Saturday, March 10, 2012

5 eyed monsters. Boo boos. Tats. And horses. Quite the afternoon.

That's what brought Jake and Shawna together.

Before you go rollin your eyes at me, please note that I mean that literally. Jake and Shawna met at work.. and they worked at Southern California Edison. :P  See? Electricity really did bring them together! And after all the sparks, and dating, and falling in love stuff... Jake proposed to Shawna, and they have planned an intimate wedding ceremony in Laguna Beach for this coming April. By vowing their love and commitment to one another, they are bringing together Shawna's two sons, 5-year-old Anthony and 4-year-old Tyler and Jake's daughter, Kaylee who is 6.

Shawna said it best:  A blended family and everyone loves each other and gets along great :) 

So as luck would have it, we have a mutual friend (who happens to also work at SCE). That friend encouraged Shawna to contact me regarding photography. And in no time at all, Shawna and I had figured out a day, time and location for their engagement/family shoot. The day was somewhat overcast and gloomy, but the clouds did us a huge favor by breaking up a bit after we arrived to the park. Its great that Shawna chose the park, as it allowed the kids to act like kids.. and show off their personalities. It makes my job so much easier when families feel comfortable and are in a place where they can just be themselves. Something else that I loved about this shoot is that after suggesting to Shawna that it wasn't necessary to have everyone be in matching outfits (but fine if she wanted it that way), she allowed the kids to pick out their own clothes for the shoot. Brilliant. Kids were happy with what they were wearing which made them feel comfy and again... it allowed them to show off their personalities (5-eyed monster and all). 

If you follow me on facebook or via this blog, you know that I've been excited to share this shoot with you as evidenced by not one, but two teasers that I posted which you can see here  and here. As always, these were created with much love and I hope you enjoy them as much as I do!

Blue jeans and a bridge?  Brilliant. 

I'd like to point out that I was laying flat on my stomach on the bridge at this point.. and honestly.. that was the only work I had to do to get these shots. This family is no fuss and sat like this as if they'd been born to do it.

I'd like to give my thanks to the person who owns that backyard. And to this family for being oh-so-adorable.

Allow me to introduce Shawna. 
She's wearing a pretty paisley top and still manages to look so fierce.

Modern day Snow White.

Okay so I have to explain this next photo. Jake doesn't necessarily love having his picture taken. And at this point he had already put up with quite a bit of time in front of the camera. In fact, we had already "wrapped" and were walking up these stairs to the parking lot. But Shawna asked that I get an individual shot of Jake, and of course I happily complied. So after a few normal shots with no direction, I asked him to look down to his left.. and then for the next shot look up at me without moving his head (aka the GQ look). *snap* first photo. The next two *snaps* capture his immediate response at Shawna's (and my) excitement about that GQ moment.   Aaannnd not sure if you had to be there or not to appreciate what I just explained, haha, but it doesn't really matter. I know Shawna is gonna love these and that's what matters most. :)

Love that none of the next 3 photos look anything alike.. they aren't supposed to. 

This is Kaylee. She is super friendly and talkative and sweet.. and as warm and bubbly as this picture is.


This is Anthony. He's handsome, extremely adventurous and active, and as cool as this picture is.

And finally, this is Tyler. He's the baby.. and definitely all boy... and is as sweet and shy as this picture is.

And this is the 3 of them together.

And this is the 3 of them together again.. just being themselves. :)

It was a good sized park.. and we covered it all.

Hand holding..

Exploring, balancing, running, playing, climbing..

... and some more hand holding. :)

And even got to see a horsey.. which the kids (especially Kaylee) just loved!

And while the kids had fun doing kid stuff.. I snapped some pics of Jake and Shawna.

And I couldn't resist focusing on their details.

     Bad. But the Michael Jackson cool kinda bad.

This photo bridges the gap between portraits and art.

So towards the end of the shoot, the kids were gettin tired. I figured it was a good time to get more shots of the couple. I directed them to lay down on the grass (such good sports!) Not even a minute later, the kids spotted them on the grass and came over to play. I couldn't have come up with these shots if I had wanted to.

Completely organic.

Once they played around a bit, Jake and Shawna pulled the parent card and asked kids for a few minutes alone. Kids complied.

Thank goodness.
p.s. Shawna's eyes are kind of amazing.

And this shot.. well. What can I say? I love it for oh so many reasons.. but especially because the kids had everything to do with those leaves being there. Gotta love prop support!

Brangelina ain't got nothin on these two.

This one deserved its own editing recipe (btw thank you RadLab).

Their details are what my camera dreams about at night.

Jake and Shawna's grand finale shot. I could have kept taking pics of them for the rest of the day (lucky for them I had a flight to catch a few hours later).

So I covered the 3 adorable kids. And I covered the 2 hot parents. Naturally I have to end with..

     los cinco.

Shawna & Jake, thank you for the opportunity to spend the afternoon with you and your kids. It was so great talking to both of you and getting to know you guys. Its obvious that you've worked hard to create a life together, and by the looks of it.. its paying off. And of course, congratulations on your engagement!

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