Today we celebrated Geordi's 5th birthday!! We're not really sure when his actual birthday, so we, okay, I decided that it would be May 1st. :P It was a guestimate based on his age when we adopted him. To celebrate, I made a flourless cake for him to get down on. Okay, maybe it's just me celebrating. But he's totally reaping the benefit of my need to celebrate his birthday! And I'm sure he has no complaints about that. Don't worry, I made Ripley and Jack cakes too. hehe I mean, how could I not?! That would be torturous. Especially for Ripley, who could barely stand having to stay inside while we gave Geordi his cake. If you're into make flourless cakes for your dog(s), check out the recipe below to celebrate his/her next birthday or Gotcha Day!
3 tablespoons peanut butter, unsalted
1/2 apple, finely chopped (I threw mine in the Ninja for a few seconds)
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1. Preheat oven to 350°
2. Mix all ingredients together until smooth
3. Grease a ramekin or a jumbo muffin tin. Fill it with the batter. Bake for 20 minutes, or until golden and a toothpick comes out clean
4. Let it cool for a couple minutes, and then slide the cake out of the ramekin or muffin tin
5. Cool it on a cooling rack for 5 minutes before serving it to your dog
6. Frost with extra peanut butter, duh!
I tripled the ingredients when I made the three cakes for the dogs. It took about 10 minutes longer in the oven in order for my toothpicks to come out clean.
How sweet is baby Nora?! She's not so tiny these days though. We did her session back in December, a few days after she was born. She's just over three months old now. (Man, time flies!) Nora wasn't sleepy for us until the very end of their session. So we got lots of cute shots of her looking at the camera and shots with her with mom and dad. But in the last 10 minutes, she was completely exhausted and passed out! So I was able to sneak in a few different poses and crowns! hehe Here are some of my favorites from her session!
Meet Maria, her husband Sean and their boys James, and Tanner! I used to work with Maria some years back and we stayed in touch on social media. Back in December, she reached out to me about doing their family photos. She told me that they had their usual gal take their photos, but she said they all hated them. I'll be honest here... I get nervous when clients tell me that. Mostly because I feel some extra pressure to ensure that I don't take more photos they won't like as well. I think a lot of the uncertainty I feel also comes from not being able to see the photos they didn't like. If they were overexposed or underexposed, I would know I could fix either of those things. So when I do hear this from new clients, I ask what they didn't like about those photos. This can help me make sure I don't take the same shots as the other photog. Another piece of information Maria shared with me was that her older son had recently lost some weight. I told her to make sure he bought some new clothes that fit him well and that he felt good in. I personally know how important this is having dealt with weight gain and weight loss multiple times as an adult. Another trick I can use during these types of "re-do" sessions is to show clients previews from the camera throughout. That way I can get some instant feedback from them as to whether or not I'm on the right track and it gives the client(s) an opportunity to make a suggestion or ask for a specific shot they were thinking about. Meeting them half way like this—I think—plays a big part in creating a positive experience for them during the session. And if they have a positive experience during the session, I think that impacts how they feel about the photos once I deliver them.
So, with all that being said, I was feeling confident during this session. The lighting was amazing, as was the location. We met up out in Woodland where they live and headed to their friend's property, which happens to contain an almond orchard which you'll see in future posts since I plan to do some spring mini sessions there! hehe Below are some of my favorites. I showed them previews throughout the session and they were diggin' the shots. And when I sent them their final gallery, they loved their photos! YAY!
Say hello to Wyatt!! His mama Carly and I play volleyball together on Thursdays. She took a few seasons off while she was pregnant, but she was cleared to come back and she rejoined us in January, which was super exciting!! I can't wait to see little Wyatt when dad, Justin, brings him by. Fun Fact: one of our other volleyball friends was a counselor at the high school Justin went to and totally remembered him. Also, we may or may not have a photo of the two of them taking shots in tandum on a whiskey luge!! hehe
Baby Wyatt was quite the sleeper for us once he was out. But it's always fun to get a few shots of them with their eyes open looking at the camera. He wasn't sleepy enough for a composite shot, but that's okay. I really loved some of the poses I did for this session that I hadn't executed before. And having invested in a macro lens for newborn sessions has really let me take some neat detail shots, like the close-ups of the nose pores or the eyelashes. *swoon* These little details fade so fast as they grow and I love being able to freeze them in time with photos. Below are some highlights from Wyatt's session.
How freakin' cute are these photos of Elissa and her furbaby family?! Her babies are Lady Champagne and Jazzy (Jasmine) Jean, both 4 R Friends rescues. I met Elissa when I first saw photos of Jazzy after she was pulled from a bad situation. I mention her story briefly in my Introductions and Storytelling post. Elissa ended up adopting her, which I'm SUPER happy about because that means I still get to see her cute face every once in awhile. Selfish, I know! :P
When I first photographed Jazzy to help raise money for her medical costs, I also got to meet Chaz! He's a rescue from Norcal Bully Breed Rescue, another one of my favorite local rescues. When Jazzy and Chaz met, they had a love connection. They're totally BFFs and even have their own Instagram page where you can follow along with their love connection. You can check it out here: @chazzy_and_jazzy. Be sure to check out my Furbabies gallery to see more photos of Chazzy and Jazzy, along with other 4RFriends resuces! hehe In the mean time, here are some photos from Elissa's furbaby family session!
How STUNNING is the Von Schoech extended family?! AHHH!!! I can't handle it. So Anitra is my cousin Jaime's BBF. She and her husband Roland have three children. Marcus, the eldest is married to Miranda and they have an adorable little one, Mayvis who just turned a year old this past fall. I did her newborn AND first birthday cake smash session. Eeek! Then we have the two younger siblings, Kaylie and Xander.
I've been doing family photos for the Von Schoech's for years now. To be honest, I can't quite recall the exact number! hehe The only family I've been doing photos for longer would be the Fenkells! It's so neat getting to see these kids grow up over the years. And incase you weren't on Anitra's holiday card list this year, THIS woman went ALL OUT on a tri-fold shimmery holiday card. Check out my Instgram post about it! This might be a tad selfish, but I get so giddy when I see the photos I've taken used like this. It's almost as if the pictures were meant for this layout! hehe
How beautiful are Eric & Maria?! And their pup Lucy of course!! Eric is the older brother of my dear friend Janine. And Maria is his new, gorgeous fiancé! They're getting married this year, but it's half elopement/half par-tay and it'll be split into two days. So in the mean time, they needed some photos of them for their save-the-date cards. Maria reached out to me and we decided on Hidden Falls as a location for their session. Little did we know what a headache the parking situation would be like. Placer County has recently switched over to an online only parking reservation system, which wasn't communicated very clearly on the website back when we did their session. They advertised that it was live, but not that no parking permits would be issued onsite. Sooo... we were turned away at the entrance.
Luckily I recalled seeing a resident doing some landscape work on her property on the road that takes you to the park entrance. I asked her if we could park two cars on her property due to being turned away and not really having enough time to drive to a new photo location since sunset was only about 90 minutes away. Thankfully she said yes! (I totally made a note of her name and address on my phone so that I could be sure to send her a thank you note along with a token of my gratitude for saving the day!)
I'm so grateful that it worked out. The lighting was so perfect and we had cotton candy skies for a bit. And that was followed by a firey sun set as the sun went down. Which was fun to play with as I exposed the sunset colors to get some silhouette type shots of the two of them. Here are some of my favs from their session!
Say hello to The Carters! Laura was a referral client from Rachel. And she wanted to do their photos at a Christmas tree farm, which I was TOTALLY up for! I had been planting that type of location as suggestions to clients all fall. I almost had another client who wanted to do their photos at one, but the travel time just wasn't going to work for their schedule. That's okay though. Maybe more next year! We did the Carter family's session up at Indian Rock Tree Farm in Camino and I can't wait to do more photos there. Any 2018 takes?! hehe
Fun Fact: Laura and Rachel Groves are BFFs! You might remember the Groves' family session post from a few weeks ago. And Laura used to work with Nancy Aguirre at Nordstorm. (see the post before this one) AH! the world is such a small place sometimes. But the reality is that most of my bookings are based on referrals. So when I'm able to book sessions because of connections like these, I love it! It's also a sweet deal for my clients since the new one receives the referral discount on the first full-priced session with me and the person who referred me gets an image credit to their photo gallery! Woohoo!!
So with all that being said, here are my favs of Laura, Ryan, and their little ones Lucas and Ellory!
This week I'm blogging the Aguirre + Extended family session! Nancy found me on Instagram, but turns out we actually knew some of the same people AND on top of that, I was doing both her session and a session for Laura Carter, one of Nancy's former coworkers, later in the evening. Which worked in favor of both of them because I was able to give Nancy my referral discount and give Laura an image credit to her gallery for the referral! Score!
This extended family session included Sandy, her two children Nancy and Jimmy, along with their families. With Nancy we have her husband Jet, and their two little ones Zoe and Preston. And with Jimmy, we have his wife Pamela, and their little one Dallas.
I loved colors they chose for their outfits! They were the perfect combo for the lighting we had and the beautiful William Land Park backdrop. Below are some highlights from their session!
Whoa! Two sessions back-to-back up on the blog of my family members! This time we have the Pflaum and Rabbon Families which consist of mom (grandma) Kathy and dad (grandpa) Lee along with their children's families. Their eldest, Jennifer married Eric. Fun Fact: Eric just graduated from the CHP Academy in 2017. He's the latest in our family to join the ranks of law enforcement. And Jennifer has a Bachelor's in Criminal Justice! The youngest, Anthony married his high school sweet heart, Vanessa. They have two little boys, Kai and Kade. We did their session at William Land Park and below are some of my favorites!
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