Archive for Family Portraits
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Like many husbands, I often scramble when I ponder, “What should I get my wife for Mother’s Day this year?” That question then leads into a seemingly endless string of other enigmas: What do I say? How do I say it? Is it special enough? Am I awful for not having a sixth sense for this sort of thing in the first place? I then think of one sub-par idea which suddenly gets eclipsed by another. Hours later, I’m now ping-ponging mediocre plans until I just give up and start Googling, “Romantic Mother’s Day gifts desperate husbands can give their wives.” It garners results that lead to the not-so-creative idea of “Hey, spend a lot of money at that one fancy restaurant with small portions and non-edible decor that monopolizes your plates.” Yeah. Original. I roll my eyes, scoff…but oddly enough…I start giving in. Ehhhh.

BUT THEN, I read the ONLY one negative Yelp review (out of 34,283 positive ones) from some old man chiding the filet mignon and it feels like the apocalypse and I can’t possibly make reservations now because what if the old man is right? And what if my wife orders the filet mignon and hates it?!

Now, I’m more frustrated than a customer at Costco the day before 4th of July and start Googling, “Who in the world created Mother’s Day in the first place?!”

(No. Seriously. I did this. Anna Jarvis is her name. Thanks Anna.)

I turn off my computer. Shut down my smart phone. “Why am I making such a deal of this?”

Well, it’s because I love my wife. I want to articulate my appreciation to her for nurturing our daughter in the Herculean way she does. I want to acknowledge her dedication so profoundly because I’m afraid that I fail to do so on the other 364 days of the year. I want her to see what I see between her and our little girl: The bond. The beauty. The chaos. The deprivation of sleep. But the smile she does it with. The loss of “me time.” But then the way she is still fully present in every now with our child. The 25th hour she is always searching for because in the profession of motherhood, she clocked in once and never, ever clocked out. Yet still, my wife doesn’t long for a yesteryear because…well, life is just so exponentially better with our sweet Ava.

There’s no gift I can purchase to show my gratitude. No 5-star eatery can do it justice. But my addiction to resiliency continues to lead me to rest on that old adage of, “Never give up. Ever.” So I won’t. And I didn’t this year. While up north and in the spur of the moment, we headed to Woodward Park in Fresno, California for a family outing. And I brought my camera. And simply clicked away at my girls. Those captures are what I decided to hand my wife. A figurative mirror, so to speak. And through it, it is my prayer that she sees the vibrant reflections of herself with Ava. Their love for one another. Their one-ness. Their ever-blessed magic.

Our little love bug.

Perfect, perfect weather in Fresno, California.

Peas in a pod.

 This is Ava wanting to hug her mommy. But also trying to leave that hug from mommy to further explore.

Speaking of exploring…

Oh, how emotions of children change so quickly 🙂

Adoration.

Partly thrilled to see the duck. Partly afraid of it.

Beauties.

A mother’s gaze.

In-love with this intentionally out-of-focus shot 😉

Shoulders: you can lean on em’, cry on em’, or stand/sit on em’.

Aftermath of being spun round’ n’ round.

Could these two get any beautiful-er? (Yeah, I know. Not a word. But you know exactly what I meant, though).

Ava will frame this one when she’s older. I guarantee it.

Discovering.

You can’t quite tell but mama’ is trying to keep up with this little speed-racer.

Besos.

Some say a picture is worth a thousand words. Others argue that they speak a thousand of them. I personally hope these ones leave you speechless. Happy Mother’s Day, my love.

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Ava is the sweetest, cutest, most amazing kid in the world. I might be a little biased because I’m her daddy. But she’s incredible in so many ways. Her mother and I adore her to the moon and back. She turned 1 on March 1, 2017 and we set out to the park for a somewhat quick shoot. She braved the slight wind and chill…but as always, finds so many ways to warm our hearts – especially with that smile. Love you sweet pea.

Camera ready at all times. I thought it would take FOREVER to get this shot but it was actually one of first captures I took!

Candid cuteness.

Further proof that God loves me. So blessed to be able to raise this little darlin’.

Aw. Those little teeth 🙂

This girl has been walking since the early part of 9 months. And she loves every…single…second of it. Clearly.

My little princess with the beautiful backdrop that is The South Bay.

Always exploring. Oh so curious. Brilliant. And radiant just like that sun. Keep letting your light shine, my dear.

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I have a special place in my heart for the Vilasuso family. Kaitlin was one of my first headshot clients when I just started my business years back…and sometimes, you’re blessed to meet people you feel incredibly happy to be around right away. It was the exact same feeling when I met her awesome husband, Jordi, not too long after that and eventually beautiful kids came into the picture (pun intended). We set out to Burbank, California where we spent a few hours shooting and also, time after, to just talk and catch up on life. I am honored to know them and to have captured some beautiful moments below.

A gorgeous family with hearts to match. All 4 of them.

Look at Baby Ev and those glorious eyes of hers looking straight into camera.

As a father, I can say this: the bond between a girl and her daddy is incredibly special.

I loved the posed shot – especially with the family dog being on cue too. But what a sweet moment between mama and papa too…

Speaking of bonds – mommy and daughters have a strong one too. Kaitlin is a dynamic mother and little Riley is the very definition of sweet.

Bliss.

Perfect reflection of the Vilasuso family: one that walks together, hand in hand, every step of the way, with joy that is rare to see. Thanks to the Vilasuso’s for not just allowing me to capture this season of your lives but for being straight up, good folk. I appreciate you, my friends!

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June 05, 2016
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The Williams are some of the greatest friends I have. I’ve been able to not just celebrate but capture some amazing milestones of theirs including their engagement, wedding, maternity season, and now – their little angel, Naomi, turning 1. We head out to the beautiful Arlington Garden in Pasadena which resulted in some amazing images and moments!

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This last image is one of my favorites. Beautiful Naomi kept throwing her “1” and managed to do so right towards my lens perfectly. Let’s see what Year 2 has in store ;).

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I’ve had the honor of shooting Aretha’s photos multiple times over the years (namely headshots) but my favorite by far was our recent maternity photography session. We took to Wilson Park in Torrance, California and shared some laughs, talk about parenthood (my little one is only a few months old), and during all of that – we got some wonderful shots, of course. Aretha Sample 2 FINAL-1

Aretha Scruggs-28Aretha Sample-1 2During maternity sessions, I tend to encourage my clients to take a moment to reflect on this season of their lives…say a little prayer…ponder on the feelings of joy and excitement they have about their baby-to-come…just soak it all in. And we end up getting images like this that I hope one day, their children can look back on and see how much mama’ loved them even before they were born.Aretha Scruggs-42 final

This day called for Baby Imani’s close-up (it’s the headshot photographer in me).

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AND…my favorite capture of this particular maternity session. That’s straight up, unadulterated, raw love beaming from mama’. I look forward to capturing Baby Imani sporting those very shoes one day!

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Call me biased but the earth has never known a more beautiful pregnant woman. I’ve shot hundreds and hundreds of photo sessions but this maternity session tops them all. To celebrate Valentine’s day, we headed down Pacific Coast Highway to shoot at the majestic Temescal Canyon Park in Pacific Palisades, California. To say my wife and I are over the moon about Baby Ava’s arrival is an understatement.

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Charles Alicia Maternity 4-1 FINAL

See? What I tell ya’? The most beautiful pregnant woman the earth has ever seen…ever.

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I made a few cameos during this maternity session…but this is as much I’ll feature myself on this particular post because, let’s be real, we’d all much rather look at my wife (and of course, the little sweetie pie baking in the oven).

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Couldn’t think of a better way to spend Valentine’s Day than to take some of the most important images I’ll ever have the blessing to capture. Looking forward to sharing many, many images of our beautiful Ava in the future!