Outdoor & impromptu in home with Nathan (6) and Brendan (4) by Julie Cruz

I met this wonderful family last year for the first time, and was super happy to see them again this year. Nathan has lost his two front teeth (which is a stage I LOVE!!) and Brendan is still as cute as ever. These two boys are always so good and easy going (not to mention adorable!). We started out at one location and decided we had plenty of greenery type shots, so we decided (on a whim) to head to another location.... only to find out that there was a festival going on... so that was out! Haha. We decided to end the session at their home, and although it was much later than I normally do in home sessions (for light), it ended up working out and we shared lots of laughs :)

Boardwalk *mini* session with Logan (9) and Devon (5) by Julie Cruz

Another one of my fabulous repeat clients! This was my 5th (!!) time shooting for them, and it's been so cool watching their boys grow up. I photographed them right after the previous family, and it was great because ALL of the kids that day were just awesome :) Logan is almost 10, so he's pretty much at that not wanting to take photos stage, but he was such a good sport for me, and did great. Devon (who is almost 6) has always been my little mini James Marsden....and such a character. I got lots of smiles out of them both, but in true fashion, I always post a serious shot of Devon each year because he totally models it up for me with the blue steel look! Haha. Love it!

Boardwalk *mini* session with Kennedy (4) and Lucas (2.5) by Julie Cruz

For my 4th shoot with this adorable family, we headed to the beach! The kids loved running around on the sand and in the water... and of course... eating ice cream! It was super packed at the beach (because although we thought it felt a teeny bit chilly at first, it ended up being a gorgeous, warm day) so it made shooting a bit tricky, but we made do and it all ended up just fine :) Again, not posting any "holiday card"-ish shots til after December...

Waiting For Baby - Maternity *Mini* Session by Julie Cruz

Along with seeing many repeat clients, I also meet lots of new clients this time of year. For this shoot, I met a new family who will soon have a new addition next month.... a baby girl! Twins (age 4), Elliot and Asher were SO sweet, adorable and easy going, so I was even able to sneak in some solo shots of them during this maternity shoot (while mom did a quick clothing change). I'm excited to meet their baby sister next month :)

Elijah Phoenix (10 days old) by Julie Cruz

This guy is pretty special to us. Why? Because he's our new nephew!....and PJ's new baby cousin! My brother in law and his wife just had their first baby, and what a tiny little guy he is. Even now, at just over 2 weeks old, he is still just under 6 pounds. Elijah only slept for maybe 5 minutes this entire shoot (when he was in the basket, on the table), so he definitely didn't make it easy for us (haha). Funny, since every other time I see him, he's ASLEEP (like last night)! Any other time i'm there (without a camera), he's asleep, SMILING in his sleep, totally content, etc. Figures, right!? ;) Luckily we were still able to sneak in some shots....and even got their first babies (the pups - "Peanut" and "Butters") to participate ;)

Happy campers by Julie Cruz

If you've been around my blog/Facebook for a while, these beautiful faces will be more than familiar to you. I promised this mama I would only post a *HINT* of this session (so that I wouldn't ruin the surprise of their holiday cards).....but trust me, I WILL be doing another blog of this session once their cards are sent out, because it is just too much awesomeness to miss!! ;))) This was my 4th shoot with them within the past 3 years (you might remember their rad shoot from last year). Well this year they brought the radness like nobody's business...AGAIN! Broken record time..... I HAVE THE BEST CLIENTS EVER!!!! :) On top of only being able to post a few, I also couldn't post any showing their littlest guy's face. If you read their story from last year's session, you can see why. C will officially be theirs in *hopefully* about 8 weeks....and trust me, as soon as it's official, you better watch out, because there will be extreme cuteness coming your way (guess this works out anyway so that I can do one *official* blog post with ALL the goodness then!)!!!! I love this family inside and out! Seriously, they are the BEST! :)

Urban *mini* session with Penny (2) and Sam (1) by Julie Cruz

The last time I saw these cuties, it was for Sam's newborn photos! I know i've said it before, but I LOVE seeing my newborn clients! It's SO crazy and cool to see them again after last seeing them as teeny tiny newborns! Oh and Penny! Who remembers the cutie in the cast iron tub?? Yep, Penny is still as cute as ever, and just like the mini session prior to this one, this shoot played out pretty similarly....and the ages were pretty similar as well! Haha. Penny was a complete ham and was loving the camera. She wanted to be in every photo. Sam started out super smiley, but then got a bit frustrated as the shoot went on. Luckily towards the end we got a few smiles out of him again :)

Urban *mini* session with Ella (almost 3) and Audrey (1) by Julie Cruz

Last year when I saw these cuties, Ella was all over the place, and Audrey was only sitting up at the time (which made things pretty easy for me (hehe). This time, Ella was a total ham, but Audrey only wanted mommy and daddy during the shoot (and didn't want them to sit, didn't want to take solo photos, didn't want to take photos with Ella, etc). Luckily we still managed to get shots, but like I tell most parents....we can hope/dream up all the shots we want, but in the end, the kids run these shoots, so no matter how many tricks, bribes, etc we have, we can only do so much (especially with mini sessions) ;) I think the 1-2 age is a somewhat tricky one though. Stranger anxiety has kicked in, on top of not being able to full vocalize what they want, so things can get frustrating for little ones. Don't worry though, I *DID* get family shots where they are all smiling, as well as other cute shots...but again, tis the season for me not to post too many teasers so that I don't spoil holiday cards ;) Here are just a few from our shoot :)

Addison Mae (8 days old) by Julie Cruz

I always tell my newborn client/parents to give me a heads up either when they are headed to the hospital, have had the baby, or have just gotten home, that way I can get an idea of my schedule during the next two weeks and can email them available dates as soon as I can. Melissa texted me to let me know that they would most like be having the baby "today or tomorrow". Long story short, not only was it was the same day my sister in law was admitted to the hospital to have my new nephew, and not only was it the same hospital..... but it turned out they were just 3 rooms away from each other! Haha. How's that for crazy? :) The little ones were born just about 12 hours apart from each other. Such a small world! Addison definitely goes down in the books as one of the easiest babies i've ever photographed. No matter if we moved her from cocoon, to blanket, to dish, to basket, to chair, to rug, she just went right back to sleep each time. Only one feeding break the whole time....and she didn't pee/poop/spit up on any of my props! Hahaha. Such a good girl! That's definitely not the norm though ;) ...but i'll take it! Addison's room was SO darn cute! I absolutely LOVED the wall color (and the little fox on the chair!). Oh and at the "tail end" (pun intended - hardy har har) of the shoot, we had the pups join us for some shots. They snorted, licked and wrestled all over the place. It was pretty hilarious.

Junah (3) and Suri (1) at the beach by Julie Cruz

If you're a photographer, you know that majority of the people booking shoots is women. Usually the mom/wife/daughter/aunt/grandmother/etc is the one contacting you/setting up the shoot. Every once in a while though, you'll get an awesome guy like this one, who purchased a gift certificate to surprise his beautiful wife for Mothers Day! Yep, someone get this guy a "Best Husband Ever!" award, because he gets MAJOR points in my book! This super sweet family moved to San Diego not too long ago, and wanted to shoot at the beach. A little tricky with two little ones (who decided that making mud pies and throwing wet sand was much more fun ;) haha), but they definitely had a good time, and the weather was gorgeous and perfect (in fact a little too perfect...which caused for crowds near other areas I had hoped to shoot at...but what can you do?). Junah (age 3) with his adorable little dimple was very sweet and talkative. He probably could have sat and chit chatted with me all day. From telling me about his dear lost octopus (Wacky Wall Walker), making mud pies at school, and wanting thai food for dinner, he was too cute. Suri (age 1)...ohhh, sis... such a cutie...and quite a mess within minutes of being there! Haha :) She had the best time just running around and digging in the sand. ***CLIENTS*** - On another note, my *crazy* season has officially started, so I won't be able to post as many images with sneak peeks (that way I can get sneak peeks up quicker, work on editing, etc). I have so many shoots this time of year that it's hard to keep up with everything (on top of my daughter's schedule as well.... not to mention holidays (Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year) and over 10 (!!) family birthday just from Halloween until Christmas). In previous years, there were times I was so busy that I decided not to blog at all, I just posted a few teasers on Facebook, but later on I regretted doing that, so I'm hoping to at least post a few from every session. Bear with me. It will be another crazy (yet fun) season :)

Sorry to ramble.... back to the beautiful "K" family :) ...

In home session with April (3) and Anna (almost 2 months) by Julie Cruz

Ahhh, yes....another in home session (which are my favorite)! When I arrived, April (3) and Anna (not even 2 months yet!) greeted me with smiles. April decided she was going to be my assistant and art director during the shoot. She is such a giggly, sweet and adorable girl. Baby sister Anna is SO stinkin' cute and smiley! Such a fun age since they have great eye contact and are smiling...yet still so tiny and delicate.

.....and this is what happens when your baby sister toots on you ;) (hahaha)....

Matthias (16 days old) by Julie Cruz

This little guy was so sweet and mellow the whole time. He did, however, think he was an orchestra conductor at the beginning of shoot ;) His arms were all over the place! Haha. Big brother Philip wasn't so sure of photos at first, but once it was just him and I, he did awesome!....and I even got some photos of the boys together (which Philip originally wasn't up for). Towards the end of the shoot, Matthias, dad and I headed out for a few outdoor photos. Matthias snoozed away at both locations (which we randomly drove around and found) and it worked out perfectly. I'll be seeing this sweet family again in November for family photos :)

Maternity mini session with Alexis by Julie Cruz

This maternity session almost didn't happen....and it would have been a shame! Alexis (like most of us when we are pregnant, and towards the end of pregnancy) was feeling "gross", and thought about canceling her maternity session and just sticking with the newborn session. I'm glad she decided to do the session, because she is gorgeous, and has the most beautiful eyes! I can't wait to meet baby Kruz in October. Alexis specifically asked for mainly B&W images, so i'll post mostly those, with a few color images mixed in as well ;)

At home with Luca (4.5) and Rhys (almost 2) by Julie Cruz

I've been photographing this beautiful family for over 4 years now, and this was my 5th shoot with them! I've been lucky enough to watch these boys grow, and I LOVE it! Luca and Rhys are full of energy and constantly on the go. During our shoot, their mom said that trying to get them in photos together would be like "herding cats". Hahaha. It definitely was tricky, but we had fun and laughed A LOT! Starting around this time of year, I don't really post any photos of everyone looking and smiling, since photos might be used for holiday cards, but we DID get some (even adding in their grandmother and her cousin in a few shots as well!) ;)

In home session with Charleigh (20 months) by Julie Cruz

Ahhhh yes, another in home session. I'm so thankful that more and more families are trying (and trusting me to do) in home sessions, because I LOVE them. This cute family just recently moved into their new home, and it was perfect. Charleigh is 20 months old, super adorable, and like most kiddos (especially her age), she was in charge of the shoot ;) She happily showed me her crayons, her books, and her beloved monkey "Moochy".... but I think her favorite parts of the shoot were having cookies and milk, giggling from daddy's tickles, and having bath time with mama.

Cristian (10 days old) by Julie Cruz

When I first met this super sweet family, Kayden was just 7 months old. Kayden just turned 3....and is a big brother now! Little Cristian (ok, well not so little, since he was close to 9 lbs when he was born!) was one of the easiest newborns i've met. He was the perfect model for me, and the only thing I could have asked for that day, was better weather! It was gloomy out (but the sun popped in/out) and it even sprinkled/rained a bit during our shoot. Luckily it was warm out, so Cristian seemed to love it.

Love from Arizona by Julie Cruz

It's always such a sweet compliment when another photographer books me. This gorgeous family is out here from Arizona on their annual beach vacation. We met at their beach rental and walked around town for a bit, and then ended the shoot on the beach. Hudson (8), Landon (6) and Ashton (3) rolled around the streets like they owned the place. Despite their ages, they knew to stop at every sidewalk end, and zipped around on their rides like complete pros (I couldn't believe how quick little Ashton was!). They were so awesome and sweet, and of course SO darn adorable! When we arrived at the beach it went from full blown sun (not to mention very crowded), to crazy clouds, in no time (crazy how the weather at the beach can be so unpredictable). We went from full sunshine to gloom within minutes, but regardless, this family was a blast to shoot!

Makala (senior photos)... by Julie Cruz

Senior photos aren't something I typically do, but we've known Makala since she was a baby, so when she asked, of course I said yes :) I've literally watched this little girl grow up into a beautiful young woman (insert tears here ;) hehe). It's crazy to think that she'll be a senior in high school this year. It was 90-100+ degrees when we shot, I had just gotten rear ended/hit & run ON the way to the shoot....AND I rolled/sprained my ankle stepping into a big hole/ditch that I didn't see *during* the shoot (still recovering with a swollen ankle), so it definitely wasn't my luckiest day (haha), but I kept going despite the odds. Also, I apologize for the lack of photos/blogging lately. My mom has been in town (she lives out of the country, so we only get to see/spend time with her once a year or so), so on top of trying to keep PJ occupied during the summer, we've been spending time with my mom before she heads home. Shoots will be starting back up mid July :)

Jules and Brooks (8.5) by Julie Cruz

Jules is an amazing (single) mother, super talented fellow photographer, 1st grade teacher, and friend who was diagnosed with stage 3 follicular lymphoma back in September. Although Jules has lymphoma, you would never know. Her attitude and beauty just glow, and you can tell that she makes sure to live each day to its fullest and not let this illness bring her down. As I mentioned, she is an extremely talented photographer, so as always, when shooting for other photographers (especially really good ones!), I was a bit nervous. Hopefully I captured some memories of her and Brooks that they will be able to look back on for years to come. Brooks is 8.5 years old and is such an awesome little guy. He hammed it up for me like nobody's business. This little guy will be the most amazing husband and father one day, because Jules is doing the most amazing job raising him. He is so sweet, such a good listener, well mannered....and of course so darn adorable! We ended the session poolside (which went from full sun to half shaded in literally 2 minutes - haha)....but Brooks had fun doing cannonballs. I'm going to post photos out of order, since I want to start with one of my very favorites (and yes, there was lots of kissing going on, because I was taking FULL advantage that Brooks is still at an age where he is ok with kissing his mommy (in front of a stranger, and being photographed, at that!) ;) hehe)....

*mini* with Kayden (almost 3, and almost a big brother!) by Julie Cruz

The last time I saw this little guy, he wasn't even 1 yet. The crazy part is that he still looks exactly the same!...just a stretched out "big boy" version! Kayden is such a funny little guy....and has the most awesome hair color...that is the exact same color as his moms! We laughed A LOT during our quick mini session. Kayden was all over the place (like most 2 (almost 3) year olds usually are, and he thought it was especially funny to test us, just to get us to laugh. It worked....but what he didn't know was that I myself am pretty darn funny. I had him cracking up like crazy. I can't wait to see him again next month...and meet his new baby brother! :)