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Corona del Mar Portrait Photography | The Smilak Family

In May, I visited California to attend The Simple Plan business planning workshop in L.A. and then the EscalateLIVE photography conference in Newport Beach. While I was on the coast, I had the pleasure of photographing a family referred to me by our friend Maria, whose family we’ve photographed twice now. At the time of our session, the Smilak family had one darling little boy and was expecting another quite shortly. They’ve since welcomed their second son to the fold and I can’t wait to meet him!

We had a leisurely, casual, and contemporary family portrait session on the beach at Corona del Mar one morning. While the weather was surprisingly like Seattle (perhaps to make me feel at home?) we managed to evade the rain and spent several hours exploring the beach together, while I got to know them and their sweet little boy.

They were such a wonderful family, so good together and good to each other. It was really a pleasure to photograph them, and I think the results speak for themselves. I had such a hard time choosing photos for this post, and I totally over-delivered on their session. But, what can I say? It’s jobs like these that make me feel really glad to be a photographer and not like I’m working at all.

Thank you all for a fabulous California experience, and I look forward to seeing you later this year!

Casual family photography at Corona del Mar, California, with the family posing on beach rocks

Child portrait of little boy peeking out from California beach rocks toward the photographer

Son rides atop dadDuring family portraits, dad smiles at the photographer while holding his son on his shoulders

Contemporary lifestyle photography of a mother and son searching for shells on a California beach

Modern and casual lifestyle portrait session with the Smilak family near Newport Beach, California

Seattle lifestyle photographer Kat Speyer captures the family in a classic family formal pose on the beach

Casual beach family portrait photography with mother and son looking at kelp

Contemporary beach family portrait of a little boy smiling near tide poolsFun family photograph of dad holding his son upside down on a California beach over a tide pool

Casual family beach photography at a California tide pool by Seattle photographer Kat Speyer

Family photograph of dad and son finding shells on Corona del Mar beach in California

Photograph of a little boy showing the inside of a mussel shellPortrait of boy peering into a shell on a California beach during a family portrait photography session

Little boy playing in the surf and on the rocks at Corona del Mar with his family on a cloudy day

California beach contemporary portrait and lifestyle photography of father and son walking

Fun family photograph of the Smilak family playing leapfrog on Corona del Mar beach near Newport Beach, CaliforniaPhotograph of little boy running toward the camera from a lifeguard station

Portrait of a little boy in blue jeans and white shirt playing on the Corona del Mar beach in California

Beach portrait of a little boy on Corona del Mar in CaliforniaFather and son photographed together sitting on a lifeguard tower by Seattle contemporary lifestyle photographer Kat Speyer

Contemporary portrait photograph of a family on a California beach lifeguard tower

Little boy in a white shirt pouting while on the beach

Family portrait photography of mother and son playing in front of the surf at Corona del Mar beach in California

Expectant mother photographed on the rocks at Corona del MarCalifornia pregnancy photography at the beach

Destination photography of Corona del Mar beach in California by Seattle wedding photographer Kat Speyer

California maternity photography on Corona del Mar beachSilhouette of an expecting mother on the rocks at Corona del Mar beach in California

To see more images from their session, visit their online photo gallery or watch their slideshow!

Skagit Valley Tulip Festival Family Portraits | The H Family

On the very last day of the 2010 Skagit Valley Tulip Festival, Justin and I joined a familiar family for a springtime portrait session. This was our third shoot with these kids and their parents (in addition to their 2009 summertime and holiday sessions), but this time they were joined by an auntie, an uncle, and a very young cousin. The sunny day (one of the few we’ve had this spring) made for lovely, rich colors, but the ground was still splashed with puddles.

Little Rowan, the oldest of the girls, was torn between jumping in as many as possible and maintaining her pristine, princessy dress. It didn’t take her long to decide that being a princess was overrated. She completely muddied her tights… and then decided that she REALLY wanted to be a princess and broke down in tears at the state of her shoes. So cute and hilarious!

This was one of our biggest family portrait sessions so far, and the one with the most kids under the age of three to date. A photographic challenge alleviated just a bit by the fact that two of the three children knew us from previous shoots… but a challenge nevertheless! We all made the most of the sunny day and got some lovely photographs we hope they’ll treasure forever. Enjoy!

Child portrait at the Skagit Valley Tulip festival by Photographer Kat SpeyerPhotography of white tulips at the 2010 Skagit Valley Tulip Festival

Macro photography of a pink tulip at the 2010 Skagit Valley Tulip festival

Child portrait photography of a little girl with tulips by Seattle child photographer Kat SpeyerSeattle Photographer Kat Speyer captures a child hiding in purple tulips at the 2010 Skagit Valley Tulip Festival

Family portrait photography of mother, father, and daughter in front of colorful tulips by Seattle family photographer Kat Speyer

Close-up photograph of little girl grasping her shoe by Seattle photographer Justin Speyer

Pink tulips at the 2010 Skagit Valley Tulip FestivalJoyful portrait of a child celebrating amid purple tulips by Seattle children

Seattle children

Photograph of red tulips at the 2010 Skagit Valley Tulip Festival by Seattle photographer Justin Speyer

Modern family portrait of mother and daughter in Sping tulips by Seattle photographer Kat SpeyerSeattle children

Contemporary portrait photography of a laughing baby at the 2010 Skagit Valley Tulip Festival by photographer Justin Speyer

Two children snuggle together between their mothers in this family portrait by photographer Kat SpeyerA modern portrait of grown sisters embracing in the tulips at the Skagit Valley Tulip Festival

Contemporary family portraiture of two grown sisters with their babies in front of a backdrop of tulips by Seattle photographer Kat Speyer

A broken tulip head is photographed lying in the dirt at the Skagit Valley Tulip Festival

And here’s a bonus behind-the-scenes picture of Justin holding two babies at the same time, one in each arm, while I photograph the ladies together!

Photographer Justin speyer holds two babies at once

Want to see more? Check out their super-cute photo slideshow!

Seattle Family Portrait Photography | Rafael Family

Well! It’s been a few days, hasn’t it? Pardon our absence… Justin and I have some exciting news to share. We’re buying our first house! Our offer was accepted and we have the inspection on Tuesday. If all goes well, we’ll be closing on the 28th of June. And it’s about time we finally took this step. I’ve been wanting to get out of our apartment and into a real piece of property for a while, even though this place is amazingly affordable and rather large. Our new house has a separate-entry office and a dedicated client meeting space. I just can’t wait to move in!

But for now, we’re biding our time, so it’s back to editing and fulfilling orders for me!

I kind of left you hanging with a few family portrait photograph teasers of the lovely Maria and her two boys, Caleb and Liam. If you haven’t seen their last Seattle portrait session from 2009, seriously go check it out and then come back here. That was last September and now look at baby Liam. He’s hugenormous!

Little Liam wants to be a future photographer and take the camera for himself during the family portrait session at the Olympic Sculpture Park

He’s teething (see below, in case you can’t tell from the drool) and I’m pretty sure he wants to use the camera lens to assist.

But seriously, these gorgeous kids make me so glad I’m a photographer. They have the cutest, most expressive faces and these insanely gorgeous eyes! The whole family is very sweet and super photogenic. I was excited to have the chance to photograph them all together: Maria, Caleb, and Liam; Maria’s mom and dad; Maria’s Aunt Donan (her mom’s sister); and the distinguished, 86-year-old matriarch of the family. I could have spent the entire day taking pictures of Maria’s grandmother… She’s as beautiful and warm-spirited as I hope to be when I’m a great-grandma.

While you enjoy the photos, I’d love to ask for some feedback… I added the portrait-oriented photographs at a larger resolution accidentally and decided to keep them biggity for a change. Should I keep them this way in the future or do you like them paired up?

Enjoy!

Liam smiles for the photographer as he munches a purple building toy while mom watchesMariaPhotographer Kat Speyer captures three generations: grandmother, mother, and daughter all in a cute kiss

Sisters Donan and Teresa Rafael share a hug and a family resemblance

Maria poses for a photograph with her two sons, Liam and Caleb, in front of a rusted red sculpture in downtown SeattleLiamSurrounded by wavelike scuptures, the Rafael family stands together for a family portrait photograph

Caleb tells his mom a story about the train tracks below the park

Liam takes a spill on the path near the "Cloud Garden" sculpture and looks to mom for comfort

Adorned in a regal fuschia coat, Grandmother smiles for the photographer

Caleb sits in grandma

Grandmother

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