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growing up too fast | {Carlsbad Photographer}

Before moving to San Diego 2 years ago, I thought it was a place with no seasons. Mild “winter,” cool “summer,” 70 degrees year round. Now that I’m acclimated and spoiled by the San Diego climate, I can sort of see the 4 seasons, at least in the landscape. The spring brings out the tall green grass, and the sun is just a little warmer but still soft. Spring is the perfect time to do portraits! I recently shot these of my babies in one of my favorite grassy fields. They are growing up way too fast, and photography is the only way I’ve found to remember them this little forever <3


fun in the sand and sun | {North County Photographer}

I don’t usually love shooting at the beach. But when a good friend of mine said that what she wanted more than anything for her birthday was a session with her babies at her favorite place, I couldn’t say no! Photography means so much to me, it’s what I ask for every Mother’s day/birthday/holiday. It’s so fun to find friends/clients who feel the same way.  Happy Birthday my dear friend!


Naomi - GORGEOUS!! Love these!! Great job Kendra!! You nailed it as always! What a beautiful family you have Carrie!

Throwback Thursday | {Carlsbad Baby Photographer}

Where I look through old favorite photos and disclose what I would do differently if I could go back, then take a new approach to editing…

3/8/2010  Today’s photo is from when I first decided I wanted to do photography professionally. I was looking for friends to photograph to start building my portfolio, but I wanted to practice a bit with my son first. I took him to a park mid morning in New Jersey in March. We walked all around the park, picking up rocks and climbing trees. I remember the day fondly, as we played and enjoyed the rare warm sunny March day. I even blogged about it on my old blogsite:

Here are the original photos, straight out of the camera and my very scary original edit 🙂


Yikes! Here’s what I would do differently: The light is harsh with no leaves to filter the mid morning sun. I should have looked for full shade, not just a tiny patch of shade behind a tree :), or come at a less harsh time of day. The very bright background is distracting to the portrait, and the bright light all around is throwing color casts into the shadows of his face. Also light related, I should have turned him in a way to get more light into his eyes. His eyes are a little dark without enough catchlights to make them sparkle. My composition is not very interesting, as his face is right in the center of the portrait, and the only real texture is a big tree right behind him. I should have followed the rule of thirds and placed his eyes on the upper 1/3 line, and found a spot that was more interesting for composition. Finally, because I was just starting out and didn’t know yet how to shoot in manual mode, I had my camera in auto. It measured the light in the entire scene, and because the background is so bright, it adjusted exposure and his face is underexposed. Though this can be fixed in the editing process, the results will not be as good as if you start with a properly exposed image. Finally, my edit is horrendous. I increased exposure, but way too much, added too much black to compensate, and added magenta to cover up the green color casts created by the harsh light. Triple yikes!

Though I obviously can’t fix the lighting and background, I did a new edit. I went back to the original RAW file, increased the exposure slightly, corrected the white balance, and cropped it for a bit better composition. Then I took it into photoshop to make a few other adjustments for skin tone and color casts and here it is. Still not perfect but looks a lot more like the adorable little 2 year old I took to the park that day <3


Photography Tips on Tuesday | {San Diego Child Photographer}

If you are a follower of this blog, you know that I’m crazy about backlight. Even when I don’t have my camera in hand, I look around during golden hour and all I can think about is how pretty everything is with backlighting. The plants and flowers sparkle, and people get an angelic glow. I have been known to run in and grab my camera when my kids are playing out on our court at sunset, just because it’s so darn pretty! But today’s tip is about achieving backlighting indoors any time of day. Much like outdoors, you want your main light source to be behind your subject, so place your subject in front of a bright window with no direct sunlight, though not too close to it, as that will give you too much light. Then you want to make sure there is something in front of your subject to bounce some of the window light back into their face. Here’s my sample:


I have her set up about 8 feet away from a bright window (with no direct sunlight), and there is a mirror about 4 feet in front of her that’s bouncing light back onto her face and making catchlights in her eyes. I just love the way the light makes her hair sparkle and wraps around her so softly.