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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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! 

How to rock back to school pictures {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. No matter what camera you have. No matter what props you want to use or how much time you have. You don’t have to follow all those steps. Focus on one if you want, and you will see a huge improvement in your experience! Save yourself sanity, and at the same time create fun memories.

Don’t over think it. Don’t overstress!

The steps in this post are named by the excuses many of the parents have in order to not to do the back-to-school pictures of their kids. Many just rather go with snapping a quick image on the 1st day while the kids are running out the door (already late!)

back to school pictures, san jose family photographer

 

Here are the excuses (aka steps) 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 a 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. 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. 

 

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.

Go for a walk the day before the 1st day of school.

Don’t forget to do it during the golden hour for easier shooting and for not having to deal with the harsh light. I often don’t do it because I like to make my life harder, every chance I get. And I actually like to work with all kinds of light and the full bright sun doesn’t scare me that much. However, to save your sanity and to get really nice images of your kids, just wait to one hour before the sunset and then go out and shoot!

If not the day before then wait for the weekend to come, and then get them out and play with all their school supplies.

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 what 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!

 

Mom and Me Beach Sessions || San Jose Photographer

Anybody up for a Mom and Me Beach Session?!? I am!!!

Earlier this year I had a session with Caroline for Mother’s Day. And right then she said, we need to get together for a beach session this year.

So we did, last week. It’s more of a playdate when we meet, to be honest with you. The whole session part takes us about 15 minutes. But then we spent 4 hours talking while the kids are in their happy state.

Caroline comes to update her mom & me pictures at least once a year. She’s been doing it for the last 5 years.

I encourage all moms to jump on board.

Why?

Because what’s today needs to be cherished as bold as possible. Don’t wait for the better you. For the thinner you. For You that you hope to be tomorrow or in 6 months or a year. 

Don’t wait for permission to celebrate yourself or whatever you’re going through in your life right now.

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The water has been present in the last month quite a lot, as you can see in my Instagram feed 🏊🏻

And it feels like when I want to escape for a little, water is where I’m heading. The sound of water in my ears especially. The sound of water or the quiet world it gives. It calms my mind.

The sound of the ocean and water calms me, and I recently started to listen to white noise sounds for meditation and relaxation purposes. I am sharing one video I found on youtube. If you’ve never tried white noise sounds you should check it out.

Happy listening.

Let’s hop to the beach someday!

Here are some dates for beach sessions available through July and August. Hop on board TODAY! Pick a date. Weekday or weekend. Pick a package and pick THE dress… All done. 

If you want to do it on any other days not listed in the form or on a different beach, let me know. I’ll see what we can do about it! 🙂

If you need help with picking the right dress then this ebook below will help you. 

Kids Photography Workshop

Summer is almost here!!! YEAY!!! I can’t wait to have my kids bored to death and complaining about the endless lack of cartoons to watch and things we can’t do…

I’m kidding. I’m seriously kidding… I love Summer breaks! It takes me back to the times when my girls were stuck with me 24 hours a day. Haha. I really miss those days. We were able to spend all days just getting lost in new locations, finding new hikes and new activities to do…

This Summer I am planning to keep them pretty busy, though. From assisting me during my sessions to participating in workshops…

And with that, I’d love to invite you to:

SUMMER PHOTOGRAPHY WORKSHOP FOR KIDS !!!

July 9, 6:00 pm at Lehrfeld Farm 

Carlie, the owner of the farm runs her Art Classes in her very cute studio and she was amazing enough to let me use it for my classes.

This workshop is built on 6 classes.

It’s for kids age 8 -12.

Each participant needs to bring a smartphone with working camera feature. 

Each class will start on Monday (July: 9th, 16th, 23rd, 30th & August: 6th and 13th) at 6 pm. 

It’s amazing to see what kids can create if we give them a little guidance. My 8-year-old daughter is into drawing and sketching. Since I bought her a sketchbook, and encourage her to pick it up on a regular basis I’ve noticed an amazing improvement.

This workshop is to encourage your kids to look at the world with a curious eye and experiment with their creativity.

This workshop is meant to guide them through the basic information about the art of photography and storytelling via image.

 

Each class will start with a bowl of popcorn and an intro to a particular topic:

July 9th – Working with Light 

July 16th – Portrait & Nature & Architecture & Macro (

July 23rd – Composition, While Space (Negative Space), Silhouettes

July 30th – Storytelling (approaching your subject in an interesting way)

August 6th – Editing

August 13th – Finding their niche (aka Superpower) 

AFTER EACH INTRO AND TIME FOR Q & A, WE WILL HIT THE FARM TO PRACTICE WHAT WE LEARNED. THE KIDS WILL LEARN HOW TO USE HOUSEHOLD ITEMS TO WORK WITH LIGHT OR BUILD THEIR OWN BACKDROPS.

 

 

PARENTS,

You will get a script for each class so after your child comes home you can practice what they learned with them. Serve them as their models (FUN!) and guide them if they have any additional questions.

The class is limited to 10 participants and as of today, we have only 3slots available.

Book your kid’s spot with early bird price of $199 for the entire series by emailing Ewa at contact@ewasamplesphotography.com

or fill out this form

1st birthday cake smash plus a sweet video. {San Jose Photographer}

HOW this session STARTED

1st birthday cake smash, Almaden, San Jose

I’m happy to say that this mama booked me because I was one of the very few photographers in the Bay Area who was offering video along with the photography from my sessions. I have to admit, it’s not easy to do both, but the love for making those videos is stronger than the difficulties.

So here we go…

 

The rest of the story

A few weeks ago, when the grass was still green here in the Bay Area, I had this oh-so-gorgeous 1st birthday cake smash session. This mama ordered a custom made dresses for both her and her baby girl from India just for the purpose of celebrating her little baby girl first year. While having a few phone consultations over the phone, I was able to convinced her to bring those dresses to the shoot. I am so glad she did!!!

1st birthday cake smash outfit ideas for girls _ ewa samples photography

During this session I could not stop talking about how impressed I am with this baby girl for not taking her headband off. Haha. I know little babies, and I know the most tricky part of dressing them for a photo shoot is to make them wear a headband or a hat. She did not mind it at all. Through the entire session it was like she didn’t have anything on her head. Her mom mentioned that this is not her normal behavior and normally she takes off anything they put on her within a few seconds. So, it looks like we got super lucky for this photo shoot.

Well, I think we got double lucky, because once rescheduled this session was done two days after we had quite a lot of rain falling from the sky… For days…

So, cheers to double luck, and amazing 1st birthday celebration!!!

 

P.S If you’d like to stay on top of any specials for your next photo shoot, weekly chats and other goodies sign up for my newsletter. 

6th b-day celebration photo session || Morgan Hill Family Photographer

For quite some time I’ve been thinking about doing a 6th b-day celebration photo session with my younger daughter. In the past she wanted to be Moana, then she wanted to be Pipi (because of her sister’s previous photo shoot). I wanted it to be personalized like the Pipi photo shoot. At the same time I wanted to be able to capture my daughter’s personality and the way she loves all the creatures she comes in contact with.

b-day session san jose family portrait photographer ewa samples photography-8

While brainstorming the ideas I received a message from Carlie from Lehrfeld Farm . She was interested in a personal project we hope to work on in the near future. She invited us to her home which is also her farm and her art oasis.

In my last post I was talking about one of the most beautiful places in Morgan Hill. Today, I have to admit that Carlie’s farm is getting very close in ranks. Well, being very specific: one place is in Morgan Hill and one in San Martin, so… 😂😂😂

After visiting the farm I came across an image that inspired me and pushed me to ask Carlie if I can visit her again. During our previous visit I saw how much my daughter(s) enjoyed being there. I decided that the farm is where I want to do my daughter’s 6th b-day celebration photo session. When I shared the idea with my little one (she wouldn’t be happy if I told her I call her that) she was beyond happy.

I think the best b-day gift was just the time at the farm for her.  She got to cuddle with chickens, feed the bearded dragons live worms and run with Silver (the miniature horse).

In some of these pictures I see a future teenager in her and all I want is to wish for a magic spell to prevent both of my girls from growing up. But the only magic is now.

Happy Birthday my sweet, sweet baby!

Most beautiful place in Morgan Hill || Morgan Hill Family Photographer || Portraits

Hey,

It’s been raining cats and dogs if you haven’t noticed. I feel like this year, I’ve enjoyed the rain as I haven’t in a long long time. For some reason, it reminds me a lot of Poland (my home country). I’m not sure why, exactly. On some days when it was warmer AND raining, a weird thought went through my mind. I compared the weather to Polish Summer. Warm rain, this fresh scent. Just wonderful.

In addition, all this rain is making the world a beautiful place. Especially within nature. I can’t wait to pack my camera bag and head out the door for some good hike and pictures taking after all the wetness goes away. Well, most of it. I still like shooting in the rain and if you’re up for it, I do have some availability for a family session in the rain.

most beautiful place in Morgan Hill after the rain Ewa Samples Photography Family Photographer Morgan Hill and San jose-5

The rain and the cold did not prevent me and my family from going out to the most beautiful place in Morgan Hill. This place is my oasis, and as one of my friends recently notice: “you must like it because you’re always there”. Well, yes. I like it. And I’m almost always there. Especially with my kiddos or my dog.

These images are from April last year. This year the reservoir has half of the water, but it’s still pretty. And it is soooo green!!! Seeing the wate level I secretly wish for more rain. Please, don’t send hateful thoughts my way for that. Haha. This place needs more rain.

Remember as soon as the rain stops you will have about 2 months if not less to get your session done in the amazingly green and lush nature, where the grass is looking juicy and not hay-like. So, check your calendars and plan ahead.

Just sayin…

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