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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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!

 

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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!

 

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Mud Run Kids Obstacle Challenge. San Mateo Family Photographer

My kids were anxiously counting down days till today. When I first told them I want to sign them up for the Mud Run Kids Obstacle Challenge, one of them started to cry. When I asked her why she’s so upset about it, she answered:

I don’t want my shoes to get dirty! 

I just couldn’t believe it. My daughter doesn’t want to get dirty!?!? As girly as my girls are, they are also pretty okey with getting quite dirty.

I signed them up anyway. 😜

From that first day, full of crying and saying “I don’t want to do it!”, I was able to make them pretty excited about it. And the last week was nothing but the same question over and over and over again:

So, how many days till the Mud Run?!?

While feeling like I’m going to cough my lungs out for the last couple of days, I was pretty happy to hear my girls excitement. Because I wasn’t having it.

But rain or heat or sickness; I think if we didn’t go there today, that would be one of the biggest disappointments of the whole #ewelinassummerbreak2017 

mud run kids obstacle challenge _ ewa samples photography san jose family photographer-10

And of course the girl who was so upset about getting all dirty… Didn’t get dirty. She found her away around it, and simply didn’t crawl in the mud, and took her jump pretty easy as well. The older one went for the whole experience.

Me on the other hand, as soon as we got to the muddy parts, I took the camera from my husband’s hands and found myself an excuse for not getting dirty nor wet. Ha!

As my daughter described it:

In my imagination I saw it as a very small event, with just a few kids running a small course. 

And she was really surprised to see the crowds, and even more excited to be a part of it.

This is definitely something we are going to do again!
Both kids agreed, myself included (hopefully feeling a little better next year, though).

 

 

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, 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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Googleplex – Mountain View, California – Family Photographer

Being a photographer in Silicon Valley allows me to work in such great locations as Googleplex – Mountain View. Having so many clients who work in Google allows me to get where public can’t (most of the time). HA!

Recently, one of my clients, who’s been with me for many, many years announced her family is moving to Colorado. She had some credit left on her Annual Membership so we came up with two amazing sessions for her family. One was her 10th wedding anniversary (which will be blogged shortly), and the last one was family session at Googleplex in Mountain View.

When I arrived to the address they gave me, I saw them all standing in Google colors t-shirts and I immediately knew this is going to be epic. Well, it always was with Jen’s family, so I wasn’t surprised.

Googleplex - Mountain View, Family Photographer, Ewa Samples Photography

I love the goofiness of this family. During each session we had together they had the custom to make silly faces, and our last session wasn’t any different. (well, hopefully it’s not our last last session.lol)

Because no session is perfect without a silly faces picture.

Googleplex - Mountain View, Family Photographer, Ewa Samples Photography

It’s sad to see a family I’ve worked with for years go. From newborn and cake smash session to many fun family sessions and hosted together events I documented this family grow stronger and more beautiful with each year.

I hope to be able to get together sometime and create wonderful memories for this family in the beautiful scenery of Colorado. We just got back from a road trip to Grand Junction (where I shoot a wedding), and all I can say is, I WANT TO GO BACK THERE!

And if you’d like to get an amazing customer service and amazing nails for your next photo session shoot a message to Jen and she’ll definitely take care of you!!!

If you’d like me to photograph your fun family 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!

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It’s fun to be bored. Family Photographer in Morgan Hill

It’s fun to be bored, said no kid ever. However, I think after this summer break my 7 year old daughter is going to change her point of view on the matter of “being bored”. I’m on the mission to change it.

fun to be bored

 

I remember days of my summer breaks. They were everything but boring. I did not watch TV much (no cable, no much of cartoon choices back then, no electronic gadgets to play with/on). I read quite a bit, I’ve always been a book worm. What’s most important, I’d never had “special” activities planned for me or my siblings by my parents.

Still, I have amazing memories of discovering the world on my own. With a friend or two. With my cousins or without them. Getting up early to watch my aunt milk the cows. Going to the forest to pick fresh blueberries and then sell them on local farmers market. Make blueberry stuffed pierogi with what was left. Exploring the world after dark with my friend. That was the most powerful “quality time” my parents could had given me.

Being honest, I don’t really like comparing my summer breaks to my kids’ summer break. Or my times to “their times”. Times have changed, (they change with each new generation), and what was 20 years ago is no longer anything but memories. But as much as I’m aware of that, I’m also not ready to let go of the thought that it’s FUN TO BE BORED.

It’s also good for you. Especially for the kids. I have recently read several great blog posts about the importance of being bored. Here is one and here another. There are more. Many more. Just google “the importance of being bored” and you’ll find yourself a great number of articles to read.

My 7 year old daughter was pretty upset about the school year coming to an end. She anticipated end of the year means staying home and being bored THE ENTIRE TIME. She wasn’t thrilled that she will not be seeing her friends anymore. Like staying home with mom is one of the most boring things on Earth.

Then again, since the summer started I really haven’t heard much of complaints about being bored. I’m loving every single trip we have, and I can’t be more happier to have the opportunity to spend so much time with my kids. They might think I’m boring and not fun to be around, but being honest with you, I don’t think that’s the problem, AND I’m having a blast, myself. So, who cares! Right!?

On the other hand, she is having so much fun, she can’t keep up with documenting all those fun days in her journal.

fun to be bored_ewa samples photography_san jose family photographer

 

Two days ago I witnessed my younger daughter teaching herself how to swim.

I heard her yelling across the swimming pool: I’M SWIMMING!!! I’M SWIMMING!!! I looked up, and there she is, kicking and punching the water like her life depends on it… (because it did). Then, she moved, and moved a little more, and then even more, and just like that she was swimming.

Today, I have to keep an eye on her because she purposefully forgets to put her floats on. She just thinks she’s the pro now. 😂

 

fun to be bored_ewa samples photography_morgan hill family photographer

 

The other day, my older daughter had an amazing time climbing a tree. Simple thing. And yet. She’s been on that tree many time, but not as far as she climbed on that day. I was so proud of her, and the whole experience was just precious.

I made this sweet movie of her adventure. When I turned my camera on to make the video, I had no idea the whole thing is going to be so funny.

The whole adventure was the fruit of a simple picnic we decided to have in the local park. Few friends. Some food and drinks and we were all set.

The mission to change my daughter’s opinion about being bored is almost completed. Just yesterday she mentioned something about the summer being super fun and her not being very upset about being bored anymore. We are not quite yet there, but I’ve got another month or so to work on it. Right?!

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

 

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Homemade Garlic Bread Recipe. For busy moms (and dads)

Today, a little not portrait related post. I’d say, it’s going to be more delicious then normal. I’m going to share with you my favorire homemade garlic bread recipe!

So,
How have you been? I hope not as busy as me. However busy is good, in some ways.
Busy in business is good, right?
Busy vacationing is also good, I think.

How about busy in the kitchen, while being busy with kids, while being also busy with some four leg companions, and then being busy having to keep it all together (because there is nobody out there to help you).

I have this suspicion you know what I’m talking about.

Even while that busy, and not wanting to have anything to do with the kitchen part of your house, you can still make this delish thing:

Homemade Garlic Bread Recipe _ ewa samples photography
Those are the days, or weeks when you look like this, every time you try to go for a walk. (this is a photo from my self-portrait project taken 4 years ago).

😂⬇️😂⬇️😂⬇️😂⬇️😂⬇️

ewa samples photography, self portrait project

I was the brave one, always trying to do as much as I could at once!!! Not always succeeding, like with the walks. They would always end before they even started.

ewa samples photography, self-portrait project

Luckily, my kids don’t need any leashes these days. But my dogs still do. All 3 of them.

So, this past week, my husband was gone. The whole week. He’s been gone quite a bit this year.

So, while running a business, and trying to still cook homemade dinners (well, some kind of meal whenever I find the time for it), while experimenting with different approaches to eating is challenging.

For example, I tried the zero sugar diet. And the time-restricted eating. Thanks to a good frined, I also brew my own Kombucha!

I think, this whole “sugar thing” is some kind of joke. I’ll share my experience with you in the future, however, I’d like to hear your thoughts on that if you have something to say!

The time restricting eating is so funny. At least in my case, and I can’t wait to tell you all about it, too.

Anywho…, going back to my husband being gone, I’ve mastered some simple recipes that all of us like. I have to admit, we often have banana pancakes for dinner, or store bought cinnamon rolls. The majority of the time we have homemade and super quick to make, so-called by my kids, “milk soup”. It’s an oatmeal, really. With a lot of cinnamon and turbinado-coconut sugar mix.

This past week, my kids were gone playing almost the whole day. Coming back for a snack or two. Bringing with them a bunch of friends. And when you have to feed a bunch, you go for the easy fix. In my case, store bought cinnamon rolls. I go with these guys, becayse they do not have any corn syrup or high fructose corn syrup in them. Just good old sugar! (well, not really, but still better then most of what you can find in the stores).

 

Organic Cinnamon Rolls with Icing

 

 

But today, I’d like to give you homemade garlic bread recipe!

And why do you call garlic bread a “garlic bread”?
– because it’s a bread and it has garlic in it.

A joke created by my kids. I couldn’t have made it, I’m just not that funny. 😂😂😂

The dog picture is not there by accident. The pup was seriously too cute not to throw it in the post!

Homemade Garlic Bread Recipe

INGREDIENTS:
  1. Loaf of french bread (we love the freshly baked bread from Safeway). You can use sourdough instead. When husband is not home I use sourdough for this recipe, because it’s my favorite!
  2. Stick of butter. Not salted. ROOM TEMPERATURE, so it’s soft and easy to spread.
  3. Garlic powder.
  4. Minced onions.
  5. Salt.
DIRECTIONS:
  1. Pre-heat the oven to 400F.
  2. Slice the loaf of bread leaving the bottom of the bread intact, so the slices are still attached to each other.
  3. Spread the butter inside the slices.
  4. Sprinkle inside of the slices with garlic powder, onion, and salt. ( I like a lot of garlic powder and a lot of the minced onions.
  5. Wrap in the foil.
  6. Bake for 20 minutes.
  7. EAT!

I eat it simple. Bread, mozzarela, pickles, wine. The wine is optional in my case, as with age my tolerance to alcohol is getting lower and lower. With this speed, I’m assuming by age of 40 I’ll be totally allergic to even the smell of it.

The kids eat it plain!

This recipe gets pretty messy with the butter. However it’s really quick. And seriously delicious!

One more thing, this bread is WAY MORE delicious than the store bought garlic bread (pre-made and ready to heat-up). I’ve tried it and the store version doesn’t get even close to the homemade one. It’s a little more work then just throw it in the over, but the love you’ll get from your kids for it will speak for itself.

What’s your favorite recipe for a quick and easy dinner?

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