remember how “Sing” was your favorite movie? See! You made me watch it everyday!”

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Mom was so good with engaging her daughter with Conrad. “Where are his feet?” she’d say. “Where is his nose?” Asking the parents on the best way to involve their children is something that I want to work on better in future shoots. The parents know best.

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The love and closeness in their family is very apparent in their home.

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The last few photos of the session, I tried to use some of the props I had brought because I have a secret love of photos where babies are lying in layers and layers of texture rich fabric. Don’t tell my daughter that I cut off the bow-tie from her favorite teddy bear to use in this photoshoot.

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Then, I tried to turn Conrad over and balance his chin in his two hands (I’d seen infants posed like that on other blogs), but that was too ambitious. He got shag fluff in his mouth and he started to cry – the sort of cry that I could tell it was all over. I felt so bad! Lessons, lessons.