the latest & greatest


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It’s really no secret that Fall is my favoritttte season. Every year, I play the “how-many-sessions-can-I-squeeze-in-during-peak-fall-season’‘ game, and every year gets a little crazier. I will say that, even though peak fall colors changes every year, I’ve gotten pretty darn good at the game. There really isn’t anything quite like the bright yellow, orange, and red hues that fall gives us, except for maybe Amanda’s gorgeous yellow dress that so perfectly complimented it so perfectly.

Amanda and I worked together back when we were teens at my very first job where we were Starbucks baristas. 12 years ago, people. So to say I was excited to capture this new chapter in her life would be an understatement. We hopped around Hope Valley, finding some new favorite locations along the way.


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Amanda and Jon// Hope Valley Maternity Session

If you know me, you know I love a good sunrise session. Maybe I’m a freak of nature, or maybe I just love the morning light. I’ll let you decide. I somehow persuaded Mary and James to accompany me up to the mountains before the sun came up for their peak autumn engagement session. 

We fueled up with some hot coffee before making our trek up towards Hope Valley and found ourselves in the perfect location before the birds chirped. I spotted this location years ago and will talk just about anyone and everyone into going with me because it’s just that magical in every season. 

Mary told me weeks after that they had both been so nervous the night before that they barely slept. But as soon as we hopped out into the open valley, they were too busy to think twice about their nerves.


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My fiancé Jaime and I had never taken any sort of professional photos before, so the thought of 2 hours of shooting made us cringe. We had just accepted the fact that we had to take these pictures for our save the dates. From the second we met up with Vanessa she made us feel so comfortable with her bubbly and upbeat personality. We arrived at the location and our nerves were going nuts, but she assured us we would be fine. I’ve never felt so at ease doing something so out of my element. She let us be ourselves and made a two hour shoot feel like 10 minutes. Still we wondered how the pictures would look and how awkward we would look in them. It was the longest 2 weeks of my life waiting for the final photos, but when we finally saw the pictures edited we were absolutely blown away. We looked so natural and so much better than I could have ever imagined. Vanessa has a vision like nothing I’ve ever seen before. We loved her and the pictures so much we scheduled another shoot with her a week later. Vanessa is not only professional and talented, but warm and comforting.. We will never use anyone else for our photos and I’m telling the world about her.

— Mary H.

Fall Engagement Session in the Mountains


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When we were trying to choose which location to choose Amber and Camden’s engagement session, I gave them probablyyyy a few too many options. I have lots of places on my “dream shoot” list (ahem, death valley) and so I had given them several choices to see which fit them best. They landed on the mountains; a couple after my own heart. Don’t get me wrong, I love the ocean, but the mountains are my *jam.*

We started the session with a beer and ended it with one of the best sunsets I’ve seen this year. The Eastern Sierras have a certain magic that is beautiful all year round, and I was so glad that Amber and Camden trusted my vision for their adventurous mountain-y engagement sesh. <3 


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Amber + Camden’s Mountaintop Spring Engagement Session


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Kate and I worked at Starbucks several years back and were instant friends. She was my hiking buddy, my on-call model, and my sanity from the barista madness. She now lives in Germany with her hubs, so we took advantage of her short time visiting in California, chatting over iced teas before the shoot and catching one another up on the newest details of in our lives. Kate told me about life in Germany and I told her about my latest travels and summer plans.

When it came time for the shoot, Kyle met up with us as we packed up and headed for Pena Adobe Regional Park. We explored, climbed a few hills, chased the sunlight and documented this special time in their life. Happy one year anniversary, you two.


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Anniversary Session: Kate + Kyle Celebrating One Year of Marriage

It’s more than just a new profile picture…..and if it’s not, then we *might* just have our priorities waaaay off. 

There are a lot of reasons people have photos taken. Let’s talk about some that maybe you haven’t thought of. Or maybe our reasons “why” have shifted over the years thanks to social media. Whatever the reason, here are a few reasons capturing this (exciting, beautiful, one-of a kind) time in your life is so important.

I think we all can agree on just how fleeting time can be. Now, I’m not a mom, but even for me it seems like time flies by faster than I can say, “Ugh, how old am I again??”

But for those mommas and daddies (and grandmas and grandpas) out there, I know you feel just like me when you can literally see your babies growing up right before your eyes. 

Your child will never say the same cute things, or look at you the same way as they do in this moment. Right now.

Capturing the things that make your child (and family!) so unique and special is one of the best (and simplest!) things you can do to help you remember them 20 years from now. Days, moments, and large chunks of time can be easily forgotton. BUT! Seeing an old photo can take you back in time to that very moment. And that, my friends, is pretty darn special.

Now, let’s get real for a moment.

We all know how awesome it feels when we get a lot of likes, loves, and all that jazz when we upload a new photo to social media. I don’t believe there is anything inherently wrong with posting well-received selfies or iPhone shots of you precious kiddos.

The problem I do see, however, is when that new photo from your latest family portrait session ONLY makes it to Facebook! 

What do I even mean by that, you ask? Just because something is online or on your computer isn’t enough. Once you upload another new profile pic, it’s out of sight and out of mind. Make the time. Spend the money to print out those photos. Stick them up on your walls! On your office desk. Put an album on your coffee table. They are what makes a house a home.

And even more importantly, did you know that there is scientific evidence that displaying portraits of your children and your family in your home actually boosts your child’s self esteem? Now, THAT, is something to think about.

I’m even going to take this one step further and say that where you print your photos matters just as much. Just like any product, you get what you pay for. Your photographer spends more time than you realize making sure your photos are *perfect*. To then go and print them at your local drug store or supermarket will never do your photos justice. 

Imagine investing in a beautiful, high-end cocktail dress.  You take the extra time to make your hair and makeup just right. You look fabulous! …. only to be taken out on a date to McDonald’s. You then proceed to spill your chocolate milkshake all down your front. It’s a tragedy. If you’re going to buy the dress, do it justice.

And last, but certainly not least, think about the future generations to come.

Don’t let your legacy end with you.

When you’re gone, your children and grandchildren will want something to remember you by. My grandmother, who I was very close to, passed away 7 years ago. Even though she will always live in my heart and my memories, the photos I have of her help remember me even more. What’s most special to me are the photos I have of us together. I cherish them more than almost all other “objects” or “things” that only serve to clutter my life. Printing through the right company, which can only be done through your photographer, will ensure your prints will be the very best quality and last for generations.

So, take action.

Book that shoot. Print those photos. Stick them up on your walls.

Don’t just let photos of your beautiful life exist only in cyber land. Bring them into real life and remember just how precious our short time here on the earth can be.

In the words of Drake: YOLO.

More than a New Profile Picture