Orange County Family Photographer. Valdez Family Session.

I was walking with the family at San Diego Zoo when I got the call from Joleen. She had a special family celebration and wanted to spotlight it with family photos. A few days later, we had confirmed that it was a good fit and we were ready to rock and roll. We exchanged texts about the weather on the session date (rain would be the big reason for me to reschedule), outfit choices, etc. She was friendly and personable and I had such a good feeling about this session. Mostly, because I loved the connection and the feelings of mutual trust. She felt as though she was in good hands, and I was so eager to prove that, she indeed, was.
Just as a hairdresser knows her craft, and a chef knows his seasonings and knife-work, a photographer truly shines when you give her full reigns. Don’t be that person who winces each time the scissors snip in that chair- you will have messed up the stylists’ confidence and that’s a surefire way to wind up with a cut you don’t love.  The same reasoning applies to photography. Now you may not know the specific reasons why you love someones images, but simply that you love the tones and the emotions you feel when you look at the images. Choose a photographer whom you connect with-not for a crazy low price but for images that pull at your heart. I posted before about my road to photography here, and I can attest that I honestly fall in love with each family that comes my way and hope to grow old with them- to celebrate all their victories, and even the occasional loss.
Enter the Valdez’s. They drove for about half an hour to meet me for our sunset shoot and, as luck would have it, kiddos were both passed out in dreamland when they arrived. Cue the cute couple shots. Every couple needs a photograph of the two of them. Even more so when they become mother and father. Amidst the seemingly never-ending HUSTLE of mom-ing and daddy-ing- the importance of breaking down and reconnecting and recharging is so relevant.
Before there was a family, there was you two. Their happiness both runs on yours and fuels your own happiness. A family is a connected unit.
Little B was just a sweetheart, and warmed up to me instantly– even though he was rudely roused from his nap. He is the same age as my own eldest and it made the session a bit more fun to be able to roughhouse with him. A true sign of a successful session shouldn’t only hinge on images alone, but the friendship that was made with the family. Little B was begging me to play tag with him at the end, and it was really hard to leave when it was over.
Joleen and Brian I am thoroughly impressed by your sweet, subtle, sincere temperaments– the way you listened to each other and shouldered on to empower one another– I see it. Of course, I see it all. I see an adoring husband a little out-of-place, but wanting what his beautiful wife wanted. And supported her all the way. Your secret glances towards one another to check if the other is alright… it’s so sweet guys, and no wonder your children totally reflect that. Brian, thank you for being the huge support system to your wife and family and for providing me with my very first behind-the-scene image of myself working! So awesome.
Thank you Joleen and Brian, little B and baby girl S– our little showstopper. I hope these memories of your little ones- so little still, will be able to adorn your walls and give you a smile at the end of a tough day. You have so much.
Joleen, it was an absolute pleasure, and like I told my hubby, I’m going to miss texting you and all the back and forth! I hope the family party was a total success and everyone saw the love that I saw.

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