Fall Mini Sessions during the Camp Fire | Walnut Creek Family Photographer

family mini session portrait in walnut creekLast year’s Fall Mini Session season was….well… hectic to say the least. I remember coming to this location before my fall sessions were even announced to location scout and see if this would be a good spot for mini’s. As I was walking back to my car I noticed smoke starting in the distance. I remember thinking ugh, a fire started, bummer. I had NO idea the nightmare that was going on at that moment up in Paradise or how profound the Camp Fire would be.

I’ve lived in California my whole life, specifically the Bay Area and never have I experience going over a month with constant, intense smoke filling the air. My fiance having to close down his gym for a few days because it wasn’t safe for kids to practice their acrobatics, my daughters dance studio following suit and kids having to stay home from school. There was a day I was driving home and I could barely see in front of me on the freeway it was so thick. Mind you, we are over 3 hours away and it was like our own town was on fire.

I cried. So many times. I cried for the stories that were hitting the news of lives lost. I cried for the people I know in Chico dealing with worse conditions than us. I cried for the beautiful town of Paradise which was gone. I just remember wondering if it was ever going to get better.

In the midst of all this, my fall mini sessions were starting and so began the task of rescheduling depending on the conditions that day. Some days it actually seemed like the smoke was lifting and so we were able to keep the session. This day was one of those days where we woke up and the day seemed almost clear, hallelujah! So we decided to move forward with our mini session. It wasn’t until just before we arrived that the smoke started to roll back in. We decided to go with it and pretty much nailed this beautiful family’s fall mini session in about 15 minutes!

family portraits with smokey sky from the camp fireAlthough the smoke was stemming from a terrible event, it added an interesting characteristic to these portraits that although I find incredibly beautiful, I hope we never experience again. Mother Nature definitely stamped her mark on these portraits and we’ll always remember when the unfortunately historic Camp Fire ripped through Northern California.

brother hugging his little sister little girl posing in grey jacket and jean dressboy in button up shirt posing in fieldbrother and sister running in walnut creek fieldfamily portrait in walnut creek regional parkI can’t get over how sweet these pictures are of brother holding his little sister’s hand as they walk along the path together. I hope they always share this close bond. brother and sister holding hands walking in walnut creekI know the town of Paradise is still rebuilding and can still use donations.

Click here to see ways you can still help!

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A Fall Inspired Mini Session | Bay Area Family Photographer

beautiful fall family portrait in pleasanton

If you were to look up “Best Fall Outfit for my Fall Mini Session”, I’m pretty sure this is what you would find which is exactly why I titled this post A Fall Inspired Mini Session. I can tell you this, if I ever do a fall mini session of my own, I’m hiring Elaine to style my family because she is SO GOOD AT IT!

Last Fall was my second time photographing this beautiful family; check out their first mini session here. It’s so fun to see little ones completely change in a two year period. Their personality is different and they’ve grown SO much! Sometimes they’re more shy and sometimes less so. The great thing about photography is you can capture exactly who they are in a simple picture. You’ll look back at these 20 years from now and see an expression that I caught and you’ll remember exactly who he/she was at that time in their life. The memories, the way you felt, everything all comes right back just by a simple picture. It’s really pretty amazing and why I love what I do so much.

Another mom recently told me that although she doesn’t love having her pictures taken, now being able to look back a year ago at her babies made her realize why it’s so important.

And yes we have amazing iphone cameras these days and they capture the everyday, sure. But sometimes it’s nice to get fancied up and have someone else hold the camera, capturing the loving moments of you snuggling up to your babies before, in a blink of an eye, they are off to college or life.

Thank you Patel Family for allowing me to capture these memories for you.

family portrait of mom dad and daughter for mini sessionportrait of little girl in blue top and faux fur vest at mini sessionlittle girl sitting in gold chair wearing faux fur vest, blue skirt and bootsI absolutely love this moment between mom and daughter. She was just quickly fixing her hair but it was perfect moment.mama fixing daughters hair during fall mini sessionSnuggle your babies!! No really, during your session, play with your kids, snuggle them, kiss them, swing them around. Not all perfect portraits are posed. daughter bear hugging her mom during mini session in pleasantonlittle girl holding her mom smiling at the cameradaddy holding daughter wearing blueOk, how stinkin cute is this?! She loves her Daddy! daughter giving daddy kisses at Pleasanton mini sessionmom and daughter laughingmom and daughter holding hands while walking during mini sessionIf you look back at her first session, she did this in the street so we tried re-creating it here and it worked!daughter looking back as she walks with her mom in PleasantonDon’t forget to book your Fall Family Mini Session soon!

You can find all the details HERE!

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