Ewa Samples

I’m Ewa (Eva), and I’m San Jose Cupertino Family, Maternity Portrait Photographer and Videographer. In the past I’ve photographed from Concord and San Francisco to Morgan Hill and many places in between. Majority of my sessions are done in San Jose, Cupertino, Palo Alto, Stanford, Sunnyvale, and Los Gatos.As much as I love working with natural light I also can create beautiful images in my portable studio. I love to create, and limiting myself to one source of light or one style of photographing families is not the way to express myself. I don't limit myself to sunset (so called golden hour) sessions. I shot at any given time.4 years ago I pursued a project called 365 Self-Potrait Project in which I took one self-portrait a day for a year. From a project which was supposed to be about me it had turned into something that was about mothers and motherhood. I called it “Portrait of a Mother” which was featured on Bon Bon Break. Since that project I try to embrace every opportunity I get to be on the picture with my family. I know how hard it is for many mothers out there to do the same, and my mission is to change it…
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Get outstanding Fall family pictures this year || Family Photographer, Morgan Hill, CA

It’s that time of the year, can you feel it!? I can! It’s time to get your Fall family pictures done!!! Oh, yes!!! I’m so excited for this Fall.

The season really hasn’t started yet, however, I’m almost completely booked for October. That makes my heart sing because it means that so many families trusted me with their family portraits again! I just want to put exclamation marks at the end of almost every single sentence in this post because I’m just that excited. And honestly, I don’t get excited that easily.

Fall family pictures - MINI SESSIONS October 26th Limited spots!!! $399 All images

This year, I went with two different dates with two different locations. My first date is October 27th, Sunday. On this date, the mini sessions are going to happen in Morgan Hill in a breathtaking location. This location is absolutely gorgeous because of its background. All my clients who have had sessions with me there were always very happy with the images we created there. I even wrote a separate blog post about it. Head over there to see more pictures.

If you want a Spring feeling for your Fall family pictures, this place is it!!!

This location is so peaceful. It’s actually my escape when I feel like I need “me time”.

If you’re interested in this location please follow this link and choose October 27th as your session date. After you pick your date and your time slot I’ll contact you personally to go over the details of your session.

You’re going to receive recommendations on how to prepare for your session, what to wear and simply what to expect when working with me.

 

If you’d like me to create for you outstanding Fall family portraits let’s connect!!! 

Even better, sign up for the membership to Ewa Samples Photography, so you won’t have to miss on any photo opportunities throughout the entire year. 

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If membership is not for you simply get on my newsletter list so you’re always up to date about any specials, model calls and events (like workshops) I run through the year! 

Paws for Purple Hearts Puppy Petting || Menlo Park Photographer

Did you know that being a “puppy petter” is a real thing? Well, it is!

I’ve had quite the experience in puppy petting in my life. Let me count… Amor, Rosie, Muffy, Maggie, Oreo, Ewelina, Natalia… Oh wait… the last two are my kids… However, all of my pups came with other (dirtier) responsibilities. The puppy petting I’m talking about today is different. Plus it serves an amazing purpose.

Paws for Purple Hearts, Canine-Assisted Warrior Therapy

I recently connected with a non-profit organization which trains and provides service dogs for veterans. 

Let’s travel in time to 2006. In that year Bergin University Of Canine Studies (located in Penngrove, California) with the partnership of The Menlo Park Veterans Administration Medical Center started a research program.

Why this program is so important? Because today that program is an amazing non-profit organization with 5 locations nationwide. That organization is called Paws for Purple Hearts.

A few months ago I traveled to Penngrove where PPH’s national office is located. There I met with the founder of the University, the creator of PPH, Dr. Bonnie Bergin, and the team. That was a great experience.

PPH connects veterans with highly trained service dogs. They call them champ service dogs. The organization believes golden retrievers and labradors (or a mix of those two) are the best breeds for the purpose of becoming the champ service dog.

The most amazing thing about their training program is that it involves between 40 to 60 veterans per dog. One pup can have a therapeutic impact on so many people who need it. WOW!

The puppies are born and spend most of their early puppyhood in Penngrove. After they reach a certain age, a volunteer drives them once a week to the Menlo Park location (and back) for a puppy petting event and to start their training with veterans. Now, the best part is that everybody (age 14+) can sign up to become a puppy petter. Yes, you read that right. You come and pet puppies for an entire hour, once a week. I can assure you, just that itself has therapeutic powers! Puppy petting is designed to introduce the pups to all kinds of positive stimulation around people and they need as many of us as possible. 🙂

paws for purple hearts, puppy petting, June th _ewa samples photography

It costs PPH $35k to fully train ONE service dog! Can you imagine that?

Bergin University programs are growing. PPH is only one of them. When I visited Penngrove’s team they seemed really busy with 3 different litters. One of the litters will go to PPH. It’s the one you can see in the video. The two remaining litters will go to different programs. However, with the growth, they need to increase manpower and raise money.

Simply speaking, they need as much help as they can get.

Volunteers are always needed! Same with donations. PPH’s website has detailed information about getting involved with them, so please visit and see if you can!

Maybe I’ll see you there next time.

Summer Challenge for Kids. Big Ideas Start Small.

“Big Ideas Start Small”  – Summer challenge for kids (and their parents)

 

big ideas start small summer challenge for kids

 

Last Christmas my daughter attempted creating an online store. She was selling one of her paintings. She participated in creating a short video about it and the rest was done by me, her mama! We posted it once, and we forgot about it. The whole thing wasn’t a big hit.

We did nothing else to market it and spread the word about her little adventure.

We did, what many first timers do… We planted the seed but never watered the soil after that. 

Since then, she asked me countless times if we can do more, so she can sell more and support WWF. In other words, if I can do more to help her out. I told her, she will need to step up her game. I’ll support her and give her as much of my time and knowledge as I have, but the rest must to be done by her.

Every time I talked about running a business and about all the responsibilities that come with it her eyes glazed over and I knew I lost her.

It was simply boring.

Our life was a little crazy over the last year or so. I wasn’t pushing her to do anything with it. There was a lot happening already. However, with the cancelation of my Kids Photography Workshop, a space opened up for something I’ve been meaning to organize for a long time:

Business workshop for kids!!!! 

With all that in mind I decided to create something more fun. Something with a simple language that a kid can understand. Plus engaging and relatable content would also be nice! (right?)

Coming up with a short list of MUST KNOW topics for this was hard. There is so much I’d wanted to cover. However, I think I got the essentials down! We will find out if I’m right while putting all the bullet points into a practice over the next several weeks 😉

brainstorming _ ewa samples photography

Brainstorming

I gathered a small (but strong) group and we are up for an adventure!

By the end of this Summer we are going to have small businesses opened and running! 

We will cover such topics as branding, connecting with their clients through storytelling, web design, creative writing, and money (of course).

During this workshop all participants are going to learn how to:

  • name and connect with their superpowers (aka unique talents),
  • come up with a interesting concept for their business based on the unique skills they already have,
  • create a brand,
  • create simple marketing campaign from scratch,
  • create a website,
  • start their business with mostly free tools!!!
  • and more…

We will have trips to local businesses and listen to other CEO’s stories.

 

 business-workshop-for-kids.-ewa-samples-photography

With their notebooks ready for new ideas to be born!

 

Our first meeting was a big hit! 

All the girls got notebooks and sticker books.

business workshop for kids. ewa samples photography

business workshop for kids. ewa samples photography

We set up 3 main goals for our businesses. 

Lead. Serve. Impact.

 

business workshop for kids. ewa samples photography-14

We had really great brainstorming session. All the girls supported each other and participated with their own ideas. Non of them had to think long to be able to list a few causes that they can support with their business. Animal shelters, homeless shelters and kids hospitals, animal hospitals, and more! WOW!

business workshop for kids. ewa samples photography-2

Our team is made out of 4 girls. Two are my daughters and two are Carlie’s.

Carlie is the owner of Lehrfeld Farm in San Martin. And we are using her studio for our Summer Challenge meetings.

We are planning a few adventurous field trips already. However, we will have some exciting guest in the studio as well.

Plus we always have fun afterwards:

business workshop for kids. ewa samples photography

Stay tuned to see what those young enterpreneurs will create.

 

 

 

Kids Photography Workshop || Morgan Hill Photographer

This is my second year of running Summer kids photography workshop.

I know how much all the kids like the screen time.
I like to make this time more productive and educational. 

And I know with these classes kids get quite the great mix of all that.

Is the kids photography workshop a good fit for your child?

kids photography workshop_morgan hill_san jose

First of all, I don’t know a child who would be absolutely mad for giving him/her a phone and the permission to play with it. 

Second of all, this workshop is going to show the kids new ways for using their creativity. You will be amazed how interesting their point of view is. 

Like, back in April my older daughter (9 years old) entered her very short (and silly) video to Poppy Jasper International Film Festival. The video was played in front of an audience at the Gavilan College in Gilroy. It was really a great day for her! I have to mention that all the clips for the video were made on my iPhone and the entire video was put together on an iPad.

Poppy Jasper International Film Festival Gilroy

Poppy Jasper International Film Festival

My daughter is absolutely fluent with iMovie (iPad or iPhone version). She doesn’t have much access to games and silly apps. However, if she mentions making a video or editing pictures I tend to say YES to the time in front of a mobile device. 

This workshop is going to teach kids the basic knowledge about photography. All of that without the boring stuff necessary to master DSLR cameras.

I’ve seen kids snapping killer black and white images after going through this workshop. Something they were not even considering before.

If you want your kid to be able to look around and see the beauty in a leaf or an old fence… well, this workshop is the way to go about it.

This workshop is for kids who are curious, love outdoors and art.
If your kid is not into art, this is a great introduction to this subject. 

During my own battles with self-esteem and so many different issues I’ve learned that photography has been an amazing addition to the tools I’ve developed through the years.

Being able to turn my smartphone into a tool that helps me to express myself feels good. I can no longer say I’m bored if I have my phone with working camera and a few editing apps available. 

I’m a strong believer that the more we practice being creative the easier it comes to us. So, if you want your little one to gain great skills but also practice their creativity, secure their spot today!

…and, let’s get creative together!

P.S (I added the possibility to do individual classes instead of the entire workshop)
 

Spring Mini Sessions. Lost yourself in flowers! {San Jose Family Photographer}

SPRING MINI SESSIONS ARE HERE!

 

Do you feel Spring in the air? Or it’s just me?

I kid you not, I get outside and I can smell Spring. Like literally I can smell it. Fresh, juicy green grass. The refreshing air after the rain. The birds chirping. 

san_jose_breastfeeding_photographer_Ewa_samples_Photography

This weather we’re having right now reminds me of Summer rain in Poland. Well, a little warmer Summer rain.

Anywho, the rain and than the warmth means only one thing in here… It’s time to scout mustard flowers locations…

And that’s exactly what I did this week, and I’m excited to announce MUSTARD FLOWERS MINIS… (follow the link to read the details and see some breathtaking mustard flowers images from past years)

Spots available on February 22nd, 23rd and 24th

BOOK YOUR SESSION TODAY!

 

To stay on top of all the events and specials I run through the year sign up for my newsletter. Some of them do not go public so it’s always great to be on that list and get all the exclusive offers. Plus I’m planning to release lots of tutorials and educational materials this year. If you on my list you’re going to be one of the very first ones to hear about them. Test them. Benefit from them and be inspired by them if you on that list! 

Creativity is like a muscle || Bay Area Photographer

 

Creativity is what helps me escape a lot of my inner demons. 

Demi Lovato

 

Creativity is like muscles Self Portrait Ewa Samples Photography San Jose Photographer

I strongly believe that creativity is not a talent. I believe creativity is like a muscle. We have to exercise it in order to grow it.

We are all born with the same amount of creative potential. However, when we go through life we learn different ways of dealing with problems. In the process, we develop our creativity or we decrease it.

I believe some people are prone to be more creative than others. In other words, some people are born with specific talents and can use them without having to spend countless hours on practice. Still, talent without creativity and vision won’t take you far.

Not everybody is exposed to arts and creative ways of expressing themselves as they go through life.

I prefer when my kids spend their time painting with me than doing their homework, for example. However, I know many parents who rather send their kids to after school math classes.

I’d also prefer if there were more art in schools and less testing and scoring and chasing some kind of invisible standard or more defined ways of success in life – like being a doctor, a lawyer, a broker, or IT person.

I believe art is powerful. Participating in art making in particular. With today’s technology and easy access to art supplies, creativity is one of the best ways to invest in yourself and your potential.

This year, I’ll be investing a lot of time and effort into spreading the art. I’ll try to show you how to see this world around us in a more artistic way. I’ll give you some ideas how to express the heck out of yourself via photography, creative editing, and some mixed media techniques.

I tend to express myself a lot with self-portraits. Therefore, I’ll be using a lot of them in my tutorials and workshops. You can translate this knowledge into whatever you’re interested in. It could be nature or your kids or your pets or even architecture. Or all of it.

To create material that interests you I’d like your help. Please take a few minutes and let me know by filling out this survey. If you had the opportunity, what would you want to learn about photography wise?

Otherwise, I hope you stick around and help me develop the vision I have for using creativity in our lives. Because I have a big vision and I want to invite you to be a part of it.

To stay on top of all the events and specials I run through the year sign up for my newsletter. Some of them do not go public so it’s always great to be on that list and get all the exclusive offers. Plus I’m planning to release lots of tutorials and educational materials this year. If you on my list you’re going to be one of the very first ones to hear about them. Test them. Benefit from them and be inspired by them if you on that list! 

Halloween Playdate with pictures || Saratoga Family Photographer

This year Halloween came surprisingly early. We got our first costume about 2 weeks ago. Not like I planned it. We went to get a shampoo to be precise. We came back with Halloween costume. Of course, as soon as we got the first one we had to go shopping for the second. You know how that goes when you have more than one kiddo. As soon as we got both we went to take Halloween pictures. Because for once in my lifetime I wasn’t running behind with things… Haha.


halloween pictures 2018 _ Halloween Photo Session San Jose Ewa Samples Photography-24

 

It always blows my mind how a costume can make a child happy. They are always looking forward to the day when they can dress up in them and run around. And it’s only because of them I organize the Halloween Portrait Playdate each year. They always remind me of it when October sneaks on on me.

halloween pictures 2018 _ Halloween Photo Session San Jose Ewa Samples Photography-18

 

Hey, Mom?! Are you doing the Halloween Playdate this year?” 

And I’m like, oh shut… Time to put the add together… If not those two, I’m not sure if my business would survive (just kidding)

So, just so you know. There is this thing going on this Sunday, October 14th from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm.

Halloween Portrait Playdate.

Absolutely free to attend if you come in your Halloween costumes. After the event all participants will get online galleries with their images to make whatever purchases they want from there. For detailed pricing of the available packages and to get your FREE ticket head over here. 

Hope to see you there. And I hope to create super fun Halloween Pictures of your Little Ones or even better – of your entire family!

Ewa

 

To stay on top of all the events and specials I run through the year sign up for my newsletter. Some of them do not go public so it’s always great to be on that list and get all the exclusive offers. 

 

 

Pumpkin Stock Images Bundle || San Jose Photographer

 

Fall is here. OCTOBER is here. And everything pumpkin is here. As a business owner, I know how important the visual part for the online presence is for many solopreneurs and bloggers. I also know what a pain in the butt it is to research the right images for promotions, specials, gift cards, blog posts, etc.

With that in mind, I have created a package of 32 high-resolution digital images of all sorts of pumpkiness… plus a flower or two.

Pumpkin Stock Images Bundle

(click on the image to get to the shop)

Pumpkin Stock Images _ Ewa Samples Photography

These can be used for marketing any October specials, events, used in blog posts, and many other forms.

They will go well with any Fall post for Pinterest, Instagram or Facebook.

Great for greeting and “thank you” cards for clients, friends, and family.

Pumpkin-up October’s digital and/or printed flyers. Decorate your website with oh-so-orangeness…

The sky is the limit…

Meantime, feel free to sing up for my upcoming events, specials, or freebies throuh my email list. Some of them do not go public and I can assure you, they are awesome. Just like my subscribers. 🙂 

 

When is it too late to book your Fall Photo Session?

Each year, I get families at the end of October or even in November frantically trying to book a fall photo session. (I know almost every photographer experiences that during the Fall season).

So this whole week what I’ve been doing with my blog posts is to remind you to schedule your Fall session TODAY! Don’t wait till November! PLEASE! Often October is the last call to do so! If not booking, start your researching TODAY!

I don’t have to be your photographer. I’m not writing this post (or any of the previous ones) to convince you to buy my services, although I wouldn’t mind that (wink, wink). I write it to let you know that to research a good photographer takes time. To find the one that matches your style, and budget takes effort.

Fall Photo Session - Anderson Lake September _ Ewa Samples Photography Morgan Hill-30

Waiting until the very last moment is not the best decision. What you might find are photographers who might not be the best fit for you and your family.

When you leave it until later, you might have to miss the opportunity to update your family portraits all together, or you will have to go with a photographer who has some spots available but is not who you would really want to work with (because the one you would want to work with is totally booked already).

Too late for Fall Photo Session?

Fall photo sessions are very popular because many people like to have current images of their family for Holiday Cards. However, I always say: why wait? Do it in May. Hell, do it in April when everything is blooming and use those images for your cards. Nobody’s going to care. Actually, your card will stand out with family portraits done on the beach or in blooming orchards…

Don’t want to frantically look for a new photographer each year? Well, grab this gift from me, and stay tuned for all my minis, specials, and other fun family session ideas I share with my subscribers. 

 

Pumpkin Patch Family Fun

How about if I told you, you can get your pumpkin and a photo session all at once? Well, you can! Last year I had so much fun with my kids at the local pumpkin patch, that this year I decided to offer special mini sessions.

As I in my previous post, the Fall is here. And I hope you’re ready for it photography wise.

This year, I’ll be opening a few spots for absolutely cute and sweet pumpkin patch minis. If you want to get a spot or hear more about it head over here. These minis are one of a kind. Full of Fall feel, happiness, and the smell of hey and pumpkins. Just like with most of my minis, because of the limited time, and limited availability I’ll be offering them only to my newsletter subscribers. Sing up if you’re interested. It’s free 🙂

Pumpkin Patch Family Fun Morgan Hill Family Photographer

Spread the love by sharing this with a friend or a family member who’d be interested in getting their pictures done at a pumpkin patch. Because WHY NOT? It’s super fun!

 

So, are you’re ready to make some magic this Fall with me or have pumpkin patch family fun time? 

Grab this gift first, and schedule your first session, TODAY! My weekend dates in September are booked however there is still time to create beautiful memories in October and November. Well, even December is cool, if you like to splash in puddles! Just don’t wait till then to schedule your session. 

Time to schedule your Fall Family Portraits.

Have you scheduled your Fall Family Portraits, yet?

This week’s pictures will be all about showing you that the Fall is already here, and if you haven’t taken care of booking your family session for Christmas cards or your annual family portraits update, you might be running out of time!

Fall Family Portraits - Anderson Lake September _ Ewa Samples Photography Morgan Hill

For example, my September weekend dates are sold out. October is also filling up, as well. However, weekdays are still pretty open and I do have a sweet discount for weekday sessions… (just sayin… )

I bet, many photographers are on the same boat right now, so if you think, you’d like to grab the good ones in the market, you should probably hurry.

Last weekend I went with my kids for a hike, here in Morgan Hill. To my surprise, I saw yellow everywhere. So, yes! Fall is here… maybe not in full bloom, but that’s going to happen before we know it.

Fall is here

Are you’re ready to make some magic this Fall with me? 

Grab this gift first, and schedule your first session, TODAY! My weekend dates in September are booked however there is still time to create beautiful memories in October and November. Well, even December is cool, if you like to splash in puddles! Just don’t wait till then to schedule your session. 

Saratoga Smash Cake Session and Fall outdoor Family Portraits

This Smash Cake in one of my favorite locations in Saratoga was a crazy one. Normally a quiet place, this park turned into a corporate event on the day of our session.

saratoga smash cake session, ewa samples photography

I got to the location a little earlier. To my big surprise, what I saw is the entrance being blocked by a “corporate event” sign. Loud, live band music is playing. The park is swarmed with people. The scent of BBQ and grilled sausage is filling the air. And I’m panicking.

I called the client, explained what’s happening, and promised I’ll find a great solution to this before they get here.

I quickly started listing all the locations I knew in the area. And there is a few. However, the conclusion was simple. We didn’t have the time to make the drive to any of them before we would lose the gorgeous light. With a few minutes to spare, I went inside for a hunt for the best spot in the swarmed with people park. As I entered it, I realized, I know just the right place. I was not mistaken.

We were able to do the entire session without a single person bothering us on the back of the entire party. However, the smell of the bbq and grilled sausage was really hunting me the entire time. LOL

Saratoga Smash Cake Session

After the session, Kristen and her family gave me the best gift a photographer can get. A beautiful review:

 

AMAZING! Our family session was on Sunday night and it’s Tuesday and we already have our pictures! Ewa was great with our son and was able to improvise when the park where we were planning to have our session was closed! She knew there was a clearing, sort of in the woods, towards the back of the park and it was the perfect backdrop for our family session. The pictures are fantastic and I would recommend Ewa over and over!

 

If you’re ready to make some magic this Fall with me, grab this gift from me, and schedule your first session, TODAY! My weekend dates in September are booked however there is still time to create beautiful memories in October and November. Well, even December is cool, if you like to splash in puddles! 

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