morgan hill

Family Photography Sessions during Corona virus || San Jose Family Photographer

I’m stopping by to let you know that during this Summer I am still open for business. Many family photographers decide not to work and are taking their time off. That’s totally okay because this is a very personal decision to make.

However, instead of a variety of different packages and prices, with all that’s happening right now, I decided to offer 30 minutes long minis in the comfort of your own front porch or back yard. I want to make it as easy as possible for all my clients!

Don’t worry! YOUR FRONT or BACK YARD is AWESOME FOR FAMILY PHOTOGRAPHY SESSIONS – I promise you! 

I  have spent countless hours driving around the Bay Area and testing new locations. I still do that, because I have clients who’ve been with me for the last 7 years and I don’t want to run out of new locations to offer them each year!

All outdoor photographers have their “super secret” list of favorite locations they are ready to recommend for their clients. I have such a list as well. But when the world turns topsy-turvy the list is as useless as the list you make for the hospital before your labor. Do you know what list I’m talking about?

I was asked to make such a list for the doctors and nurses before my first daughter was born. They told me to write my entire plan for the delivery.

So I went ambitious:

  • all-natural,
  • no painkillers,
  • vaginal delivery,

But when the labor came, I was begging for epidural, and when my husband opened his mouth and this sentence got out of him: “but honey we had a different plan” I was about to shred him to pieces.

So, yeah… the list of beautiful locations can wait for another time… It’s still available for my clients if they want it…

 

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I want to make it as easy as possible for my clients. Plus those mini sessions are designed to be as affordable as possible, too.

With the right attitude and the right angle, we can make anything work. Plus, these are special times. And special times call for special solutions 🙂

MAKE SURE TO TAKE YOUR HOLIDAY CARDS PICTURES THIS YEAR A LITTLE EARLIER… 

As the world is absolutely unstable right now, and nothing is for sure, I really recommend taking care of your FALL pictures this SUMMER. 

There are some predictions that the shelter in place (in its full potential) is going to return this Fall. That means no sessions, again 🙁 So, I really want everybody to start thinking about their family photos a little earlier this year. It might feel weird, but I think it’s also awesome to think outside of the box.

I’m open for sweet and short (not to mention fun) sessions:

  • on your front porch, 

front porch mini session _ Ewa Samples Photography _ San Jose Family Photographer

  • in your backyard,

backyard mini session covid19 - Ewa Samples Photography

  • in-home lifestyle, like baking cookies or doing crafts and arts or hanging out with your pet.

No matter the size of the pet. I’m pretty pet friendly.

pet friendly photographer in San Jose _ Ewa Samples Photography

 

As always I’m very open to hiking sessions or beach sessions. If you’re feeling adventurous or simply want to document your family having fun somewhere outside your home, that’s absolutely fine.  Let’s make it fun, short, and filled with as many kisses and hugs as possible.

family photography sessions 2020 _ ewa samples photography _ morgan hill

 

AFFORDABLE PRICE and A GREAT GIFT

The sessions I’m offering have two prices:

  • $175 for 10 images if you want it super short and kept to a minimum!
  • $250 for all images from the session

All images are going to be delivered online via online gallery and you will be able to purchase additional images after you see them – in a situation where you book the 10 images package but after you see the gallery you will want them all. And I know that this is going to happen because so far all my recent clients have done that! Hahaha!

This would be also a wonderful gift for families that you know could use a cheer-up these days! Or just for your sister or brother or a bestie!

Use the contact page to schedule your session!!!
See you soon!

Ewa

 

Kids Photography Workshop

Summer is almost here!!! YEAY!!! I can’t wait to have my kids bored to death and complaining about the endless lack of cartoons to watch and things we can’t do…

I’m kidding. I’m seriously kidding… I love Summer breaks! It takes me back to the times when my girls were stuck with me 24 hours a day. Haha. I really miss those days. We were able to spend all days just getting lost in new locations, finding new hikes and new activities to do…

This Summer I am planning to keep them pretty busy, though. From assisting me during my sessions to participating in workshops…

And with that, I’d love to invite you to:

SUMMER PHOTOGRAPHY WORKSHOP FOR KIDS !!!

July 9, 6:00 pm at Lehrfeld Farm 

Carlie, the owner of the farm runs her Art Classes in her very cute studio and she was amazing enough to let me use it for my classes.

This workshop is built on 6 classes.

It’s for kids age 8 -12.

Each participant needs to bring a smartphone with working camera feature. 

Each class will start on Monday (July: 9th, 16th, 23rd, 30th & August: 6th and 13th) at 6 pm. 

It’s amazing to see what kids can create if we give them a little guidance. My 8-year-old daughter is into drawing and sketching. Since I bought her a sketchbook, and encourage her to pick it up on a regular basis I’ve noticed an amazing improvement.

This workshop is to encourage your kids to look at the world with a curious eye and experiment with their creativity.

This workshop is meant to guide them through the basic information about the art of photography and storytelling via image.

 

Each class will start with a bowl of popcorn and an intro to a particular topic:

July 9th – Working with Light 

July 16th – Portrait & Nature & Architecture & Macro (

July 23rd – Composition, While Space (Negative Space), Silhouettes

July 30th – Storytelling (approaching your subject in an interesting way)

August 6th – Editing

August 13th – Finding their niche (aka Superpower) 

AFTER EACH INTRO AND TIME FOR Q & A, WE WILL HIT THE FARM TO PRACTICE WHAT WE LEARNED. THE KIDS WILL LEARN HOW TO USE HOUSEHOLD ITEMS TO WORK WITH LIGHT OR BUILD THEIR OWN BACKDROPS.

 

 

PARENTS,

You will get a script for each class so after your child comes home you can practice what they learned with them. Serve them as their models (FUN!) and guide them if they have any additional questions.

The class is limited to 10 participants and as of today, we have only 3slots available.

Book your kid’s spot with early bird price of $199 for the entire series by emailing Ewa at contact@ewasamplesphotography.com

or fill out this form

6th b-day celebration photo session || Morgan Hill Family Photographer

For quite some time I’ve been thinking about doing a 6th b-day celebration photo session with my younger daughter. In the past she wanted to be Moana, then she wanted to be Pipi (because of her sister’s previous photo shoot). I wanted it to be personalized like the Pipi photo shoot. At the same time I wanted to be able to capture my daughter’s personality and the way she loves all the creatures she comes in contact with.

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While brainstorming the ideas I received a message from Carlie from Lehrfeld Farm . She was interested in a personal project we hope to work on in the near future. She invited us to her home which is also her farm and her art oasis.

In my last post I was talking about one of the most beautiful places in Morgan Hill. Today, I have to admit that Carlie’s farm is getting very close in ranks. Well, being very specific: one place is in Morgan Hill and one in San Martin, so… 😂😂😂

After visiting the farm I came across an image that inspired me and pushed me to ask Carlie if I can visit her again. During our previous visit I saw how much my daughter(s) enjoyed being there. I decided that the farm is where I want to do my daughter’s 6th b-day celebration photo session. When I shared the idea with my little one (she wouldn’t be happy if I told her I call her that) she was beyond happy.

I think the best b-day gift was just the time at the farm for her.  She got to cuddle with chickens, feed the bearded dragons live worms and run with Silver (the miniature horse).

In some of these pictures I see a future teenager in her and all I want is to wish for a magic spell to prevent both of my girls from growing up. But the only magic is now.

Happy Birthday my sweet, sweet baby!

Most beautiful place in Morgan Hill || Morgan Hill Family Photographer || Portraits

Hey,

It’s been raining cats and dogs if you haven’t noticed. I feel like this year, I’ve enjoyed the rain as I haven’t in a long long time. For some reason, it reminds me a lot of Poland (my home country). I’m not sure why, exactly. On some days when it was warmer AND raining, a weird thought went through my mind. I compared the weather to Polish Summer. Warm rain, this fresh scent. Just wonderful.

In addition, all this rain is making the world a beautiful place. Especially within nature. I can’t wait to pack my camera bag and head out the door for some good hike and pictures taking after all the wetness goes away. Well, most of it. I still like shooting in the rain and if you’re up for it, I do have some availability for a family session in the rain.

most beautiful place in Morgan Hill after the rain Ewa Samples Photography Family Photographer Morgan Hill and San jose-5

The rain and the cold did not prevent me and my family from going out to the most beautiful place in Morgan Hill. This place is my oasis, and as one of my friends recently notice: “you must like it because you’re always there”. Well, yes. I like it. And I’m almost always there. Especially with my kiddos or my dog.

These images are from April last year. This year the reservoir has half of the water, but it’s still pretty. And it is soooo green!!! Seeing the wate level I secretly wish for more rain. Please, don’t send hateful thoughts my way for that. Haha. This place needs more rain.

Remember as soon as the rain stops you will have about 2 months if not less to get your session done in the amazingly green and lush nature, where the grass is looking juicy and not hay-like. So, check your calendars and plan ahead.

Just sayin…

Ranch Versatility Challenge Thorson Ranch Morgan Hill

Yesterday’s spontaneous trip to Thorson Ranch in San Martin (but we entered it from the Morgan Hill side. haha!) was a hit of the month. Well, the month just started and I’m already excited for what it can bring with such a start.

Ranch Versatility Challenge Thorson Ranch Morgan Hill_5_ewa samples

I knew where horses are our kids’ happiness will follow. Not to mention my girls’ favorite movie these days is the “Spirit: Stallion of Cimarron”

While passing  Thorson Ranch yesterday we saw a crowd of trailers and horses, and we decided to have a look at whatever was happening there. We were heading out for a spontaneous trip anyway, and this was happening right around the corner from where we live.

I had to do an iPhone production from the even as well, it wouldn’t be me if I didn’t, or didn’t try.

Just keep in mind I rode a horse once in my life. And he threw me into the river. I was 7 years old. I wish I had bigger and better experience with horses during my life because I really like them. OH, and once, I spent an entire month as summer camp tutor during horse riding camp. In beautiful Polish mountains. The kids, who otherwise were very high maintenance, were very eager to get up early in the morning to clean the poop (so they can get extra credits for riding). It was amazing to witness their passion for horses.

Anyway, I’ve seen the arena busy on several occasions in the past but never got inside to have a look at what was happening there. Despite the fact they are our neighbors.

Equipped with the best camera possible – the only one I had with me, my iPhone, I tried to document our experience. Here it is!

The kids loved it. Now I can’t get out of my head the idea of signing up my girls for horse riding classes. I think that would be a dream come true for them, and oh, the endless opportunities to get amazing images of horses…

Coffee with a cop. Building bridges.

This event was in my calendar for a week or so, however I really wasn’t sure if I’m going to attend. This morning I was asking myself, what am I going to talk about with a local police officer? Keep it in mind, I had no previous knowledge about “coffee with a cop” initiative and didn’t know what to expect.

coffee with a cop, morgan hill, ewa samples photography

Right before I left this morning, I mentioned it to Hailey from Archer Inspired. She’s s local photog who I like to hang out with, and who is the only person (except my husband) who shamelessly makes fun of my English. Even in front of the police officers.

She’s the adventurous one who I knew will probably say “I’ll be there”, and I was not mistaken. Haha

The “coffee with a cop” happened at our local coffee shop, Coffee Guys.

While more and more officers were showing on, Hailey and I debated how to approach them. Hailey came up with an idea to put more of “a real human face” into those uniforms. When times get rough people often tend to look for things that divers them from each other. Instead they should do more of an effort to find the similarities.

So we went out and asked about the “one personal thing” they would want to share with us about themselves.

And here is what we got:

Detective S. Woodland

She has three furry kiddos,

Does a lot of gardening and canning, and she said, she might share with us a recipe for her fig-pomegranate preserves. So, keep your fingers crossed… 😀

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Officer M. Zen

Loves French bulldogs. (and in my opinion has a killer smile!)

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MSO V. Benitez

He love sports, especially football. 

 

School Resource Officer J. Brandon

My and Hailey’s competitor, really. 😜

Own Photography business. He takes care of all the department portraits and forensic CSI team.

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Photo credit @Archer Inspired Photography

 

Chief D. Swing

An outstanding soccer goalie. Die hard NASCAR fan.

 

Sergeant B. Norman

He likes high school football mostly because his son plays in it right now.

However he’s hopelessly addicted to golf.

 

Captain S. Palsgrove

Was very concerned about me getting his “right profile”. I hope I did… LOL

He played soccer at San Jose State as left halfback defense.

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Officer Ch. Woodrow

Here we had a hard case of European blood

He’s from Ireland and I forgot to ask if he drinks like, well, Irish.

Somebody also mentioned that he’s a seamstress. Oh shut… a tailor… sorry… darn my English. If that’s not enough he also has a degree in theater. 

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Corporal J. Broyer

Used to race in motor cross. And officer Woodrow didn’t like the fact that while officer Broyer got to be the motor cross races, he will be remembered as the seamstress… sorry, tailor. 

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Corporal S. Silva

Children are his priority. He tries to be a normal person in society when he’s not working. 

 

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J. GoGo

Community Prosecutor with DA. Came from Guam. Born in my neighborhood, Germany, in American hospital.

 

 

Don’t forget to head over to Hailey’s blog. 

And don’t forget to see through your biases when you look at a police officer next time.

Thank you for your services, hard work, and the time to be available for the community today.

 

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Best way to stay cool in the Summer. Morgan Hill Kids & Family Photographer.

Going for hikes it’s not the best way to stay cool in the Summer. Especially not in the 103 F temperatures around here. It is fun, though. And very rewarding. But nothing, even the best hike, won’t beat the water. And we recently have discovered something my kids love even better then regular swimming pool.

WATER SPLASH in Downtown Morgan Hill. How cool is that. For four hours a day they run super fun sprinklers, and kids can run around, chase them, play with them, lay on them, and whatever else they imaginative brains can think of. Of course, everything while under supervision of adults.

best way to stay cool in the summer

Yes, water is the best way to stay cool in the Summer. Especially if it’s so fun for the kids:

I’m writing this post as I’m sitting and watching my kids run wild around the water splash. The pictures and the movie in this post are from our yesterday’s adventures here. Today, the weather is cooler and it’s overcast, but that doesn’t bother any of my kids, or the other kids here.

How is your Summer break going?

 

If you’d like me to photograph some of your #summerbreakadventures let me know!!! I’m here to help you create amazing memories. Even Better lets explore Pinnacles National Park together!

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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Santa Clara County Park Ranger. Stranger Challenger week 11

It couldn’t be any cooler than to be able to photograph a Santa Clara County Park Ranger as my stranger.

Santa Clara County Park Ranger - Doug - Ewa Samples Photography

Last weekend I’d been location scouting like crazy. Posts from those beautiful places are coming. So, after going to one place I wanted to scout for a long time, and realizing it’s not that interesting or “photo shoot friendly”, we headed to our usual location. Uvas Reservoir.

My kids love this place, and it’s becoming one of my favorite spots in Morgan Hill. This time my husband was with us, and every chance he got he reminded me about my Stranger Challenge, as this place was pretty busy with people.

Do you want to want to hear a funny story? Well, I’ll tell you about it anyway.

So, at one time, I have decided to get back to our car and get my camera out to take some pictures of the kids. Walking back to the spot where my family was I spotted this couple on motorcycles. They were trying to take a selfie with the lake on the background. I approached them as offered them help. I said, “hey I can help you with that”. They handed me their phone, and I snapped several photos for them. As I was walking away from them I heard my husband’s yelling from the other side of the lake: “Stranger!!! That’s your stranger!!!”

So theoretically, I could had turned back and ask them to text me those photos… LOL

But I didn’t. It’s like I  need a special mental preparation before I ask people to be part of my 52 project. And I just didn’t have it with that couple. I don’t know. It’s weird how it works.

While taking pictures of my kiddos (I’m attaching one to show you how pretty it is there)…

uvas reservoir-ewa-samples-photography

… I heard my husband again…

“Hey, you should take a picture of him”. Who? I asked. He said: Him! and pointed to the parking lot.

And there, I saw the Santa Clara County Park Ranger, Doug. 

I started to walk towards the parking as slow as I could, so maybe, just maybe, I didn’t get there on time (before he left). LOL

I’m telling you, it’s not as easy as it sounds to approach someone and ask them if you can take their picture and then blog about it.

However, I got there before he left, and I popped the question. And of course he said yes. And posed for me like a pro!!!

santa clara county park ranger, Doug_Ewa Samples Photography

Thank you so much for helping me to get closer to my goal, Mr. Doug! And thank you so much for your work!

Ewa

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Female Buddhist Nun, Venerable Tenzin Chogkyi. Stranger Challenger week 10

I was the first person to enter the library room filled with chairs. I was excited for this speech of a

Female Buddhist Nun, Venerable Tenzin Chogkyi.

While waiting, I was able to finish and to send out my newsletter. And then I had the time to wait even more. The room was filling out. Mostly older people, women in general. I’ve noticed only a few older gentleman among the room filled with women.
I was getting more and more curious. Who is she? How does she look? How does she speak? I’ve never met a Buddhist monk, not to mention a female Buddhist nun.

When she entered the room, I couldn’t stop looking at her. Over 6 foot tall, shaved bold, in robes. A little hunched, like she wanted to make herself a little smaller, less standing out of the crowd.

Female Buddhist Nun, Venerable Tenzin Chogkyi-1

She had a very gentle voice, but with this permanent smile, it seemed like. She had a wonderful sense of humor. She made the whole room laugh quite a lot while talking about her journey to become a buddhist nun.

And I’ll tell you that, she has a quite the story.

A daughter of scientists who were as far from religion as you can think. Hard core hippy teenager who started her journey with meditation at age 15 (after having to go through 2 weeks of abstinence from smoking pot).  LOL

After getting a master degree in biochemistry and working in the field for quite sometime, she bought one way ticked to India. On her way to the mountains, to see Dalai Lama, he passed her in his car, leaving for 4 month tour of Europe.

Female Buddhist Nun, Venerable Tenzin Chogkyi-2

She also spoke about Simple Life. How not having to care of the “looks” and “stuff” made her become free. Feel free. And it just reminded me about something Elizabeth Gilbert once said: “Enlightenment almost always tastes like freedom”, which I think it’s a paraphrase of what once Buddha said.

She also spoke about this one mistake most people do. They often think about the meaning of life, and they want to seek the answer to this question. When the real question is:

How can people make their own lives meaningful“.

Female Buddhist Nun, Venerable Tenzin Chogkyi. Ewa Samples Photography

 

How can you make your life meaningful. How can I?

And I’ll leave you with that!

Ewa

Best coffee place Morgan Hill. Stranger Challenge week 9

Yesterday I googled “best coffee place Morgan Hill”. A friend’s visit forced me to think of more fun places to hang out than the good old Starbuck. So, in my google search, I found a place I walked by so many times planning to check it out someday.

When a desire for a fancier tea or quick coffee comes upon me, I almost always rely on the good old Starbucks or Peet’s. Despite being aware of the existence of different places where I could get a delicious drink from, like the one I visited today, I often pick Starbucks anyway. Because it’s safe. Because it’s reliable.

But today was different.

Best coffee place Morgan Hill tealite drink ewa samples photography

Today I visited TeaLite Drink. Place mostly serving boba tea.

I’ve walked by this place on many occasions since we moved to Moran Hill and always thought about stopping by there. So, yesterday after the google search and after some reading yelp reviews for this place, I’ve decided it’s time. Plus, a place that has “cards against humanity” on its shelves is a place worth visiting for sure!
While sitting inside and enjoying the Giant Peach tea, I told my friend I want the lady behind the counter to be my Stranger number 9. She started to laugh and said: “Mustering the courage to ask her. huh?” Well, yes. It’s something that it’s not really getting any easier to do, so far.

As we were getting ready to leave, I finally mustered the courage. And as usual, the experience was great. The welcoming smile, and super happy to help me with this project person on the other side of the camera. It always makes me wonder: what am I so scared of…

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Couple in love. Stranger Challenge week 8

While walking from my kid’s school today, I spotted a couple in love sitting on the grass. They looked so fresh in love, and that made me curious about their relationship. They also looked like they were way pass the period, I’ll be forever calling, “we’re working on it”. The name comes from my “Sweetest love story. Stranger challenge week 6.”

Today’s couple already had it worked out, it looked like. Don’t you think?

couple in love

 

 

 

I approached them, and asked them in they would be ok with being part of my project. As you can see, they said yes. To my big surprise I was told they’ve been together about 18 months now. My guess was, well, close to one or two months into the relationship.

Thank you so much for helping me to catch-up with this project, and helping me to overcome my fear of approaching stranger by being so nice!

Following this patter, soon I’ll be approaching a couple in love during their wedding day for my Stranger Challenge. 😂😂😂

Today I realized how awesome this project is. Well, I have this feeling every single time I take a photo of a stranger, but every time for a different reason. Today, I realized, this project allows me to watch people, try to guess who they are, what they do, etc, and then just approach them and ask them about it.

I wouldn’t have the guts to do it without this project. I do go through motions of fear before asking people for allowing me to take their picture. However, Brandon Stanton described it perfectly in “Magic Lessons”, podcast hosted by Elizabeth Gilbert. He said:

“You can learn to be brave. You can learn to be courageous. You can learn to be social. And the way you can do these things is to do something when you scared of doing it. The way to learn courage is to be afraid of something and then do it anyway.”

If you interested the interview with Brandon is in the episode called “Make the Brutal into the Beautiful”.

 

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