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!

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.

Favorite 14 of 2014! by Julie Cruz

Since I started Lot116 back in 2007, i've always done a post with my favorite images of the year. My posts would have been a mile long if I didn't set a number, so i've always set the number based on the year, so for instance, the first year was 7 in 2007, 8 in 2008, 9 in 2009 and so on. It blows my mind to be posting my "Favorite 14 of 2014"! Those first few years it was SO hard to pick just 7 or 8, so at least now I get to pick a good amount of photos, yet it still is crazy hard, and I always have to enlist the help of others to help to narrow it down at the end. Before I post, I just wanted to take a minute and thank each and every one of my clients. Thank you for trusting me with your families (and my sometimes silly and/or crazy ideas). Thank you for choosing me (when there are a million other photographers in the world). Thank you to those who i've had the honor of photographing for years and years (I love being "part of your family" and watching your children grow). Thank you for everything! I truly appreciate you all! - xoxo, Julie

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!!

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!" ;)

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) 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......

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....

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! :)

Anya (12 days old) by Julie Cruz

I met this super sweet family back in early October for a maternity/family shoot. This time, I met their newest addition, their adorable baby girl, Anya. Big brother's Asher and Elliot were amazing (just like last time) for this shoot. They are seriously some of the sweetest, most polite, and well mannered kids ever! ....and *4* year old TWINS at that! We started the shoot at home, and then ended at the same spot we took their maternity photos (which is just a few minutes from their home). It was a nice, warm day (luckily), but still not "hot" enough to have Anya without clothes on or anything, but luckily we got some beautiful sunshine as well.

Kruz (17 days old) by Julie Cruz

OH MY GOODNESS. I think I said those words at least 20 times while I was at the shoot. Kruz was about 10 lbs when he was born, and was literally about the size of most 2 month olds at our shoot. He is such a gorgeous little turkey! His big brother and sister were so cute with him too (not to mention super cute and super easy to photograph). Oh and i'll start with the funniest shot. Quality-wise it's not the greatest (it was pretty much dark in his nursery, so there wasn't much light at all in there), but I think he's saying "Oh my gosh!!! Am I cute or what!??"....

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 ;)

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.

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 ;)

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.