Mother’s Day Gifts Ideas

Fun in a creek || Saratoga Family Photographer

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

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

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

Halloween Family Session

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

sat on a flower swing made by H & J Flowers

mother's day mini session

and laid in the tall, green grass.

 

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

Annual Membership to Ewa Samples Photography

 

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

and some pictures, as usual!

 

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

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

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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

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.

With all that being said, beach can be foggy even at 11am. But I can work with that:

Beach can be cold.

That’s why you do the session while the weather is PERFECT for it. It means summer and early Fall.

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.

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 Watsonville. And each year I’m broadening the portfolio into more and more beaches and I’m always open to any suggestion of great locations. So if you have any, I’m all ears.

 

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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Portrait of a Stranger. Week 13

For the week 13th of my “Portrait of a stranger” challenge, I took pictures of not one person, but several of them. It’s a funny story how that happened. And again, as with the Santa Clara County Park Ranger, they were spotted by my husband and I was thrown in a group of leather covered bikers. 🏍👊🏻

portrait of a stranger
On that weekend I was doing sessions with this beautiful flower decorated swing.

As we were packing to go home, I heard the rumble of a huge group of motorcycles approaching. Few minutes later the picnic area filled up with leather jackets and lively conversation.

While I kept saying, “No. No. No.” my husband already was telling them about my project. So there… I had no other choice, well, beside running away. 😅

When the ladies from the group saw the swing hanging from the tree they were amazed by it. Each of them, one by one, jumped on it.

As you could see we even got one husband in the frame.

As we were leaving we talked briefly about this project, and I explained why I do it. When I mentioned I do it to become more comfortable with talking to people, one of them said: “talking is the easy part”. I think, what she said will stay with me for a long time. Because talking to people is not easy. Not for me.

And before you leave:

The flower swing will be there, with a green, lush grass for your kids to roll on, and trees to climb on.

If you have an interesting story to tell with your life, let me know. Maybe we can create wonderful memories with the story shining through, for you and your family.

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What is the best season for family pictures

Today I’d like to talk about something very important when it comes to planning your session. I feel like often people think the best season for family pictures is Fall. In this post I’ll show you how particular locations change with seasons.

How to plan your photo session based on the knowledge about the seasonal changes in nature (photo locations) in our area. 

In California, the Spring starts early. When most of the country experiences their first blooms, our blooming trees are already in the next phase. Most of the country has longer lasting green grass. We start to loose it around May. Our grass turns brown pretty early. When it comes to Fall, it also doesn’t last long.  The rain starts, and it’s hard to plan anything if you’re not willing to have fun in the rain, or your kids are too small for getting a little wet.

So, what is the best season for family pictures?

(This post is my personal opinion) 

best season for family pictures_ewa samples photography_san jose

The same location. The same spot. A tad different angle.

1. Locations look the best in Spring. (in my humble opinion)

In my opinion it’s Spring, which means right now. We are actually getting close to the blooming season. So, if you’d like session in beautiful orchards you better contact your favorite photographer and ask him/her to squeeze you for a session within the next 3 weeks.

Often, people don’t want to do their sessions in Spring because they think it’s too early in the year, and they want to wait. However, later in the year, it’s hard to find lush green hills and fields. The only green places are public parks, surrounded by suburban homes, and play structures, and crowded with people. With all that it’s hard to get beautiful images with nothing distracting in the background, without a heavy photoshop work (which in my case, and the case of other photographers costs extra).

As a professional I do know locations that have blooms all year long, or green grass for that matter. There isn’t many of those and they are most likely filled with other families and their photographers, which is not always the most relaxing and pleasant experience. 

2. The weather is gorgeous in Spring.

In Spring the sunset is around 7 pm (before the daylight savings time it’s 6 pm and earlier), so if you have small kids who have an early “nigh nigh” schedule, the current season is the way to go.

It’s getting warm enough for lighter clothes. Still, not overwhelming hot for kids and parents, or grandparents.

3. Your favorite photographer is not crazy busy in Spring.

You might not know, but most photographers (as well as other business owners), call the time after Christmas a dry season.

 People go on vacation.

People are recovering from all the Christmas expenses.

People think it’s too cold or there isn’t any good place to take photos in February (WRONG!)

Whatever the reason, choosing a session in February, March or April means you will have more dates to choose from (that’s my guess, of course, based on my own business).

The later in the year, the more busy photography business becomes. Fall is the worst! Often you will have to work around the photographer’s busy schedule not the other way around.

4. The late morning or mid-day sessions have prettier results (Spring vs Summer).

Knowing how hard it is to work around the schedule of my clients’ Little Ones, I am always available to do sessions in mid-day. Many photographers don’t do that because they do not work with mid-day light. (won’t go into the reasons, as each photographer has different).

Of course, the results of a late morning or mid-day sessions are different from sunset sessions (so called golden hour sessions). But because the sun is not so overwhelming and often the sky is covered with clouds in Spring, the mid-day sessions seems to be very pretty. (in my opinion!)

5. Occasional rain means you have to be ready to be spontaneous with the date of your session. 

If you’re one of those people who have to have everything planned 2 months ahead, session in Spring might not be the best way to go. Since we’re still getting some rain now and then, scheduled dates are never certain. As much as doing sessions in the rain is adventurous and fun, I know that not everybody enjoys it as much as I do.

Here is a visual calendar for whole year of locations

January – Rain, and cold (mostly in home sessions)

That doesn’t mean they have to be gloomy and boring 😉

 

San Jose Kids Portrait Photographer inspired by Gregory Heisler-7

san jose kids photographer colorful and fun studio

Bay are Portrait Photographer-1

Spring

February 

best season for family pictures

 

 

March:

uvas reservoir-ewa-samples-photography

san jose family photographer, ewa samples photography-1

If you lucky and ready to get up and run for the session as soon as you get my text, you will be able to have session in the blooming orchards with second bloom of mustard flowers – that doesn’t happen often and when it does it lasts for a very short time

san jose family photographer, ewa samples photography-12

April

Mommy and me _ family photographer san jose

san_jose_mother_daughter_photography_ewa_samples-1

Same location as the mustard flowers with my Little One dancing in the picture

 

san jose mother's day session_ewa samples photography

Early April (same location as the examples from Fall)

 

and the same tree several moths later:

Let’s go back to March/April

Late April, the same location as the yellow mustard flowers!!!

May

mommy and me sessions in san jose-1

B-day photo shoot san jose ewa samples photography

 

Summer

June / July / August

kids photographer gilroy

This is the same location as the Mother’s Day photo shoot with the heart on the tree (Mom and two daughters) – exactly the same hill just a different angle

Fall

September / October

golden hour maternity session san jose ewa samples photography-21

This is the same location as the Mother’s Day photo shoot with the heart on the tree (Mom and two daughters) – exactly the same hill just different angle

 

Exactly the same location as the maternity shoot above, just two weeks later

 

Same location as the photo above

Kids Photographer San Jose

Occasional Rain

 

Winter

November / December

stanford family portrait photographer, ewa samples photography

fun kids pictures in the rain san jose california

 

Now, most of the locations I’ve shown you in this post are secluded from public and crowds. I do like, and always highly recommend picking locations that don’t have anything that would distract kids (like the playground). If your goal is to have SUPER LIFESTYLE session with playtime documented, then the playground is definitely okey.

As one of my clients pointed out to me when I told her about the idea of this post, I was able to find a lush, green location for her in July. However, this was a public park, and during our session, we had people with their kids approaching us to play with our bubbles until we had to tell them to stop doing it.

best season for family session

 

So, this is why I try to avoid public parks as often as I can. With suburban homes and bathrooms and playground structures, it’s pretty hard to create a beautiful image without distracting things in the background.

This is why I spend countless hours on locations scouting. This is why I carefully pick my locations I recommend to my clients.

In my opinion best season for family pictures is Spring. As you might have noticed scrolling through the Spring locations provided in this post, the possibilities are amazing, colorful, and so vibrant. However, I know that each season has it’s own unique beauty.

The important thing is to be aware of what you want and what you like. It is also very important to communicate to your photographer the vision you have for your session. During all the years of my work I’ve found out that people who clearly state what they want, what is their vision for the session are more likely to be very happy with what I create for them.

If you like me, and see beauty in each season. I have the right solution for you:

Sign up for my membership and get access to up to 4 mini-sessions (or 2 full sessions) within 12 months from signing up:

 

 

FOR LUSH AND GREEN SESSION sign up for

The location is just gorgeous right now. Check it out here!!

If you still don’t believe me, go to my FB and check out the last several sneak-peeks from my very recent sessions. It just couldn’t be any greener. The sessions right now, are simply stunning! FUN for the kids, because they can run barefoot! Roll in the grass. With the light being so gorgeous in Spring, it really doesn’t what time of the day you have your session done.

 

If you’d like to receive special offers, interesting blog posts, youtube tutorials straight to your email, feel free to sign to my newsletter. And let’s chat about your dream session:

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Valentine’s Day Crafts

For weeks my kids had been so excited for this event hosted by our local library. Since we found out about the Valentine’s Day Crafts for kids my younger daughter kept asking, “is it February 7th yet?”, almost every day. My older daughter can read the calendar now, so she was counting down the days, which was pretty funny.

Valentine's Day Crafts

Our library in Morgan Hill did an awesome job in preparing everything for the kids.

When my kids entered the room, they were invited to get whatever they wanted from a long table filled with cut shapes, stickers, scrapbook paper and stamps. The girls took only one or two things, thinking they have to pick ONE THING from the abundance of fun stuff laying on the table. Until I appoach them and told them they can take whatever they want (of course with some limits, right?). You should see how their faces lit up.

On the small tables all the kids were sitting and finishing their Valentine’s Day Crafts there were additional fun things available for the to use. One of the moms said, “gosh, this is great! and I don’t have to clean up after all“. I thought the same thing. And having all the stuff accesible to the kids was also great.

I loved it and the kids loved it even more. We have already put on my calendar another event: ROCK PAINTING.

My kids are total freaks when it comes to collecting rocks, so this is going to be an awesome event, I can feel it already 🙂 Not thrilled about new rocks coming home with us, but oh well…

I highly recommend checking out your local library for their free events for kids. I always get a brochure from them with the whole month’s events listed on them. You can probably check their website as well, or call them. 🙂

And if you’re free this weekend I have a great event for you. Valentine’s Day Mini-Sessions slash Portrait Playdate (which is more accurate way to describe it). Hit the link to see what’s it all about.

Also hit my Facebook page to see how you can win a photo session with me just by participating in the upcoming playdate!

Hope to see you there!

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

 

 

Why you shouldn’t skip Maternity Portraits Session

Doing Maternity Portraits Session might not seem like the best idea when you don’t feel like doing anything else but munch on pickles and chocolate…

However… I’ve spoke and worked with so many mamas, sad and disappointed, because of this one decision. Especially new mamas. The changes that happen in a woman’s body during her pregnancy are not always the most pleasurable. Lets admit that. Every woman is different and each of us goes through and experience pregnancy differently.

maternity portraits

However… These changes, later in woman’s life will be the most precious discussion starters with the little ones. I’ve experienced that first handed.

I used to have few of my pregnancy pictures showcased on our walls. My kids would talk about them all the time. The dissuasions they were having were simply priceless.

It’s also so wonderful to be able to look back at those days. To look back through beautiful photographs of your growing family. Pregnancy is a big part in this process, and you really shouldn’t skip documenting it.

Find the right photographer. There is plenty of fish in the sea these days. You can find someone whose style you truly like and with whom you’d like to work on documenting those precious fleeting moments. Don’t pick your husband. PLEASE! Don’t say, you can do your own documenting because it’s really not the same.

Treat yourself to something special, because you deserve it. Within a few months your life will turn upside down, and you think you feel tired now… Wait… Just wait till the lil one gets here. You think, you don’t look (and feel) beautiful enough while being pregnant… Wait… Just wait till you barely have the time to get in the shower ONCE A WEEK.

Because of the different experiences in how we go through our pregnancies, I would highly recommend not to wait till the very end to create your maternity portraits. I know, that often women are advised to wait till their last 2 months to do the session because of the very big belly and dramatic look it helps to create.

However, if you see your belly growing enough for being noticeable pregnant, go for it right then…  If your pregnancy is especially difficult and uncomfortable do it as soon as you can, too. Especially if you’re on the edge of not being sure about the whole thing. In my case, the last two months of my both pregnancies I wanted nothing but pickles washed down with Sprite, fuzzy warm socks on my feet and a good tv show. I looked nothing like this gorgeous mama I worked with two months ago, but I was lucky enough to have a photographer friend who took some wonderful images of my pregnant self, and I cherish those pictures to these days.

Now off I go to finish working on this gorgeous family’s newborn video, and a new post from their newborn session. And it’s all just precious!!!

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San Jose Portrait Mini-Session and the most gorgeous light!

This San Jose Portrait Mini-Session had the most gorgeous light!

but that’s not enough. That is never enough.

The light is quite a big part of a successful session. However, if the people I work with come with the open and relaxed attitude that moves the light to a second place.

Since the beginning of my business, Caroline and her family have been updating her family pictures with me regularly. Every single year we meet during our sessions and chat about photography and our kids. I always get crazy over her hair, and she is like, “well, look at your daughter’s hair, JUST WOW”. And we go on and on the entire session 😉

San Jose Portrait Mini-Session

C. is always full of praises about my older daughter’s hair, however, look at what she has herself!!! It’s just breathtaking. She comes to the session in a bun, and I always say, “please let the hair down!!!” From each session with her I come home with a bunch of new shots I immediately add to my portfolio, and to the folder with pictures to use on my new business cards.

Our last session could be probably done in 10 minutes, but we spent most of the time chatting while the kids played. She finally got to meet my Little Ones in person, and the kids immediately made friends. This was the cutest thing ever.

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In the future, if you’d like to receive special offers straight to your phone before anybody else, feel free to sign to my newsletter, and get the mobile app:

 

 

Portrait Playdate with San Jose Family Portrait Photographer – Event

You are invited to join Portrait Playdate with San Jose Family Portrait | Maternity | Breastfeeding | Headshot photographer, Ewa Samples. The even is happening in Saratoga, California in a very quiet park. The park has playground structures, a creek and a meadow. Plenty of room for relaxed socializing and pictures taking. 🙂

portrait playdate with San Jose Family Portrait Photographer

Stop by Wildwood Park in Saratoga on Thursday, September 8th and enjoy mommy and me time in great company. During this playdate moms will have a chance to socialize. Kids will play and entertain themselves (and us). We will tire them out, so they will be definitely ready for a long and well deserved nap.

What’s most important, we will CREATE WONDERFUL MEMORIES for all the participants to cherish forever. 

 portrait playdate with San Jose Family Portrait Photographer

In very relaxed and laid back atmosphere moms won’t even realize they are having a professional session done.

Portrait Playdate with Ewa Samples Photography is a perfect way to socialize, relax, make new friends, and maybe business connections while having a professional portraits done.

To join the playdate, please RSVP to the Facebook event, so I know how many people are coming. While you there, sign up for Ewa Samples Events to be notified about upcoming playdates and other fun events. To get the feel about the portrait playdate watch a sneak-peek from our last event.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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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 :

 

Spring Mini-Session San Jose Cupertino

Spring Mini-Session in San Jose and Cupertino area sounds very intriquing. I’m already making a list of places I want to go to, and shoot like RIGHT NOW! Well, maybe not right now, as it’s raining. But tomorrow!!! Definitely! Already charging my batteries…

spring mini session, san jose family photographer-6

There is so much beautiful things blooming, the world is so green… Gosh, I’ve been locked in my garage studio for way too long. I have emerged very recently to notice how the world around my has changed… And now I’m going crazy. I’ve already scheduled to sessions for this week, and I want more!!!

I could not resist of some “mommy and me” pictures. The kids grow so fast, and their attitude towards being hugged, giving hugs and being in front of the camera changes a lot. It’s getting harder and harder to get the real emotions from them. They used to not even notice the camera, these days, I can see their behavior changing as soon as I point the camera at them. It’s cute, but it’s different. So, I jump in front of the camera with them every chance I get. Because someday, that also might change…

I encourage you to do the same! Those years fly by so fast, and you don’t want to miss them. And at some point of your life photographs will be the only things to remind you and your Little Ones of the beautiful past you shared.

Click here for more details on Spring Minis

So, I’m thinking, short and sweet. With flowers, bubbles, and fabric tents… Simply shot me an email if you’re interested. Even better sign up to my newsletter to never miss any special offers from me.
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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 :

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Celebrate Yourself with Bay Area Portrait Photographer (or by yourself) ;)

I call this project “Celebrate Yourself”, and it’s a part of my creative portrait photography journey, which I plan to evolve into something fun, and a little different then ordinary portrait photography.

Women_creative_portrait_ewa_samples_photography-1

In this case, I think, it was more about celebrating myself and getting my idea out of my head, more then the subject celebrating herself. You can’t tell but she was freezing in there and all she wanted was a hot tea and a warm sweater.

Deep inside, my dear friend Iryna thinks, what I did to her on that day was a revenge for all the times I had to pose for her. Well, I didn’t have to but this is what friends are for, right?

For me, this project turned out to be a fun experiment. Not only artistically, but personally.

For me, this project was never meant to be in black and white, you know, like converting the whole picture into a black and white photograph.

I know that for most people it would make more sense. But it’s not about making sense, it’s about being true to oneself. Life doesn’t make sense most of the time. And things are never perfect, no matter how hard we try. And this was not about creating something perfect. It was about creating something that speaks me to myself (it that makes any sense).

Showcasing one of those pictures here and there I’ve already received some comments on how I could improve the image by converting it into black and white, or making the background less significant. Well, that’s not going to happen. Just saying.

celebrate_yourself_bay_area_portrait_photographer

In today’s society, people are very easy on giving you advices on how to improve anything in your life, even if they were not asked to do so. And that’s ok. Take it with a smile and move on. Say, “thank you, but, no, thank you” and do things your way. I think, the “super talent” of ignoring others opinion about oneself comes with age, though.

Whenever we get stuff out to the public we are judged, and people are very eager to give us their opinion (doesn’t matter if we asked them for it or not). We have few choices:

  • we can do what we think people expect us to do, and not be criticized for doing something unexpected and different.
  • we can stop doing anything from the fear of being intimidated by people and their opinions about our work.
  • we can be ourselves and have this attitude: “world’s opinion of me is none of my business”

My own decision is to start carrying less about what people think of me, and more about what I think of myself and how I want to feel doing things I love.

It feels good, and I wish I had this ability earlier in my life.

celebrate yourself bay area portrait photographer-2

How about you?

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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 :

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Breastfeeding Portraits for La Leche League South Bay { San Jose Portrait and Family Photographer, CA}

Few weeks ago I was invited to participate in an amazing event organized by La Leche League South Bay – Annual Potluck “Live, Love, Latch”. I had such a wonderful time taking portraits of those beautiful breastfeeding mammas!

I was the photographer and the videographer in one! It was pretty tricky but I managed. I just simply couldn’t pass on this awesome opportunity to create memories from this event for myself !

 

enjoy your beautiful day
Ewa

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My Most Important Action during the next 15 days {Day 2 of the 15 Day Blog Challenge}

For Day 2 of our 15 Day Blog Challenge we are to describe ONE most important action we will focus on during the next 15 days. Well, mine is quite clear. It is to deliver the awesomeness of breastfeeding portraits to all the mammas who participated in last Sunday mini-sessions. The event was organized by La Leche League USA and I partnered with LLL South Bay and donated 2 hours of mini-sessions to this project. I had 8 mammas in front of my camera that day and it was wonderful.

breastfeeding mini-session, ewa samples photography-1

There will be also a short and sweet movie from the mini-sessions and I can’t wait to put it together. So, yes, not like yesterday, today is short, because I have to get back to editing.

Ewa



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