Owen (3) and Zoey (16 months) by Julie Cruz

I knew this shoot would be awesome when these two little ones greeted me with smiles and "hi"'s immediately. Owen, however, completely stole my heart. I'm not joking, just about a minute after meeting me, as we were walking to our first location, he says to me "I've really missed you". His mom and I looked at each other and laughed a bit and his mom said "But Owen, this is your first time meeting her", and he said "Yeah, but i've really missed her". HAHAHAHAHA. Throughout the shoot he was just full of personality and laughs. Not long into the shoot he asked if he could hold my hand (which a lot of kids ask to do. Maybe it's because I look big and cuddly? haha)...and again, my heart melted. Adorable little Zoey was quite into exploring, as most little ones her age are. Once they learn how to walk/run....there isn't much they want to stay still for. The trickiest part about the shoot was the mix of sun and clouds every 2 seconds it seemed. Every time I got my settings perfect...BAM...a cloud (or the sun) would come back and I would have to rush back to change them again. This family was awesome though! As usual with this time of year, I won't be posting as many sneak peeks, and I won't be posting any shots (for instance any everyone looking/smiling - which I did get a ton of with this beautiful family!) that might possibly be used for any holiday cards.

Happy camper (Elijah Phoenix turns 1) by Julie Cruz

It seems like just yesterday I was taking this little guy's newborn photos. Yep, our nephew is officially 1 now (as of September 17th) and is one of the most quiet, cute and mellow babies ever! Since they were late to the shoot, and we were losing light quickly (and they had a dinner party to go to), I only had about 30 minutes to work with....but luckily Elijah is a super easy going baby (especially considering he was asleep when they got there - most babies would freak out), so all went awesome for what turned out to be a mini session. Oh and the teepee was made for his birthday party (which was on Saturday) so it was perfect for the shoot as well. Check this cutie out. Soon he'll be walking and talking.....and before they blink he'll be 2!

Take me out to the ballgame by Julie Cruz

Do these cuties look familiar? Of course they do....because they are in the blog post right below! Yep, this family loves me so much that they booked 2 shoots with me within a 3 week span ;) haha. One for Matthias' 1 year photos, and this one for their annual family holiday photos (which is why I won't post many)! This location was supposed to be the location for the previous shoot (and the location for this shoot was supposed to be somewhere awesome as well (which I won't say, in case we do that next year)), but things with this location got a bit crazy, so we had to skip the other location and use it for this shoot instead (which worked out great anyway (especially due to the heat). We had the place to ourselves for a bit, and it was pretty cool being walked through the tunnels, being in the dugout and out on the field. The session ended up cut a bit short (long story, but a little one who wanted nothing to do with staying still (baby Godzilla was on the loose for sure! haha), unexpected white and black tarp and hoses on the field, a security guard, and 90+ degree heat ;) haha).

Matthias turns 1! by Julie Cruz

This shoot didn't go exactly as planned ;) It was supposed to be at a different location, but there were a few huge wrenches thrown into the plans the day of, so we had to nix that location and almost rescheduled altogether, but mom decided that she still wanted to shoot that day and we would save the other location for their other (family) shoot in a couple of weeks. I normally don't shoot at this location anymore, but we needed somewhere quick, and somewhere that provided shade (since it was another very hot day) and grass/cushion (since Matthias is a new walker), and since we were just hours away from the shoot, we went for it. Luckily it worked out well and Matthias and big brother Philip did GREAT! Here are just a few sneak peeks from that day.

Lukas (2 weeks, 2 days old) by Julie Cruz

I knew this little guy would be adorable before he was born, just from meeting his parents at their maternity shoot. What I didn't know is that he would decide to be late ;) haha. Yes, like my previous newborn client, this little one decided to take his time as well. He was a hungry little guy most of the shoot, but did great and even gave me a big old smile. Oh and the chair he's on in one of the photos was MADE by his daddy!!

...and Ardyn makes 5 by Julie Cruz

I thought for sure that this sweet little girl would arrive early, being the 3rd and all. But nope, she was quite comfy in there and decided to be a few days late instead. Big sister Mackenna (5) was such a little model the whole time I was there. She hammed it up for me and loved having her picture taking! Middle kiddo Curran (almost 3) tried to play hard to get, but did great as well. Adryn (8 days old) didn't sleep a wink (maybe the last few minutes of the shoot), but she was sweet as can be and such a doll.

Visiting from Chicago by Julie Cruz

What a busy summer it has been! I've seen repeat clients, met new clients, and have even had the pleasure of being hired by other photographers from New York, San Francisco, North Carolina, and this time Chicago! Francine, Rob and their girls came out to San Diego to vacation a bit before they send off their oldest daughter to college in Atlanta, GA in the fall, and also to celebrate their 20 YEAR wedding anniversary (this year)! Their beautiful girls Lilly, Alexa and Bella were perfect and so sweet. We laughed a lot and I was honored that they chose me to be the photographer to capture their family together for the first time in over 6 years!

California sunshine, 3 beautiful girls and a '67 horse by Julie Cruz

When this beautiful mother booked me back in March, I already knew I was in for a treat when she sent over a photo and I saw all of their super cute faces, but when she sent over photos of their classic Mustang, I was even more excited. I love, love, LOVE classic cars, so any time I get a chance to have one in a shoot, I freak out a bit inside (ok, ok, on the outside too) ;) Casey, Addison (7) and Ashlynn (6) rocked this shoot like nobody's business!

Summer lovin' with Sydney (8.5 months) by Julie Cruz

Adorable miss Sydney is an early sleeper, so we needed to shoot a lot earlier in the afternoon than I usually do to make sure we had a happy girl before she was ready to go to bed for the evening. With a few more teeth coming in, she did surprisingly well and showed off her cute smile and hand clapping for me. Their pup Coco joined in on the pics as well (I always love that). Here are just a few from our fun session at their home :)

A session in Orange County with Sophie (4) by Julie Cruz

The last time I saw Sophie, she had just turned 2. Sophie is 4 now and is gorgeous as ever! She was a teeny bit shy/nervous at first, but in no time she was giggling, posing and doing great. I had a wonderful time with this family. Mom is super sweet, and dad is hilarious, so shoots like this one are always fun and easy going (and their outfits were perfect!). We also took a few birthday photos in celebration of Sophie's 4th birthday. You don't only have to do a "1 year smash cake" photos....cake (or cupcakes, etc) can be fun at any age....and every age is worth celebrating! Sophie loved it....especially licking the icing off of her finger :) Oh and this awesome family had also just returned from a trip to France and brought me some goodies! So sweet! Thanks again!!

Vacationing from North Carolina by Julie Cruz

What are the odds that 2 photographers from out of state booked me for the same week....and both happened to be staying at the St. Regis Monarch Beach in Laguna? Pretty crazy, right? This shoot was on a weekday, so it was a lot less chaotic on the grounds than the previous shoot. We started the shoot in their room and then headed out to the beach. Again, unfortunately there wasn't any sun out, but this super sweet and adorable family and I had fun and enjoyed having the beach pretty much all to ourselves. Chandler is 5, but oh my goodness, such a little crack up. I swore he was more like 20. Such a little gentleman and so funny. Claudia just turned 2 and is such a sweetie. She didn't want to touch the sand or water at all, so she decided to stay nice and safe in daddy and mommy's arms at the beach ;)

All the way from New York by Julie Cruz

This beautiful fellow photographer contacted me last July to set up this session for her super sweet family while they were in the area on vacation. Since all of the beaches are so crowded right now (being summer in So Cal), we decided at the last minute to shoot at their hotel (the St. Regis Monarch Beach in Laguna), which worked out great since they had private beach access. There was NO sun that day (well literally for all of 5 seconds (you'll see it on ONE shot below haha (the 2nd one) and it was totally overcast (which worked out well for a less crowded beach, but I prefer some kind of sunlight in photos). We still had a great time and laughed plenty :) Their boys Niko (11), Kishan (9) and Shay (5) were so easy going and modeled it up for me :)

10 years later by Julie Cruz

What better reason for family photos than a 10 year wedding anniversary? This cute couple was celebrating 10 years of marriage the day after our shoot and we had a great time (minus some pesky bugs). Their daughters Melia (6, almost 7) and Miley (2) are adorable and so sweet! Melia is a chatterbox and seems more mature than 6. I honestly kept forgetting that she was just 6 because she was so easy going and silly. Miley wasn't quite sure she wanted take pictures when they first arrived, but with a little bribery (hey, at age 2, you gotta do what you gotta do!), she was easy as pie in no time ;) It's a crazy week for me (I had a shoot Sunday, this one on Wednesday, I have another tomorrow (out of SD) and another on Tuesday (also out of SD)...and keep in mind I usually only try and schedule 4 shoots per MONTH....not per week, so sneak peeks will be a bit less (especially during the next few weeks (or summer) so that I can try and keep afloat (my poor kiddo is going a bit stir crazy being home while I edit, so i'm still trying to take *some* time off and do things with her for the summer). Bear with me! :)

Meet Mr. Lincoln by Julie Cruz

Just like the title of one of the books his parents held up at their maternity shoot last month, i'd love for you to meet "Mr. Lincoln". This little guy wasn't even due until next week (June 30th), but he decided he was ready to meet the world at 36 weeks and arrived on June 4th instead! Although he was early and just 5 1/2 pounds, he was one of the most alert, smiley and adorable newborns I have met! Lincoln was the perfect model for me, and big brother (pup) Bruno was as well. Love this sweet family!

"Peace out!" ;)

Another visit from the Bay Area by Julie Cruz

I first met this wonderful family back in 2012 when they were vacationing in San Diego. At the time, we had a fun little shoot with their super cute two boys (Colton and Tanner) at the beach/boardwalk, complete with ice cream cones (which the boys LOVED!). This time around, they have an adorable baby sister named Cambria (Cami for short) and mom and dad wanted an outdoor/nature feel. These kiddos were amazing and are so easy going, and it was a beautiful evening, so it was a perfect setting. Love this sweet family!

A baby on the way by Julie Cruz

This beautiful mother to be wanted greenery (since she's from Las Vegas and there isn't much out there)....so greenery was what she got! Around this time of year (dry/heat/summer), my favorite green locations are all gone, so we revisited one of my (very) past "dreaded" locations...but honestly, they made me kind of love it again. Luckily they wanted more of the green and none of the usual "popular" (crowded) spots (which we saw plenty of other photographers and their clients at), so it was perfect. I can't wait to meet their baby boy soon......

Lilah (4) and Chloe (1) by Julie Cruz

SIX. That's the number of shoots i've done for this family in just under 4 years. This beautiful family is the type of clients photographers hope and dream for. Those who are super sweet, have adorable kids, have a beautiful home, and most importantly.....come back to you every year. I have been blessed to watch their family expand, and to watch Lilah, and now Chloe, grow up :) I'm pretty sure the valet guys and concierge at their place even know me by now ;) haha. We started the shoot at their home (like we always do, and I love), and when I walked in, Chloe walked up to me....which was an adorable shock, since the last time I had seen her was for her newborn photos! She immediately flashed her toothy pumpkin grin at me and then toddled off on the go. She had woken up a little under the weather that morning (with a runny nose), but luckily was in pretty great spirits throughout the shoot. Lilah, oh my dear Lilah....she's always my best bud. Her favorite part of the shoot (like last time) was jumping on her bed. She's always so good for me :) We celebrated with Chloe's 1 year birthday cake before ending the shoot with some dinner at a local diner/restaurant (thanks again for dinner!) that has gorgeous decor and delicious food. Such an awesome time with one of my favorite families (as always!).

Waiting for Lincoln (maternity photos) by Julie Cruz

This sweet and gorgeous mother to be had contacted me back in October about holiday photos, but unfortunately I was already booked for the rest of the year by then, so I passed along some recommendations for other photographers, and next thing I knew, she contacted me again at the end of December to let me know that they found out they were expecting and wanted to book a maternity session! It's always heartwarming to me when a client tries to book with me again, even if I wasn't able to accommodate them the first time. I wish I could post the first part of this shoot as well, because it was done at their home, which had perfect light and beautiful decor (and Marybeth looked gorgeous!), but those were more intimate photos, so we won't be sharing those with the world ;) You'll just have to trust me on this one that they were really, really beautiful. Oh and Bruno (their rescue pup (beagle/min pin)) is SO cute. He is so mellow and relaxed and just so sweet! I love him!!!

We ended the shoot at the library, and although one of the main rooms we wanted to shoot in was closed (and another we waited for quite some time to finally get a couch we were hoping to use in another room), it's a cool place. It was sooooo quiet on certain floors and in certain areas though, so even tip toe'ing seemed loud! Haha. We definitely had our laughs throughout the shoot, but one of the cutest moments was when we got on the elevator and this little girl who was probably about 5 years old said to Marybeth "I like your baby!" ...."Your necklace is really pretty too". It was just too cute for a little one to say "I like your baby", considering the little guy is still in her belly :)

I can't wait to meet baby.......

Arya (2 weeks old) by Julie Cruz

I met this wonderful family back in September. We had a fun little session at the beach, and I had no idea at the time that they were expecting, so it was wonderful to hear from them again and find out that I would be doing their newborn session. Little miss Arya (who was 1 week late), is so gorgeous and has the best little cheeks! She didn't make a peep our entire session, and gave me lots of smiles. Big brother Junah and big sister Suri are quite excited about their new sister. So excited that they would barely sit still the entire shoot ;) haha. Here are some quick sneak peeks from our shoot....