Katie was such a joy to work with and our styled shoot in La Jolla, to add to her senior photos, was amazing. She is quick and cute and knows how to work for the camera. In addition, she is smart, funny and plays softball. She didn’t mind getting wet or changing outfits several times and loved playing with the scarves we brought along.

When you are at the beach in San Diego, sometimes you get socked in by fog. This was not one of those days. The sun was amazing and as it set, the light washed across us in a beautiful soft, rosy color. It was my first time to this location and I’m so glad that is where we went. Definitely a place to return again and again. The waves were perfect – nothing too big and not so flat as to be unimaginative.

While she did her own makeup, Katie had a couple of wonderful hair stylists. Danielle Smith and Rochelle House do amazing things and created two different but beautiful looks for Katie. We were able to do a more carefree look as well as a moodier and more glamorous one. Both of them fit her personality as she is very much a beautiful princess but also a tomboy. Seems like a juxtaposition but on her, it works.

Katie also has great taste in clothes and friends. And a wonderful mom. She is funny, sweet and kind and I loved seeing her interact with the other people who were there. Especially with the kids. She was a total natural and they loved her for it. The whole shoot was simple and easy with Katie so I hope you enjoy these few images.

 

La Jolla Senior Photographer La Jolla Senior Photographer

La Jolla Senior Photographer

La Jolla Senior Photographer

Clothing: Katie’s closet except for the prom dress

Prom Dress: Vintage (love thrift store finds!)

Scarves: My closet (I have way too many of them but I keep buying more)

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These two ladies both showed up for a styled shoot and it was great fun doing a double maternity session. Both are named Erin and both were first time moms with amazing smiles. They were happy, healthy and shared so much laughter. It was a great day on the beach by Scripps Pier. Funny thing is I lived in San Diego for 44 years and didn’t get out to the pier until I lived in Utah. Crazy how these things work sometimes. This styled shoot was all about the 2016 Pantone colors of the year. The soft pinks and blues just happen to be some of my favorite colors. And I got to get together with some of my favorite photographer friends too.

Erin and Erin were amazing. They were able to share pregnancy stories, talk about stretch marks and cheer each other on. And I got to capture their joy and laughter in my camera. You will get to see more of their individual images later this summer. For now, I hope you enjoy their shared bond as future mothers.

Both of these ladies had a little boy – one just a few weeks after this shoot and one last month. Both of their baby boys are completely adorable! And both babies are getting loved on by so many of their friends and family. It is a privilege to see families who have such a desire for their baby to arrive to still be thrilled even through sleepless nights and endless diaper changes. And it makes my mommy heart sing that there are so many parents out there like that. Even more thrilling to know so many of them.

 

Double Maternity HCP20160319-2 Double Maternity Double Maternity

Models: Erin Telford and Erin Mizicko

Hair: Danielle Smith

Bow: Shannon Grimm

Custom Jewelry: Pamela Pogue at juelerie

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I got to shoot Wonder Girl and her mommy a couple months ago. Always before, when I thought of Wonder Woman, I thought of Lynda Carter.

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links, which means I receive a commission if you make a purchase using these affiliate links however it doesn’t change your price.

That is, until I saw Vi in her Wonder Woman outfit. That baby can fly and she does it on the love of her momma, whom I dearly love. Vi was 3 months old the day we took these pictures and she wasn’t so sure she was happy about having my camera in her face, or about having to change outfits so many times. But she has so many cute clothes and it was adorable to see her all dressed up. She was much happier once we got her outside to the park so she could look around.

Momma Precyous is doing such a good job with her and already letting Vi express her strong personality. They are a great pair and Precyous will see that Vi gets to go far in life. Having fun together, reading together, enjoying each other’s company – these are just the start of the lifelong bond they already share. And clothes. And shoes. And even more than that, they share a love that will continue to ebb and flow and bind them forever. Both of them are gorgeous and need so little to be perfect on camera but the best parts of them are inside their hearts.

Vi may be stubborn already but she also has a ready smile and a darling laugh. Things she inherited from her momma – yes, even the stubborn streak and the crazy curly locks. As she grows, I’m hoping she will always remember to love those around her much as Precyous does now. And I’m looking forward to sharing her 6 month old pictures with you also.

Wonder Girl and her Mommy Wonder Girl and her Mommy Wonder Girl and her Mommy

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Have you thought about doing a Mommy & Me Fantasy Session? These are some of my favorite types of sessions. Basically, I get to be the photographer that brings your (or your child’s) imagination to life. I had the privilege of doing this for Mae and her daughter Indie earlier this year. It was truly a magical day but that was only the beginning of the magic that was waiting to happen for their shoot.

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links, which means I receive a commission if you make a purchase using these affiliate links however it doesn’t change your price.

Indie is a huge fan of Disney’s Frozen. She knows which songs she likes best and really, what she likes best of all is when her mommy sings along with her as they pretend to be queens over their icy domain. I so enjoyed listening to them sing their hearts out as we captured the basic images to be used in their fantasy session.

First thing we had to do was create the right look. Mae has been doing hair and makeup for stage for a long time. She did a great job with the braids for both her and Indie that are similar to Elsa’s from the movie. Grandma Michelle found the dress for the little Elsa. The dress for Mae to wear came out of my vintage closet full of fantasy dresses. Grandma also had the crowns because you can’t be a queen without a crown, right?

Then we headed to the park on a bright, sunshiny day and sang and played and walked. One of the highlights was when a couple of little girls came up to Mae-Elsa and asked where she came from. Staying in character, she responded with “Arendelle” as Elsa from the movie ruled over that country. The little girls ran away giggling and amazed.

Afterwords, we took a very happy but tired little girl back to her home and then the real work began. Because a sunny park in San Diego is not at all close to where Elsa walked. Instead, she walked with ice and snow and cold, cold weather. These images are the result of that day and the ensuing period of work.

I hope you enjoy them as much as I do and as much as Indie-Elsa does.

Mommy & Me Fantasy Session Mommy & Me Fantasy Session Mommy & Me Fantasy Session

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Every year, I listen for the first sign of spring. For me, that isn’t rain falling instead of snow drifting. No, it’s the birds chirping and building nests in the trees and hair clippings disappearing from the back yard and making their way into nests filled with eggs. While traveling this week, I saw these birds just going about their business. The thing is that it took a while to find them. I could hear them singing and talking to one another but they were hiding pretty far up in the trees. Made me really grateful for a telephoto lens that let me get up close without scaring them off.

birds

This little chickadee was leading me on a wild goose chase and finally settled down on a branch where I could see him. Which was actually a good thing because he led me to the robin’s nest.

birds

Poor robin redbreast was so sure I was after her nest which in a way I was. She just doesn’t understand the difference between taking a picture of the nest and destroying it so all she wanted to do was protect it from me even though she wasn’t done building it yet.

birds

She did sit in the next for me, just for a minute or two though. There is a lot to do when nest building and she didn’t really have time to pose for a photo shoot even if that was my preference. So I let her be but I carry the memories with me, on my camera and in my heart.

I hope that you have time to listen to the birds sing and watch spring steal gently across the yard and country. Take a few minutes and think about all the beauty we have to appreciate. Then stop and actually appreciate it. You’ll be glad you did.

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I have learned a lot about robotics this year from listening to my son. But one thing he didn’t have to tell me is that a world championship match is a big deal. Having 5 teams from the same school who all qualified to make it into that championship competition? That is a huge big deal and I’m so proud of these teenagers for working hard and making it happen.

Davis High School VEX Robotics Teams

5 teams, 30 teenagers, lots and lots of parent volunteers, a great coach/director, and so many smart brains in this group. Like more than 30 of those smart brains are represented here (don’t count in case my math is off). These kids are what makes the robotics program work – and it is precisely because they work their fingers off making sure all the parts are running smoothly, all the robots function and all the coding is correctly done. There are lots of moving parts in a production like this – not just physically but intellectually too. And despite the fact that they all work together on a machine with one goal, they basically get along with each other too.

These kids have learned to work together as a team. This will come in handy when they move on to college and “real life” jobs over the next several years. Their experience today, working with their team mates, will likely parallel what they will go through in a work place full of engineers and other smart people like themselves.

Dane Leifson has been their coach and director for many years. Sometimes he pushes them hard and sometimes he lets them make their own mistakes. Always he believes in them, encourages them, helps them learn.

VEX Robotics is the main sponsor of this event (hency why their name is on it) though they work with many other companies to put on this annual event. The goal is to encourage kids to continue to grow and learn and find out how to work together to improve our world. How can teaching a robot to play basketball do that? By teaching them it is okay to work together with people of all kinds.

They were at the top of the world (literally on the first place team) last year. Here’s hoping they are again this year. If you would like to follow along, the live feed can be found >>here<<.

 

The pictures below are from one of the qualifying matches Davis High participated in during January 2016.

Fixing code and helping each other out

Just about ready to start.

How fast can you feed those balls?

Shaking hands when the match was done.

Waiting to see who they are going to be going up against.

It really is a family event, with enough activity for even the little ones to not be too bored.

The color of the balls and the section of the net matter in terms of final scoring.

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Stuck in Class – did that make any of you think back to days you miss? or to days you are glad to be done with? I have to admit that I wasn’t so sure that would be a good theme for a drumline competition but it turns out I was wrong. I guess that shouldn’t surprise me since my talents don’t revolve around music but still. It was a lot of fun to watch the progression over the season of the show from the early stages where the mat wasn’t yet painted to this final show where they added in a wave to the Class of 2016 seniors. And while they got good scores throughout the season, finishing with the top score in the state for their bracket was amazing and well deserved.

These students (and their coaches and fearless leader Mitch) worked their butts off to get this show ready to go. They didn’t even have all the parts yet at their first official show and every time it was better than the last time. They didn’t mind the hard work because they knew the effort would result in good scores and advancement to future competitions. And in hearing the cheers from the crowds who loved them all season long. The video from their final show is below the images. If you want to see all the images from this day, you can click >>here<<.

DHS Drumline Competition 4/9/2016 DHS Drumline Competition 4/9/2016 DHS Drumline Competition 4/9/2016 DHS Drumline Competition 4/9/2016

This is the video from their final show – hope you enjoy!

Betty Campese Gillespie - April 19, 2016 - 8:25 pm

totally awesome Jennifer Hall Chapoose 🙂

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We all know how to live WITH joy but how do we live as joy filled beings? What does that take and are there steps we have to take to make that possible?

Let me start with a story. You see, there is a woman whom I see nearly every day. She walks down the street I drive when talking my children to and from school. I have never met her. I do not know where she lives or what her name is. But every time I see her, she is smiling and she makes eye contact with me even though she is walking and I am driving. Take this morning for instance. I was a little earlier than normal and so hadn’t seen her yet and was almost to my turn off. But there she was, just about ready to cross the street. She would have waited for me but I waved her across and her face lit up with joy and light and it was like she exuded love for all mankind from her very pores.

joy

I want to be that way. To exude joy and love from my pores. But how does one go about doing something like that? I don’t know exactly but here is what I plan to try in my efforts to find out:

  1. Smile more and bigger and deeper.
  2. Let my smile start not just on my face but in my heart.
  3. Make eye contact with others, even strangers, so I have a reason to smile.
  4. Help others, even just a little bit, every day.
  5. Remember that there is joy in all things if I choose.
  6. Live with courage and faith that others are also good.

Will this be a successful venture? Only time will tell but it seems like a good place to start. Then maybe one day I will have the courage to stop and talk to this woman who inspires me so much and tell her how much she has meant to me these last few months while I have been going through a dark time in my head.

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links, which means I receive a commission if you make a purchase using these affiliate links however it doesn’t change your price.

Some things already bring me joy – here are just a few.

  1. my children
  2. reading
  3. Jane Austen movies
  4. flowers, especially roses

I’m sure there are things which bring you joy which are different than mine. Would you share them in the comments?

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Bald Eagle Flying in Washington

I grew up living next to one a zoo but didn’t see a live eagle until just the past few years. Yet they are one of the most important birds to me personally. I never really thought about why until I was able to capture this bald eagle in flight (with a not great but not horrible short lens so it’s not really a great picture but I still like it).

So first, a bit of a birding lesson – there are many types and varieties of eagles but for right now, the Bald Eagle is what I am concerned with.

  1. this is the national emblem of the United States of America and has been since 1782
  2. it is a sea eagle and so found more near large bodies of water than in deserts
  3. their habitat is most of North America, though more on the West Coast than the East Coast these days
  4. they eat turtles! and snakes, fish, ducks and smallish rodents
  5. mom and dad both incubate their young
  6. they are no longer on the endangered species list but habitat loss and illegal hunting are still big causes for concern

So except for that first item, the birding lesson isn’t really a necessary part of this post but I find it fascinating so you got it.

But that first item – national emblem – that is important to me. Why was this bird chosen as our national emblem? What does it represent that is so important/was so important that it won out over all the other choices?

There is a line in a song “I can fly higher than an eagle” which says a lot of why, at least to me. And no, I have not looked this up and have not verified if this is what anyone else was thinking at the time. This is my opinion. Eagles fly high and Bald Eagles are very conspicuous with their white heads and tail feathers so it is/was easy to spot them even up super high. Heck, even I can tell without my glasses on and I’m almost blind at 18 inches away from my face without them.

When our country was born, we as a people were determined not to have a king to rally around but we needed something. The eagle was free – free to fly and hunt and soar up above the dirt and dust and politics of the time. And so it became a symbol of hope and freedom and courage and strength at a time when we needed that. Our country was just a baby and recovering from cutting off the apron strings wound so tightly by Mother England. By looking up to the eagle flying high across the sky, we were able to see that we could continue and could soar on our own. After all, the eagle doesn’t fly in pairs. In fact, evidence suggests that bald eagles don’t even migrate in pairs. They fly solo and if they can do it, so can the United States of America.

And indeed, we have for almost 240 years and we will for at least that many more years if we will remember that we, the people of the United States of America, can soar like the eagle.

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Candy is a musician, an artist and a young woman with a very bright future. I was honored to be able to take her senior pictures while I was in San Diego traveling and have loved getting to know her over the last many years. She went from being a super shy, fairly awkward little girl to being this tall, talented and gorgeous lady. I can’t wait to see what she does with all her talent as she gets older and wiser. Of course, I will feel very old by the time she is old but it will be good to watch her journey progress regardless.

She has been playing music for as long as I can remember and she sings as well. But one of the things I most love is to listen to her original compositions. There will come a day when you will get to hear one too and you will be amazed at the talent in those fingers of hers. And the music in her brain that comes pouring out full of emotion and a sense that yes, this is the better tomorrow that all of us have been looking for.

In addition to the music, Candy has a talent for drawing which enables her to express herself in a variety of mediums. She has an excellent sense of style and color and always seems to know what will work where on a piece of paper.

Candy will be headed off to college in the fall and is super excited to have options available as far as career choices. Having made some mistakes along the way (haven’t we all?), she has realized that it isn’t the destination as much as the journey that is exciting. And being clear-headed enough to make that journey – well, that’s a good thing. In fact, that’s a really good thing. And if you’re wondering, that’s an inside joke you would have to ask her about.

Candy and her guitar Candy - San Diego Senior Candy - UC High Class of 2016

To see all the pictures from her session, you can click >>here<<.

Sam Harville McIntyre - April 15, 2016 - 12:02 am

Beautiful and sweet.

Mary Britt - April 15, 2016 - 4:09 am

VERY BEAUTIFUL AND SWEET AND I LOVE THE PICTURES

Daniel Paul Harville - April 16, 2016 - 2:23 pm

Come to Texas so we can work up a few duets. I like “He Will Set Your Fields On Fire.” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oHeTa_AwkYQ and “You Aint Going Nowhere” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XTNcdO1G7ao

Daniel Paul Harville - April 16, 2016 - 2:24 pm

You play guitar. I’ll play bass or banjo.

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