Urban + Beach + Gorgeous Family = Awesome! by Julie Cruz

When this mom and I talked (starting back in January) about locations, she showed me a few photos of their past 2 family photo sessions (which were both outdoors/nature), and by looking at their perfectly styled clothing, I immediately suggested an urban/street shoot, not only because I knew they would look perfect in an urban setting, but because they had already done the outdoor/nature thing twice before, so I wanted them to try something new and different (for them). After a little coaxing and suggestion of beach photos to end the shoot, she was on board...and I knew it would be awesome.  Not only did they show up PERFECTLY dressed, but they were one of the most photogenic and easy going families i've met. Jillian (4, almost 5) is her mom's mini-me. Totally adorable, totally talkative (she was a chatterbox, much like my PJ, the entire shoot - haha) and totally fun! Matteo (almost 7 months) was such a sweet and easy going baby. He greeted me with a smile immediately, and even though he hadn't napped (and ended up being woken up from a *mega* short nap from urban to the beach (so all of maybe 15 minutes, since we let him sleep a little bit while they changed clothes), he was still in a great mood. This family was just perfect.

Micah (9 months) by Julie Cruz

I love seeing my repeat clients (like the 2 newborn shoots (below) prior to this shoot, but didn't get a chance to type anything up about, since I was on a time crunch to get the new site up. Both families I have been photographing the older siblings since before they were 1 (!!), so it's amazing that I have now gotten to photograph the new babies in their families as well.), but I also love meeting new clients! This super sweet family mentioned during our shoot that they love that I have so many repeat clients and they think it's so cool that I get to see so many kids grow up. I think so too! It's one of the best parts about my job :) Hopefully i'll get to watch Micah grow up as well....and maybe even meet a future sibling one day :) Micah was SO good. Such an easy going baby, although he did try and eat a few rocks, some grass, pull his mom's earrings, his dad's ear, etc. Haha. We had a fun little shoot around the park. I hadn't done a shoot here in about 2 years!

June/July (2013) *IN HOME* Session Special!! by Julie Cruz

As you all know, I LOVE in home sessions. I have been wanting to do more and more of them. With the heat approaching (ok, well heck, according to yesterday's 100 degree heat, is HAS arrived! haha), what better place to shoot than INDOORS? Let's skip the heat, the bugs, the sunburns, crowds...and avoid dragging/packing a bunch of clothes, etc in the car... and shoot in the comfort of your own home. A place where your family finds love and comfort, a place where your kids are happy, themselves, and silly. NO, you don't have to have a model home. Yes, of course you'll want to pick up a bit, but no, you don't need to live in a mansion or dream home! Most people don't *think* their house is ideal for shoots, but majority of them are wrong! Yes, i've been lucky enough to shoot in some amazing homes, but I know there are SO many of you out there that have YOUR OWN perfect little home. After all, every family is different, and your photos should reflect YOUR family and YOUR lives. Soooo...... for JUNE and JULY (2013) *ONLY*, i'm offering $200 OFF of all *IN HOME* sessions!!! Yep, that's how bad i'm wanting to do more of them. I don't just throw out discounts (anyone who has been around Lot116 for the past almost 6 years knows that this is only the second time i've EVER offered any type of discount on shoots)....but yes, i'm in love with in home sessions and want to give some folks the extra push to give them a try ;)

Here are some examples of previous in home sessions that I have done (yes, I know, their homes are awesome (again, i'm super lucky to have such rad clients), but DO NOT be discouraged that your home "doesn't look like that" (heck, mine doesn't either)...again, this is about YOUR family, your beautiful children jumping around, you kissing their toes, you baking with them, you snuggling and cuddling them, etc. That's what I love most about in home sessions....they are all unique because everyone's homes are different. Variety is GOOD! ;) If you want, you can even send me pics (even phone pics are fine - just be sure to take them in the day, with natural light coming in) of your home *before* you book, if you want me to see if your home is ideal for a shoot (just to reassure you) :)

Quick Update On Booking Schedule for 2013 by Julie Cruz

First things first, my blog will be quiet this week....but for good reason (more on that later this week or so). I am sharing one photo from a newborn shoot this past weekend, just because a post is always better with a photo (and because Chloe and Lilah are so darn adorable) ;)

In the meantime, I just wanted to give a quick update on my current booking schedule for 2013. As of now, here is what the remainder of 2013 is looking like for Lot116.

*Updated 8/2013* JUNE - COMPLETELY BOOKED JULY - COMPLETELY BOOKED AUGUST - COMPLETELY BOOKED SEPTEMBER - COMPLETELY BOOKED OCTOBER - COMPLETELY BOOKED NOVEMBER - COMPLETELY BOOKED

For those wanting "holiday photos", I highly suggest grabbing a September spot a.s.a.p. I do have clients that shoot in September (and some even in August) for holiday photos, and get them out of the way (which is also great so that it's not as rushed/stressful along with the holidays).

For June, July, August, I would especially LOVE to do some more in home sessions. NO, you do NOT need to have a "model home". In home sessions are about YOUR family, YOUR love, YOUR kids being kids, YOUR home, YOUR life. I also have some other ideas that i've been wanting to try at some in home sessions, so email me if you want to talk more about it :) I would love to meet your family!

Email me at julie@Lot116.com a.s.a.p to book for 2013 (or even 2014....those bookings have already started as well). Once i'm booked, i'm booked :) I look forward to meeting you (as well as seeing many of you again!)! xoxo - Julie

Spring Mini Session With Paige (2.5 years old) by Julie Cruz

I knew this family would be awesome, even before I met them. How did I know? Well, mom's name is Julie (like me!) and their daughter's name is Paige (like my daughter!)! ;) Haha... Julie and I joked about how funny it would be if our husband's both had the same name... but luckily they don't (although they both wear glasses and are asian of some sort.....so that alone gets some points, right? haha). When they first mentioned (in email) that Paige was 2.5 year old, I honestly thought I was in for it. After all...with 2 year olds... you just never know ;) But Paige, ohhhh sweet Paige.... she was one of the easiest, sweetest and most adorable 2 year olds I have ever met.

Spring Mini Session With Grant (9 months old) by Julie Cruz

The trees are getting leaves again, the flowers are blooming, the weather is getting nicer...and it was a perfect weekend for mini sessions! My first family was super sweet, and their little boy, Grant, was adorable! He was asleep as they pulled up, but woke up, and was all smiles within minutes. The weather was hot enough (80+) for us to get some shots of Grant without his shirt on, so I suggested it towards the end of the session. Coming from a mother of an (just turned) 8 year old who is a skinny little thing now, I always encourage parents to get some shots to capture the chubbiness.... because trust me, one day it will be gone... and you will miss it! :)

Visiting From San Francisco by Julie Cruz

I feel like a broken record, but I honestly meet the most wonderful families! This awesome family was no exception. Although they brought the San Francisco weather down with them (haha), and it was cold and windy (not to mention the sun was playing hide and seek every 5-10 seconds...which is always fun when shooting manual...not! ;) haha), we had so much fun and laughed a LOT! Noah is 7, and Makena is 3...and both are SO sweet and adorable! They are totally easy going kids that had a blast running around, posing for me, being silly, etc. Makena had the serious model pose DOWN! She was SO funny! She would be smiling and giggling one second, and I would say, "Ok, model pose!"...and she would turn totally serious and work the camera like nobody's business! Hahahaha. Their mom emailed me the day after their shoot and said "Thanks again Julie! We had a great time and to prove it, Makena named a unicorn she won here at Legoland, "Julie"!".How cute is that? :) They wanted to shoot at "the rim wall", so we ended there, but started at one of my favorite fields (which is nice and green right now) :)

Urban Mini With Holden (age 2) by Julie Cruz

Cuteness comes in all sizes. This time it came perfectly packaged in a little 2 year old (he just turned 2 on March 17th) named Holden! He loved watching the planes go by, and was such a good sport (especially considering we started the shoot a bit late, due to them hitting a bit of traffic on the way, and were running out of light and had to rush from spot to spot). He is just so darn adorable!! They came dressed perfectly for a fun urban shoot. Loved my time with this super cute family!! :)

*BOOK NOW* - 2013 Fall *MINI* Sessions by Julie Cruz

I know it's only March, but I have clients who always book this far in advance for Fall, so i've already gotten emails asking about *FALL MINI SESSIONS*. Truth be told, I almost didn't offer them this year (it's a lot of work to figure out and plan around schedules of so many families (between jobs, sports, parties, weddings, etc, etc...as well as the dreaded issues of what happens when mother nature decides to take over and rain or whatnot (meaning having to RE-schedule and re-do it all over (haha)....BUT....I have so many wonderful families that asked me to do them, so I will be doing them, but ONLY offering 3 days this year (and only 3 spots vs 4 per day). Sooo....here we go! :)

MINI session DETAILS: PRICING: $475 (session *AND* disc of all edited images) *30 minute session for up to 2 people ($30 per additional person(s)) *Approximately 15-20 images *Access to online password protected gallery for proofing, sharing with friends & family and ordering. *DVD with all professionally edited images in high resolution & print release (where you are free to take wherever you like for prints, holiday cards, canvases, gifts, etc).

*SUNDAY* - September 28th - *URBAN/STREET* 3 2 1 spot available ***ALL BOOKED*** *SATURDAY* - October 19th - *FIELD/OUTDOOR* 3 2 1 spot available ***ALL BOOKED*** *SATURDAY* - November 2nd - *FIELD/OUTDOOR* 3 2 1 spot available ***ALL BOOKED***

To book one of these spots, please email me at julie@Lot116.com

Here are some photos of each “type” (meaning these might not be the EXACT confirmed locations I will choose, but possibly) of location:

*FIELD/OUTDOOR*......

*URBAN/STREET*.....

Mother And Daughter by Julie Cruz

Being a mother to a daughter, myself, I know the love that this mama has for her baby girl. I also know that our babies are growing up way too quickly....and there's nothing we can do about it, but capturing the moment while we can, is just one step closer to attempting to freeze time. I wanted to make sure and capture that for Latanya and Mia. When we talked about locations, one place that came to mind was a place we all love... The New Children's Museum, the only problem is that they don't allow "photo shoots" here. Luckily for us, I have worked with TNCM for years (doing shoots for them), and Latanya, who started the San Diego Jr. Glee Club has performed there with her kiddos, so our friend who works at TNCM was able to get us permission to shoot there (thank you, Lani!). During our shoot, we also needed to update Mia's head shots, and man, oh man, Mia's smile and laugh is just perfection! I loved shooting these two.......

Fun At The Boardwalk by Julie Cruz

It's always a compliment when a fellow photographer books me.....and even more so when it's more than once! This awesome family drove down (again) from Orange County, and although two of our original plans (a cool little ice cream stand and the carousel) were foiled (due to construction), we still had fun and found plenty of spots to shoot. It ended up being a bit chilly that day (so I guess 3 plans were foiled since we thought about ending the session ON the beach..but brrr...everyone was freezing by then), but they were all troopers. I love that they weren't afraid to show up in fun, bright colors. I LOVED it!

Urban Fun With Zoe (age 3) by Julie Cruz

I first met and photographed Zoe when she was just 9 days old! She was this teeny, tiny newborn who was super alert and wide eyed pretty much the entire shoot :) Zoe is 3 now, was a little shy/nervous most of the shoot, and wanted mom, dad, and mainly her beloved stuffed puppy, "Lula" during the shoot, but I made sure to give her space and time, and eventually she gave me lots of sweet and adorable smiles, giggles, and even showed me her dance moves ;) We had a fun little walk around the block.

Orange County In Home Session by Julie Cruz

Ok, i'm going to apologize in advance for posting so many photos, but it was ridiculously hard to narrow down sneak peeks, so i'm posting a ton. I am SO in love with in home sessions. They are so much fun, so much more relaxed than on-location shoots, not having to worry about dragging clothing, snacks, etc to shoots, having to find a bathroom if your little ones need to go, etc, etc. You're in your own home, so everything is there, your kids are already comfortable where they are, they aren't distracted by cars or people going by, etc. I would LOVE to do more in home sessions, so shoot me an email to set up a session (and yes, I do travel to OC/LA, etc for an additional fee) ;) I first photographed this family 2 years ago, and immediately fell in love. Their style was rad, their kids had awesome names, they were up for fun stuff, and they were super sweet. When they contacted me about an in home session, I was beyond excited. I already knew (just from a chair that they brought as a prop to their last shoot - haha) that their house was going to be rad.....I just didn't know HOW rad it would be (and yes, I love the word rad ;)). It was amazing (as you'll see below), and the kids had grown so much! Georgia (7) is gorgeous as ever and such a ham. She wanted to be in pretty much every photo, whereas adorable little Ryder (almost 3) was in charge of the shoot (like most kids under 4 are ;) haha) and ran off whenever he felt like it, but did awesome and definitely worked the camera as well. We had so many laughs during the shoot....and as you can see, everyone had a blast.

Spring *MINI* Sessions by Julie Cruz

SATURDAY - APRIL 20th 2 ALL BOOKED MINI session DETAILS: PRICING: $475 (session *AND* disc of all edited images) *30 minute session for up to 2 people ($30 per additional person(s)) *Approximately 15-20 images *Access to online password protected gallery for proofing, sharing with friends & family and ordering. *DVD with all professionally edited images in high resolution & print release (where you are free to take wherever you like for prints, holiday cards, canvases, gifts, etc).

LOCATION is not set in stone just yet, but WILL be an outdoor setting (depending on which location I like best, closer to the shoot date - hard to say right now since some are still growing in, some locations still have bare trees from winter, etc, so I won't have a good idea until about 2 weeks before the shoot). Here are some *possible* examples from past April shoots though (again, each year the weather and locations tend to be different, so these locations may or may not look like this, this year)......

In Home Session by Julie Cruz

I love in home sessions.....for many reasons. Besides sunlight (since of course, you want good, natural light coming in), weather isn't a much of an issue. You don't have to worry about other photographers or people showing up to shoot there (nor photos looking the same as others). Kids are always more comfortable at home, in their own natural environment (on location, they of course are curious, anxious to see the new stuff around them, etc, so it's not always easy to get their attention). There are many other reasons, but on top of it all...... how cool is it that one day these kids will be able to look back at photos of the home they grew up in? This family was amazing. They were so sweet, easy going, up for anything, and just adorable. On the day of the shoot, I didn't know, but their littlest guy, Austin (5 months), happened to come down with a cold that morning, so when I arrived, the poor little guy had watery eyes, a runny nose, the whole nine yards.....BUT, can you believe that he was still smiley and there wasn't a single tear from him the entire shoot?? What an absolute trooper! Speaking of trooper. I had no idea until after the shoot (later that night), that his dad was sick as well! He was by far one of the most easy going, helpful, nice, and up for whatever, dad's i've met. I made sure to let him know that, and thanked him for being so awesome. Big brother Charlie (2) greeted me with a smile as soon as I walked in. He definitely had the most camera time since Austin wasn't feeling so well and had a few feeding breaks, but he didn't mind at all. He loved the camera...and the camera loved him! I'm so glad their super sweet mom found me! They were absolutely wonderful to work with.....and their house was amazing as well. I wanted to live in their bathroom!! :)

Joshua (7), Ava (5), Bella (2) and Lucas (5 months) by Julie Cruz

I won't lie, when I first read "4 kids", and their ages (7, 5, 2 and 5 months)....I was a bit nervous that this shoot could be a disaster. After all, when photographing kids, you just never know what you're gonna get. I've had easy 2 year olds, "difficult" 12 year olds, happy 5 year olds, not so happy 3 year olds, etc, etc. Age doesn't really matter, it totally depends on the kids. You just never know what's going to happen...and it could be a good day for them, or a bad day. Going in to shoots, you just pray and hope for the best! Haha. There have been times where just photographing ONE kiddo was hard enough... so with FOUR, I figured I might really be in for it... but boy was I wrong. These kiddos were so sweet, super good listeners, funny, silly, adorable and fun! Joshua and Ava were a piece of cake. They did anything I asked, and I even taught them "model poses" ;) haha. Ava was a little more shy, so it took her longer to warm up to me, but by the end of the shoot, she was my BFF. Lucas, ohhhh Lucas, such a sweet chubster. He was totally content almost the whole shoot.... he just needed one quick feeding break... and then decided to take a quick cat nap ;)

Favorite 12 of 2012 by Julie Cruz

Wow, 2012 just flew by! It doesn't even seem like that long ago when I was posting my "Favorite *11* of 2011"..... and here I am picking my "Favorite 12 for 2012"! It has been an absolute HONOR photographing so many of you. Some of you i've been lucky enough to photograph for years, and others I had the pleasure of meeting for the very first time. Anyway, I won't ramble any more... after all, you guys are here to see photos.... so without further adieu, here are (some of - since it was (as usual) ridiculously hard to narrow down to just 12) my "Favorite 12 of 2012" (in no particular order). Not all may be because of of the actual photo, but the *feeling* of the photo, and the emotional ties I had to many of these shoots. Thank you all, again, for the love and support you have shown myself and Lot116 throughout the years.

Wishing you all the best by Julie Cruz

.....and because I couldn't decide which photo I wanted to use, my husband was awesome enough to mock up two versions for me ;) So here is the other version as well....

Thank you all for another amazing year. I hope you all have a safe and wonderful holiday season. xoxo - Julie