Lylah | 5th Birthday Party | San Luis Obispo | Special Events Photographer

I had the pleasure to photograph this beautiful girl right after she was born. Now she is 5 years old and is even more special to me.  Lylah is smart, strong, kind, and caring. She has good friends now that she will probably be friends with for life. She was so excited to share her 5th birthday with her friends.

Her mom and dad did an amazing job organizing Lylah’s party.  I can only imagine what her Sweet 16 will look like! Balloons, cake, pizza , friends and freeze dance were the highlights of the party. Her younger sisters also seemed to have a great time at the party.

Happy birthday sweet girl! Wishing you a lifetime of love, laughter and joy!

Venue: San Luis Obispo Country Club

Birthday Girl’s dress: Amazon

Crown: Little Blue Olive

DJ: LaDell Erby - Epic Entertainment 

Photo booth: Epic Entertainment

Cake vendor: Christine's Cake Creations

The Erbys | San Luis Obispo Family photographer | Surprise Baby Announcement | San Luis Obispo

Katie wanted to surprise her husband LaDell alerting him in an original way that she was pregnant with their 3rd child. I called it a baby-posal! I was SO EXCITED to be part of the surprise. This was photographed in early July, but I had to wait until the end of her first trimester to blog these beautiful images.

Katie gave me the plan:

  1. She would tell LaDell that they were taking family photos (only).
  2. At the end of the family session, I would tell him that I wanted something special for my website and for him to write 3 things on a placard that he loved about her…and she would write three things that she loved about him…but Katie’s message would not quite give her 3 things, but that he was going to be a dad again!
  3. When we were done with the traditional family session, I followed the plan. LaDell was so cute carefully writing the three things that he loved about Katie. Luckily, their younger daughters could not read the placards or they would have blown the surprise.

The couple were facing back-to-back. When I finally asked the two to turn around to face each other, the first thing LaDell said was “you didn’t write down three things!” (You'll notice his thinking pattern in the images.) When he finally read Katie’s sign, he wasn’t sure if it was true and when she said it was true, I had tears in my eyes. It was the sweetest family moment. Their two daughters, ages 4 and 2 were not quite sure what was going on, but all of the adults were so excited!

Congratulations Erby family! I look forward to meeting the littlest one in 2018!

Venue: Cuesta Park, San Luis Obispo, CA

Girls dresses:  DotDotSmile

Katie’s DotDotSmile Page

Unkee | Pet Portrait Photography | San Luis Obispo

I was truly honored to be asked to photograph 14-year old Unkee.  Unkee is so sweet, and calm around children, adults and other dogs. Due to his age, my client asked if I would have a mini-session with him and his buddy, Danny. Although Unkee had a little difficulty getting up in some instances, he was still full of energy and spirit. Thank you for allowing me to photograph you Unkee!

Film vs Digital photography - which do you prefer?

When my father passed away, he left me one medium format film camera Mamiya 645. I had it looked over, cleaned and was ready for use; until I didn't touch it for YEARS! That beautiful camera loved by my dad stayed on my shelf. This was the time when people were putting down their film cameras and going digital all the way. I felt he would prefer for me to purchase a digital camera and use it frequently vs. using a film camera sporadically. I unfortunately sold the camera to purchase my first digital camera.

One of my former graduate students was a camera collector. When he moved from the West Coast to the Mid-West, he gave me his Mamiya 645! I cried, knowing my dad would be happy that I have the camera that he loved. I did not have it cleaned this time, and it stayed on the shelf for 3+ years before I wanted to start a relationship with it.

When I sold the first Mamiya, digital images did not have the caliber or look of a film picture. I succumbed to the digital way of life and after years of shooting digital, I am interested in using film again. There are quite a few wedding photographers in my area and in California who shoot a hybrid of half-digital/half-film and I am leaning towards that way of shooting weddings. 

I purchased my first light meter last week, so that I can make sure my lighting is correct, but it's really scary starting this new adventure. I am so excited to start this adventure! I am shooting a wedding on July 1 so please send your positive thoughts and prayers when I do this. Here are some images from my playing around with the Mamiya. My real test will be in two weeks at the wedding. I'll keep you posted. :)

Multicultural Sorority Family Portraits | Greek Life Sisterhood Group Photos | San Luis Obispo | Cal Poly

Lambda Sigma Gamma Sorority, Inc. is an amazing social greek multicultural organization on the Cal Poly campus. Lambda Sigma Gamma Sorority Inc. started in 1998, which in the scheme of sorority life, is later than the traditional organizations, and continues to blossom every year on many campuses.

Due to their size, usually between 8-25 members, every member really does know every sister and relies on each and every one of them when they need support or to challenge someone when needed. Each woman usually holds more than one office, but they do it efficiently and effectively.

I enjoyed being that “observer” photographing these women as they enjoy their sisterhood. This is one of the reasons that I enjoy being a portrait photographer in San Luis Obispo, CA . I am a member of a sorority as well and believe in the principles that were established when the various organizations were founded. These photos reflect the organization's members love and appreciation for one another, creating that "family" and sense of community on the Cal Poly campus. The images consist of showing “line sisters”, big and little sisters, “grandmothers” with her younger members, and showing their sorority hand symbol with pride.

The philanthropy and community service projects revolve around the California Head Start Program. Teaching the younger generations to enjoy and appreciate education and to make sure that they receive and WANT one, is crucial to the organization’s mission. If you’d like to find out more about Lambda Sigma Gamma (LSG) on Cal Poly's campus, take a look at the link.

Location: Cal Poly Leaning Pine Arboretum