O Christmas Tree..

Trimming the tree is a family event in our home.  We put on the Christmas music and enjoy unwrapping each ornament, remembering where and when we got it, whether it was a gift or a craft made by one of the kids in preschool.  We have the usual mish-mash of ornaments that we've acquired over the years.  There are the special ones, and plenty of the basic shiny balls to help the tree look full.  I keep thinking someday we'll have enough cute ones that we won't need those cheesy ones anymore, but the kids think they're pretty and they'll put them front and center unless we suggest putting them more towards the back.  Every year, we get a new ornament, hopefully one that symbolizes what the past year has been about.  Last year, we got the beagle ornament to mark our first year with Sundae, our new puppy.  Maybe this year I'll find the perfect little camera ornament :)  

This is the first year we let the kids decorate the tree all by themselves.  We gathered around and watched Claire and Sean put them wherever they wanted.  I kept thinking that I'd probably move things around later that evening, fix it up so it looked just right.  But I decided about halfway through that I would just leave it.  For someone like me, who tends to stress out about the little things and want things just so, I realized that I could let this go.... I should let this go.  There may be big ornaments at the top and small ones at the bottom; the cheap old grocery store balls may be holding the prime spot where one of the cute special ones should go.  My family was together, and my children had a great time. Who am I to say it's not good enough?  So, I haven't touched a thing, even though there are some empty spots, and areas where three ornaments are fighting for one branch.  Our tree looks nothing like the shimmering specimens in the Pottery Barn catalog.  The star is crooked and there is no identifiable color scheme.  It is far from perfect.  But my family had a wonderful evening together... The smiles on my kids' faces and the cuddly hugs of excitement are all the perfection I need.


In Camera Photography Workshop - San Francisco

I participated in the In-Camera Photography Workshop in San Francisco with Zach and Jody Gray of Gray Photography last weekend... and it was AWESOME!  The day started out in the classroom, and then we headed out to do some shooting after lunch... in the pouring rain, no less!  Our lovely models, Danielle and Jenna, were such great sports out there and, of course, they remained their beautiful selves while the rest of us were a wet, mangy mess by the end of the afternoon! Then it was back to the studio for dinner and more time in the classroom.   I learned so much... and have some new accessories to add to my Christmas list!  I can't wait to get my ExpoDisc, and I'm looking forward to playing around with a reflector on some upcoming shoots.  It was great to meet and shoot with other photographers, and I totally loved working with models.  After a 10-hour day, I came away excited and inspired... Thanks to Zach and Jody for a truly amazing day :)

Here are some of my favorite images from the day:

Oh-so-pretty Danielle...

And lovely Jenna...


The Wonderful Wedels - Sacramento Family Photographer

When Heidi contacted me to schedule her family session, she let me know right off the bat that she didn't want photos of them trying to look cool... they are "cuddlier" than that.  It made me smile, and I totally agree.  I am always striving to create portraits that are genuine reflections of people's personalities and their relationships with each other.   And they are, in fact, a warm and fuzzy kind of family!

I had the pleasure of hanging out with the Wedel family in all their cozy cheerfulness on a brisk afternoon in Midtown.  It was such a joy to watch this lovely family play together and capture the love and warmth between them.  Seth and Jackson are absolutely adorable, super-bright wonder twins, and it was so much fun to see their individual personalities emerge as our session progressed.  Seth is a spunky little guy Jackson is a sweetheart!  I have always admired Heidi's beauty, and she and Brian make such a cute couple!