Category Archives: California

Family Portraits at the UCLA Botanical Garden

Growing up just a few miles from UCLA, I somehow never visited the Mildred E. Mathias Botanical Gardens while I was a kid. I was excited to go there with a friend and her family over a year ago (hey, I’m still catching up with blog posts over here!) for a family session in the California sunshine.

From bamboo forests to native desert plants, this garden has a variety of landscapes to explore and enjoy, and two-year-old C. loved romping through it all in her party dress. Enjoy this smiling family!

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Though I’m based in Seattle, I’m in L.A. to visit family all the time, so think of me for photo things down here, too!

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Filed under California, Kids, Nature, Portraits

Los Angeles Family Holiday Photos

I was thrilled to get an email from an old friend, a woman I spent five months in Spain with almost a decade ago. I was even happier when she told me she had married the boyfriend who had visited her in Spain (just as I eventually married my then-boyfriend, too!) and they now lived in Los Angeles with their one-year-old daughter. Since I am always going back and forth to LA to visit my family, we were able to make a plan for me to take their family photos during my December visit! It was wonderful to see them all again and meet their little girl. She is a cutie-pie, as you can see:

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We made sure to take a few photos of Mom and Dad alone, too (with an adoring onlooker peering through the glass doors!) – it’s always important to remember yourselves as a couple, even in your new roles, right?

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Here’s to old friends! Happy holidays!

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Filed under Babies, California, Kids

Wedding: Glenda and Raphi at the Nixon Library, Yorba Linda, CA

It was a beautiful, quintessential southern California day for Glenda and Raphi’s wedding at the Nixon Library in Yorba Linda; skies were blue, temps were balmy, the sun shone, and everything was picture perfect! Even the government shutdown couldn’t put a damper on this event (and thank goodness functions at the Library are run separately from the governmental aspects of the place, or else this would be a different story entirely!)! The wedding was pure elegance, from the lavish cocktail spread of exotic fruits to the towering centerpieces. After a romantic first look, Glenda and Raphi had tisch and bedeken ceremonies, the traditional groom’s reception and veiling of the bride in Jewish weddings. I have never had such an exuberant crowd; Raphi was literally danced down the hall to veil his lovely bride. After a stunning sunset ceremony in front of the reflecting pool, I encountered the most energetic hora I’ve ever been witness to. The fun continued all night on a raucous dance floor. Every detail was amazing and I was thrilled to be there to capture it for this wonderful couple! Take a peek for yourself:

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Venue: Nixon Presidential Library

Catering: Blueberry Hill

Florist: Punch Kuny

Band: Spotlight Music

 

 

 

 

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Filed under California, Weddings

Sneak Peek: Glenda and Raphi

What a beautiful wedding! Glenda and Raphi had an amazing day at the Nixon Library in Yorba Linda and it was my pleasure to be there to capture it all. Here are just a few of this gorgeous couple – so many more to come!

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A Very Foggy Family Session in California

When I was home in California for Thanksgiving, I couldn’t help but do a few photographic sessions (of course!). One of them was an afternoon with the wonderful Diego and his parents. We had planned on a bright park and beach extravaganza, but the weather did not support our sun-drenched hopes … instead, we got a very magical dense fog that lent a completely different feeling to our photos! It was an interesting change of pace, and certainly not what one thinks where Southern California is concerned, but we do have our foggy days, especially near the beach!

Without further ado, here is the exuberant, funny, adorable Diego, having a great time in Rustic Canyon with his folks:

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Grandma got to participate, too! So sweet.

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The beach at Station #8 was really cool – you could barely see the ocean with the fog.

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It’s great to have clients everywhere I go! Thanks, Diego, for letting me hang out on such a unique day!

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Filed under California, Kids, Portraits

My Talented Sister: Rae Sterling

My two sisters are extremely lovely and talented and I love them both to pieces! While home over the holidays, I had fun photographing Rachael, my middle sister, also known as Rae Sterling. She is an amazing singer and songwriter and we had a backyard photoshoot hoping to get some images for her to use professionally, but mostly just for fun!

Here she is!

As you can see, she plays ukulele (and guitar) and is so so so good! I just wish I lived closer so that I could go to all her shows.

Then Rach got very creative and made a little scene against the back of our house and put herself in the middle of it. So fun, so her.

One of Rachael’s most popular songs is called “Owl Girl” – hence the owl and tree setup, and her mask. She drew them all herself (Rae’s a great artist in addition to her musical talents), of course. Love it!

Check out Rae’s songs – she’s the best! And here’s “Owl Girl” for your enjoyment:

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Video: The Making of the Three Sisters Holiday Calendar

My youngest sister (Sarah) has an amazing collection of YouTube videos about everything, from Disney to her everyday life, and they are so, so, so fun to watch. (Check her out at imSarahSnitch and imSarahSnitch2.)

While we were making our Three Sisters Holiday Calendar (where we recreated old photos for our mom’s 2012 wall calendar), Sarah filmed behind-the-scenes video of the process.

Here’s a little peek into life as one of the sisters (and thanks to Tyler for putting up with us and doing some of the video!):

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Filed under California, Personal

Home for the Holidays: This is the Life

When I’m home for the holidays, we do stuff like … have impromptu photoshoots all over the place! My sisters can’t help themselves:

We’re supposed to be taking a holiday photo, but most of our takes come out like this:

Bless Tyler, he is such a good sport and doesn’t even blink in the midst of our particular brand of madness. He just goes along with it all…

We take our little brother miniature golfing, and he loves it! Right?

Tyler eats Mexican food everywhere we go, even Cafe 50’s. Little brother learns about high-volume eating from Tyler:

We take pictures at the pier, at the pier’s carousel, and under the pier. Just because.

 

Tyler runs from our house to the pier to meet us (he’s very good at still getting exercise on vacation):

My mom is beautiful:

AND, if anyone wants a signed print of my sister looking AMAZING in her Disneyland cast member’s outfit right before she goes to work, please let me know in the comments. She’s willing to sign a limited number for your pure unadulterated enjoyment!

I love going home for the holidays (and other days, too!)!

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Filed under California, Personal, Portraits

Holidays at Home: A Three Sisters Calendar

Every year my two sisters and I give our mother a wall calendar made with pictures of the past year. Mom laughs and cries and loves every page of her gift and we love giving it to her! As we started our yearly email chain regarding this present, it quickly became obvious that we didn’t have enough photos of us together in 2011 to create 12 months (plus a front and back) of a calendar. Indeed, one of the great ironies of my being a professional photographer is that I take fewer and fewer photographs of my own family and life than I used to.

What were we to do? Mom needed her calendar, that much was clear. And then it dawned on us: we would recreate old photos and couple them with the originals! This has been done before, of course, most notably by Irina Werning’s Back to the Future project, which is absolutely fabulous, but we still thought we’d give it a try. We did not tell our mother that this was the plan; it was a total surprise!

And so, here are me, my sisters, my mom’s boyfriend, our cousins, and our best friends (who are also sisters), in some of our more iconic photos, then and now:

We also threw in some contemporary shots from the holidays, too, for the front, back, and a random extra page:

Needless to say, it was a hit! I got a wonderful call from my mother last night telling me the calendar had arrived. I can’t wait to go back home sometime soon and see it in person!

Creative projects with sisters are the best. Happy 2012!

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Filed under California, Personal, Portraits

Eli’s Bar Mitzvah Weekend in L.A.

My step-brother and I are almost exactly fourteen years apart, both born on special days in March (he on Pi Day, the infamous 3.14, I on St. Patty’s), and last weekend we both had birthday celebrations! His was a bit more spectacular than mine, however, as it was his Bar Mitzvah!

I flew into L.A. for the occasion, of course, and was so happy to be the “official” photographer for the Friday night service and dinner party before the big shebang on Saturday. And what a shebang it was! Eli absolutely rocked the service, which was followed by an amazing lunch at Upstairs 2, which was followed by some napping time back at the house (at least for me, Tyler, and my sisters), which was followed by an awesome party at 8443 Warner (including an airbrush tattoo artist — what’s up skull and crossbones on my arm! — the In-n-Out truck, and lots of dancing). What fun! Nothing beats a Bar Mitzvah dance party. NOTHING.

But first, there was Friday night, starring the man of the weekend, my brother, Eli:Us sisters were so proud he chose to wear the kippah we brought him from our Israel trip last summer. He loves Sprite, as you can see:

Eli is such a cool customer and wasn’t nervous at all. Or was he? The only sign was a bit of tension in his hands, but other than that, you couldn’t tell at all!

I really enjoyed being home in L.A. to share this special occasion with my bro. It was so great to see the whole family, too! Here’s a shot, courtesy of my husband, of part of my family in our Friday night best (sisters, bro, step-mom, dad, and me!):

After the Friday night service, we went for a celebratory dinner party at the Brentwood Country Club. Yummers! I got to practice my event photography skills there. It was a night of toasts and tearful speeches, and I loved it all!

Congrats, Eli, and mazel tov! You are amazing and I love you.

I’m now catching up on sleep after my red-eye back east, from which I went straight to school on Monday morning, but it was absolutely worth it and I wouldn’t have had it any other way!

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