family photography

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. 😉

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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.

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mariposa california

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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.

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visiting mariposa california

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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.

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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!

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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. 🙂

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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.

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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

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Seeing waterfall for the first time:

Midpines Yosemite Falls Family Camping Trip

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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.

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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. 😉

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

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and some randomness:

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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.

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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.

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“Mrs.AOK,

How to look beautiful, comfortable and confident during a family photo session

In my opinion, there are as many ideas of how to dress for a family session, as many family photographers are out there.

I’m ok with using patterns while some photographers try to discourage from doing so. I’m ok with mismatching and not coordinating although I know, that many photographers have different opinion about it. And that’s ok!

I love scarfs, shawls, hats, and always encourage my clients to bring those accessories to the session, while other photographers would encourage you to have clean and simple style without any distractions from you as the main subject. That mostly happens with studio photography.

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The common question

We all have our own styles and we want our clients to dress the way we like our brand to be portrayed. Elegant, funky, colorful, vintage. If someones style is vintage and elegant they will guide you to dress accordingly to their brand’s style.

One of the most common asked questions before the session is: “What do you want us to wear?

– “Wear whatever you’d like” said no photographer ever. We always try to give a small hints and advice of not to wear, what colors to avoid, etc.

I do try to encourage families to pick clothes that would make them feel comfortable and confident. I also always say,

“wear something that’s YOU”

If you’re planning to do a glamour sessions, or to update your social media profile photos session, then that’s a different story, and I will want to talk about that, also by inviting local photographers who specialize in that kind of photography for short interviews. Will be posting the interviews here.

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Sometimes feeling comfortable is not enough

On the picture above I’m wearing cloths that are comfortable and make me look/feel confident. That day I also let my kids to dress themselves. This is us and I adore the picture simply because our dog (who is old and very sick) was with us and the main reason for this picture (and few more) was to photograph the four of us together. I didn’t really care for festive clothes, because it wasn’t the look I was going for here, it was the memory.

You don’t want to look at your family portraits and wish you were wearing something different. That spoils the whole experience.

There isn’t a worse thing, then spent great amount of money on outfits for the whole family and then right before the session find out then the kids don’t want to wear it because it’s something new and probably not comfortable, or something that they don’t really like but it was picked because you wanted to match it to your dress or dad’s outfit. It also isn’t fun when during the session you don’t feel comfortable in what you’re wearing; When it doesn’t feel like it’s YOU.

In a perfect world you should feel 100% confident with 100% beautiful, and 100% comfortable. Is this really possible to achieve? Probably, but I think trying to reach a healthy balance among those 3 is the best indicator to start from. There are always things that won’t be 100% the way you want it. There is always not enough time for the perfect make-up because dressing the kids took way longer than you had expected. Let me know if I’m wrong but I think that most of today’s moms feel the most comfortable in yoga pants and t-shirts so asking them to wear something beautiful, festive, and at the same time comfortable feels like something very contradictory. right? 😉
But still I always say that anyway, knowing that many of my moms will come to the session wearing jeans. Am I upset about it? Not at all, as much as you shouldn’t be if you choose to dress that way. Just don’t forget to thrown some extra jewelry, and a colorful scarf and you’ll be looking good!

Here is a photo that hangs on my wall as a canvas:

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My kids wearing my scarfs (what they simply LOVE to do), one of them wearing her shoes on the wrong feet (at that time she wouldn’t let me help her with putting them, she wanted to do it “by myself”). Kissy and huggy in a new, unique place. THAT’S US!

It was us during one of our “adventures” while location scouting. The photo tells a story to me, and it’s way more US then the photograph with me in a black dress (last picture in this post)

The less you have to spend on your outfits the more you can invest into your post session products

Dressing nice to a session doesn’t have to mean spending extra $500 on outfits. There are ways to coordinate outfits for the entire family just using the clothes you have in your closet. You just need to know what to look for. If your friend has a dress that you really like, and it’s your size, and she doesn’t mind you using it, well, what’s the problem in borrowing it? There are many ways and resources, and I will try to help you to find out what would work the best for you in this matter.

As an example, here is a dress my mom used the wear when she was a young woman. I inherited it when 15 years ago she decided to clean her closet and this was one item she wanted to get rid of. This dress is unique, and I love unique! If you have a treasure like that in your closet, bring in with you! I WOULD LOVE TO PHOTOGRAPH YOU IN IT!!!

How to look beautiful, comfortable and confident during family session

How to look beautiful, comfortable and confident during family session

Color matters

If you want to make the session fun and colorful and if you’re a family who really cares about details then there are websites out there which can help you with picking the right color palettes for the entire family.  Here is a websites with ready color combo palettes and schemes. Just find your favorite and try to coordinate your family outfits accordingly to one of the pallets. It’s a really great website if you dig deeper into it. Here is another website where you can have more fun with experimenting with the colors. This website let you see what are the complementary colors in case if you’re one of the bravest and would want to dress your family in those colors.

For the picture below my kids wanted to wear tutus, and you know, when a kid wants something, the kid gets it just for the sake of a good picture in the process 😉 With all the color going on them, I simply tried to stay neutral.

How to look confident and comfortable during family session

Pastel colors work best for photographs. I always encourage people to avoid red, white, black, and bright yellow. Small accessories like shawls, jewelry, sweaters, jackets, hat, etc., make a big difference in the picture. If you normally don’t wear any make up, I would recommend to add some blush and mascara to your overall look for the purpose of the session.

With whatever you decide to go, don’t over do it. Don’t reach the point where you don’t feel like yourself anymore.

Ewa

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If you’d like to chat about your 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

 

 

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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!

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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



The Runner and Sleeping Beauty {Family Photography, San Jose, CA}

Sometimes we all get sick. Right? Sometimes we all get poked in the eye by our own child, and we lose vision (or most of it) in this one particular eye, on a day that we have to use this eye for work… It happens to all of us. Right?

Luckily with the right camera settings, and the magic of auto-focus, and a tiny help from the one working eye, everything is possible!

There was no time to re-schedule our session, so we went with the flow, knowing that if this time don’t work, then we will have another hour full of playing and bubbles blowing in a few days. Who wouldn’t want that? Right? 😉

By doing so, I did not expect that the one of the family members will make me work for my money. Seriously. “The Runner” should be her second name. She did not want to stop, and she had so much fun doing it. What a great thing to be able to capture such joy and happiness, btw. And everything while her little sister was getting a good sleep. She woke up just on time for me to see her beautiful eyes and say “it was very nice to meet you, sweetie pie”, and on time to snap a last photo of her mama peacefully nursing her. Just perfect!

I think, even despite the obstacle we have created some beautiful images that day!

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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

 

 

Family Re-union {Family Photographer, San Jose, CA}

I had a quite fun to photograph this family re-union. I’m not sure if it’s the era of pictures and videos being a prime medium and because of that many people feeling very natural in front of the camera, or I’m just lucky to be getting such great clients to work with. I’m not kidding, even before I was able to finish my sentence how I want them to pose they were already ready and smiling.

And you know the family had fun with you when at the end you’re asked to pose with them as a souvenir.

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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

Peach Maternity Dress {Maternity Family Photography, San Jose, CA}

You know I must love the dress when it has earned a spot in a title. I was very excited when my client decided to have the session during the golden hour, and later, when she emailed me her dresses ideas I knew it’s going to be fabulous.

The final effect exceeded my expectations. When I saw her getting out of the car, I was in love! Honestly, I wanted to be pregnant again. She was glowing. She looked amazing.

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I loved everything about this session. The place we picked, the outfits, the time of the day. I think, we couldn’t arrange it any better. And they all looked so happy and excited about the new addition to their family.

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And while The Big Sister was busy being herself, and not really carrying about the whole photo session thing, I was able to capture this wonderful moment of a child being a child. This particular picture reminds me of the saying: “Dance like nobody’s watching”… and this is exactly what she was doing.

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Valentine’s Day Mini – Session {Family Photography, San Jose, CA}

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Starting today, I am offering a super special offer!
Book a session within the next week, and use it at any time during the 2014!!!

Just because love is in the air !!!

valentine's special

 

The offer includes: 

30 minutes session

1 8×10 print

15 high resolution, edited, digital files

Please email me for more details at ewasamples(at)gmail.com or through a contact page.
While you there (on my contact page) don’t forget to sign to my newsletter in which you’ll be informed about all kinds of specials way before it goes to the public.

Have a wonderful evening!!!
Ewa

Halloween Mini-Session {Family Photography, San Jose, CA}

Halloween is around the corner. Every year I have a lot of fun with the kids getting dressed in costumes. It is so wonderful to see how each year they want to be something different than the year before.

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What a great thing to be able to capture all the silly and cute costumes, so in the future they can laugh out loud of how adorable they looked.

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For that reason, and because I think kids in costumes are super darling, I’m offering a Halloween Mini. Lets make it fun and memorable! I will come to the nearest pumpkin patch (must be within 10 miles of San Jose/Cupertino Area) or we will meet at a location picked by me with lots of space to run around and goof off.

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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.

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

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Waiting for Baby Boy {Maternity Photography, San Jose, CA}

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Two weeks ago I had met a gorgeous expecting mamma and her beautiful family.
Now, I can’t wait so meet this baby boy who is soon to enter this world!

More pictures of this beautiful family in this slideshow.

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