Women Photography

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Anniversary Family Session Castello Di Amorosa Calistoga || Bay Area Photographer

When things got bad at Calistoga a few weeks ago, all I could think about was this sweet anniversary family session at Castello Di Amorosa.

Anniversary Family Session Castello Di Amorosa Bay Area Photographer

Last year, when one of my very dear clients purchased a membership to Ewa Samples Photography, they said they want to use one of the sessions as their anniversary celebration. They wanted to do it in a special location!

We looked at locations within or very close to the Bay Area. We brainstormed for days. Each time we found something that they were happy to consider however there was another problem: did we want to pay hundreds of dollars of shooting permits on their grounds?

Was it worth it? – we thought.

Can we find something better? – yes, we knew we can.

So… the research continued.

As the research went on the proximity from the Bay Area grew bigger and bigger. Until we found just the spot.

Castello Di Amorosa in Calistoga

 

(this post is mixed with some iPhone shots of our family trip I made out of this session. Because I couldn’t just leave my kiddos behind when I was going to visit a CASTLE!) 

Castello Di Amorosa Ewa Samples Photography

Calistoga Castello Di Amorosa Ewa Samples Photography

Calistoga Castello Di Amorosa Ewa Samples Photography

 

This place looked perfect. My clients thought the same thing. We knew we found the spot. They did not charge for shooting permits which was an extra plus. The only charges were to buy a ticket to get in. 

I booked a cute Airbnb cabin and in March 2019 we were off for a great adventure. Our cabin was in Santa Rosa without Internet or TV and I LOVED IT! We spent the entire weekend exploring the property we stayed at, playing board games, cooking some delicious breakfasts, and visiting downtown Calistoga.

Calistoga Castello Di Amorosa Ewa Samples Photography

 

castello di amorosa ewa samples photography

 

 

For the Castello Di Amorosa, well, the place looked a little different in person. Smaller and VERY crowded. When I say “VERY crowded” I mean like elbowing people around you while trying to pass them in the narrow castle passages. Oh… the good old days when being in a crowded place was allowed… Hahaha…

crowded Castello di Amorosa

As you look through my clients’ pictures (the slideshow below) you probably won’t believe me. However, in reality, I had to use all the magic of “the right angle” during this session. I went down, and left and right and “block” people with my clients so you can’t see them in the background, and more… My back was really hurting after this session because I’d put in a lot of workout during it. But it was well worth it!

The memories are spectacular and I will always think about this session as something special. Not every day I book sessions which give me the opportunity to travel to very cool places.

Today Castello di Amorosa is recovering from 5 million dollars of loss in wine due to the recent Glass Fire and I wish them all the best in their speedy recovery.

Yellow Flowers Mini Sessions

Family Picture with a springer spaniel

A few weeks ago I set a new picture as my desktop background. A picture very special to my heart. My 3 girls and I – my daughters and my old lady Di (it’s the picture you see above). On the day I took it we already knew we have only a few days left with the old lady and my heart was already broken. She was my everything. My best friend. My companion and the only baby sitter of my kids I ever had.

On that day I put my nice shoes on and we went to the park to celebrate. Celebrate us and our time together. My sweet, old lady is gone and has been for many years now, but she will be in my heart for a lifetime.

I love looking at all the memories we made together. All the moments captured forever.

11 months ago I decided to add another four-legged family member because one heartbreak is not enough, I guess. Rambunctious Oreo. He even has his own Instagram, btw.

This past weekend I made an extra effort to celebrate him and my girls. Us together. Our time, the way we play. The way we hug. The way we love each other.

I know, someday these moments will bring tears to my eyes, just like all the memories of Lady Di. But that’s how it all goes.

So, now is your turn to make memories of the special hugs and kisses and playful moments engraved in your heart forever. The mustard flowers are popping up and it’s the perfect time to celebrate.

Let’s celebrate in joyful YELLOW FLOWERS that are popping out already!

Yellow Flowers Mini Sessions Mustard Flowers San Jose Photographer

 

Celebrate whatever you want.
Celebrate Yourself.
Celebrate Your family.
Celebrate Your best friend: A human, a dog or a guinea pig.

Just celebrate!

Because the perfect time is now. 

In the past, I had clients celebrating Breastfeeding moments perfectly hidden in the tall flowers or proudly standing in the joyful yellows!

I had pregnant mamas and a lot of families just having fun!

And this year, it’s your turn!

The fields don’t last long so book your session ASAP! 

 

Ewa

 

Get outstanding Fall family pictures this year || Family Photographer, Morgan Hill, CA

It’s that time of the year, can you feel it!? I can! It’s time to get your Fall family pictures done!!! Oh, yes!!! I’m so excited for this Fall.

The season is in full blast, and I’m almost completely booked in October. That makes my heart sing because it means that so many families trusted me with their family portraits again! I just want to put exclamation marks at the end of almost every single sentence in this post because I’m just that excited!!! And honestly, I don’t get excited that easily.

Fall MINI SESSIONS November 9th Limited spots!!! $399 All images (1)

The location for this mini session is absolutely gorgeous. There is variety of beautiful backgrounds. All my clients who have had sessions with me there were always very happy with the images we created there.

If you’re interested in Fall mini sessions with me please follow this link and choose November 9th as your session date. After you pick your date and your time slot I’ll contact you personally to go over the details of your session.

You’re going to receive recommendations on how to prepare for your session, what to wear and simply what to expect when working with me.

 

If you’d like me to create for you outstanding Fall family portraits let’s connect!!! 

Even better, sign up for the membership to Ewa Samples Photography, so you won’t have to miss on any photo opportunities throughout the entire year. 

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If membership is not for you simply get on my newsletter list so you’re always up to date about any specials, model calls and events (like workshops) I run through the year! 

Spring Mini Sessions. Lost yourself in flowers! {San Jose Family Photographer}

SPRING MINI SESSIONS ARE HERE!

 

Do you feel Spring in the air? Or it’s just me?

I kid you not, I get outside and I can smell Spring. Like literally I can smell it. Fresh, juicy green grass. The refreshing air after the rain. The birds chirping. 

san_jose_breastfeeding_photographer_Ewa_samples_Photography

This weather we’re having right now reminds me of Summer rain in Poland. Well, a little warmer Summer rain.

Anywho, the rain and than the warmth means only one thing in here… It’s time to scout mustard flowers locations…

And that’s exactly what I did this week, and I’m excited to announce MUSTARD FLOWERS MINIS… (follow the link to read the details and see some breathtaking mustard flowers images from past years)

Spots available on February 22nd, 23rd and 24th

BOOK YOUR SESSION TODAY!

 

To stay on top of all the events and specials I run through the year sign up for my newsletter. Some of them do not go public so it’s always great to be on that list and get all the exclusive offers. Plus I’m planning to release lots of tutorials and educational materials this year. If you on my list you’re going to be one of the very first ones to hear about them. Test them. Benefit from them and be inspired by them if you on that list! 

Mom and Me Beach Sessions || San Jose Photographer

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

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

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

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

I encourage all moms to jump on board.

Why?

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

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

strong mother portrait_beach session_ewa samples photography-28

 

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

[instagram-feed]

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

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

Happy listening.

Let’s hop to the beach someday!

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

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

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

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

HOW this session STARTED

1st birthday cake smash, Almaden, San Jose

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

So here we go…

 

The rest of the story

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

Halloween Mini-Session || San Jose Family Photographer

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.

halloween mini-session, san jose, morgan hill, ewa samples photography

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.

Halloween Mini-Sessions Ewa Samples Photography

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:

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Family session videography || San Jose Family Videographer

With the time during which I’ve been pursuing my passion in photography and the values I offer in the communities around me, I’ve discovered another passion. If you look around my website, you’ll see quite a few videos. So, you can probably guess.

Videography while doing family, or any other kind of photography session.

Family session videography San Jose Morgan Hill Family Videographer

I’ve been providing video clips from family session since 2015 (if I’m not mistaken, haha), however I never really took the time to talk about it and to introduce it the proper way.

Videography services for families who care about documenting the precious & too fast fleeting moments in a medium that captures movement and sound…

Can you imagine to be able access the sweet voice of your little one laughing, and jumping and making silly faces in 10 or 20 years!

All of that while YOU are in the video, as well!?!? This is something, that’s a little different that the still photographs. And I know you might not feel like you want to be in a video. I know you might even think, being a part of a photo session is a stretch already.

As scary as it might sound, it actually is super fun. You don’t even feel like the video is being done. I do at the same time as I take pictures. Often I mix the images, the video, and carefully picked piece of music to create piece of memory you will LOVE.

The video is happening at the same time as the regular photo session, so there’s no need to panic, fake it, run away!

You will LOVE it and CHERISH it for the rest of your life. Not to mention the amazing memories your kids are going to be able to share with their kids and your grandchildren. 

One of my very favorite videos I made is the breastfeeding one.

You should see my daughter reacting to the video I made for her during our mom-daughter photo shoot. My private Pippi Longstocking…

For more examples of my videography work you can jump to:

For more information about pricing head over to the Investment / Photography page.

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

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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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Basic yoga stretching to wake you up!

First note before you go any further: the basic yoga stretching short video below is not a tutorial. I do not teach yoga. I’m mostly self-taughed. I’ve been practicing yoga as my main exercising routine since I was in my early 20ties. I have learned most of what I know and can do from books, and basic yoga classes.

basic yoga stretching

This stretching routine has been a base for my daily exercising for years. Sometimes I add more poses to it, or stay in the positions for longer to build strength. Sometimes I just want a quick stretch to wake up and be ready to tackle what the day has ready for me.

Yoga has been a huge part of my life. And I’m not sure why I didn’t mention yoga in my previous post. But because I didn’t, now is the perfect time to make up for it.

I know I’m not perfect in it. It doesn’t matter, though. The beauty in yoga is that it grows with you, and it adjusts to your level of flexibility and strengths.

First of all, I think (and it’s really only my opinion), yoga had saved my life. (bicycle accident with many, many cracked vertebrae).

Then,

yoga helped me_ewa samples photography
Now, yoga is my first resource I go to when my body and my mind is feeling bleh…

I also do this basic yoga stretch when my back is feeling sore from hours of sitting in front of the computer. As much as I love editing pictures, my back really dislikes it. Especially while having some issues from the past.

This basic yoga stretching routine is easy to adjust to your own skills and the level of your flexibility. Believe me when I tell you that years and years ago I was not able to stretch to the level I can today. It takes time and practice.

How about you?

let me photograph your passion

 

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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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Our new family members, and how they got here. Stranger Challenge, week 12

I’m two weeks behind with posting about my 52 Stranger Challenge. So, I’m getting back to work and catching up. My super awesome stranger from week 12th was Beate. She has delivered to us our two new family members: Jitterbug and Muffy.

My husband met them both two weeks prior to their arrival back in Virginia. And yes, Beate from B’s Pet Delivery drove our four leg buddies from Virginia. Not to mention other places she was heading too, or going from.

new family members

She was on schedule an eager to hit the road as her fella pets on the back were not as patient as she was. However, she stayed long enough to have a friendly chat with us about her business. Of course, I had to ask her if she was ever hurt by any of the animal she transports, and of course, her answer was yes.

She was totally surprised when I asked her to model for me, and despite the fact that she was tired after days and days of driving across the country, she did awesome.

She told us, she works 3 weeks (3 weeks on the road driving), and then she takes 3 weeks off. She has visited almost all the states in America. She doesn’t have much time to “visit” the places she stops at, but it didn’t seem to bother her. She just loves what she does the way she does it 😀 What I totally get!

So, thank you so much Beate for safely delivering our new family members. They have already adjusted to us quite a bit, and we already see their cute personalities shining through.

Meet Jitterbug and Muffy:

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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