mara & frankie | maternity & newborn | santa cruz photographer

I’ve known Mara since before she became a mother for the first time, over 5 years ago, and she’s become one of my dearest friends here in Santa Cruz. Mara is one of the most magnetic people I’ve ever met and she seems to be constantly surrounded by great people, great beauty and great fun. She is exactly the kind of woman who was meant to bring new life into this world more than once because the world could definitely use a few more content souls raised by a bold, brave and incredibly loving woman. All that personality and the girl is drop dead gorgeous on top of that, so you think she might be up for having a few photos taken of herself, but I seriously had to force her in front of the camera and she gave me all of about 5 bashful minutes to photograph her and her beautiful belly. She went 10 days past her due date and then, finally, she gave birth at home to one of the cutest newborns I’ve ever met and has since named her Frankie Luella (but is putting Fiona on her birth certificate in case she wants a more feminine option.) I met Frankie when she was 2 days old and of course I had to bring along my camera to do another mini photo shoot to capture her in all her newborn perfection. Mara I’m so happy for you and your whole (and now complete) family, and Frankie, I can’t wait to watch you grow and get to know the woman who you will become.

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the holidays are coming | carmel family portrait session

The holidays are rapidly approaching, which means that I’m crazy busy editing family portrait sessions and designing holiday cards. I had to share this one that I just designed for an awesome family who recently relocated form Boston to Carmel. I love a personalized holiday card, and this one really shows the beauty of their new baby girl who is so incredibly full of joy, as well as the beauty of their new home on the California coast. This is a 5 x 7 card with the letters on the front and the family portrait on the back.

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a birth announcement | newborn portrait session

I have about 5 weddings that I should share right now, but that takes a whole bunch of time that I can’t seem to find in my day, so instead I’m going to share this adorable little nugget of new life named Connor. I’ve photographed ┬áConnor’s mama during her first pregnancy and I’ve done a few portrait sessions with Connor’s big sister, so it was an amazing honor to photograph Connor when he was just a beautiful bump in his mama’s belly and then, only two weeks later, document him in his new home. He is absolutely perfect. Here is the birth announcement that I designed for him today.

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nathaniel | newborn portrait session

Welcome to the world sweet baby Nathaniel! This little guy was so full of wide-eyed wonder as he took in the new world around him, and he was far too excited by what he saw to let himself fall asleep during our session. Mama managed to get him to rest peacefully right at the very end of our session so that we could capture this life in all it’s brand new perfection. I really think that there is nothing more beautiful and pure than being in the presence of a mother and her newborn.

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family portrait session | santa cruz photographer

I got to photograph the very beginning of this family, back when big sister had just been born. Fast forward two very short years, and I am back to photograph this family again, together with it’s newest member; a little sister! It’s always so amazing to get to experience the growth of a family and the personalities that emerge once those newborns grow up into toddlers. I loved being introduced to little sister by big sister, and as I stared at this beautiful new life I wondered who she would grow up to become. We managed to have some fun and get some shots in between the fussiness and fatigue that is expected of a newborn, and the desire to play and resistance to pose that is expected of a toddler. In those ‘between’ moments I am always trying to capture the character of each child and each family at that time and the beauty of this ‘stage’ because I am so aware that we’re all in a constant state of evolution.

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a thoughtful gift | custom collage | santa cruz newborn photographer

Personal, thoughtful gifts are always the best kind of gift, and I have always loved a photography gift for consistently fulfilling that criteria. I may be guilty of overdoing the photo gift in my own family, but for most, it’s an undeniably great gift. This was a commissioned piece for a deserving grandmother who adores her two grandchildren. She has one collage focusing on the older grandson, so now the newest grandson gets his own collage too.

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kalantari-johnson family | portrait session | santa cruz newborn photographer

I have to say that this photo shoot is one of the best reasons for the existence of facebook, as facebook was responsible for reconnecting me with this college friend, which led to me meeting and photographing her beautiful family, which led to me to planning play dates together with her and her boys. I was honored to photograph the brand new life of sweet Shyon, (I love that name) and his big brother Darioush. The ambience in the home was perfect for a newborn shoot; it was cozy and calm, with Dad playing music on his ukulele, Mama nursing and Grandma playing with big brother. Shyon was way too excited about the photo shoot to absorb the vibe and let himself fall asleep. Every time we thought he was out, his bright eyes would pop wide open again, so eager to check out his new world. I’m always amazed the scent and feel of newborn skin, it has the power to switch off my rational brain and make me want another child, immediately. The highlight of the shoot came right at the end with Shyon’s grand peeing finale. H leaving mom soaked and all of us laughing.

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