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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Fun in a creek || Saratoga Family Photographer

Let me introduce you to this amazing family. I’ve been working with them for the last year. We are going strong second year. Shayla is a fan of my annual membership and the way she uses it always makes me very happy. When it comes to have a family session with her she always comes up with fun ideas.

For example, I will forever remember running around Stanford with a group of adults (and kids) dressed in pjs!! Christmas Pjs, to be precise. You should see my grin when, after waiting for them to arrive at the location, I saw a person in pjs appearing in the horizon. And then another. And then a few kids… That was THE BEST!

Before that, though our first session was in Hallowen costumes (and halloween pjs). That was our very fist session during which I fell in love in the time I have with this family, every single time we meet. It’s not about the interaction with me. But it’s about the happiness and the normal-ness. The normal craziness thats’ happening during the session. We pose a little, but most of the time I chase the kids, trying to keep up with their level of energy!

Halloween Family Session

This past April, they chased bubbles in the gorgeous sunlight…

sat on a flower swing made by H & J Flowers

mother's day mini session

and laid in the tall, green grass.

 

and all of that within 12 months from her fist session.

Annual Membership to Ewa Samples Photography

 

Our second year of the membership we started with a super wet family session in Saratoga. And super fun, I have to add. (well, fun it is always with the Denenbergs!)

and some pictures, as usual!

 

If you want to be able, like Shayla, do several amazing sessions during one year, sign up for the membership to Ewa Samples Photography. 

or stay on top of all the specials I run through the year by signing up to my newsletter:

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Fun trip to Uesugi Farms Pumpkin Park || Morgan Hill

This fun trip to Uesugi Farms Pumpkin Park was very spontaneous. Last week I was in a rush to get one or two images of my kiddos with some pumpkins. Since we live right around the corner from Uesugi Farms Pumpkin Park, and since I watched the huge hill of pumpkins being built over the last 2 weeks,  I decided to stop by there to see if they are open. I picked the kids up from school and off we went.

To my big surprise they were not only open, but almost empty… Like seriously empty. Comparing to what’s happening there this week… I just drove by there today at 10am and the park is filled with people. The train… OMG!!! F.U.L.L

Anyway, I got some great tips on when it’s the best time to visit the park from one of the employees, and I’m definitely going to use them from now on.

fun trip to Uesugi Farms Pumpkin Park

My kids were in heaven… Having the entire place to themselves. Riding the train with nobody on it but us was the best part.

I love to be able to do that with my kids. Just drop everything and go to scout, play, enjoy the day. I love this freedom my job gives me. Despite the fact that running a photography business can be frustrating. Especially around Holidays when people start calling with mini-sessions requests. It seems like everybody learned that Holidays = Mini-Sessions. However most people don’t even understand the concept of mini-sessions. Especially the photographers.

Anyway, I’ll be talking about mini-sessions tomorrow on my Facebook Group (not the business page). Feel free to join to listen to what I have to say about that. When you’re done listening you will be able to leave to group at any time. No pressure for staying. 

Anyway, here is fun video I made of the magical time the kids had at the Pumpkin Park.

And something for those who like to see pictures as well:

 

If you want to be able to just drop everything and go for a fun photo shoot with me, sign up for the membership to Ewa Samples Photography, so you won’t have to miss on any photo opportunities through the entire year! 

or stay on top of all the specials I run through the year by signing up to my newsletter:

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Coffee with a cop. Building bridges when the times get rough

This event was in my calendar for a week or so, however I really wasn’t sure if I’m going to attend. This morning I was asking myself, what am I going to talk about with a local police officer? Keep it in mind, I had no previous knowledge about “coffee with a cop” initiative and didn’t know what to expect.

coffee with a cop, morgan hill, ewa samples photography

Right before I left this morning, I mentioned it to Hailey from Archer Inspired. She’s s local photog who I like to hang out with, and who is the only person (except my husband) who shamelessly makes fun of my English. Even in front of the police officers.

She’s the adventurous one who I knew will probably say “I’ll be there”, and I was not mistaken. Haha

The “coffee with a cop” happened at our local coffee shop, Coffee Guys.

While more and more officers were showing on, Hailey and I debated how to approach them. Hailey came up with an idea to put more of “a real human face” into those uniforms. When times get rough people often tend to look for things that divers them from each other. Instead they should do more of an effort to find the similarities.

So we went out and asked about the “one personal thing” they would want to share with us about themselves.

And here is what we got:

Detective S. Woodland

She has three furry kiddos,

Does a lot of gardening and canning, and she said, she might share with us a recipe for her fig-pomegranate preserves. So, keep your fingers crossed… 😀

coffee with a cop_ewa samples photography_morgan hill-5

 

Officer M. Zen

Loves French bulldogs. (and in my opinion has a killer smile!)

coffee with a cop_ewa samples photography_morgan hill-1

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MSO V. Benitez

He love sports, especially football. 

 

School Resource Officer J. Brandon

My and Hailey’s competitor, really. 😜

Own Photography business. He takes care of all the department portraits and forensic CSI team.

coffee with a cop_archer inspired hotography_morgan hill-23

Photo credit @Archer Inspired Photography

 

Chief D. Swing

An outstanding soccer goalie. Die hard NASCAR fan.

 

Sergeant B. Norman

He likes high school football mostly because his son plays in it right now.

However he’s hopelessly addicted to golf.

 

Captain S. Palsgrove

Was very concerned about me getting his “right profile”. I hope I did… LOL

He played soccer at San Jose State as left halfback defense.

coffee with a cop_ewa samples photography_morgan hill-15

 

Officer Ch. Woodrow

Here we had a hard case of European blood

He’s from Ireland and I forgot to ask if he drinks like, well, Irish.

Somebody also mentioned that he’s a seamstress. Oh shut… a tailor… sorry… darn my English. If that’s not enough he also has a degree in theater. 

coffee with a cop_ewa samples photography_morgan hill-15

 

Corporal J. Broyer

Used to race in motor cross. And officer Woodrow didn’t like the fact that while officer Broyer got to be the motor cross races, he will be remembered as the seamstress… sorry, tailor. 

coffee with a cop_ewa samples photography_morgan hill-15

 

Corporal S. Silva

Children are his priority. He tries to be a normal person in society when he’s not working. 

 

coffee with a cop_ewa samples photography_morgan hill-15

 

J. GoGo

Community Prosecutor with DA. Came from Guam. Born in my neighborhood, Germany, in American hospital.

 

 

Don’t forget to head over to Hailey’s blog. 

And don’t forget to see through your biases when you look at a police officer next time.

Thank you for your services, hard work, and the time to be available for the community today.

 

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Halloween Mini-Session || San Jose Family Photographer

You can call it Halloween Mini-Session. I call it a Halloween Portrait Playdate. The difference between those two is that regular mini-session is booked ahead, paid in full ahead, and you would have a particular time slot for your 10 or 20 minutes in front of my camera.

The portrait playdates I organize once in a while are a little different.

halloween mini-session, san jose, morgan hill, ewa samples photography

During the playdate you come whenever you want to, between 2 and 5pm. During the playdate I take pictures of all the kids with their parents having fun on the playground. I take some time to work with each family separately as well. Whenever you’re ready, I’ll take you on the side and we will create some magic.

Halloween Mini-Sessions Ewa Samples Photography

The admission to the Halloween playdate is totally free of charge. This year we will have a small gift for everybody who comes. To be sure you receive the gift, it would be great to RSVP on my FB page if you’re coming.

Halloween costumes are not required, however they are preferred. Expect to see a park full of parents and kids in costumes, so if you choose not to be dressed up, you’d be a minority. LOL

Bring a whole lot of fun attitude with you as well.

The Halloween Mini-Session / Portrait Playdate is FREE to attend. You will have the option to purchase images from an online gallery all attendees will receive within one week from the playdate. 

Single images are $50. 
Package of 5 is 195.
Package of 10 is 250.

 

Hope to see you there,

If you want something even better, sign up for the membership to Ewa Samples Photography, so you won’t have to miss on any photo opportunities through the entire year!

or stay on top of all the specials I run through the year by signing up to my newsletter:

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Family session videography || San Jose Family Videographer

With the time during which I’ve been pursuing my passion in photography and the values I offer in the communities around me, I’ve discovered another passion. If you look around my website, you’ll see quite a few videos. So, you can probably guess.

Videography while doing family, or any other kind of photography session.

Family session videography San Jose Morgan Hill Family Videographer

I’ve been providing video clips from family session since 2015 (if I’m not mistaken, haha), however I never really took the time to talk about it and to introduce it the proper way.

Videography services for families who care about documenting the precious & too fast fleeting moments in a medium that captures movement and sound…

Can you imagine to be able access the sweet voice of your little one laughing, and jumping and making silly faces in 10 or 20 years!

All of that while YOU are in the video, as well!?!? This is something, that’s a little different that the still photographs. And I know you might not feel like you want to be in a video. I know you might even think, being a part of a photo session is a stretch already.

As scary as it might sound, it actually is super fun. You don’t even feel like the video is being done. I do at the same time as I take pictures. Often I mix the images, the video, and carefully picked piece of music to create piece of memory you will LOVE.

The video is happening at the same time as the regular photo session, so there’s no need to panic, fake it, run away!

You will LOVE it and CHERISH it for the rest of your life. Not to mention the amazing memories your kids are going to be able to share with their kids and your grandchildren. 

One of my very favorite videos I made is the breastfeeding one.

You should see my daughter reacting to the video I made for her during our mom-daughter photo shoot. My private Pippi Longstocking…

For more examples of my videography work you can jump to:

For more information about pricing head over to the Investment / Photography page.

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

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How I got my ass kicked by Ash Ambirge aka The Middle Finger Project

Whether you’re a mom trying to land a part-time job or full-time job.
Whether you’re an Etsy shop owner or a mom/dad owned local business.
Maybe you’re totally based on the digital era, and everything you sell is purely digital.

Or maybe you just a stay-at-home mom who is thinking about starting something that brings you extra pocket money, or helps you to become self-sufficient or to travel the world.

The truth is you need to land a new client. Client after client, project after project. No matter what you do, you want people to work with you. You want them to hire YOU!

So you have a website, Facebook page, Instagram. You do the twitter thing, and you Snapchat. If all that works for you, that’s awesome! In my case, I’ve started looking around for people I’d like to work with. I reach out, and I try to connect.

The other day, I decided to reach out to Ash Ambirge aka The Middle Finger Project. Apparently, I didn’t read her “This bastard was getting paid $10,000 dollars a month.” before I did it. Apparently, I just lost my femur when it came to writing that message. The whole realization that I am writing to Ash Ambirge sucked the air out of my lungs, and I went limp.

And I went all emotional, instead of professional.

I’ve been a big fan of hers for quite a long time. At one point I joined her group of Unf*ckwithable Girlfriends. Group based on monthly subscription. I stayed there for 2 months and then unsubscribed. No hurt feelings. I just felt like it wasn’t the perfect match for me. I wasn’t quite sure about the group. And when you have to pay $25 per month for something you are not quite sure about, well, I think that would be stupid. The real stupid vs. the stupid I’m going to mention later (so, read on).

I love her emails, and I open ALMOST every single one I get from her. They make me think, and re-think the nuances of running a business, finding your own voice in the Farmer’s Markets of photography market.

Anyway, the other day I sent her a box with a gift inside and a short message. I wanted her to hire me as a freelancer, not as an employee.

Ash Ambirge aka The Middle Finger Project

I decided to wait for any smoke signals back from her for a week from the date she receives the whole thing. After that, I was planning to shake the sand off my pants and pretend like I didn’t send it at all. Life goes on.

Honestly, I was hoping for a phone call. But as one Polish proverb says: „hope is the mother of stupid”.

Luckily, I’m not afraid to admit that I am stupid on occasions. Aren’t we all?

I didn’t even have to wait the whole week to get my response. It wasn’t the ideal one. Not the ideal one I was hoping for

but as one of my favorite songs says it:

“You can’t always get what you want,
But if you try sometime,
You’ll find you get what you need!”

The answer came to me via email. Not even personalized email, but general and short newsletter form. Short, at on point business advice she’s been doing for some time now. The subject of the email: “Hire Me” versus “Listen to Me”. I didn’t open it right away. I knew this is the phone call I was waiting for, and I already knew that the actual phone call is not going to happen.

After I read it, I got so mad.

I thought, “you… &*&^%  $*^#*” (believe me I swear like a sailor, so use your imagination here).

😡👺💀😲 I was ready to hit the unsubscribe button and throw my computer at the wall, and get out there and scream from the bottom of my lungs.

I didn’t get what I wanted. I got way more than that. I got what I needed! A lesson. A private lesson from Ash Ambirge aka The Middle Finger Project that cost me only $16.50.

And the truth is, her advice was on point. It was raw and it hurt. But this is business, people. And it was my decision to take it personally or learn something from it. She didn’t write me a personal note, saying she’s not interested. She didn’t ignore me, but she could. She decided to make it a lesson. Lesson to all who are willing to listen.

My advice is: don’t write a pitch if you’re feeling down, broken, vulnerable. Keep your emotion to yourself. You’re not trying to get a new friend, you’re trying to build your business!

And I really hope, Ash enjoyed the champagne filled gummies. 

As of today, I might not have the balls big enough to play in her team. I give too many f***s to things that shouldn’t matter in my business and in my private life. I am a work in progress. My business is, too. I’m glad to be able to say, I’m evolving and learning, and I’m not afraid to fail.

Ash’s business is all based on a bitchy attitude.  The “lady with big balls”. That’s cool. There are many women out there wanting to grow some balls, and she’s right for them. I like her sarcasm and her raw honesty. However, I don’t aim to change my female parts for anything else, and I feel like I don’t have to do that in order to be successful. I do believe I can connect with people (business or not) on more emotional level. And if she’s not one of them, then no-biggie. This whole experience made me feel like there are things shifting in my head right now. I see what I didn’t see before. I needed her to respond the way she did to grow. It would be totally different if she said: “oh, yes, Dear! I hear you! come work with me!” . It also shows that people we glorify knowing them via Internet are only human, and they are not perfect.

And today I want to take the time and say THANK YOU, to all who in any way became a part of this journey of mine.

Ewa

Family photos on the beach. From San Francisco to Watsonville.

Have you ever had a thought about having fun family photos on the beach? But then you thought: “nah”

  • beach is too busy,
  • beach is too sunny,
  • beach is too windy,
  • beach is too cold,
  • beach is too dirty,
  • beach is too sandy (well, I can’t overcome this argument!)

The list can go on and on. All those objectives are very valuable and true. However, let me tell you a secret:

missing out on magical memories

 

– if done properly beach sessions can be amazing! You can turn all the objectives listed above into something positive that  works for you. Not against you.

 

Wind is not always bad. It can make the images more artsy and romantic.

Beach Maternity Session Moss Beach Ewa Samples Photography

10th anniversary photo session, ewa samples photography, san jose

 

Wind also means NICE WAVES!

 

fun family pictures on the beach session_ewa samples photography

The right angle and a little bit of Photoshop and the crowds on the beach are the last problem you should be worrying about. Leave it to the pro!

Family photos on the beach, ewa samples photography

Family photos on the beach

Beach is sunny and sandy.

natural bridges beach family session, ewa samples photography

What can I do about it? Those things shouldn’t stop you from having the most fun session possible. Normally sessions on the beach are done around sunset. However, I’ve done sessions at 8am with the fog as a background

and at 11am with the sun raising higher and higher with every passing minute.

Beach can be cold.

That’s why you still have time to do the session while the weather is PERFECT!

However, you can always bring sweaters, blankets and be ready to cuddle!

bakers beach family session, family portrait photographer, ewa samples

bakers beach family session, family portrait photographer, ewa samples photography

However, if it comes to working with me, be prepare to have a little work out during the session. That will definitely keep you nice and warm.

family pictures on the beach, family session, family portrait photographer, ewa samples photography

hollister family portrait photographer, ewa samples photography-1

 

If you’ve had beach session with the right photographer, you know what I’m talking about it.

If you haven’t had the chance to experience fun family photos on the beach with a pro photographer, I can assure you, YOU ARE MISSING OUT on a wonderful experience that can result in magical memories. Period.

I’m always excited when I get a family interested in a beach session. So, you can imagine how excited I am for my next 3 Saturdays… If nothing changes (like the weather).

Because I don’t really have a portfolio that would include only beach sessions, and I’m often asked about it, I decided to write this post and include images from some of my past family sessions done on the beaches from San Francisco to Santa Cruz. Well, pretty soon I’ll be able to say: “from San Francisco to Watsonville.”

natural bridges beach session_ewa samples photography

If you’re interested in family photos on the beach, look no further.

 

In case if you’d like to consider some of the places I’m familiar with, let me list you all the beaches I’ve had family sessions on:

  • Baker Beach,
  • Moss Beach,
  • Poplar Beach,
  • Natural Bridges,
  • Palm Beach (first session this upcoming Saturday. I’m soooo excited about it!!!)

If you’d like me to photograph your #magicalmemories on the beach let me know!!! 

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

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How to rock back to school pictures of your kids. {Morgan Hill and San Jose Family Photographer}

Today, I’d like to chat a little about ways how you can rock back to school pictures of your kids.

No matter what camera you have.

No matter what props or how much time you have.

back to school pictures, san jose family photographer

 

Here are a few issues you might come across while planning your kid’s back to school pictures, and how to overcome them:

1.”My kid doesn’t want to go with MY IDEAS.”

No biggie. In years of working with kids on a different level of excitement when it comes to being photographed, it is important to just let it go. Sometimes. Pick your fights wisely, I say.

Breathe in and then breathe out. Then go with the flow. You have to be able to sacrifice your super great ideas for having any pictures at all.

I know it all too well, myself.

I have a girl who’s always willing to do what I come up with + some of her crazy ideas.

I also have a girl who often changes her mind as quickly as woman (only) can do it. By the time I’m ready to click the shutter button, she’s already changed her mind and doesn’t want to do what we earlier established. She doesn’t want to wear what I put on her. And she doesn’t want to be at that particular location anymore.

AND if we don’t change it immediately, well, I might as well put my camera back in my bag and forget about everything.

Ok! I’m exaggerating the whole picture, but you know what I’m talking about. If not… well, you’re lucky! haha!

how to rock back to school pictures, san jose family photographer

As I mentioned before, just go with the flow. After you done with photographing what the little one had in mind for the whole session (this is exactly what’s going to happen in many, many cases!), add fun text in Photoshop or Canva. You can also use phone editing apps to add text (something like Snapseed)

 

2. “I don’t have any props.”

Backpack. Lunchbox. Cute glasses. Cute hairstyle. Fun outfit. And you good to go.

back to school pictures, san jose family photographer

Don’t forget about documenting the details. You might remember them today. In a few years, they’ll become just a foggy blur. You’ll be happy you took pictures of the cute socks or the cute lunch box your kid was using in 1st or 2nd or 6th grade.

back to school pictures, morgan hill family photographer

3. “I don’t have any interesting background”

Yes, you do! 

Just declutter a small space on your backyard / front yard.

Walk your kid to school and take a picture with school buses in the background. (but wait for most of the crowd to disappear).

Just remember to avoid photographing your kids in front of the school sign with the whole name and address on it! Please keep your kids safe. Nobody has to know where your kids go to school. I know it’s easy to figure those things out, but why make it easy on the wrong kind of people.

Go to the park.

or

Go to the library.

back to school pictures, san jose family photographer

Just remember to ask for a permission if you’re planning to take pictures in buildings and other public places. Be careful with that. You might not get in trouble if you’re a private person shooting your own kids, but just to be safe. It doesn’t hurt to ask. 

Note side: Thank you to Morgan Hill Library for being a part of my daughter’s stylized photo shoot. Check their FB page for more shots from adventures of my private Pippi Longstocking. 

or

Go for a walk the day before the 1st day of school. That takes us to number 4

back to school pictures, san jose family photographer

 

4. “The whole day is SO HECTIC. I just don’t have the time!!! And I didn’t even have MY COFFEE yet” – says every mom on the 1st day of school. 

Yep! That’s why back to school pictures don’t have to (or even shouldn’t) be done ON THAT PARTICULAR DAY (the 1st day of school). The kids don’t care. They will be happy if you throw an idea out there for dressing up and going out to goof off with the school supplies and what not. A day or a week before the school starts. For most of the time they will be more relaxed and ready to be themselves.
Because who is him / herself on the 1st day of school??!?!?!

back to school pictures, san jose family photographe

 

5. If you have more than one kiddo, try to “catch” them together. 

In our case, getting these two together in one picture is like trying to catch a fish with bare hands.

So, if I was able to do it, YOU CAN DO IT, too!

Ask them to touch their noses. Or ask them to tickle each other. Anything to get them close enough and playful enough.

back to school pictures, san jose family photographer

 

6. “I can’t take good pictures.”

Well, that’s why professional photographers are for. Just saying. 😜

 

Cheers, 

Ewa

And before you go, I felt generous today and made these very simple but colorful free printable lunch box notes. Want it, grab it. Don’t want it, don’t grab it. 

 

And if you’re feeling generous today, left a comment, share this post or send me a virtual hug. 

 

If you’d like me to photograph some of your #1st day of school adventures let me know!!! I’m here to help you create amazing memories. 

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

 

Basic yoga stretching to wake you up!

First note before you go any further: the basic yoga stretching short video below is not a tutorial. I do not teach yoga. I’m mostly self-taughed. I’ve been practicing yoga as my main exercising routine since I was in my early 20ties. I have learned most of what I know and can do from books, and basic yoga classes.

basic yoga stretching

This stretching routine has been a base for my daily exercising for years. Sometimes I add more poses to it, or stay in the positions for longer to build strength. Sometimes I just want a quick stretch to wake up and be ready to tackle what the day has ready for me.

Yoga has been a huge part of my life. And I’m not sure why I didn’t mention yoga in my previous post. But because I didn’t, now is the perfect time to make up for it.

I know I’m not perfect in it. It doesn’t matter, though. The beauty in yoga is that it grows with you, and it adjusts to your level of flexibility and strengths.

First of all, I think (and it’s really only my opinion), yoga had saved my life. (bicycle accident with many, many cracked vertebrae).

Then,

yoga helped me_ewa samples photography
Now, yoga is my first resource I go to when my body and my mind is feeling bleh…

I also do this basic yoga stretch when my back is feeling sore from hours of sitting in front of the computer. As much as I love editing pictures, my back really dislikes it. Especially while having some issues from the past.

This basic yoga stretching routine is easy to adjust to your own skills and the level of your flexibility. Believe me when I tell you that years and years ago I was not able to stretch to the level I can today. It takes time and practice.

How about you?

let me photograph your passion

 

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Hiking with kids in 13 easy steps. Morgan Hill & San Jose Family Photographer

I love hiking with kids. My kids, especially. I say “my kids, especially”, because with my kids I am not afraid of pushing their limits. If you’re one of those parents who like to challenge your kids, well, let’s get together for a hike 😂😋

hiking with kids, Morgan Hill family photographer, ewa samples photography

Most people have something they are very passionate about.

  • Something they keep doing even when the kids come along, and this particular activity gets pretty challenging.
  • Something they continue doing when the kids grow up and leave the house.
  • Something they want to continue doing as long as they are able to.
  • Something they wish to teach their kids to enjoy as much as they do.

I have photography, crocheting, music AND hiking. 

I EDIT PICTURES when I’m feeling blue. It works like a prozac. Like a happy pill. 

I CROCHET to get to a magic world of meditation. Sometimes it feels if I crocheted fast enough I would turn Vic McQueen. 

I listen to MUSIC when there’s a particular kind of buzz in my head. I connect with my kids through music. We sing. We dance like nobody is watching. 

Once my husband said, it is hard to talk while you HIKE. And my respond was: EXACTLY! That’s why I love hikes. 

I took my kids hiking before they could pronounce the word “hike”. We started from such places as Almaden Quicksilver County Park and Stevens Creek County Park (more great locations in the free pdf provided at the end of the post).

The hikes were not hard. Slow walks half a mile one way and half a mile back. Most of the time with many breaks for snacks and TONS, and TONS of pictures. Because in reality I was just location scouting for my sessions.

On some occasions somebody else was hired as a lama:

Old picture pulled out from my very old blog called “Mom Photographer”

 

So, first of all, the hike, stunning and beautiful, is not hard. If you’re afraid of sweating, well, that’s a different story. Haha. We take it easy. However I know my kids’ strengths. I know how much I can push them before it’s just too much.

Hiking with kids is tricky but it shouldn’t stop anybody from trying. Kids are curious. Kids are strong. Kids will follow you if you lead them the right way.

Make if fun and adventurous.

Take plenty of breaks.

Slice the entire hike into smaller chunks / destinations. 

IT CAN’T BE BORING for them. It CAN’T BE TOO HARD. Especially in the beginning.

For example, during our first hike  in Pinnacles we learned that after the Bear Gulch Cave (our destination) there is a Bear Gulch Reservoir. We didn’t go there on our first trip. Knowing how great my girls did on the first hike, I decided to push them a little more and take them to the Reservoir during our second hike.

And I wasn’t mistaken assuming they will LOVE IT! They did!

They couldn’t wait for our next hike, which we did, of course. During this hike we did close to 6 miles and there were moments where they were loosing the joy of it. Every turn we made they would ask if we’re “almost there“. And we were almost there, of course, for the entire last 2 miles. Haha!

After this hike, there was another one. Which I am planning to share with you as well. But till then, grab your free copy of “Hiking with Kids made easy in 13 steps.”

How is your Summer break going?

If you’d like me to photograph some of your #summerbreakadventures let me know!!! I’m here to help you create amazing memories. Even Better lets explore Pinnacles National Park together!

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

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Best way to stay cool in the Summer. Morgan Hill Kids & Family Photographer.

Going for hikes it’s not the best way to stay cool in the Summer. Especially not in the 103 F temperatures around here. It is fun, though. And very rewarding. But nothing, even the best hike, won’t beat the water. And we recently have discovered something my kids love even better then regular swimming pool.

WATER SPLASH in Downtown Morgan Hill. How cool is that. For four hours a day they run super fun sprinklers, and kids can run around, chase them, play with them, lay on them, and whatever else they imaginative brains can think of. Of course, everything while under supervision of adults.

best way to stay cool in the summer

Yes, water is the best way to stay cool in the Summer. Especially if it’s so fun for the kids:

I’m writing this post as I’m sitting and watching my kids run wild around the water splash. The pictures and the movie in this post are from our yesterday’s adventures here. Today, the weather is cooler and it’s overcast, but that doesn’t bother any of my kids, or the other kids here.

How is your Summer break going?

 

If you’d like me to photograph some of your #summerbreakadventures let me know!!! I’m here to help you create amazing memories. Even Better lets explore Pinnacles National Park together!

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

 

3-4_without silhuette

 

Discovering Pinnacles National Park. San Jose Family Photographer

I have to tell you that this Summer, as a family, we did a lot of “1st time”s together. Like our road trip to Colorado. 1st time swimming in the deep end of the pool with no vests on. Cooking the whole meal without adult’s help. Visiting Pinnacles National Park.  The list can go on, and on, but for right now, I’ll focus on the trip to Pinnacles.

Seriously, I had no idea this place is so close, and SO BEAUTIFUL. With each trip we’ve been discovering more and more of its beauty. And we will be back during different seasons, that’s for sure. This time of the year the park gets HOT. Our hikes are early in the morning or close to sunset.

 

family trip to Pinnacles National Park, Ewa Samples Photography

So far we’ve been there 3 times. (and getting close to 4). All visits within one week.

The first time we went up there was 9pm to watch starts and planets through telescopes set up for their Star Party.

We came back the next day for a hike. The hike took us to the Bear Gulch Cave, and the kids loved it. Pictures below shows a little of the whole story. On that day, the girls returned their Junior Ranger workbooks and received their Junior Ranger Badges. During the entire hike they mostly talked about getting the badges, and they were excited for doing many of the activities included in the workbook. They finished some of the activities on the trail, as well as later, after we sat to have a picnic.

And after all I got to drink an iced coffee served in a beer glass. Because why not.

Second time we visited Pinnacles National Park was 2 days ago. I’ll be writing about that adventure in another post. It was just me and the girls and late afternoon sun heading to a sunset. Such an amazing hike. We made it past the Bear Gulch Cave and went higher to the Reservoir and to then back. I have to admit it was a hell of a hike but we all made it just fine. Ready for a hike number 3!

Also, I have the feeling that this is not (and never has been) the “bummer summer” our soon-to-be 2nd grader imagined.

Read more about my mission to make her Summer not so bummer:

  1. Mud Run
  2. It’s fun to be bored

How is your summer break going?

If you’d like me to photograph some of your #summerbreakadventures let me know!!! I’m here to help you create amazing memories. Even Better lets explore Pinnacles National Park together!

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

 

3-4_without silhuette

 

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