Orange County Family photographer– We want to tell the story of your kiddos year after year!  What better way than with moving portraits that combine still images with video.  Here is a little sneak peak of what is to come.  If you want to book your moving portrait session which combines still images with a few short video clips, call us at 949.510.3862.  Have a beautiful rest of your weekend and enjoy the beautiful Lylah.



Orange County Family Photography– How to manage a two year old at a portrait session.   Everyone that knows me is totally aware that I am obsessed with toddlers.  I love the way they talk, I love the things that they say, I love to play games with them, they just totally crack me up.  So while lots of photographers shy away from photographing toddlers because it isn’t easy, I think as long as you have a good understanding of what will go on during a toddler session, everyone will remain calm and have fun!

Toddlers usually start out a little shy of the camera–  let’s face it, this is a new environment and most of the time the photographer is a stranger pointing a black box at their face while everyone is yelling at them to smile or say cheese. In my experience, this does not work.  At Blue Sky’s Studio we typically prep the Mom or Dad before the session and ask if they will just let us quietly talk with their child in the beginning with no expectations, no smiling, etc.  A typical reaction would be this, where the little one looks at their Mom or Dad for reassurance.

Orange-county-family-photography_0115Once a toddler starts to warm up, the best way to get great expressions is to play games with them.  I will often snort like a pig and tell them that is what my doggies say.  They will typically laugh and say noooooo, that is what a piggy says.  You get the point, they play along and they will usually give you an amazing huge smile like this.



Now is when the real fun starts, I always tell the parents not to worry at this point because things are going to get a little crazy, but these are going to be a true representation of your child’s personality.  You know, something like this:


Things to remember about toddlers-  You get about an hour to photograph them and then they are usually done.  You can bring multiple changes of clothing, but often times they will not tolerate more than three clothing changes.  I frequently have parents say to me, “I don’t think you got anything, my child wasn’t really cooperating.”  I smile and say, “we will see”.  Here is just a few of my favorites from a recent session.  When she got a little tired out, big brother was there to give some love and affection and then she was back to her camera ready self!


We named her curl Fred!Orange-county-family-photography_0121Orange-county-family-photography_0123

We played tons of games with the hat.Orange-county-family-photography_0124Orange-county-family-photography_0125Orange-county-family-photography_0126Orange-county-family-photography_0127Orange-county-family-photography_0129

Had to give brother some affection while she took a break!Orange-county-family-photography_0130Orange-county-family-photography_0131Orange-county-family-photography_0132Orange-county-family-photography_0133Orange-county-family-photography_0134Orange-county-family-photography_0135Orange-county-family-photography_0136Orange-county-family-photography_0137

To book a family or kids session, click here!

Orange County Family Photographer: Tips and tricks for getting amazing images of your younger kids.

Top Questions Regarding Kids in a Photography Session:


If your child is at all shy, please be patient. We give them as much time as they (not you or I) need to warm up to me and my camera. It is very rare that even the most apprehensive child doesn’t become my buddy after 20-30 minutes. Eager to please, many parents urge their child(ren) on, and this rarely ever helps. Please allow us to create a bond with your child at their pace. Please give us a little space with your child so they do not feel as though they have to “perform” for you with us.

Please do not answer for your child when we ask him or her a question. We try to bond with them by getting them to talk to us. Often times, we will reach out to “test” your child(ren) to see how they will respond. Depending on their reaction (if they reach back to hold a hand/finger), we will know how to proceed. We like to take time to get to know your child and let them get used to us before we start shooting.

Please please please do not tell your child(ren) to “smile” or say “cheese”. That’s our job. Besides, “cheese” or “smile” is almost always a fake or forced smile. We will get your child(ren) to smile by other measures that create real smiles such as goofy faces, funny stories, talking up their interests, etc…you know, kid stuff!! We’re great at kid stuff (we’re kids at heart)!

We encourage any ideas or props in your session, so have fun with it and get creative! Many parents bring in 1-3 outfits and various accessories such as hats, scarves and jewelry. However, it’s important to keep in mind that changing multiple outfits on younger children usually changes their moods too. We recommend keeping it simple for the younger subjects. They grow up so fast!

Frequently Asked Questions

1) What should my child wear?
A little planning and clothing harmony helps create a better looking portrait. It is important to wear complimentary tones and colors, but matchy/matchy attire is not required. Neutral colors work great in almost all situations, and simple goes a long way. It’s best to avoid busy patterns and prominent logos or writing on clothing. Bright colors, hats, scarves and other accessories work great in the studio, in a field, in a historic district or in an urban shoot. In a group shot, remember all of the clothing should be complimentary. It’s important to remember that children do not like binding or uncomfortable clothing. Bare skin on newborns is classic and timeless. If there is a color/outfit that you LOVE your child in, bring it. We encourage you to bring several clothing and accessory options for a studio shoot. Ultimately, the photography should be about your child and/or your family and the clothing should compliment the shot!

2) How long will the session take?
We take all the time it will require to capture the best expressions and poses (children permitting). It’s important not to rush through a photography session. Most sessions last approximately 30-60 minutes. Some may take longer depending on the purpose/type of session, so it’s important that everyone participating is relaxed and enjoys themselves.

3) My child won’t smile, what should I do?
Let us handle getting your child to smile. We have been photographing children for years and we are very good at getting children to give us genuine smiles. The best way to get great smiles from children in your portraits is by playing games, singing songs, and talking about things they love. Keep in mind though, that some of the best and most favored photographs with many of our clients are the more serious, contemplative expressions of their children. If you notice, a great deal of the classic works by master artists from years ago to modern artists and photographers today capture amazing expressions that are not always smiles.

4) Should I be present during my child’s session?
For older children we usually create the best results when Mom and Dad are not around. For younger children and babies, it’s always best to have a parent present during the session. Both parents can be present, but only one is required.

5) Can we have our dog in the picture?
Pets are always welcome!

6) My child is very shy (or is very active). What should I do?
Nothing other than informing us of your child’s temperment on your Session Consultation Sheet. Your child is coming to a new place with people he/she doesn’t know with various equipment and lights.  It can be overwhelming for some children. The best approach is to be patient. They will warm up to us/settle down at their own time and pace. It’s important not to make a big fuss about the photography session beforehand for children who become anxious about new situations. Kristin or Deseree always begin a child photography session by talking with the parents first. This sends the message to your child that you and Kristin are friends and helps convey safety to your child. Kristin  will then turn to your child and ask them a question. Please let them answer. This is when one of us will offer our hand to see if your child is receptive. It’s important not to rush your child or urge him/her on. We love working with children and want to have you rest assured that we will create beautiful photographs that will last a lifetime!

Taking the time to prepare for your child’s photo shoot will not only make the experience enjoyable for you and your child, but will also help create an environment for amazing photographs for you to treasure forever. 

If you are ready for a session with your little one, just email us the best time of day and we will get you on the schedule at

Long term relationships are kind of my thing.  I have been with my husband for over 20 years, many of my clients started off with me shooting their wedding, then came back to shoot their pregnancy session, then their newborn session, then babies first year, etc.  I really love to be a part of the growing up process for so many families.  I feel grateful to have the people in my life for not just years, but decades.

That is why I love our baby plan.  One of the most stressful times in a new Mom and Dad’s life is the first year with their baby.  Many days you can barely make it to the shower, let alone get all dressed up and ready for a photography session.  Well, we make it easy for you.  Once you book your pregnancy session, we put the due date on our calendar.  Now, I know that babies are not typically born when they are suppose to be… but we instruct Dad to send us a quick text on the actual day of delivery.  Then Blue Sky’s has you covered from there.  We schedule your newborn session 7-10 days after your babies birth date.  Blue Sky’s provides lots of super cute baby outfits and we can even dress up Mama and provide professional hair and makeup right in our studio.

Six months later, when your beautiful baby is holding up their head and giving out lots of smiles we call you to schedule another session.  The six month session typically take place in our Laguna Beach studio and we have lots of fun clothing and props to make it unique to your family.

All too quickly, the baby turns one.  We call you again to remind you that it is time for another session.  They can walk, sit up, say Mama and love to have their first taste of cake.  We capture all this for you with the whole family in the portraits, or just the baby, it is completely up to you.   This typically takes place on location at a park, the beach, your home or wherever you choose.  Finally we put all of your favorite images together into a beautiful Press Photography album that you will have as a family heirloom forever.  Jessica and Anthony were one of my favorite wedding couples and I was over the moon when Jessica called me to say she was pregnant.  We booked a baby plan for the gorgeous Naomi and had such a blast documenting her first year.  Here is the final album we put together for the family.  Enjoy!  If you are ready to book a baby session or you know someone who is, just send me an email and I will give you all of the info at  



I am a storyteller at heart. Maybe that is why I love to get lost in a book or a great movie. I feel like photography has allowed me to tell the story of my clients year after year. When does the story actually begin? I guess that depends on when we begin to work together.

I met many of my clients when working with them on their wedding day. The biggest compliment to me is when those brides and grooms later become family photography clients. I think the family story best begins with a maternity session. To show your child how much you adored them, even before they were born. That is why we put together a Baby Photography plan, so you can get your maternity, newborn, six months and one year sessions in one complete collection. To learn more about these baby plans you can click here: baby plan.  It is easy in the craziness of the first year of your child’s life, to put off a photo session, but believe me, it is so worth it.  They change so fast that first year, from sleeping, to smiling for the first time, lifting their head, to sitting up and finally to taking their first steps.  This time is flies by, but the baby plan keeps you informed and reminds you to book your session and capture all of these moments forever.

Here is a recent newborn session with a beautiful little girl and her new baby brother.  While I did not photograph their wedding, I did photograph her cousin’s wedding (who is also our very talented makeup artist Brittany Norton).  Enjoy!