The Smith Family

Meet the Smith family: three sisters, one boyfriend, one husband, three kids, a mom (now grandma), and a dad (now grandpa). And this is only part of the family! All of those who had left San Diego for various parts of the country were back, which meant a moment in time that deserved to be captured – especially given that there was a recent addition to the family.

It was a beautiful day at La Jolla Beach & Tennis Club. The sun was starting to set and everyone was busy making food, drinks, and laughing amongst themselves when I arrived. As I learned names, family relationships, and important facts (such as that it was Chase’s 4 year old birthday), I started to gather the groups: sisters, kids, couples, etc.

I have to admit, these are some of my favorite family portraits to date. And I can’t even take the credit, because a family this stunning makes my job so easy! Thank you to all of the Smith’s for inviting me to your family gathering and for being such a fun group to work with!

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First Weekend Home: A Photo Diary

This weekend:
I went to the beach. (twice)
I bought myself new nail polish and painted my nails and toes.
I took myself on a mini shopping spree. (Yay for no more conversion rate!)
I got to hug & catch up with my friends and family who I missed more than words can describe.
I did an engagement portrait session for one of my best friends and her fiancé.
I ate all the amazing, wonderful American food I missed so much.
I bought new sunglasses and got to wear them all day.
I permanently packed away my umbrella.
I read a whole book.

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The French Riviera

The bus ride from Barcelona was the bus ride of death. Everyone had a big night out which meant an awful morning and following day – not ideal conditions for 50+ people crammed on a bus together for an eight hour drive. Night had fallen by the time we reached Nice, France and after a quick dinner and shower, it was time to finally retire to an actual bed instead of a bus seat.

Nice-2011Things quickly turned around when we woke up to sunshine and warmth, two things many of us hadn’t experienced since arriving in Europe. After a few minutes of zig-zagging through the side roads, we hit the coast. The feeling of the sun’s rays was lovely and many of us were more than happy to just stand with our toes in the sand for an unknown amount of time, silently taking in the beauty of the sea and letting the calm of the waves lapping against the shore wash over us.

We walked along the sand, following the shore for as long as possible until we arrived at Le Château de Nice. Up the hill we climbed and from the top I was able to take stunning photos of Nice, the docks, and even some old church ruins.

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Monaco-2057As the sun set, it was off to a French Perfumery for a tour and to see how all the perfumes and soaps are created. But it wasn’t the perfume that impressed me, it was the incredible phases of the sunset I was able to capture as the bus weaved along the mountainside on the way the perfumery. Plus after the tour, the perfumery was all lit up with the final moments of sunset behind it.

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The last part of a perfect day in the French Riviera: Monaco, one of the smallest countries in the world, second only to Vatican City. We ate a 4 course meal. Wine was paired with each course and the extravagant meal was set mere meters from the prince’s palace. The evening wrapped up at the one and only Monte-Carlo Casino. Some came out ahead while others weren’t as lucky, but we all had a great evening drinking overpriced cocktails in the grand, gold-ceiling rooms.

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Next Stop: Pisa and Florence

Charleston, SC Part 3: Folly Beach

Plantation-2387Another beautiful South Carolina days had us cruising the short drive to the beach. My 17 year old brother and I are pretty typical in the sense that we bicker regularly. I’m teasing him when my mom, who is stuck in between us in the back seat of the car, turns to me and chimes in, “Wow, are you PMSing or something?” My 10 year old brother curiously asks what PMSing is. “Well,” I respond, “you know how girls deal with their girl stuff once a month? Right before that we go through a phase where we are really moody and eat lots of chocolate and stuff like that.” My grandfather is chuckling in the driver’s seat and decides to join the conversation by asking my littlest brother how long he thinks this “phase” lasts. He instantly responds, “Oh! A longgg time!”

Plantation-2389Plantation-2388The whole car erupts in laughter at his quick and  confident response as we pull in to Folly Beach. The one main road has tourist shops with souvenirs and little outdoor restaurants lining either side. The funny t-shirts outside the shops lure us in to search for some souvenirs of our own. While my scrawny brother claims the Don’t Need a Permit for These Guns shirt, I collect funny shot glasses. Souvenirs in hand, we wander down to the beach to finish my vacation soaking up the sun.

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