It is pretty amazing when you feel like you are a part of someone’s journey and there to witness growth, change, and development. That is how I feel with Isla. I was there before her birth, there to answer random questions from Krysti (I love that moms can ask other moms things, even if it might sound silly or absurd.), there for eight month old photos, and now there to celebrate Isla turning one. I truly cannot believe an entire year has passed and I find it amazing that she is on the brink of walking, a lover of carrots and fruit, and has the most beautiful eyelashes! Isla is such a doll and the center of Krysti and Dave’s world.
Isla’s birthday party was duck-themed (Emi absolutely loved it because she loves yellow rubber duckies!) and the party took place at this amazing house in Venice. It provided the perfect setting for photos – the feel of being outdoors while being indoors – and even despite not taking a full nap, Isla was fascinated by the balloons and letters that spelled out ONE as we took photos. Isla had a fantastical dress on and it gave such a whimsical, woodsy feel. She was definitely much more content dressed later in her leggings so she could crawl around and explore the rocks, but in that dress, she was truly a little princess.
Happy birthday once again, Isla! May this year be filled with more exploration, words, and wonder. I look forward to hearing and seeing more! xoxo
I love that when I have ideas, I can share them with people like Amanda Brown. Amanda is an Event and Wedding Coordinator and she was able to style the cutest Valentine’s Day themed portrait session! I was not surprised by her skill and hard work; after all, when I photographed her wedding, Amanda created her very own dessert table (and she made the dessert table for my daughter’s Red Egg party)! It was filled with goodies galore and she incorporated her own touches in the décor and elements of her wedding. Since then Amanda has organized many events – ranging from birthday parties to weddings – and now she has a styled portrait session to add to her list! I absolutely loved working with Amanda and you can definitely look forward to more collaboration in the near future.
Krista and Sal helped out with this styled shoot. They are a recently engaged couple and even though this was a styled session, it showcased their love and friendship that they have with one another. Sal was able to make Krista (and me and Amanda) laugh with his suffering joke and we all had a good laugh, minus Sal, with the heart confetti. Let’s just say he wasn’t prepared to get a close up shot of his hands. I would definitely ask the two of them about the story because it brought out the best laugh and expression from Krista. These two are definitely a great match and I wish the two of them happy planning!
Thank you again to Amanda (and Michael, her super awesome husband, who used his handyman skills to put together the booth on spot) for creating the kissing booth, heart garland, and felt Love letters and Krista + Sal for taking part in this session!
Before I can begin describing how I know Sumaya I have to start with her uncle, Muhammad.
Muhammad and I go way back…as in UCI-we-took-a-class-together-and-got-into-an-accident-while-on-a trip-to-a-museum-where-we-saw-the-strangest-exhibit (Paul McCarthy, by the way)-and-sometimes-skipped-class-for-jamba-juice back. That is just a snippet of my friendship with Muhammad and that was about 14 years ago. I was there when he married his beautiful and talented wife, Suzy – she makes the absolute best meals and desserts that are to die for – and I have known his family for ages. I remember his nieces and nephews as kids who attended his graduation. That is how far back we go so when his younger sister, Hanaa, asked me to take photos of her two-year-old daughter, I was more than excited because I was not only photographing her, but the entire family!
Sumaya is a (somewhat) shy girl – perhaps because I had a camera and she has only seen me a handful of times – but the minute she sees any of her family members, especially her grandparents, she immediately lights up and is running towards them at full speed. I loved how she laughed and giggled while Hanaa’s father swung Sumaya around and I loved how Sumaya insisted that everyone be in the picture…minus her. She would drag each person in only to run off laughing. I especially love Sumaya’s fiery red hair, which she takes after Hanaa’s father, and is the only member so far to have that feature. Sumaya made me smile with the amount of energy she had, her interest and intrigue at the things surrounding her (like the trains), and her love for Curious George. I already know she is going to have a bright future because she is surrounded by such amazing people.
Although the main focus was Sumaya turning two, each individual family had their own mini-session and I was glad to catch up with each family. When I say this group is amazing, I am not kidding. Whenever Muhammad spoke about his sisters, brother-in-laws, and nieces and nephews, I would just be stunned. This is a family of educators, doctors, moms who make raising three or more kids look easy, boys who at a young age beat Muhammad at chess, and simply nice and giving people. I am amazed whenever Muhammad talks about his nephews and the day after our portrait session, one of them headed off to Taiwan to compete in a Science fair! That is how amazingly bright they are and I witnessed it first hand as they gathered and talked about programming. Yes, programming. They just do it for fun.
Thank you for giving me such a wonderful opportunity to photograph your daughter, Hanaa, and as always, it was great seeing your family! I look forward to seeing all of you soon and hearing about college acceptances and that trip to Taiwan!