All dressed up by Julie Cruz

The weather has been quite unpredictable lately. Cold, semi warm, windy, rainy, more rainy, cold again, etc.  Luckily we squeezed in this shoot on a day without rain, but it was still quite chilly!  This gorgeous family wanted to do something a little different and dress up for their shoot (which I always love!). Baron (8) and Jett (6) couldn't be any cuter, and with a mom and dad that good looking, it's no wonder why! 

Eloise (4) at the amusement park by Julie Cruz

First, let me quickly apologize for not blogging for so long (eek). Blogging always seems to fall through the cracks towards the very end of the year, when things get chaotic (sorry).  I do try and keep up a bit more on Instagram though. Follow me there at: LOT116PHOTOGRAPHY

I had my first shoot of the year with this fun and adorable family. Eloise is such a sweetheart and was amazing to photograph. She just turned 4 and is full of personality, spunk....and is so.darn.cute! 



3 gorgeous gals by Julie Cruz

I loved seeing this beautiful mama and her adorable girlies again. You might remember them from the shots with the vintage Mustang before. This time we took a few shots in their backyard and then hopped in the car and drove a few blocks down to their local beach.  These girls are always so easy to take pics of! 

6 years in a row by Julie Cruz

I know in my previous post I talked about how rad it is to watch my clients grow. This family is another example. To give you an idea, the oldest girl (now a senior in high school) was about the age of her younger brother when I started photographing their family back in 2011. Each year they come with their own individual rad styles (with names like Reno, Brittain and Major, how can you NOT be rad?!?!?), we joke around and have fun. When you get texts like these after shoots, you know that you are more than just a photographer to a family: "THANK YOU soooo much for putting up with my crazy fam. We all love you immensely & feel very comfortable with you, mama. You're so talented. We are all so lucky to have found you.". I feel the exact way about them. Since the day they walked up to our first shoot 6 years ago, I knew I would love to continue to see them year after year :) 

 Here are just a few teasers from their shoot....

I "So" love this family! by Julie Cruz

I've been photographing this super cute family since 2012, and they are still just the sweetest! I have loved watching these boys grow up. From baby teeth, to no teeth, from braces, to no braces.... it's been amazing to see!  We always laugh a lot during our shoots, and have fun. At the rate they're growing, it won't be long until mom and dad can't carry them anymore, so I made sure to squeeze in some carrying shots. Honestly, no matter how big our kids get, they will ALWAYS be our babies. I won't post a ton since it's holiday card season, but I got the OK to post :) 

Chloe (4) and Veronica (2) by Julie Cruz

I always love meeting new families, and this one was so sweet and adorable. Their gorgeous little girls brought along their beloved horse (Coco) and tiny mouse (so cute!), and walked along, danced to 80's and 90's music (which I LOVED that their kids knew!...especially since PJ is a fan herself. Her current favorite movies are "Better Off Dead" and "One Crazy Summer" haha), and just let their kids have fun (which is what I love and push for, since kids do best that way). Such a fun, relaxed shoot with a beautiful family. Here are just a few teasers from our session. 

A mini session with Philip (6) by Julie Cruz

I've been photographing this family since 2012, so when his mom contacted me about capturing Philip in his fencing gear, I was all for it! Not only was it something totally new for me, but I totally agreed with her on wanting to capture this memory for him (just in case he decides not to pursue it later on).  I was even more excited when she was excited for a location that i've always wanted to try (but either clients couldn't be convinced, or timing/safety/time of year wasn't right). It worked out perfectly (with a few tiny snags), and Philip looked adorable in his gear and did SO good!  This was my 7th (!!) shoot for this family, and I loved every minute of it! 

A beautiful family from Seattle by Julie Cruz

Although I love seeing all of my repeat clients, I love meeting new families as well! Around this time of year many families head out this way for vacation. This gorgeous family was visiting from Seattle and was referred by friends of theirs (who were clients of mine that I photographed in San Francisco a few years ago (thank you, Melody!)). It wasn't as warm as we all hoped it would be (in fact it was pretty chilly), but I joked with them that they must have brought the Seattle weather with them ;) It was 90+ degrees here yesterday and is over 80 again quite a change from when they were here.  Zachary (Zak) is 6, but I almost asked for an ID card. He was HILARIOUS. He honestly acted like a little man, and the things he would say had me do double takes many times throughout the shoot. So adorable and sweet, yet silly and fun, all mixed up in one. 

Tayah (5), Harlan (5) and Lennyn (4) by Julie Cruz

Cuteness overload. Seriously, these girls are just adorable and gorgeous....and that hair!?! I had done Tayah and Harlan's (twin) newborn photos when they were babies, so being able to see them again and photograph them with their little sister (who is pretty much the same it was like photographing triplets!) was awesome! Even though they had a long, traffic filled drive down from OC, they were so amazing and such good listeners (which was good since we ended up starting late since they were stuck in traffic, so light was going fairly quickly, so we needed to work fast)....and oh my, some of the serious faces they gave me, killed me!  Love this family! 

Lilah (6), Chloe (almost 3) and Phoebe (1) by Julie Cruz

The very first time I photographed this family was right before Lilah (now 6) turned 1. I believe this was my 8th shoot with them (2 of those were newborn shoots for Chloe and Phoebe)! This shoot was for Phoebe turning 1 (and family shots as well). The last time I had seen her she was a tiny newborn, so to see her walk up to me when I arrived was so darn cute! Lilah was her usual silly and hammy self, and Chloe is the shy and quiet one, who can get silly once cracked. It ended up being a lot colder than we thought it would be that day (and with 3 kiddos going 3 different ways it was a bit like herding cats haha), but I love this family and these gorgeous girls!! 

On the docks with Lukas by Julie Cruz

I first photographed Lukas when he was in his gorgeous mama's belly! I then saw him as an adorable little newborn. Lukas is about a year and a half now and still has the same stunning eyes and is a total doll. He is super smart and was chatting it up and naming off everything he saw, as well as answering everything he was asked (including colors, animals, etc). He preferred being on his own during this shoot (which made shots on the dock and boat (ok, well any where he was not running free) a challenge - haha).....but we still managed to get plenty of super cute shots. 

Back at home w/ Georgia & Ryder by Julie Cruz

I'm sure many of you will recognize this gorgeous family from some of their infamous shots from our last in home session. Many of those images ended up all over the place, including Shutterfly and Pinterest. I was so glad they wanted to shoot at their house again. We definitely wanted to recreate some of the same shots, but also wanted to add some new shots as well. Georgia (now 10) and Ryder (now 5) have grown so much, but are still SO darn gorgeous and sweet! There was one new addition this time, their rescue pup, Tessa. My goodness, miss Tessa loved the camera and loved being in the shots. As you can see, it was a beautiful 80 degree day in Orange County. We started inside, played around, enjoyed donuts (of course with washing hands first), cuddled on the patio (furniture built by dad by the way!!), and then headed out for for skateboarding, bike riding, playing around with the hose and then ending with popsicles. The perfect California day if you ask me! These are my absolute favorite kind of shoots! :)

Grayson (3 years old) by Julie Cruz

I loved seeing Grayson for birthday photos again! This time he had just turned 3 a few days prior...and my oh my, he was so full of smiles and had so much to say. In fact, the only hard thing about this shoot (well besides the fact that when I showed up it the location looked NOTHING like it used to (trees gone, crappy graffiti, building gone, etc)) was trying to get Grayson NOT to smile for some shots haha. He did so awesome and is just too stinking cute!

Phoenix (almost 3) by Julie Cruz

The other morning I did some headshots one of the cutest boys in the whole wide world. Not only is Phoenix adorable, but he has the most fun, outgoing personality, is smiley, giggly and SO stinking cute all around. He ran around, showed off for me, but also listened and took direction so well. The heart melting moment of the shoot was when he grabbed my hand and said "I wuv you"... "I weaawwy wuv you". Yep, I told my husband he had competition and to pack his bags! haha. I mean, really?.....

Favorite 15 of 2015! by Julie Cruz

I'm a bit late with this post, but better late than never, right? :) Almost 9 years into business and this is one of my favorite yearly traditions.... picking out some of my favorite photos based on the year (7 in 2007, 8 in 2008, 9 in 2009, 10 in 2010 and so on)! So here we are with 15 in 2015! It's always hard to narrow down favorites since I have so many. I slacked a lot on blogging/posting in 2015 (especially since I was out of the country, traveling for a bit), so some of these were from sessions I never got a chance to blog.

Desert nomads... by Julie Cruz

Another one of my "infamous" Lot116 families.... my sister, my brother in law, my nephews (Mason (11) and Isaac (9) and my doggy nephew (Gizmo - who is a Frenchton (French Bulldog/Boston Terrier)! Last year we didn't end up shooting since their GTO wasn't ready yet (and then my sisters and I headed out of the country for Thailand and Taiwan), so we've been talking about doing this shoot since they got their Land Rover Defender (1986 LR Defender 110 SW V8) over the summer, but we always shoot in January for her Chinese New Year cards (plus it's when my sister and I finally have some down time). What I didn't know is that this location (which I hadn't been to in a loooooong time (about 2 years!)) had become way more overgrown than before.....AND had construction going on. It's not a location close enough to go scout, so we made it work. We did some serious off roading to get to spots, but had a good time and lots of laughs :)

A sunny day with River (7) and Georgia (7) by Julie Cruz

I loved seeing these stunning twins and their family again! They are seriously the cutest! They rode up on their bikes, with their awesome dog, Red, running right along side of them...and rode from one spot to another during our shoot. Our original spot didn't work out, but we still had fun and found some other spots on the whim. It was crazy bright that day, and we hadn't planned for beach shots (otherwise I would have set the time for a bit later), but we made it work (unfortunately Red wasn't allowed on the beach though (darn it!). Here are just a few from their shoot since I don't want to spoil any holiday cards (which is why i'm posting a non smiling shot of the twins instead of one of the many smiling shots. Well that and because you know I love when kids can rock the serious pose...and these two nailed it!) :)

Heidi, Reno, Brittain and Major by Julie Cruz

If you've been around my blog for years, you'll recognize this beautiful family. This was my 5th year in a row photographing them. I've literally watched them grow fact, i've seen all of them in (and out) of braces. Reno had them when I first met them, Brittain had them and then got them off last year, and when I showed up this year, Major had them! Pretty crazy that they've kept me around long enough for 3 kids to be in braces :) I always have the best time with them, and although I get plenty of smiles, they are so damn good at rocking the serious poses that I can't help but to share lots of those.

Holiday session with Penny (4) and Sam (3) by Julie Cruz

I've had the pleasure of photographing this gorgeous family since Sam was a newborn. Not only are they gorgeous, but they are super sweet and always dressed perfectly. Penelope and Sam were SO happy and giggly during our shoot. Such easy going kids, easy to get smiles out of, super funny, and great listeners. Of course (as always this time of year) I won't post any "perfect holiday card shots" where everyone is looking/smiling, but we got plenty.

Avery (11 days old) by Julie Cruz

I've been waiting a long time to photograph this little one. Allison and Jeff are like my sister and brother....they are family. They are "Aunt Allison" and "Uncle Jeff" to my daughter PJ, and i've known them since middle school or high school. Our families spend holidays together, we've watched each others families grow, and we started the best tradition of "Dynoooomite" which is when we have family potlucks to hangout, but choose different food themes each time (we've had everything from southern, chinese, fair food (all fried and other stuff you would find at the fair), mexican, korean, seafood, etc). When we got the news that they were expecting, our families pretty much went crazy! We are all so excited that Avery has joined the family! She is one of the smiliest newborns ever! Not even in these photos, but when they sent us photos from the hospital she was smiling in almost all of them! It was so cute! She is such a little cutie! The weather was so hot (still is...acck) that we were able to shoot outside a lot, and they also wanted to use a painting (that my sister painted) from their wedding which was actually their "guest book" (each guest signed a leaf to add to the tree). Their pup (Prado) joined us for some photos as well :)