Personal

Jessie – traveling tattooer, artist, dog mom, van dweller

This weekend I got inked with two cool tattoos I’ve been planning to get for years! But this is not about the cool tattoos as it is about the cool story behind it as well as the cool tattoo artist who did it for me.

Meet Jessie. She is currently traveling the country with her sweet four-leg companion Chico, in her, mostly self-remodeled, van.

Jessie, my stranger no. 5 who doesn’t really feel like a stranger from the first moment you meet her.

cool tattoos - ewa samples photography

Australia-born, Jessie started her journey as a van dweller and traveling artist this past Thanksgiving. After 8 years of living in Minnesota. Her current travels brought her to Eileen from Flora and Fauna Jewelry. I met Eileen several months ago. She was staying in Morgan Hill in one of the cutest RV’s I’ve ever seen.

living in rv

Eileen and Jessie met through Reggie. I haven’t met him but after watching his youtube videos (one of them is about Jessie itself), and following his Instagram, I feel like I want to meet him. So maybe our paths will cross, because who knows. Anything might happen. 

living in rv

Just several days ago I saw on Eileen Instagram account her new addition to the tattoo family she has on her. She credited Jessie, and I immediately went to her account. To my surprise, I saw she’s in Los Gatos!!! How freaking crazy is that?

Just the night before, I was sitting on my computer photoshopping a picture of tattooed Tinkerbell so I could use it for my Facebook profile. Yes, it was just for a fun profile photo, not the real tattoo (which my husband was very worried about!).

I’d been longing for a new tattoo so bad, it’s crazy. If I was looking into a tattooed Tinkerbell pictures, you know it got really bad. In the past month, I’ve looked for local tattoo studios and artists and I inquired for some of the ideas I’ve had. But still, I wasn’t sure about any of the people I’ve found. 

And here she was, Jessie. I inquired to her as soon as I discovered her. And we were set for a tattoo session the next day. The best part of all, she helped me to create one awesome piece from two tattoo ideas I had planned to put in separate places. 

Here are some shots from the session we had.

Picture of Jessie and Eileen during their tattoo session here.

And here is the wonderful movie Reggie made about Jessie (and you can see Eileen in it as well):

Thank you so much, Jessie, for appearing in my life from nowhere. You’ve made a mark on my life, and not only! 🙂
See you next time!

 

3-4_without silhuette

If you’d like to receive special offers straight to your email, feel free to sign to my newsletter.

52 week challenge. Photographing strangers. Stranger no. 3

52-week challenge. Photographing strangers. Stranger no. 3

 

“The only thing standing between you and your goal is the bullshit story you keep telling yourself as to why you can’t achieve it.”

– Jordan Belfort

Sooooo, before I start describing my last week of hunting for a stranger willing to be a part of my 52-week challenge, let me ask you something:

Have you ever consciously suffocated your goals or ideas because they meant you had to get out of your comfort zone? Not once but many many times. It meant you had to try something totally new. Even in times when you felt like “new” is the last thing you want to do. You’d rather stay safe in your pj’s, eat cookie dough ice cream straight from the box. Binge watch your favorite show on Netflix. 

Because this is exactly what I was trying to do the whole week last week: I was looking for excuses.

Photographing strangers was the last thing I wanted to do. Period.

 

First of all, it was raining almost all week. The people out there looked like they don’t want to be bothered. Running from one destination to another, as fast as they could, like they were made out of sugar, and the rain could dissolve them.

I was also behind my schedule to finish a book I’d been reading. So, I wanted to stay home and just catch up with it. Next thing, probably more consciously then subconsciously, I would forget to take my DSLR with me, every single time I went out. Righ…

So fast forward to Saturday…

I was at a point where I admitted to myself, “I won’t do it this week”. I was ready to skip it, hoping the next week will be easier. But you know how it goes, right? If you skip something, then skipping it again, and again gets only easier. While sticking to your original plan gets only harder.

Late afternoon we went to grab something to eat. We stopped at “Pieology” in Morgan Hill. I was just watching the people working there while ordering our pizzas. And I thought how great of a picture it would be if I could make one of them stand next to the oven working with the pizza’s inside. All of the employees were so nice and they bravely suffered through my husband’s not funny jokes (sorry, hon!). And I felt nothing but encouraged to just give the project a try. One more time. I knew it’s then or never.

I waited until there were no people in line and went to ask. I had only my old phone with me. A phone that takes crappy pictures. A phone that has landed in a toilet twice, and in a creek once. A phone that had been declared dead more than 3 times. Its camera app doesn’t work, so I take pictures through a 3rd party app. I was not happy with the photo, but I was so proud of myself I did it anyway.

Stranger no.3 is a nameless employee of Pielogy in Morgan Hill. While I was preaching about getting to know your neighbors in my last post about this 52 week challenge of photographing strangers, this time around I was too preoccupied with my own fears and insecurities, and I simply forgot to ask.

Thank you so much, my nameless stranger for helping me to get the shot I envisioned, and to helping me getting one step closer to my goal of photographing 52 strangers in one year!!! 

Photographing strangers

 

My partners in crime in this 52-week challenge are:

Maryam Salassi from Hi and Hello Photography – Maryam is doing different 52, feel free to follow her journey.

Hailey Williams from Archer Inspired

 

Feel free to follow along!!!

3-4_without silhuette

If you’d like to receive special offers straight to your email, feel free to sign to my newsletter.

52 week challenge – photographing strangers

Portrait of a stranger 52 week challenge with Ewa Samples Photography

I went pretty easy on myself this past week. Well, it didn’t feel like it was any easier than the past week, anyway. My first stranger, Rockie, was literally a stranger. I’ve never met her before. I’ve never seen her face before anywhere.

This week’s stranger(s) are my neighbors, really. But we were never introduce. We passed by each other almost every day, waving our heads “hi”, or saying “good morning” on the way to take our kids to school.

This 52 week challenge makes me think about relationships we have with people. Or is it me? I’m shy and nervous when it comes to approaching people I don’t know, but WHAT AM I SO AFRAID OFF, really?

Thanks to this project I can finally put a name to those two faces I see almost every day. It’s not a lot but at the same time, it is. Right?

How many people in your life have nameless faces? Because, being honest with you, my life is filled with them. Mom’s from my daughter’s school. Neighbors. People in a library (where I spend about 10 hours a week). It’s crazy. I just smile to them, and get back to my phone or computer, instead of asking about how they are doing…

It’s only funny how I approach this project. While during my regular sessions I can’t stop taking pictures of people. With this project I shoot once and run. When I’m on my computer looking at the photo(!), I regret not taking more pictures. I just don’t have the guts to stay there for any longer that’s required to take one picture.

I hope, the further I go with this project the more pictures I’ll be able to take of people.

In this photo:

” Michael and Junior”

52 week challenge

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My partners in crime in this 52 week challenge are:

Ania Gajda from Ania Gajda Photography

Maryam Salassi from Hi and Hello Photography – Maryam is doing different 52, feel free to follow her journey.

Hailey Williams from Archer Inspired

Feel free to follow along!!!

3-4_without silhuette

If you’d like to receive special offers straight to your email, feel free to sign to my newsletter.

 

Portrait of a stranger 52 Photography Project

Portrait of a stranger 52 Photography Project with Ewa Samples Photography – STRANGER no 1. 

Many, many years ago, I have done a 365 project (one photograph a day for a year), with self portraits. It was an awesome journey. Since that project, each year, I though about doing something similar, but couldn’t find an idea that interesting and challenging enough. The self portrait project was VERY challenging for my super self-conscious person. I wasn’t comfortable with it. Sometimes I had push myself very hard to finish it. And I did. And it was a life changing experience.

So, this year I asked around and found several friends interested in joining similar project. We agreed on a 52 Challenge that will require from us to take one picture a week of a stranger.

Each week we will be blogging about it, and sharing the photos we took.

A short story behind the photograph I took last week:

My Strange’s no.1 name is Rockie. I met her in Morgan Hill public library. She was putting make up in the ladies bathroom because she didn’t have the time to do it before she hurried out the house. Well, I know this pain way too good. After a small talk, we wished each other Happy New Year and I left. It was Friday. I felt, I’m running out of time with this project. However I felt scared and intimidated. Because how do you do it? How do you approach a stranger and ask if he/she is ok to be photographed. 

So I stormed back to the bathroom and explained her what I want to do and for what purposes. It felt so intimidating. But she said YES with a big smile on her face. And I was so relieved. 

So here she is, smiling kindly for me, sitting in Morgan Hill Public Library lobby. 

Thank you so much Rockie. YOU ROCK!!!

Portrait of a stranger 52 Photography Project

My partners in crime are:

Ania Gajda from Ania Gajda Photography

Maryam Salassi from Hi and Hello Photography – Maryam is doing different 52, feel free to follow her journey.

Hailey Williams from Archer Inspired

Feel free to follow along!!!

3-4_without silhuette

If you’d like to receive special offers straight to your email, feel free to sign to my newsletter.

Exploring Morgan Hill

Exploring Morgan Hill with Ewa Samples Photography.

Since we moved out from San Jose I have not had the chance, or actually put any serious effort into exploring Morgan Hill, our new home. I’ve meant to go here and there. I made several mental notes to visit particular places which I’ve noticed because I’ve driven by them many times. However there are always new books to be read, and thousand of photos to be looked through and edit for my clients. (Remember it’s Christmas Cards Season… 😉 ) – and life gets crazy for photographers. There are new projects to be planned, and there are days to just feel like you don’t want to do anything else but stuff your face with ice cream. You know how that goes. And there are days when you go out to location scout and you don’t take your camera with you. For unknown to yourself reasons.

exploring morgan hill with ewa samples

Let me tell you, Morgan Hill is totally different from San Jose, Cupertino, Palo Alto, or any other city located in Silicon Valley. There is so many gorgeous places to shoot at just minutes from me. And I’m not talking about kids park with nice green grass, and some trees in the background. I’m talking about lush green fields, Natural Preserves, and creeks. It’s hard to believe I haven’t done anything about it. One place is like… well, outside the window. The other (which I haven’t visited yet), is 5 minuets of WALKING from where we live.

Morgan Hill is simply beautiful. It is my kind of place, being honest with you. With so many fields, farms, vineyards, orchards, and gorgeous natural preserves, it’s my heaven. Especially the part when it says “farms”. I dream about having one, someday. With horses, and chickens, and dozens of dogs, or/and pigs. Oh yeah!

Now I just feel like I’m on the mission to convince all my old and new clients who in most part come from San Jose, Palo Alto and Redwood City area, to start coming to Morgan Hill for their sessions with me.

This series, “Exploring Morgan Hill” is a part of this mission 🙂 Maybe if I show you all how gorgeous this place is, you’ll not hesitate a minute to drive the extra 20 minutes for your session with me.

And who knows, you might fall in love with it just like I did.

This album below contains two days and two locations. One is the one in front of our window, and the other is Coyote Creek Lake. Enjoy. And let me know if you have any favorite locations around Morgan Hill and Gilroy.

3-4_without silhuette

If you’d like to receive special offers straight to your phone, feel free to sign to my newsletter, and get the mobile app:

What is “location scouting” | Gilroy Family Portrait Photographer

Location scouting in Gilroy.

Today, I’d like to chat a little about one very important part of photographer’s life. And that’s locations scouting. I think most people know what that is, but not many people, especially those not related to the photography business don’t realize how important this one part of photographer’s work is. For both,  client and photographer.

location scouting gilroy

You might think, the photographer is that person who comes to your session, clicks the shutter nine hundred times, go home and give you the pictures he/she has taken. And yes, that’s one part of the entire process. However there is a lot of “behind the scene” happening that you might not be aware of.

At the very beginning of my career I’ve driven hundred of miles around San Jose and the surrounding cities in search of interesting places. I didn’t want the regular play grounds, busy with people and unwanted distracting structures in the background. Instead of going to playdates with other moms and kids, I would take my kids for an “adventurous” hikes, and long drives in between, with a camera hung over one  my shoulder and a diaper bag over another.

Week by week, month by month, I’ve built quite the list. Hills, hiking trails, creeks, gardens, fields of flowers, beaches. Sometimes I get an email or Facebook message from friends or my clients with addresses and places “to check out”. I love when that happens.

Whenever a client mentions a place I’ve never been before, for their session, I don’t say YES or NO until I go there and see it myself. I personally don’t like shooting in places I don’t know anything about. Getting to know a location, by visiting it at least once before the session is a tremendous help. It allows me to think ahead about the session, and about how to use the location for interesting poses and angles.

I love taking my kids to new places. They are always my first models. They’ve grown so accustomed to going with me for “location scouting” and for their new adventurous trips. I often scroll through google maps looking for something interesting. Even more often I make notes of intersections next to something that caught my eye. My notes on my phone are full of those addresses. 🙂

These days, I’m scouting for new locations around Morgan Hill and Gilroy. We recently found a beautiful garden close to us.

I invite you to look through the gallery.

Maybe you’ll choose this place for your next session with me. Who knows… Or maybe, you’ll let me know about an interesting place you visited that would be great for a session. If you’d like, we can get together for my next locations scouting and make it a playdate.

Speaking of playdates. Feel free to stop by at our Portrait Playdate.

Portrait Playdate

3-4_without silhuette

if you’d like to chat about your session, feel free to email me: ewasamples(at)gmail.com  also, to stay on top of all kinds of specials as well as photography tips subscribe to my newsletter :

 

Family Portrait Photographer | The importance to be authentic during a photo session

This gallery contains 1 photo.

Family Portrait Photographer

FAMILY PORTRAIT PHOTOGRAPHER SAN JOSE

As a family portrait photographer, maybe not a strictly documentary one, but someone who wants to “catch” the real personality of the person in front of the camera, to those who ask: “what should we do during the session”, I always say: “be yourself”. But to be just that it’s good to engage in something that you or your family enjoy doing. The fake smiles are not what I aim for. I want to see your and your kids’ “authentic self”. However, I know how hard that is. And as Amy Cuddy says: “The wish to feel and be seen as “authentic” seems like a basic human need, and maybe that’s why the term “authentic self” is so popular these days. Actually, sometimes I feel it gets thrown around like confetti on New Year’s Eve.” What is your authentic self is probably something you have to answer to yourself. What is it that you need the photographer that you want hire for? I think the answer is more personal, but it’s important to know it before you start looking for a photographer for you and your family.

PORTRAITS AS INDIVIDUAL  AS YOU

One of the books I’m in the mid of reading is, by mentioned before, Amy Cuddy. She talks about what being present means, and how that can help us to overcome the biggest challenges while being our boldest selves, and while staying true to our authentic selves. I know, so many of my clients can totally relate to what she says about being so stressed in certain situation that we loose ourselves completely; we don’t know what to say, and how to act – we “simultaneously analyzing what we think others think of us, what we said a minute earlier, and what we think they will think of us after we leave, all while frantically trying to adjust what we’re saying and doing to create the impression we think they want to see.” After that we spent days and days rewinding that situation and beating ourselves for not doing this or not saying that, because we were paralyzed with fear, stress, judgmental thoughts.

Where do I go with this, you might ask. Well, I know how it feels to have a camera pointed at you, when you don’t have much of the experience with that. Not only you put yourself under the pressure to look your best, but also, for you think your whole family have to behave “properly”. You think, everybody needs to be happy, and smiling, and it a good mood, and ready to enjoy this time in front of the camera. Which in my opinion is not the point. Really. If you’re working with a photographer you’ve never met before, it adds another level of stress. She/he is a stranger to you and your family, and you want to make the best impression, while not really knowing what she or he might think about your ideas, or the way you or your kids (which is often the case!), act.

I DON’T CARE ABOUT THAT! Really. I have two kids, two dogs, and husband who does whatever he wants (well, he gets his share of my thoughts about that later, but he doesn’t even care about that). Well, behaving is last thing I expect to see during my sessions. I see my clients as individuals who are all different, and who have their own personalities and style and ideas, and thoughts, and who not necessarily enjoy having to put the fake smiles on. In my opinion when I (and the parents) stop preaching, conducting, interrupting and start observing and being present in what’s happening during the session, the MAGIC HAPPENS.

I think, the best example of it all are children. They are present in any given moment to the fullest. They don’t care about judgment, and they don’t fear it.

All of that came to me while watching the sun setting. I asked my daughter to dance for me. And she did, here is her sunset dance.

For those 5 minutes she was totally present in her task. She heard her own music, and you could see how much she enjoyed the wind in her hair and on her face.

And while sometimes I don’t have the words to describe what I feel, the one thing is certain: when I hold a camera there is nothing else in the world – just me and my subject. There is no judgment, nothing else matters but the person (or the family) in front of the camera, and their story.

3-4_without silhuette

if you’d like to chat about your session, feel free to email me: ewasamples(at)gmail.com  also, to stay on top of all kinds of specials as well as photography tips subscribe to my newsletter :

 

Subscribe to our mailing list

Lets connect on Facebook

Earth Day on the Bay at the Marine Science Institute in Redwood City

Today, we went to “Earth Day on the Bay” at the Marine Science Institute. There were many activities and things to see, but we anchored our butts at a lovely small beach next to the Institute. The beach is full of broken shells, and it hurts to walk on it bearfoot. However that didn’t stop the kids. They got wet and muddy, and all what they were talking about it how they wished they knew where we’re going, because they would had taken their swimming suits with them. Well, it looks like I know where to take them tomorrow. Beach it is 😉

It started from dipping they feet. Just a little bit. Then it went to going down to about their knees. The kids on the beach had a really great time. We should have visit more what was available inside the Marine Science Institute, but at the end the kids we just happy with where they were, and with finding clam shells (the beach was full of them).

At the end they were all dripping wet from toes to top of their heads. Still, we had to finish the day with a huge scoop of ice cream for everybody.

How was your day?

Earth Day Marine Science Institute-1

3-4_without silhuette

if you’d like to chat about your session, feel free to email me: ewasamples(at)gmail.com  also, to stay on top of all kinds of specials as well as photography tips subscribe to my newsletter :

 

Subscribe to our mailing list

 

Lets connect on Facebook
“Mrs.AOK,
Mommy A to Z Manic Mondays Blog Hop

{San Jose Kids Photographer } Fun Kids Pictures Rain

Yesterday I was able to get some fun kids pictures in the rain. It looks like we are going to do the same today. Kids are already poking me and asking when are we going out… Some people might think that words like “fun kids pictures rain” do not go well together. Like my husband, who thinks he’s made out of sugar, and going out in the rain is deadly for him.

I think quite the opposite.

The rain wasn’t that heavy for most of the time, and there were moments when it didn’t rain at all. The kids had way more fun then in any given sunny day we’ve had so far.

We came home soaked… Well, not me, but those two little adventurers. They were dripping from all the rain, but mostly from all the puddles they decided to jump into and splash. After we came home, we had hot milk with honey and cupcakes for dinner, because why not. It all was followed by a warm bath with bubbles. Like literally plenty of them!!! 🙂 Fun! Fun! Fun!

So, off we go to have fun again again. We’ve got plenty of milk in the fridge and the bathroom is already supplied with bubbles soap.

bubbles ewa samples photography-5

I also recently fell in love with double exposure pictures, so there are only few out of many I took yesterday. You can see some examples in the gallery displayed below.

So YES, “fun kids pictures rain” definitely go together in this household.

How about yours!?

3-4_without silhuette

if you’d like to chat about your session in the rain, or in the full blast sun feel free to email me: ewasamples(at)gmail.com  also, to stay on top of all kinds of specials as well as photography tips subscribe to my newsletter :

Subscribe to our mailing list

 

Lets connect on Facebook

Annie Leibovitz San Francisco, Women: New Portraits

Today my 4 year old and I drove to San Francisco to see Annie’s Leibovitz free exhibition, “Women: New Portraits”. After that we sat on the beach and had lunch. We also stopped by Palace of Fine Arts that’s right next to it. The weather was gorgeous, and the only thing that was missing was my 6 year old daughter. She would love it!

annie leibovitz women new portraits san francisco -1

Annie Leibovitz in San Francisco, Women- New Portraits-3

Annie Leibovitz in San Francisco, Women- New Portraits-4

annie leibovitz women new portraits san francisco -2

If you haven’t visited the exhibit yet, I highly recommend going. The walk-ins are welcome, and it’s totally free (beside the parking, of course). I wish I had more time to sit there comfortably and flip and read through all the books available inside.

But I had to deal with a serious case of very loud yawning every now and then, and even louder and more dramatic question “are we going now?” every 5 minutes.

Anyway, at least I was able to go through the huge book filled with Annie’s photographs. The experience of being able to touch it and be so close to her art was humbling.

Annie Leibovitz in San Francisco, Women: New Portraits

Annie Leibovitz in San Francisco, Women: New Portraits

Annie Leibovitz in San Francisco, Women- New Portraits-5

Annie Leibovitz in San Francisco, Women- New Portraits-6

Annie Leibovitz in San Francisco, Women- New Portraits-7

Annie Leibovitz in San Francisco, Women- New Portraits-8

 

Annie Leibovitz in San Francisco, Women- New Portraits-9

Palace of Fine Arts San Franscisco-10
Palace of Fine Arts San Franscisco-12

Palace of Fine Arts San Franscisco-13

Palace of Fine Arts San Franscisco-14

Palace of Fine Arts San Franscisco-15

Palace of Fine Arts San Franscisco-16

Palace of Fine Arts San Franscisco

How was your Monday?

3-4_without silhuette

if you’d like to chat about your session, feel free to email to ewasamples(at)gmail.com  also, to stay on top of all kinds of specials as well as photography tips subscribe to my newsletter :

Subscribe to our mailing list

 

Lets connect on Facebook

Midpines Yosemite Falls Family Camping Trip

Before I go into any further details of our Midpines Family Camping Trip (second camping trip this year), I have to admit, the further away from tourists, the better. Period. You want to know why… Take this for example…

In this one hour of sitting in the Yosemite Falls traffic I had witnessed so much of human nastiness, I was shocked.

I’m not antisocial, I just like to enjoy my space and my peace when I want it, and Yosemite Falls are the last place to get it. Well, probably if you go there in December you’ll get it. But you’ll also freeze your butt off.

I know you can get it in Yosemite. Long time ago, I had visited this place with friends and we even went skinny dipping in a freezing cold lake with not a soul around. There are places out there that you can get some privacy and enjoy the beauty of this place in peace.

Our camping trailer is one of these that needs to be set up first before we can use it, and by “set up” I mean “a lot of arguing about what to put where and why, and even more whispered cursing, everybody around you hear, anyway”. This kind of setting up where at some point you comfortably sit at a safe distance and just watch while the other half work in peace. We were the ones that arrive to a camping site at 11pm and spent an hour or so making all kinds of noises, and shushing each other. Fun stuff. 😉

midpines family camping trip, ewa samples photography-1

midpines family camping trip, ewa samples photography-2

midpines family camping trip, ewa samples photography-3

The camp site was super kid friendly. We woke up to a view of a playground, which we didn’t see the night before.

Our girls just loved it. They made all kinds of friends and cried a river when it came to packing and leaving because of the new friendships they’d made.

midpines family camping trip, ewa samples photography-4
midpines family camping trip, ewa samples photography-5

mariposa california

midpines family camping trip, ewa samples photography-6

After we got dirty and muddy first thing in the morning, we headed to Mariposa to meet with grandparents, and from there take a short road trip to Yosemite Falls. We walked around a little the “downtown”, which seemed very cute and interesting. I wish we had more time to spend there and to visit all the old style buildings and antique stores.

midpines family camping trip, ewa samples photography-8

visiting mariposa california

midpines family camping trip, ewa samples photography-10

mariposa california

mariposa california-12

mariposa california-13

mariposa california-14

This place was empty and peaceful compared to Yosemite! But we had other things planned, so we couldn’t really stay any longer than we already did.

At the end we also witnessed some police work, 3 cars pulled up to a museum we were at to a call to someone locking themselves out. Looked like busy day in Mariposa. 🙂

Living for a while in Fresno, well, seeing three sheriff’s department cars pulling to the parking I was expecting something totally different.

mariposa california

On the way to Yosemite Falls we even spotted the famous Mystery Spot sticker. I think, it’s pretty funny. Those are all over the Bay Area, and now I saw one in Yosemite!

yosemite fall

yosemite falls-2

The scenery along the way was amazing. At this time of the year, the hills bloom with orange poppies, and along the road there are beautiful purple trees. If we were not following the grandparents I would definitely had requested more stops to enjoy them, as well as to try shove my kids into them somehow. 🙂

yosemite falls

yosemite falls

yosemite falls-4

yosemite falls

yosemite falls

Also, right now the water flows there like crazy. You can spot a waterfall almost on every mountain. The mountains glow in the sun with the reflecting water that flows down. Kids were also excited to see the snow. It was high on the mountains, so they didn’t get to touch it.

yosemite falls-8

yosemite falls-4

yosemite fall

yosemite falls

yosemite falls

yosemite falls

yosemite falls-9

The route to get to Yosemite Falls is very scenic. Well worth the drive, and the car sickness. Although I would think twice about the Yosemite Falls itself. The place is more crowded then Campbell’s Farmers Market on Saturday. We had spent more then an hour in traffic and we got nowhere close to the parking spots. It is something worth doing once in your life, but in my opinion after that there is no point of coming back

yosemite falls

yosemite falls-11

Seeing waterfall for the first time:

Midpines Yosemite Falls Family Camping Trip

yosemite falls

yosemite falls

yosemite falls-15

I would recommend to take as many pictures as you can during your first visit there, and from there run as fast and as far as you can.

yosemite falls
Midpines Yosemite Falls Family Camping Trip

This is exactly what we did. As soon as we were able, we came back to our camping site, and spent the rest of the day hanging out there.

The next morning, we had roasted marshmallows smothered in chocolate pudding for breakfast. You’ve never tried it? Well, you don’t know what you’re missing. 😉

camping at yosemite

camping at yosemite

camping at yosemite

camping at yosemite

camping at yosemite

I added an extra twist of roosting the marshmallows with grapes. Delicious.

camping at yosemite falls

and some randomness:

camping at yosemite

camping at yosemite

camping at yosemite

camping at yosemite

For all interested, we camped at Yosemite West / Mariposa KOA – great place for families with kids, and very close to Mariposa downtown. Both the camp and the town seems very friendly and helpful.

Husband accidentally locked us out of the camping trailer by loosing the key, and the people that run this place were really helpful. They seemed very concerned about us and helped us made all the necessary calls to get some people to our camp site to open our trailer. Luckily, after more then half of the day, we found the darn keys. We found them where they were left in the first place.

camping at yosemite-9

We’re already planning our next trip. Probably somewhere close to Redding. Will see.

Have a wonderful week!!! And feel free to share your family adventures with me. I’d love to hear them.

Subscribe to our mailing list

 

Lets connect on Facebook
“Mrs.AOK,

Portraits inspired by Francesco Scavullo {San Jose Portrait Photographer}

In the recent workshop I’m taking with Donald Giannatti, up to this point, I have been inspired by (and we have studied) work of David Bailey, Gregory Heisler, Mary Ellen Mark, Francesco Scavullo, Albert Watson, Mark Seliger and Frank Ockenfels. Those names are some of the most influential portrait photographers of the last 50 years.

My head had been spinning, well, it still is, with ideas, inspirations, as well as frustrations and second guessing myself. All because this workshop has pushed me outside of my comfort zone on many occasions. Not to mention, I’d never been exposed to so much of studio work in my life as I’ve been for the past 7 weeks. And it’s a humbling experience.

Portraits inspired by Francesco Scavullo

Portraits inspired by Francesco Scavullo

When it comes to Francesco Scavullo, best known for his work on the covers of Cosmopolitan, I simply did not want to do any glamour/fashion shots. I ended up trying something he was very known for, and what’s called these days a clamshell lighting.

I used one soft box and a small reflector, which for the self portraits I was holding on my lap, or struggling to support it with my free hand.

inspired by work of Francesco Scavullo_ewa samples photography-2

Someday, I’ll look back very fondly on those moments in my garage when I had to be my own model, photographer and an assistant. And at the end, I had produced nothing close to a clam shell lighting kind of portraiture. It wasn’t funny on that day, but even today, I have a smirk on my face writing about it.

Before I got in front of the camera, I had this awesome plan to use my kids (as in most of the assignments for this workshop). Well, you know how that goes when you want your kids to do something (or not to do). They do exact the opposite. In a time when I needed them to be still they decided to make it a dance, and a hugging party.

kids photography inspired by work of Francesco Scavullo_ewa samples photography-3

And because this is such a rare thing between them these days, as they are more preoccupied with fighting over their toys and crayons, I started to “dance” around with them. Yeah, you might call it a dance…  However my dance was to somehow keep the reflector underneath their faces and take photos at the same time while they wiggled. Well, now my smirk is even bigger!!!

HA! Speaking about skilled photographer…. 😉

Portraits inspired by Francesco Scavullo
kids photography inspired by work of Francesco Scavullo_ewa samples photography-6

And some behind the scene 😉

kids photography inspired by work of Francesco Scavullo_ewa samples photography-7

Portraits inspired by Francesco Scavullo

Do you get frustrated when you have an idea in your head, have the tools to re-create / create the idea, but then things are not working for you.

Have you ever let it go then, and start being in the moment instead.

And then somehow you end up with things even better then your initial idea.

Because as David duChemin said today in his article, “we’ll all make much better photographs if we love our photographs more then we love our tools”.

Happy Monday!

Now off I go to think about our last assignment for this workshop: Greg Gorman

What do you have planned for this week?

 

3-4_without silhuette

if you’d like to chat about your session, feel free to email to ewasamples(at)gmail.com  also, to stay on top of all kinds of specials as well as photography tips subscribe to my newsletter :

Subscribe to our mailing list

 

Lets connect on Facebook