In Home Sessions

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! :)

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.

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 :)

Dominic and Gabriel (2 weeks old) by Julie Cruz

I told these parents that truth be told, when I heard "newborn twins and 2 year old", my heart raced quite a bit. Newborn shoots can be tricky to begin with (same with just 2 year olds haha), but two newborns AND a 2 year old?....well yeah, in most cases that can usually be a recipe for disaster. Not in this case though! These 3 boys were complete angels the ENTIRE shoot. Big brother Luca was beyond adorable and took direction SO well. Dominic and Gabriel barely made a peep the entire shoot and just snoozed away for us. Such perfect little babies with gorgeous skin....and completely identical!

Sienna (turning 1) by Julie Cruz

In home sessions and ages 6-12 months old are two of my favorite things, so I knew this shoot was going to be a great one. Add in a gorgeous family and it was perfect! Sienna was such a ham the entire shoot. I got SO many smiles from her (sometimes a little TOO close since she loved walking or crawling up to me and smiling right at was hilarious!), but her serious look was to die for as well. She also has the best "rocker hair". I loved it!

Tanner (2 weeks old) by Julie Cruz

This adorable little guy was amazing during our shoot. Not a peep out of him, just one feeding break and let us easily mess with him throughout the the shoot. He was the perfect little model. Big sister Brynn handled him like a pro and just like him, is one of the easiest kiddos ever. Together they were the perfect duo (with a special little guardian angel watching down on them from above). I love this awesome family and am lucky enough to call them friends.

At home with Grant by Julie Cruz

The last time I saw this little guy he was just 9 months old. He's 2 now and has grown so much! At our last shoot, he wasn't walking yet, so he just sat and smiled....and smiled.... and smiled some more the whole shoot (haha). This time it was a bit trickier ;) Grant wasn't so sure about having photos taken this time, and also has some alphabet letters that he is really attached to (especially his dear letter "O"), so his alphabet letters were a part of the whole shoot. It's ok though, we agreed that one day they would look back and realize that these letters were part of his life at this age/stage, so just like a security blanket or favorite toy, I don't mind having them in photos at all (and they didn't either)....and hey, much better to have an extra item/toys in photos rather than an unhappy kiddo ;) I still got (cropped) a few without the letter anyway ;) We did the shoot at their home in their amazing backyard, which had the coolest full basketball court, a pool (which we didn't shoot since it was gated off for Grant's safety) and golf putting green. They are also currently getting ready to build a fort/play structure for Grant. He is one lucky kiddo and I told them that all the kids are going to be begging to go play at their house all the time! Such a fun place!

...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.

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 :)

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!" ;)

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....

Twin brothers - Kai and Carter (9 months old) by Julie Cruz

When I arrived in San Clemente for their session, Carter had just woken up from a nap, and Kai was still fast asleep. We started with Carter, and he was! Haha.  Not long after, Kai was awake, and although he sat for a teeny bit longer, mom, dad and I tried everything to get these little guys to smile, and they decided it would be most fun to do the serious model pose the majority of the shoot ;) Such regal gentlemen they are. Haha.  We ended the session at one of their favorite beaches, and it threw me for a bit of a loop since the sun wasn't setting water side. It's ok though, we made do with what we had and still got some beautiful shots. After all, when your family is this cute, it's hard not to! :)

Josephine (11 days old) by Julie Cruz

Josephine's parents emailed me from the hospital to let me know she had arrived, and included photos (so cute of them!), so I already knew how gorgeous she was before I arrived at their home. What I didn't know was how mellow and sweet of a baby she was going to be! She barely made a peep the entire session, and gave us lots of sweet smiles of smirks. Their super cute house was just a couple of blocks from the beach, so we ended the session at the beach. Unfortunately it ended up being full sun by that time (mid day), and we didn't want Josephine out in the sun, so we snapped a few and then found one tiny shady spot for some solo photos. Oh and yes, not only are Josephine, mom and dad so sweet and adorable....but check out Sydney (yellow lab) and Frank (french bulldog)! This whole family is just perfect :)

Favorite 13 of 2013! by Julie Cruz

Geez! Here we are again! Another year has flown by, and here I am, with the daunting task of attempting to narrow down my favorite images of the year. Like I have every year, I choose the number of images based on the year (8 for 2008, 9 for 2009, 10 for 2010, 11 for 2011, and so on). I've been doing this tradition since 2008 (even though i've been in business since 2007)....and the good news is that at least I get one more image as each year goes on ;) You know what's really cool about some of these selections? Some of them are the SAME families from as far back as 2008, 2009 or whatever...which means that I must be doing something right for clients to stick with me for so many years. Some families have been featured favorites almost yearly (so they clearly know how to rock it for their shoots)! Thank you again to all of the wonderful families that I photographed in 2013. I enjoyed seeing so many of you again, and meeting so many of you as well! Some of you I will be seeing again in 2014 (yay!), and there are some new clients I am excited to meet as well! Happy New Year to all of you! I'm excited for 2014 and what's to come! :)

At home with Brooklyn (almost 2) by Julie Cruz

I know i'm going to hear it again. "Seriously, do all your clients live in model homes?...and are they all models?". Haha. I honestly am extremely lucky when it comes to having such awesome clients. This was my first shoot with this family, and like many other clients of mine, they not only were adorable, but they had an amazing home as well. Their custom built home was their first baby, and then came Brooklyn, their gorgeous little girl. Brooklyn will be 2 on New Years Eve and and is such a little doll! We originally had planned to start the shoot at home and then head down to the beach (which is just a block or so from their home), but it ended up being a completely gloomy, very cold and overcast day (zero sun... so yes, the ISO was cranked for lighting indoors), so they decided we would just stick to home. We had fun at home playing with Brooklyn and just letting her be her. After all....there's really no telling little ones that age what to do... you just go with the flow and let them take the lead :)

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 :)