Thursday, September 10, 2015

All grown up- Meghan

I have known Meghan, (the daughter of one of my best friends) since well.... I think, since she's been born. I had the pleasure to photograph her as a very young child and at various time throughout her life. And in the past few years, she has been more like another daughter to me.

Meghan graduated in June of 2014, and as a gift to her, I offered to do a full photo shoot with her (3 different locations and changes of clothing). But her very busy schedule didn't allow for a photo shoot until later in the year. As the saying goes, "Good things come to those who wait" and it really worked in our favor.

I have said before, I prefer to work with natural lighting. I feel you get a more relax and true portrait result. Don't get me wrong, I love studio work and sometimes, I could use a whole bunch of lights but natural is best for my work. I am not a big fan of very bright sunlight. I love to shoot photos on overcast or cloudy days. It lends me so much more options to work with. This day was overcasty...... practically perfect!

To take a good picture, you must have good lighting and composition. That's the photographers job to find and do both. The hard part is to get your subjects to do what you want them to do and look as natural and comfortable as possible. I have taken pictures of many beautiful people in my many years as a photographer and I can tell you, the hardest part of my job is to get my models/subjects to pose. 

Meghan majored in set design and has done a little acting for her degree. She is out going and not afraid to try something different. Although she will deny it, she was very comfortable in front of the camera- giving me a ton of opportunity to capture some very lovely images of her. She was a perfect model for me. This whole shoot was about 3-4 hours.... I know, a bit long but we couldn't help it. We had a great time.

I want to thank Meghan for allowing me to take some amazing pictures of her and for making my job and portfolio look so good. Here are just a few of the over 300 images that we took that day.

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Take me out to the ball game...

I am one very blessed "Nana". I have 4 wonderful grand children with one on the way! Our newest grand son will arrive just around Thanksgiving this year and we can't be more excited.

Each one of my grand children are special and unique and so much fun. Ranging from ages 18 months, 3 years, 8 1/2 years and yep- nearly 16 years old  (in 2015). And each of them have their own talents and likes that makes my world as Nana so much fun. 

Our oldest grand son, Damien, is a very talented baseball player- a pitcher to be exact. This 6'3" fast ball high school pitcher has been playing baseball for most of his life. And he loves it!


I am so lucky to be able to snap a few photos of Damien pitching during his freshman year in high school. These photos were taken while attending his games at the high school. I was limited to where I could stand and take pictures but I think I still managed to get a few good shots.....

It's been a while......

It's been a while.... a long while.....
It's been a long time - over a year- since I have posted any new photos or information on this blog. My personal life has been very full in the past year, and I finally found a little time to catch up on my photography life.

These low key images, pictures, below were taken just after my youngest grand daughter, Payton, was born. And of course, with a "Nana" as a photographer, you know that this precious baby and her loving parents (my daughter, Katie and her husband, Jason), were going to have some beautiful photos taken of them. 
I don't like carrying around a lot of equipment when I take pictures. I prefer to take my camera, my multi-length lens and maybe a reflector with me but that's about it. I try to use what lighting is available to me at the time. For the photos below, no extra lighting equipment was use. 

These few extra photos were taken just days before Payton was baptised in the Catholic church. The gown she is wearing is my baptismal gown that I wore 55 ago. It is the same gown that my son (now 33) and my daughter (now 30) also wore for their baptisms. It is an honor to have my grand daughter wear it for her special day too.


We all know that babies grow up so very fast. We must try to grab on to these special moments and new beginnings and cherish them daily. I think I was able to capture some sweet and loving images of this new little family.

Monday, June 2, 2014

A lovely day for a wedding

Steven and Jenny- a lovely January wedding day...

I was thrilled when I was asked to take pictures for my neighbor’s son’s wedding. You see, I grew up with the mom here in Brea, and I have taken this family’s pictures many times in the past so it was such a wonderful feeling to be able to photograph the wedding.
This was a different wedding than I was accustom to shooting. The couple, Steven and Jenny, got married in the Mormon Temple in Orange County. There is no photography in the temple it’s self so no ceremony pictures. And the couple opted for no any bridesmaids or groomsmen either. Which meant that, besides the family group shots, I got to spend a lot of time with just the bride and the groom. 

And to add an extra special twist to the day, it was the groom's birthday too. They were such a lovely couple to work with and I hope they enjoy the photos of their special day for years to come.

Congratulations to Steven and Jenny- blessings to you both.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Preparing for a new little one....

I am sorry about not posting to this blog lately but we have wonderful news to share.....
my husband and I became grand parents again!
Welcome Payton!

I have been so blessed in my life to have 2 wonderful kids. My son and his wife have given me 3 beautiful grand children and now my daughter and her husband have added to our family, a brand new little girl.

Payton Rose DeBenedictis was born in early February. She is as Mary Poppins would say... "Practically Perfect". We all prayed for this little one for a long time and I am so happy to announce that she is here and growing nicely.

I believe that every part of a child's life is great reason to celebrate and document with pictures, even when the child has yet to arrive. I wanted to take some photos of my pregnant daughter, Katie and her husband, Jason, before Payton was to be born into the world.
These photos were taken at a very secluded park near our home as well as in the nursery her parents set up for her. I want Payton to understand that she is a treasured child and of her importance in our lives. 
I believe, through photos, she will understand that she is a blessing.

Katie and Jason

Preparing her room.

announcing- my grand daughter, 
Payton Rose DeBenedictis

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Family Photos with little ones...... The Thayers

Our friends, Brad and Betsy, have been a part of our family for many years. I am happy to have taken many photos of them. I was thrilled when they asked me to take their family photos for their Christmas card. 
Let me star by saying I have been taking pictures for a lot of years. But of all the pictures I have taken (from weddings to big, huge groups of people in one family), it's the little toddler/preschool aged humans that scare me the most. 
They just don't really want to sit still and have their picture taken. They just want to get down and run around. And it is a real struggle for me, at times, to get anything that resembles a good family photo. Now, times that by two (or twins) and add the element of rain (or should I say "sprinkle"), and the fact that it takes a lot of work to get a family ready and out the door, and the fact that we didn't have any other dates available to take these photos and I want to do my best for them AND ...... 
well, you can see why I was a bit nervous about this shoot.
But as you can see, Everything turned out fine. Because the kids were so good at the beginning of the shoot, it took not time at all to take some terrific pictures of the family. I love the fact that they used props (cell phones) for their pictures too. I encourage families to do that so the kids are occupied with something else and will feel more comfortable about having their pictures taken by me. 
It is always an adventure when photographing families with young kids. Sometimes, what I have planned for them is nothing like the wonderful pictures I get when the kids are in charge of what really happens that day.

Thank you Brad, Betsy, Riley, Zac and Allie for another great family shoot.

Thursday, January 30, 2014

One BIG happy family

I am blessed to have reconnected with some "gold" (no old) pals from my childhood days. My dear friend, Karen (who I have known since we were both in 3rd grade together) and her husband, Rick, have become such a treasured friendship to my family. I was thrilled when she asked me to photograph her entire blended family. I have met a couple of people in the past but I got the chance to meet the whole group- grand kids and all. What a lovely afternoon it was too. We met at a beautiful spot near her home. The lighting was wonderful. The family was so terrific to work with.

I always get a little nervous working with small children who don't like to be photographed. Sometime they are just too shy to take direction from a stranger. But all the little kids were so much fun to work with.... Such terrific personalities. The older kids really got into the spirit too and did just about anything I asked of them. I love their playfulness with each other.

And the extra special part of the day was that my hubby came along and helped me out by taking some pictures too. I love working with him and I think he had a good time too.

It was a lot of work to gather all the family members in one spot for an afternoon. Lots of schedules to juggle around, but it will be a wonderful memory for my friends, Karen and Rick. Family photos that will last a lifetime.


Thursday, November 28, 2013

No need to go far.....

I am always happy to take some updated pictures for previous clients. But this client is a little different than most. You see, Dave is my contractor. He has remodeled most of the interior of my house (so far) for the past 8 years and did a fabulous job at that. I trust Dave fully with making my home look and feel warm, inviting and most of all, special. He has worked so hard to give me his best work and so when he and his family wanted me to take their pictures again, I wanted to do the same for them- do my best and give them something special.

Dave and Kathy built a beautiful fire pit and gazebo for the home and the front yard was a perfect spot for some family pictures. And for that added extra special touch, their son, Jeremy, played guitar for us during part of our photo shoot time. It was a perfect fall afternoon and such a relaxing atmosphere.
So is you have a favorite spot- even if it is in your own yard, let's try it out for some family photos. 
Here are just a couple of photos that I wanted to share with you. 


Tuesday, October 1, 2013

My handsome grand son- Damien

Once kids get to be in their teens, and they are involved in so many different activities, it seems as if it gets harder and harder to find some time to have their pictures taken... even if the photographer is their grand mother.

This is Damien..... I love my grand son. I know, most grand mothers will say the same thing about their grand sons... and  Damien is one terrific guy. He is smart and handsome and tall and a good athlete. He's funny and charming and helpful and an easy going kid to be around. But most of all, he is such a respectful and kindhearted young man. We are so happy to have him in our family.


Between the sports and friends, I was so happy to have one sunny summer morning where I was able to take a few pictures of this handsome guy. He has grown up in such a short time right before my eyes. They say babies change so much in just a few months. Well, I think there is also a big change in boys from the end of grade school and the beginning of high school. 

We all tend to stop taking those extra special pictures of our kids once they get into the teen years. Yet that's when they really change and develop into the young adults in our lives. Don't wait too long between then and now to update those important years in a boys life.