Did you know that there are several studies showing that children’s self esteem is improved by seeing portraits on themselves and their families on the wall?  

A revealing study was conducted in 1975 with a group of fourth graders at a Tennessee school by Tulane University. During a five week period, the children took Polaroid instant photos of themselves with provided cameras in a variety of assigned poses, compositions and expressing various emotions. The children worked with the printed images of themselves and created scrapbooks once a week over those five weeks. Testing of the students and teachers at the conclusion of study revealed a significant increase of 37 percent in the students’ average self-esteem behaviors. This Murfreesboro Study shows some evidence personal photography of children seen and enjoyed in a specific way can help boost a child’s self-esteem.  This according to an article published on Design Aglows blog.

“It lets children learn who they are and where they fit,” says Judy Weiser. a psychologist, art therapist and author based in Vancouver. “They learn their genealogy and the the uniqueness of their own family and its story. When a child sees a family portrait with them included in the photograph they say to themselves: ‘These people have me as part of what they are, that’s why I belong here. This is where I come from.‘”

For some reason, this does not translate for digital images and seems to really be focused on tangible images on themselves and their families.

One of the reason I am so passionate about photography is that our time with our children is so fleeting and really it passes in a blink of an eye.  I really can’t believe my son is already out in the world on his own.  It seems like only yesterday he was crawling into my bed in the middle of the night pleading with Bob and me to let him stay with us.

That is why we want to show all of our clients what their portraits will look like as art on their walls.  Believe me, it is easier than you think to have an actual picture mocked up on your wall with our software

  1.  Take an 8 1/2 x 11 piece of paper and take it to any wall you think will work for portrait art.  



2. Take a picture of your wall with your iPhone and text it to us.  Just make sure you are standing straight in front of the wall and not at an angle (that makes it more difficult to line everything up).



blueskysstudio_13.  Select a picture, or two or three and we will mock up several examples on your wall with everything at the appropriate size to show off in your home!blueskysstudio_3blueskysstudio_4blueskysstudio_5blueskysstudio_6Order the product and we will have it shipped directly to your home.  We will even come and help you install your wall art.  So now there is no excuse not to have beautiful walls covered with your amazing family!  To book an appointment email us a kristin@blueskysstudio.com.  

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.

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.


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. 



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


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


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


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.


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.


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!


Just a quick share of one of my favorite families! Have a beautiful weekend! Enjoy.

A few years ago I hired two photographers/ editors to work for me part time.  Both gals were interested in growing their own photography business and wanted to work for me to not only supplement their income, but also to learn how I run my business.  I shared with them that I was one of the minority of photographers who actually did not specialize in a type of portraits.  What I mean is I like all types of portrait photography.  Weddings, high school seniors, kids, fashion, corporate head shots, you name it and if there are people in the image, I love to shoot it.

The one and only thing, I told these two, that I don’t really do much of, is newborn and tiny baby photography.   And no joke, the next 20 or so clients to book with me had babies under one years old.  Hey wait a minute, they both said, I thought you don’t really do baby photography.  And…. I ate my words.  Not only do I “do” baby photography, I really love it.  Typically we shoot a newborn session, a six month session and and one year session (yes, this is my baby plan).  I love getting to know the families and seeing how these babies change over the course of the year.  Most of these families end up clients for life and as a bonus, good friends.

Here is an absolutely beautiful family that just welcomed their baby girl into the world!  Congratulations to the whole Vali family!  I love calling you clients and friends.  Enjoy!