Hoyt Family Portraits – Orange County Photographer

Right after I had this awesome shoot, I went on vacation. When I got back, my computer crashed when I was ALMOST finished editing their session. After getting that fixed, I go online to post the photos to find out that my blog had been hacked and it was no longer active. Honestly…. when it rains, it pours.

Thankfully, I was able to finish editing this session with this awesome family. I don’t get the chance to photograph teenage boys (young men?) very often, but it was a ton of fun. Like most kids they wanted the shoot over quickly, but overall they made it a lot of fun! And geez, are they handsome. AJ has this whole “James Dean” look going on, while Hayden has this fiery red hair which goes with his personality. Kari is a great friend and loyal client – you may recognize her from my boudoir shoot with her last year (go over to my other site, Jennifer Imus Boudoir, to check her out!).

Thanks Hoyt Family!


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Macro Monday (valve handle) – Orange County Photographer

One of the things I love about shooting Macro is that it really puts you in the frame of mind to look more consciously at the world around you. Things you might just overlook – like an old, rusty valve handle – can become interesting, even beautiful. And many times when I get home and download my memory card, I am amazed at the detail that is captured. In the image below, I could see the cobwebs interwoven throughout the handle, but it wasn’t clear on my LCD display that those could be seen. But they were… and they add even more beauty and character to this old, forgotten relic.

There were a lot of angles I could have shot this, but I chose to shoot it with a green plant behind it (which is not even that big). It really makes the colors pop!


Canon 5d Mkii/100mm Macro 2.8L – f2.8, ISO 160, 500



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images and inspiration – Orange County Photographer

I am probably dating myself, but I have memories of sitting for hours looking through piles of National Geographic and Life magazines that my parents had collected through the years. My dad was a professional photographer, so I’m sure he had a hard time throwing them away since these were like journals with pages and pages of some of the most beautiful, the most powerful images you have ever seen.

I think that’s when my love for photography started. Looking back, it probably wasn’t so much a love of taking photos at the time, but rather loving the feeling that those powerful images gave me. They made me feel like I was there in those faraway places. Those images educated me, encouraged me, entertained me and thrilled me. They were images filled with emotion – and behind them was a person who captured them. It was inspiring.

Now to be clear, I am not going to any war zones anytime soon. Or to jungles with really big snakes. I WISH I had that kind of bravery and determination, but that’s not me. But I can still look at those images. I can feel what the photographer wanted me to feel when I looked at them. And I can be inspired to always put forth my best… because those photographers certainly do.

My husband recently signed us up for a new National Geographic subscription. And those magazines are still as fascinating as ever. I want to start a pile of them in the corner and let my girls look through them and dream of faraway places, and exotic animals, and yes… even to recognize that there is sadness and war in the world.

And I had forgotten these that I had collected over the years…

(Canon 5d Mkii, 1oomm 2.8L macro/f3.5, iso 500, 800)

(Canon 5d Mkii, 1oomm 2.8L macro/f3.5, iso 500, 1250)

These will be out now as well, instead of put in a pretty cabinet for no one to ever look at. They will be out for those lazy Saturday mornings when my kids are bored, or that rare rainy day here in Orange County that is perfect for snuggling up and looking through books that can take them to faraway places… with their curiosity and imagination as their guide. And who knows where it will take them.




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Thought for Thursday – Why aren’t you hiring a professional photographer?

I have hired a professional photographer every year since my youngest daughter was one to shoot our family portraits.

Want to know my biggest regret? That I didn’t start sooner.

We didn’t have a lot of money after my oldest was born. I quit my job and our income went down by almost half. I was always looking for ways to cut costs, looking for ways to NOT spend money on things I could do myself. And there are a lot of things that I could do myself – like designing invitations, making cakes for birthday parties, etc. And there are things that I wish I had hadn’t attempted to do myself – like painting stripes on the walls in my kitchen (don’t ask) or trying to paint art for their nursery (not good).

Looking back, I wish I had hired a professional photographer sooner.

I didn’t get professional maternity shots (though my husband did snap a couple of me in the later stage of pregnancy when I was HUGE which I both cherish and despise). I didn’t get any professional shots of our “little” family when we only had our first born.

I know you’re thinking… yeah, yeah, but YOU’RE a professional photographer!

I haven’t always been a “professional”. And sure, I got some really great photos of my kids when they were babies with my old film camera and my first digital point and shoot. But, I wasn’t in any of them. I captured lots of memories of “them” but not “us”. We didn’t capture that time when it was “our little family” during those few years. And it makes me sad.

I know a lot of people that forego hiring a professional photographer… because of the cost, because it’s hard to coordinate outfits, because the kids get cranky. Others rely solely on the school pictures taken every year (which is mostly what I have of my own childhood being the youngest of four kids)… which brings me to my next illustration….

Here’s my little Kendall in her 1st grade school picture….


I’m not going to lie… this shot TOTALLY cracks us up (I’m sure the school photographer told her to smile big and here’s what we got!).

While I’m glad that we have that one, it doesn’t even compare to this shot from our family shoot with DrewB Photography that same year…




I’m so glad that we have this shot. Because THIS is my Kendall. THIS is her personality. And I am so grateful that it was captured in that moment forever.

I know personally that professional photography can be expensive (for us, it’s literally a line item in our budget every year). But for me, the cost would be too high to have missed out on a shot like that of my little Kendall, and all the other wonderful images I now have to add to my memories.

So do yourself a favor… don’t miss out… don’t have regrets…. because these are the moments you will cherish forever.

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