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"You are so beautiful...
...to me..."
-Joe Cocker

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Laughter! | Blog Carousel | Los Angeles Child & Family Photographer

Los Angeles Family Photographer


I love Blog Carousel time! It’s fun choosing what I want to post for our monthly theme and more fun to follow along to see what everyone else has shared. With such a talented group of international portrait photographers there are always great images to discover!

I’m showing off one of my favorite families who so thoroughly illustrates the “Laughter” theme. It’s almost harder to catch them not laughing – the love and humor they share makes me so happy. This month they welcomed a new family member, more reason for joy! (Little man there is now a big brother to a gorgeous little sister, I’ll share her in another blog post soon!)

Next on our carousel ride is the talented Dawn Sela, a fabulous New York child photographer!


P.S., I’d be so appreciative if you “liked” Rosestone Studios on Facebook! Thank you!

Wildflowers! | Ventura Child Photographer

I LOVE this time of year in Southern California! Not only is the weather mostly mild, but it’s mustard weed time, beautiful fields of yellow all over!

I think June is the perfect month to offer a special for family and child portraits in the wildflowers! These are individual portraits highlighted here but the flower fields work equally well for siblings, families or couples. For an extra treat plan to bring a picnic lunch or dinner to enjoy!

Great for a Father’s Day gift or “just because”. And even though the holidays seem far off, how nice would it be to already have your portraits done for cards and gifts? This special is good through June 30th. Only $125 for wildflower sessions! (Or take $50 off any other location or home sessions.)

I rarely photograph in full sun, I’m pretty picky about matching the perfect time of day for our session location. Sometimes it’s fun to push the limits as with the first two images in this post and the one below.  I love the how the yellow just glows, kind of magical. This still wouldn’t be my preference for a family or toddler, I’d usually rather time those for lighting like the two portraits immediately above. Which light is your favorite?

This is my middle kid, enjoying the sunshine and dancing to her own music!

Framed | Blog Carousel | Ventura Children's Photographer

Ventura child photography

It’s that time again – when I join my international professional  photographer friends in sharing our monthly Blog Carousel theme! This month we’re doing “Framed.” As before, we each decide how to creatively approach the idea, no rules, just fun.

I’m back with a black and white image I’ve been saving for this theme. These days I seem to do more color for client portraits and just love when I have the opportunity to play with the classic beauty of black and white. Photographers often use foreground elements to sort of frame our subjects and give them emphasis. For this image I enjoyed using the background as a change of pace.

Next on the Carousel is a truly FUN take on our theme by talented Calgary newborn, child and family photographer Brandy Anderson of Fresh Sugar Photography! Be sure to visit her blog and then follow along through the rest of the great “framed” entries!

One more “framed” portrait – because it makes me smile!

Monochrome | Blog Carousel | Los Angeles Photographer

It’s Blog Carousel time again! This month’s theme is “Monochrome.” Our international group of professional portrait photographers will again be sharing images illustrating the theme in whatever unique way appeals to each of us. Otherwise no rules, just creative fun!

This month I’ve chosen a slightly more literal take with a black and white image. A modern twist on classic Hollywood glamour with a little wink and nod to Film Noir.

Next up on our carousel ride through Monochrome is the fabulous Indianapolis Fine Art Portrait Photographer Leah Profancik. She’ll have a link to the next photographer on the carousel, be sure to follow all the links to see the entire “Monochrome” collection!

Giggles! | Hermosa Beach Child Photographer

beach portraits

I’m going through my images to update the website and thought I’d share some here on the blog. This winter session was such a contrast with the warm spring weather we’re enjoying now. It was the day after a big storm along the Southern California coast and we were FREEZING! This family didn’t let the cold stop them from having fun, a real playdate! Just giggling, loving, playing and being silly. What could be better? Love this little one’s laugh!

child beach photography

Reflections | Blog Carousel | Ventura Professional Photographer

Sunset ballet by the Ventura Pier

Today’s post is another creative collaboration with professional photographers in the U.S. and Canada. Some of the same incredible photographers from the Blog Carnival will be sharing images on their blogs and we’ll be introducing talented new friends to our fun. Our theme is “Reflection” – we can illustrate it in a literal way or choose to go for metaphor, the individual photographer decides!

I thought to share a subtle mix of the literal and metaphor with a sunset ballet in “my backyard”, on the beach by the Ventura Pier.

Next up is North Carolina portrait photographer  Pam Nafziger of Casual Moments Lifestyle Photography with a cool image that had my daughter and I saying “Wow!” aloud when we saw it!

If you’re hopping aboard the carousel with us early this morning please be patient, not everyone is awake and posting yet, check back later to see all the great images! Hope you enjoy!

Blog Carnival! | Los Angeles Professional Photographer


Los Angeles children's photographer

What the heck is a blog carnival you ask? Come see! I’ve teamed up with a group of fabulous professional photographers across the U.S. and Canada. We all have different styles and specialties but we share a passion for offering the best in custom portraiture. We’ve written a fun and informative variety of articles to share with you. Everything from preparing for your custom portrait session to “Iphoneography”!

Below my article is a link and a little information on the next photographer and her article!
Don’t worry, be happy!

In our initial consultations I always talk to parents about the importance of preparing for our portrait session. We go over the location, the wardrobe, etc., but they’re often surprised that one of the most important things has nothing to do with clothing or scenery. It has to do with our attitude!

Let’s face it, a custom portrait session is a wonderful investment in our families and personal history, but it’s also an investment of time and money. We tend to want everything to be “just perfect”. I say let’s forget perfection and enjoy the experience. Sure, we’ll discuss a plan to help things go smoothly but sometimes it’s those moments you can’t plan for, those delicious unexpected surprises that result in our favorites images and memories.

Whether you’re new parents of a fresh newborn sweetie or experienced busy parents of four energetic explorers under the age of eight(!), the more you relax and just enjoy our time together the more they’ll have fun and give us their real personalities. If you’re stressed I guarantee baby will feel it and react, just as much as older children will pick up on it. And if you’re stressed and they’re stressed no one is having fun or flashing genuine smiles! You’ll find that with the exception of safety issues I pretty much try to roll with what’s happening and what the kids need. As if three daughters of my own didn’t give me a reality check on almost every possible mood and attitude, countless “playdates” with relatives and the kids of friends and clients have filled in a lot of blanks!

Your two-year-old has a bit of a meltdown? It’s fine! We can just put away the camera for a bit, go for a little walk, have a quick snack, or race some matchbox cars. They’ll almost always get back to their sunny selves. I have to admit, many photographers get a little nervous at the thought of two-year-olds. I adore them! I won’t pretend it’s always the easiest gig, but it’s sure satisfying when we see the resulting images. A great physical workout, too!

You really want sleepy, curled up newborn photos and baby just won’t sleep? We’ll just do some beautiful images of her awake and patiently keep trying for sleepytime. I have a few tricks up my sleeve. No hurry, we’re going for serene and mellow!

The most fun and rewarding sessions are those where we have a loose plan for the session images but relax and keep ourselves open to capturing their real natural adorableness.  The “don’t worry, be happy!” approach leads to more natural expressions and a happier experience. Which, when you think about it, really IS perfect after all.

Professional photographer Dena Robles: Before & After. How I achieved the portrait.

Next up in our Blog Carnival is the amazing and talented Dena Robles. Dena is equally adept in traditional film and modern digital media. Her extensive experience and passion for creating artistic lifestyle portraiture have made her one of the most sought after custom photographers in the U.S. and England. Enjoy Dena’s “Before and after” article to see the level of artistry that goes into exquisite custom portraiture!


If you’d like to see the whole list of contributing photographers and topics, check on Samara’s blog under “Info”. She’s gathered all the links for a great reference resource!

Gentle hero

This little love made her debut just before Christmas. In addition to getting her first Christmas portraits and some of the more usual newborn portraits, we had some fun with dad in his gear. I’ve always admired the dedication and quiet heroism of firefighters and after a house fire that admiration has only grown – our family is very grateful for their efforts. I’m so happy to have had the privilege of photographing this hero’s adorable family.

I had so many favorites that I’ll continue in another blog post tomorrow!

p.s. for any photographer friends viewing, no, those aren’t photoshopped effects on the backgrounds of the bottom two ; ).

Pink – Newborn love!

One of my favorties sessions is photographing newborn babies! I never get enough of that fresh new sweetness. The sessions are usually very long and often messy, but oh so worth it!

This tiny beauty is the granddaughter of another photographer, Cheryl Skinner. We had a photographer “playdate” to get just a few images. I’ll have more newborn portraits sessions to share soon, it’s been a babypalooza this winter!

Ventura Beach