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.
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!
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.
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.
This year’s winter break was pretty cold. However, I was pretty happy it wasn’t raining. On Monday we packed a lunch and plenty of snacks and we headed to our favorite place ever. I don’t have to ask my kids twice if they want to go to Uvas Reservoir. They just love it. So do I.
We played with the dog, and we chatted with strangers who grilled some sausages right next to us. When they left they left behind hot charcoal. For us, it was an opportunity to play with fire. haha.
We actually made a small fire using leaves and sticks. We grilled leftover sandwiches, and then a pinecone (because why not?) It was very cold but with all that warmth and exploring 5 hours went just like that! We came home smelling like fire.
1st day of the Winter Break, Morgan Hill.
I love having the girls with me. I miss the good old days before they started the school. We would go out to hike and explore without carrying what time it is. I love having the opportunity to hang out with them, explore, and be active.
The next day we had a great walk at the Coyote Creek Trail with friends. I planned for 2h of walk. It ended up after 4 hours. So much fun.
During the walk, a friend told me about the 17-mile drive. I have never done it, so the next day we packed and headed over there. What a great time we had. Thanks, Hailey from Archer Inspired for the idea and for coming along with us!
17 mile drive
This post is a mix of iPhone and big girl camera images. I’ve recently been reaching for my big girl camera only for work. I’m trying to master the possibilities my iPhone can give me. If you’d like, I’m leading iPhone photography workshop at Los Altos library on the May 31st. Stop by if you’d like to learn how to document your trips in an exceptional way using nothing more then the iPhone!
Yesterday’s spontaneous trip to Thorson Ranch in San Martin (but we entered it from the Morgan Hill side. haha!) was a hit of the month. Well, the month just started and I’m already excited for what it can bring with such a start.
I knew where horses are our kids’ happiness will follow. Not to mention my girls’ favorite movie these days is the “Spirit: Stallion of Cimarron”
While passing Thorson Ranch yesterday we saw a crowd of trailers and horses, and we decided to have a look at whatever was happening there. We were heading out for a spontaneous trip anyway, and this was happening right around the corner from where we live.
I had to do an iPhone production from the even as well, it wouldn’t be me if I didn’t, or didn’t try.
Just keep in mind I rode a horse once in my life. And he threw me into the river. I was 7 years old. I wish I had bigger and better experience with horses during my life because I really like them. OH, and once, I spent an entire month as summer camp tutor during horse riding camp. In beautiful Polish mountains. The kids, who otherwise were very high maintenance, were very eager to get up early in the morning to clean the poop (so they can get extra credits for riding). It was amazing to witness their passion for horses.
Anyway, I’ve seen the arena busy on several occasions in the past but never got inside to have a look at what was happening there. Despite the fact they are our neighbors.
Equipped with the best camera possible – the only one I had with me, my iPhone, I tried to document our experience. Here it is!
The kids loved it. Now I can’t get out of my head the idea of signing up my girls for horse riding classes. I think that would be a dream come true for them, and oh, the endless opportunities to get amazing images of horses…
It’s my 11th week of MUSIC THURSDAY… WHAT?!?! Small pieces of my life inspired by music.
Yes, 11 weeks ago I posted first piece of music on my FB.
Out of the blue, probably because I was feeling a little blue myself, I started Music Thursday. I did it planning to share a little bit of me with people. With new followers and those who already follow me. However it’s been a fun to watch experience, since it seems like people feel a little confuse why would I, the photographer, share music on my page, instead pictures.
Music is a big part of ME. Of who I am. What I do. How I think and feel. And I like to work with people I can connect on a deeper level. Not only the client – photographer level. But I also have a feeling that often people don’t want that connection. Or are not aware it’s important. Especially in days when all markets are flooded with the same kind of businesses, offering the same kind of services.
I for example, like to meet for a coffee with my potential clients. Long before they hire me. Sometimes they go home and I never hear back from them (mostly because the husband said NO – it’s sad but true), however many times, we just click. And I LOVE when that happens. And from that moment we know that we will be working together for years.
So for those who want deeper connection, once a week, particularly on THURSDAY I share a piece of music dear to my heart. Sometimes, I can listen to one song over and over and over again for weeks. It guides me through the day, it sits in my head like a butterfly in a cocoon, waiting to break free and fly away. And when that happens I move to another song, or start looking for something new.
I was hoping that if I share mine and then ask people to share theirs I will soon end up with several new artists to listen to, and I will be able to update my Spotify lists. I also feel like sharing your favorite piece of music with someone is opening your heart a little in a attempt of connection. The connection that is often lost in the business of social media.
And I wasn’t mistaken.
My first share was, SIA:
And right under that post I got two new songs I’m now addicted to:
This song is played so often in my house, my kids know the lyrics by heart now.
You can see the whole list of songs I posted and what other shared with me here. I hashtag them #ewasmusicthursday for easy access.
I’m now also addicted to English musician Birdy. I love almost each and every song of hers. When I listen to her it’s so hard to pick which song I want to save the “favorites” album, and which to omit.
Not to overwhelm you with too many pieces to listen at once, I invite you to visit #ewasmusicthursday and browse for anything that sounds interesting.
Or join the fun and share your favorite piece under my today’s post, which is a little bit different that what I have shared so far.
I’d love if you liked my page and came back each week to share your music story. If you have one.
I hope to see / hear you there.
If you’d like to work with me shoot me an email and I’d love to meet for a coffee.
Last year, I had a vision for my Holiday card. I’d arranged several dates to do it with my family, and each time there was something that pushed the first date to the second date. And then the second date to the third date. And then the rain came. And then it got very cold. And I finally said, it’s today! With a grumpy husband, hungry kids, and a dog that was all over the place we went out.
For the first 15 minutes, I was trying to figure out HOW for the sake of it all, am I going to manage the big umbrella (behind us on a downward slope), that was flying away with the wind every time I let it go, while running towards the camera to set the self timer, then running back to position myself and manage my kids who were not having it. And the husband. You know, the regular thing. Standing like a statue in a place where he was put, looking up the newest news that might have appeared during the last 15 minutes.
My hands were freezing. In my mind I was just about to commit a murder on somebody. I was ready to throw everything down, and to start jumping on it like a mad woman, smashing and breaking all the equipment.
And here we were, holding a sign that says JOY! Oh the best joke of that entire Holiday Card making process. Isn’t that the truth of self made holiday cards… (at least I got an awesome feedback from almost everybody who received the cart!). The process was similar to a childbirth: you hate everybody around you during it, but after you see the baby, everything is forgotten. (or so they say…) Hehehe (as my 5 year old says it).
If you’re still thinking about doing your own holiday photos (or skipping it all together), because:
- the offers you see don’t look like anything you’d want to have on your Holiday Card, (same old, same old holiday photos), (that’s why I was considering not doing any holiday minis this year because I was struggling with coming up with something special for my clients)
- you really need 1 or 2 (ok, 3 images at the most), – and you could always use some of the iPhone photos you already have. I DARE YOU!
- you want something unique,
Well, then stop that train of thought. I have something better for you. Something that will save your sanity.
We will find a unique message for your card!
No matter if you have kids or maybe…
…expecting a delivery…
or maybe, you have a different kind of kids…
Holiday Mini Sessions – Unique Silhouettes
Detailed address will be available upon signing up. Email me to email@example.com to secure your spot (or use my contact form).
OR SIGN-UP HERE
If you want to get very special offers and prices for mini-sessions, full sessions and portrait playdates, 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:
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!
This past April, they chased bubbles in the gorgeous sunlight…
sat on a flower swing made by H & J Flowers
and laid in the tall, green grass.
and all of that within 12 months from her fist session.
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:
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.
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:
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.
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… 😀
Officer M. Zen
Loves French bulldogs. (and in my opinion has a killer smile!)
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.
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.
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.
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.
Corporal S. Silva
Children are his priority. He tries to be a normal person in society when he’s not working.
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.
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.
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.
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:
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.
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!
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.
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.