The Pei Family [Lacy Park Family Portraits]



I grew up in the Northeast, and if there's one thing that area is known for, it's fall foliage.  Having now lived in Southern California for many years, I've grown accustomed to West Coast autumns.    Halloweens feel different here, but spooky in their own way [maybe it's all the traffic].  The pumpkin patches ripen under a much warmer sun.  And the foliage is a lot more subtle than it is back in the Boston area.  But even amongst the King Palms and Birds of Paradise, there is color to be found in them trees, and a scattering of leaves on the ground for good measure, too.

The Pei Family was looking for a location that just might provide for some of that elusive Southern California foliage.  After a little bit of googling, we both came up with a list of locations, and Lacy Park in San Marino seemed a worthy contender.  And wouldn't you know, there was in fact color to be found there -- orange and yellow hues still clinging to the Big Leaf Maples.  Coupled with the fact we photographed this session on Halloween Eve, it really did feel like the perfect autumn day.

To the Pei Family: it was great to see all three generations of family come together for this session.  Glad to hear your holiday cards came out well, and I hope we can reunite again next year.  The leaves will be waiting!

Lean Goddess [Manhattan Beach Lifestyle Portraits]



Amy Yamada and Katie Wygant are the owners of Lean Goddess, a really inspired collaboration that is helping clients embrace who they are, while pursuing avenues of self-improvement through fitness and confidence building.  I'm paraphrasing here, but it's really about discovering and evolving "the best you", both in body and soul.  

What I love about their business model is that they really want clients to be genuine to themselves.  They're not looking to reshape or reprogram folks.   They want to help you build upon what's working in your life and then, push what you'd like to see improve.  After spending only a few hours with Amy and Katie on this shoot, I can tell they're great motivators, and we even had a helpful discussion about how these issues of esteem and goal setting apply to photography, as well as my own business. After all, successful portraiture is about more than just technical skills, it's also very much about making people feel comfortable and accepting of who they are in front of the camera.

As Lean Goddess continues to grow, Amy and Katie scheduled this session to capture the enthusiasm and energy they're hoping to share with the clients they work with.  We explored both downtown Manhattan Beach and along the pier, and the surf and smoky sunset did not disappoint.  Then again, we could have stayed in an alley all day and come away with great pictures.  It's their attitude that shoots, scores, and wins here.

Thanks for the memorable shoot, Amy and Katie!  Read more about Lean Goddess on the website or Facebook.