Sunday, December 5, 2010

Sunset at Beal's Point

Last year, when I was getting serious into photography and wanting to start my own business, I reached out to the moms in Chloe's preschool class for a little help. I needed to put a portfolio together, so I offered to photograph their little munchkins. It was a no-brainer as all of the little munchkins in Chloe's class were absolutely adorable!

I hit the trifecta with one mom, Schaelene. She had not one, but two daughters, as well as a dog. Wanting to photograph kids, families and pets, I couldn't have asked for a better opportunity! We had a great initial session, and one photo from this session ranks at the top of my all-time favorites list. Here it is:

This is Isabella and her dog Taka, who had been recently diagnosed with lymphoma. I was able to get some images of Taka so her family would be able to always have a visual reminder of what a beautiful dog she is. A few weeks after this photo was taken, Taka's family had to say goodbye. I love this photo so much, that I asked my boss at the emergency clinic if I could display it in one of the exam rooms. The answer was yes. So now when a family has to go through the agonizing process of putting their pet to sleep, they have this image of Isabella and Taka to help soothe their breaking hearts. I like to think of Taka as an ambassador to all the animals who leave our hospital to cross the Rainbow Bridge. And what an incredible guardian she has been.

I was pleasantly surprised a few months later when this same mom asked me to photograph her youngest daughter for her third birthday. We had a great time playing at home and running around the park nearby.
Isabella and Claire no longer go to the same school as Chloe, which means I rarely get to see these lovely girls. We have tried to get together for play dates, but have yet managed to coordinate our busy schedules. So I can't tell you how excited I was when Schaelene asked me to take their family holiday photos! This family has become very special to me as they have been with me since the start of my career as a photographer.

We met at Beal's Point on Folsom Lake - a gorgeous local spot. When the girls got out of the car, I couldn't believe how much they have grown up! And not just Isabella and Claire, but their new dog Jessie, who is 6 months old. I also met big sister Emma, who the little girls just adore. Have a look:

Who are these girls? Holy cow... they are practically in college!



Jessie, the fearless black lab puppy

and everyone in a single shot (even the puppy!)

I'm still trying to figure out when these girls grew up...

... and whether Jessie is part kangaroo.

Thank you, Schaelene, for the wonderful opportunity to photograph your family. It is hard for me to believe how much the girls have grown in this past year, and I feel so lucky to have been able to photograph not just your girls, but your entire family. Because much like this past year, time passes far too quickly. And no matter how fast your girls grow up, you will always have these images to remind you not only of how everyone looked in the Fall of 2010, but also how precious this time is.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Family Fun in Folsom

I lived in Folsom for 7 years and for some reason, never spent much time at the lake or the American River. So when Jen suggested we take her family photos along the American River Trail, I was super excited! We met after sunrise on a crisp fall morning... the trail was quiet, the leaves were falling. It was perfect. With the exception of the occasional mountain biker, we had all of this gorgeousness to ourselves.
Jen and Brian have two little boys who are so adorable and just the nicest young men. My only problem was that they were more interested in running around than having their photos taken. But who could blame them? We were in the middle of nature's playground. Thank goodness Jen brought some chocolate as a distraction (mental note: bring candy to every photo session involving children). Their dog was easy - flash a yellow tennis ball and Aspen was an instant statue. Unless we were near water, in which case Apsen was in the water.

Here is a peek into our fabulous morning:

It wasn't easy to get 2 boys and a dog to all look at the camera at once, which is totally okay. Because my favorite photos are those where everyone forgot that the camera was around and were just being themselves. Like these:

Daddy giving pointers on how to skip a rock across the water.

Mommy showing Holden a bird in the sky

A impromptu tickle fight

Gavin demonstrating his mad jumping skills

Aspen chasing a ball in the water

Where's the ball? Where's the ball? Where's the ball?

Showing daddy the way

Have sticks, will travel

One last family photo before heading over to the Rainbow Bridge

Our view from the bridge

Hey... where are you going?

... I need to give you a hug!

Family fun time!

All in all, it was a spectacular morning. Thank you Jen and Brian for asking me to take your photos. Thank you Gavin and Holden for making me laugh all morning long. And thank you Aspen for being such a good dog. You are a beautiful family and so much fun to be around.

For more photos from this session, please visit my Nicole McArthur Photography page on Facebook.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Birthdays All Around!

After much delay, I was finally able to schedule a session for of one of my favorite families. We originally tried to get together to photograph Miss Ellie for her first birthday, but life was hectic and we couldn't seem to make it work. So we scheduled a time around Casey's birthday and we were rained out... twice. Fortunately for us, the third time was the charm. And it also happened to be Matt's birthday.

We met at the UC Davis Arboretum, which is just a beautiful place. Miss Ellie is walking now and she was not exactly interested in having her picture taken. In fact, I think she told me "all done" and "bye bye" more than once. I must admit, my feelings were a little hurt, but I persevered. And just when we were about to call it a night, Ellie sat down and played with the dried leaves that had fallen to the ground. I could have kept shooting for hours... Except that the sun had nearly set. And Matt and his BFF were headed to a football game. Again, feelings a little hurt. But hey, football is way cooler than having your picture taken. Especially when your BFF has flown all the way across the country to hang out with you.

Without further adieu, here is one of my favorite families. Love them!

Happy Birthday to Ellie, Casey and Matt!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Bed Head

My little angel looks so sweet when she is sleeping. She is so wild and crazy when she is awake, it is hard to imagine that she ever slows down. Although, in looking at her hair first thing in the morning, I'm not sure that she slows down very much in her sleep either. Have a look:

Deceptively quiet.

Wait for it...

wait for it...

Ta da!!!

Good Morning!

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Pinecone and the Cone

Poor Pinecone. She has to wear the Cone of Shame.

She looks so sad.

Even the baby laughs at her.

But it's okay, Pinecone. We'll take the cone off soon.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Say hello to my little friend

I was talking to a neighbor over the fence when this little guy appeared.

Bugs usually gross me out, but this guy was so peaceful, so quiet... he even fell asleep when I was taking his picture:

He stayed long enough for a close-up

and then left as quickly and quietly as he came.