bay area photographer

Paws for Purple Hearts Puppy Petting || Menlo Park Photographer

Did you know that being a “puppy petter” is a real thing? Well, it is!

I’ve had quite the experience in puppy petting in my life. Let me count… Amor, Rosie, Muffy, Maggie, Oreo, Ewelina, Natalia… Oh wait… the last two are my kids… However, all of my pups came with other (dirtier) responsibilities. The puppy petting I’m talking about today is different. Plus it serves an amazing purpose.

Paws for Purple Hearts, Canine-Assisted Warrior Therapy

I recently connected with a non-profit organization which trains and provides service dogs for veterans. 

Let’s travel in time to 2006. In that year Bergin University Of Canine Studies (located in Penngrove, California) with the partnership of The Menlo Park Veterans Administration Medical Center started a research program.

Why this program is so important? Because today that program is an amazing non-profit organization with 5 locations nationwide. That organization is called Paws for Purple Hearts.

A few months ago I traveled to Penngrove where PPH’s national office is located. There I met with the founder of the University, the creator of PPH, Dr. Bonnie Bergin, and the team. That was a great experience.

PPH connects veterans with highly trained service dogs. They call them champ service dogs. The organization believes golden retrievers and labradors (or a mix of those two) are the best breeds for the purpose of becoming the champ service dog.

The most amazing thing about their training program is that it involves between 40 to 60 veterans per dog. One pup can have a therapeutic impact on so many people who need it. WOW!

The puppies are born and spend most of their early puppyhood in Penngrove. After they reach a certain age, a volunteer drives them once a week to the Menlo Park location (and back) for a puppy petting event and to start their training with veterans. Now, the best part is that everybody (age 14+) can sign up to become a puppy petter. Yes, you read that right. You come and pet puppies for an entire hour, once a week. I can assure you, just that itself has therapeutic powers! Puppy petting is designed to introduce the pups to all kinds of positive stimulation around people and they need as many of us as possible. 🙂

paws for purple hearts, puppy petting, June th _ewa samples photography

It costs PPH $35k to fully train ONE service dog! Can you imagine that?

Bergin University programs are growing. PPH is only one of them. When I visited Penngrove’s team they seemed really busy with 3 different litters. One of the litters will go to PPH. It’s the one you can see in the video. The two remaining litters will go to different programs. However, with the growth, they need to increase manpower and raise money.

Simply speaking, they need as much help as they can get.

Volunteers are always needed! Same with donations. PPH’s website has detailed information about getting involved with them, so please visit and see if you can!

Maybe I’ll see you there next time.

Creativity is like a muscle || Bay Area Photographer

 

Creativity is what helps me escape a lot of my inner demons. 

Demi Lovato

 

Creativity is like muscles Self Portrait Ewa Samples Photography San Jose Photographer

I strongly believe that creativity is not a talent. I believe creativity is like a muscle. We have to exercise it in order to grow it.

We are all born with the same amount of creative potential. However, when we go through life we learn different ways of dealing with problems. In the process, we develop our creativity or we decrease it.

I believe some people are prone to be more creative than others. In other words, some people are born with specific talents and can use them without having to spend countless hours on practice. Still, talent without creativity and vision won’t take you far.

Not everybody is exposed to arts and creative ways of expressing themselves as they go through life.

I prefer when my kids spend their time painting with me than doing their homework, for example. However, I know many parents who rather send their kids to after school math classes.

I’d also prefer if there were more art in schools and less testing and scoring and chasing some kind of invisible standard or more defined ways of success in life – like being a doctor, a lawyer, a broker, or IT person.

I believe art is powerful. Participating in art making in particular. With today’s technology and easy access to art supplies, creativity is one of the best ways to invest in yourself and your potential.

This year, I’ll be investing a lot of time and effort into spreading the art. I’ll try to show you how to see this world around us in a more artistic way. I’ll give you some ideas how to express the heck out of yourself via photography, creative editing, and some mixed media techniques.

I tend to express myself a lot with self-portraits. Therefore, I’ll be using a lot of them in my tutorials and workshops. You can translate this knowledge into whatever you’re interested in. It could be nature or your kids or your pets or even architecture. Or all of it.

To create material that interests you I’d like your help. Please take a few minutes and let me know by filling out this survey. If you had the opportunity, what would you want to learn about photography wise?

Otherwise, I hope you stick around and help me develop the vision I have for using creativity in our lives. Because I have a big vision and I want to invite you to be a part of it.

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! 

Fun Family Photo Session with bubbles and other things {Family Photographer, San Jose, CA}

This was one of the most fun family photo sessions I have done so far.

Ester and her family were the winners for my full family session drawing.

After my first email, Ester wrote me back:

I quote my husband: you never win anything

I was very happy I could change it.

From the day I announced the winner they were nothing but amazing to work with. Starting from planning and coming up with ideas to simply the session itself. It was a win-win situation because not only they got a wonderful opportunity to capture their family but I got a chance to work on a very creative and laid-back session.

There were even moments where all of a sudden I have received kisses and hugs from the Lil One, and I think this was the most rewarding part of it all.

Thank you guys for this wonderful session!

 Check out those beautiful photos!

Bubbles and Fun Family Photo Session Ideas, San Jose, Los Gatos, Los Altos, Bay Area Ewa Samples Photography-8

Fun Family Photo Session Ideas, San Jose, Los Gatos, Los Altos, Bay Area Ewa Samples Photography-1

Fun Family Photo Session Ideas, San Jose, Los Gatos, Los Altos, Bay Area Ewa Samples Photography-2

Fun Family Photo Session Ideas, San Jose, Los Gatos, Los Altos, Bay Area Ewa Samples Photography-3

Fun Family Photo Session Ideas, San Jose, Los Gatos, Los Altos, Bay Area Ewa Samples Photography-4

Fun Family Photo Session Ideas, San Jose, Los Gatos, Los Altos, Bay Area Ewa Samples Photography-5

Fun Family Photo Session Ideas, San Jose, Los Gatos, Los Altos, Bay Area Ewa Samples Photography-6

Fun Family Photo Session Ideas, San Jose, Los Gatos, Los Altos, Bay Area Ewa Samples Photography-7

Fun Family Photo Session QuickSilver Almaden County Park, Ewa Samples Photography-1

Fun Family Photo Session QuickSilver Almaden County Park, Ewa Samples Photography-2

Fun Family Photo Session QuickSilver Almaden County Park, Ewa Samples Photography-3

Fun Family Photo Session San Jose, Ewa Samples Photography-1

Fun Family Photo Session, Los Gatos, Bay Area Ewa Samples Photography-1

Fun Family Photo Session, Los Gatos, Bay Area Ewa Samples Photography-2

Fun Family Photo Session, Los Gatos, Bay Area Ewa Samples Photography-3

Fun Family Photo Session, Los Gatos, Bay Area Ewa Samples Photography-4

Fun Family Photo Session, Los Gatos, Bay Area Ewa Samples Photography-5

Fun Family Photo Session, Los Gatos, Bay Area Ewa Samples Photography-6

Fun Family Photo Session, Los Gatos, Bay Area Ewa Samples Photography-7

 

1

If you’d like to schedule  session with me, please email to ewasamples(at)gmail.com 
Also, feel free to subscribe to my newsletter and in return get on an exclusive list of mini-sessions, and model calls. 

Hope to hear from you soon, 
Ewa, your Family Photographer



Dad for two {Maternity Photographer, Palo Alto, CA}

For some reason, I think I have been one lucky photographer. While I constantly learn new things about how to pose my clients, how to engage kids more, how to make dads more involved in the session, more often than not I do not have to use this knowledge with my clients. Why? Because my clients are awesome! As soon as I take my camera out they do what they are best at – they are themselves.

This maternity session was amazing. While I was preparing my gear and thinking what I want to begin with, I wasn’t paying much attention to what was going on behind me. Then I turned to get the session started and what I saw was a family already striking an awesomely funny pose. They were more ready then I was because they took me by surprise. lol

Cupertino_Family_Photographer_Ewa_Samples-3





 

1

If you’d like to schedule a session with me, please email to ewasamples(at)gmail.com 
Also, feel free to subscribe to my newsletter and in return get on an exclusive list of discounts, and model calls. 

Hope to hear from you soon, 
Ewa

Happy Halloween {Family Photographer, Los Gatos, CA}

Sometimes the best things come from unplanned and unexpected. That’s exactly how it happened yesterday. We went for a short hike mixed with location scouting. We also discovered that we have Halloween costumes in the trunk of the car. While one sister refused to dress up, the other one took advantage of having two costumes available to her… We had so much fun!

halloween_session_ideas_san_jose_bay_area_photographer_ewa_samples-1 halloween_session_ideas_san_jose_bay_area_photographer_ewa_samples-2 halloween_session_ideas_san_jose_bay_area_photographer_ewa_samples-3 halloween_session_ideas_san_jose_bay_area_photographer_ewa_samples-4 halloween_session_Mountain_View_cupertino_photographer_ewa_samples-3 halloween_session_Mountain_View_Los_Gatos_photographer_ewa_samples-3 halloween_session_with_kids_Los_Gatos_bay_area_photographer_ewa_samples-1 halloween_session_with_kids_Los_Gatos_cupertino_photographer_ewa_samples-2 halloween_session_with_kids_Los_Gatos_cupertino_photographer_ewa_samples-3 halloween_session_with_kids_Mountain_View_cupertino_photographer_ewa_samples-1 halloween_session_with_kids_Mountain_View_cupertino_photographer_ewa_samples-2

1

If you’d like to schedule a session with me, please email to ewasamples(at)gmail.com 
Also, feel free to subscribe to my newsletter and in return get on an exclusive list of discounts, and model calls. 

Hope to hear from you soon, 
Ewa

Au Pair in San Francisco {Portrait Photography, San Jose, CA}

Right after her first email, I got crazy excited about this session. Being an Au Pair is a topic close to my heart.

This brave young lady, one day, decided that for a while, she would want to live in America. She left her home country not knowing how to speak English what-so-ever. She dreams big and she follows her dreams. One of them was to have a professional session done in the city of San Francisco. Why didn’t I think of that when I was an Au Pair 🙂

In one afternoon we’d visited many places, as well as missed many. There is just too much to see in one day. Not to mention to pose in front of this deeply in love in SF photographer. If I could I would probably stay in one spot way longer that just 30 minutes. That’s why we are already talking about having another session done in spots that we had missed! Can’t wait D. !!!

san_francisco_portrait_session_ewa_samples_photography 11

The first minute we met, she said, she is as excited as she is scared. In her mind she is not photogenic nor pretty. Can you believe that? I hope she thinks differently after this session!!! 🙂

san_francisco_portrait_session_ewa_samples_photography 13 san_francisco_portrait_session_ewa_samples_photography 10 san_francisco_portrait_session_ewa_samples_photography 14 san_francisco_portrait_session_ewa_samples_photography 8 san_francisco_portrait_session_ewa_samples_photography 12 san_francisco_portrait_session_ewa_samples_photography 7 san_francisco_portrait_session_ewa_samples_photography 9 san_francisco_portrait_session_ewa_samples_photography 1 san_francisco_portrait_session_ewa_samples_photography 2 san_francisco_portrait_session_ewa_samples_photography 3 san_francisco_portrait_session_ewa_samples_photography 4 san_francisco_portrait_session_ewa_samples_photography 5 san_francisco_portrait_session_ewa_samples_photography 6

san_francisco_portrait_session_ewa_samples_photography

1

If you’d like to schedule a session with me, please call (408) 882 7438 or email at ewasamples(at)gmail.com 
Also, feel free to subscribe to my newsletter and in return get on an exclusive list of discounts, and model calls. 

Hope to hear from you soon, 
Ewa

The Miracle Of Life {Newborn and Maternity Photographer, San Jose, CA}

maternity_fall_session_bay_area_san_jose_cupertino_family_photography_ewa_samples_1

Some of the best things that happen to photographers are “coming back” clients. They make us feel wonderful. The other thing that makes us feel wonderful is to be able to watch them grow as a family. Pregnant mom hugging her newborn treasure. Newborn becoming a running away from you toddler, and all that in front of your camera. How cool is that?

Very recently I had the chance to experience the warm fuzzy feeling those kind of sessions bring.

First we met for a maternity session, and way before out session I was warned about the soon-to-be a Big Brother not liking to be photographed. To a great surprise of his parents he endured the session like a pro.

maternity_fall_session_bay_area_san_jose_cupertino_family_photography_ewa_samples_3

maternity_fall_session_bay_area_san_jose_cupertino_family_photography_ewa_samples_2
maternity_fall_session_bay_area_san_jose_cupertino_family_photography_ewa_samples

Few months later I met them again, richer in one family member. What a sweet and full of sleep Prince he was.

family_session_bay_area_san_jose_cupertino_family_photography_ewa_samples_1
newborn_session_bay_area_san_jose_cupertino_family_photography_ewa_samples_1

newborn_session_bay_area_san_jose_cupertino_family_photography_ewa_samples_2
newborn_maternity_combo_session_bay_area_san_jose_cupertino_family_photography_ewa_samples
Thank you Manja and Chad for letting me be a part of your growing family this year!

Happy 1st B-day {Cake Smash Session, Mountain View, CA}

cake smash-1

What could be a better way to celebrate my first year in business if not this session. As I was starting, a little confused, scared of what the future will bring, and scared of every single session I went to, I got nothing but encouragement from all my first clients. This family wasn’t any different! When I met this little guy for the first time he was only 4 days old, and he was the most calm and sleeping through the entire session baby – a newborn all newborn photographers hope for when they go to a session like that.

This time I met him for his 1st b-day. It was sweet and unbelievably cute. So many times during the session I just wanted to stop and hug this little guy!!!

HAPPY B- DAY N. 

1st_b_day_cake_smash_bay_area_photographer_ewa_samples1st_b_day_cake_smash_san_jose_photographer_ewa_samples1st_b_day_cake_smash_mountain_view_photographer_ewa_samples

1st_b_day_cake_smash_cupertino_california_photographer_ewa_samples

Family Photo Session {Family Photography, San Jose, CA}

During this session I felt like I was in a private “pump it up” kind of party. There was a lot of jumping, ball throwing, jumping, and more jumping and…
…. and have I mentioned there was a lot of jumping? I felt like my camera is going to burn down. At the end we had a chance to watch a beautiful sunset.

ewa samples portfolio (94 of 1)

 Of course, I could not pass the big mirror and some reflection shots!!! I love the way kids interact with mirrors. True bliss.

family_playing_on_the_bed_photo_session_ewa_samples_bay_area_family_photographer
family_mom_with_sons_ewa_samples_bay_area_family_photographer
family_photo_session_ewa_samples_bay_area_family_photographer
family_portrait_photo_session_ewa_samples_bay_area_family_photographer
jumping_on_the_bed_picture_ewa_samples_bay_area_family_photographer

Beautiful Family in a Beautiful Gardens {Family Photography, San Jose, CA}

The session was nothing but fun. We had hats, neck ties, lolipops and bubbles, only our balloons flew away before we started shooting. We had quite fun time running around this wonderful place (Elisabeth Gamble Gardens in Palo Alto).

ewa samples portfolio (101 of 1)
Having two girls myself I always wonder (mostly after a session with boys involved) how would that be to have boys. Gosh, they can tired you out…

family_photo_session_gardens_palo_alto_bay_area_ewa_samples
family_photo_session_gardens_palo_alto_bay_area_ewa_samples_3
family_photo_session_gardens_palo_alto_bay_area_ewa_samples_1