I have been blessed in life to get to do what I love for a living.  In addition to loving what I do, capture portraits of people, I also love the people I get to work with.  Getting to be a small part of a family memory is absolutely priceless to me.   And when I get to call the family my friend, it warms my heart. 

Here is my absolutely stunning friend Rashae and her family.  The amazing thing is, she is even more beautiful on the inside and that warmth and love really shines through.  Thanks to your gorgeous daughters for making me laugh and reminding me why I love photographing kids so much!  Here is a sneak peak of just a few of my favorites.  Enjoy!

 

I started Blue Sky’s in 2002, as Blue Sky’s Salon and Studio.  So much has changed over the years. I no longer have a retail store, I have worked from my home and then again from a studio, I have had a large staff, and then a small staff again, I have expanded our photographic services to weddings, high school seniors and commercial photography along with our original family photography.

A few things haven’t changed!  I have still been so fortunate to surround myself with amazing people.  Georgia Soares is one of those rare people that despite adversity, is still a bright, positive and uplifting person.

I originally meet Georgia through one of my high school friends.  Over the years Blue Sky’s has photographed her four beautiful daughters for so many fun occasions.  One of my favorites from when they were very young was, all the girls dressed up in their Kentucky Derby dresses and hats.  We have shot for Mother’s day, the family on the beach and many more.  

As with lots of clients, as the girls got older and their family changed, I didn’t see them as often.  Georgia survived a horrific illness, the girls got busy with sports and social commitments…. things changed.

Fast forward to March 2016, the oldest Soares girl is out of high school, two are in high school and the baby is in 8th grade.  I had the amazing opportunity to capture all the girls as young adults.  It was so fun to laugh and catch up and hear all about their lives for the last few years.  This is just an amazing, close family.  I feel so blessed to have had the opportunity to once again capture portraits of them.  Here is a highlight slideshow of just a few of my favorite images from the day!  Enjoy:

 

 

In my years as an Orange County photographer I have more than a handful of amazing locations up my sleeve. So here’s part two of my best Orange County Photography Locations. (The first 10 locations are here.)

Rancho Las Lomas

  1. Rancho Las Lomas 

This resort and zoological garden is a little known Orange County setting for great photography. Located in Silvarado Canyon, it’s lush setting is perfect for family photos.

San Clemente Beach photography

  1. San Clemente State Beach 

Traveling a little further down the coast San Clemente State Beach is a less crowded, more varied seaside backdrop for a stunning photography session.

Nellie Gail photography

  1. Nellie Gail Trails 

Nestled in south Orange County are the 26 miles of trails of the Nellie Gail Ranch. The native California greenery gives way to beautiful grasses and trees, making this an especially unique photography location.

in home photography

  1. Your Home

Sometimes you don’t need to travel at all to find the perfect setting for your family photos. Sometimes you need only stay at home. At home photo shoots can be especially fun as they not only show your family’s story, but your home as well, adding an especially unique element to look back on.

Laguna Beach photography

  1. Downtown Laguna Beach

I’m lucky enough to live in one of the most beautiful beach communities in Southern California and my studio, in Laguna Canyon is just minutes from one of the best “downtowns” in the county as well. This location is a treasure trove for a variety of shooting possibilities. (Read even more in this recent post about Laguna Beach Photography)

San Juan Capistrano photography

  1. Los Rios Historic District 

San Juan Capistrano boast several great photography locations, but one of the most fun is the Los Rios District, just across the train tracks from the Capistrano Depot. You can even stop for a bite to eat or tea time after your shoot.

The right photography location sets the tone for your photos. Here are just a few of the best Orange County locations I use.

Let’s start with these fun family photos at the Balboa Fun Zone in Newport Beach.

Best Orange County Location, The Fun Zone1. The Balboa Fun Zone

Since it’s opening in 1936 the FunZone has been a popular place to have some old fashioned fun. This is a great Orange County photography location for family photos because there are some many fun spots to take photos, plus you can entice the kids to cooperate with games, treats and rides! Win, Win, Win! 

Best Orange County Location: Blue Sky's Studio2.  The Studio (Blue Sky’s, that is)

If the weather is rainy, or maybe too hot, or if you just want that polished look, Blue Sky’s Studio “studio” is a perfect location for a photoshoot. Clean white backgrounds, props and different furniture options can give your photos a clean, classic look. Plus it’s located in the heart of Laguna Canyon, our next photo shoot location.

Location: Laguna Canyon3.  Laguna Canyon

Just a hop, skip and a jump from our studio is the beatific countryside of Laguna Canyon. It’s hard to believe this photo location is in Orange County, but it’s the perfect little break from the hustle and bustle. And it makes for lovely natural photos. 

Newport Pier photography location4. The Newport Pier

This quintessential Orange County photography spot is perfect for family portraits with a casual, fun feel. The wooden pier reminds me an older time when surfers shot the curl and woodies dotted the coast. Check out this brother and sister photo at Newport Pier.

photo shoot location Upper Newport Back Bay5.  Upper Newport Back Bay

An oasis between the ocean and the wilds of Newport Beach, Irvine and Costa Mesa, this swath of nature is a great spot for outdoor photography. The smell of sagebrush welcomes you to this beautiful Orange County photography location.

SOCO photo shoot

6.  SOCO

The South Coast Collection (& The OC Mix) is no just a great place to shop. It’s blend of clean industrial meets trendy water-friendly succulents and greenery makes this photography location the perfect ciy/nature mix.

Mission San Juan Capistrano photo shoot

7.  Mission San Juan Capistrano

Step back in time to Old California. This unique photography location gives your photos a rustic charm of an original mission.

Photo Shoot Location San Onofre Beach

8.  San Onofre State Beach

What could be more Orange County than a surf inspired family photo location. If your family loves the beach this photography location is a perfect vintage-inspired location.

Orange County Photography Location Red Barn9.  The Red Horse Barn

This Orange County photography location is an unlikely dose of western culture right in Huntington Beach. This rustic, elegant setting has beautiful landscaping and as you can see is a great format for stunning family portraits or children’s portraits.

orange county photography location Table Rock Beach

10. Table Rock Beach

This Laguna Beach location is a gem, unlike many beaches, it offers so much more than the typical sand and seascape. It has lovely rushes, a nice staircase and interesting sandstone cliffs. It’s a great place for a family photo session.

I’m having so much fun shooting Valentine’s Day themed photos this season. These kids (most of them are kids anyway) are just too adorable. It makes you realize how precious and pure the love of a child is. Below is some inspiration for your Valentine’s Day photos.

Check out these ideas (and photos) by yours truly. And get ready for cuteness overload. ;)

Kisses & Hugs

It’s so fun to get siblings to show some love, their character shows through in wonderful candid shots. These first two are my babies.

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You’ve got my heart on a string…

The beautiful sisters above are a great segway to “hearts!” Hanging some glittering hearts all around in the studio gives Valentine’s photos a fun, whimsical feel. 

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Props

Props and accessories are so much fun for Valentine’s Day photos. Let’s start with some X’s and O’s!

xoxo-valentines-photo

Okay, we just can’t get enough of hearts–how about these different takes on the lovely shape?

hearts-valentines-photo3

How about some fun glasses, and maybe just the right book?

props-valentines-day-photosprops-valentines-day-photos2

A family’s home decor can be a nice touch, especially with babies–this wall art provides the perfect scale for baby and carries the theme of love.

baby

Let’s play…dress up!

These little cuties look so adorable, in these fun, candid photos because they were having fun playing while we shot.

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I hope you’ve enjoyed these ideas and photos. That’s all I have for now, but we’ll blow you one last kiss, goodbye!

blow-kiss-valentines-day-photography