Redondo Beach Portrait Photographer | Lovin’ Me Some White Space

I love those days when the moon and the stars all line up and everything falls into place perfectly… smoothly…just like butter.  That’s what it was like the day my previous employer, Temple Menorah, hired me to do a special shoot for a new marketing campaign early last month.
They had an idea that meant taking pictures of individuals of all ages, almost 60 people in less than four hours, on a white background. As much as I love shooting outside or in and around client’s homes with natural light, I happen to LOVE the look of clean white, high-key backgrounds so I was excited to take on this challenge.
And now, every time I look at these images, from editing to delivery - I do the happy-dance.  I can’t help but smile.  TM6_MG_8124
Honestly I could say this woke me up out of a creative slumber.  So many changes hit me at once this summer that I felt like I was quickly sinking and then I spent a few wonderful hours with all these incredible people and I found myself pumped full of bubbling excitement to go shot EVERYONE in this way! 
We had So. Much. Fun!
Check it out.
All I had to do was… Just Add COLOR The rest was… magic.
Thank you everyone from Temple Menorah for coming out to play!



Monday I dropped everything. Everything I needed to do and everything I thought I needed to do. 

It was Labor Day and we were at home with no concrete plans to go out.  I had pondered a trip to the Zoo or to the Natural History Museum, but honestly I didn’t want to venture  inland to the heat of the city.  And anyway, I had a list a mile long to accomplish – a house to clean, laundry to do, business to take care of and I won’t even go into how Harrison had schlepped almost the entire contents of his room to the living room to build a Lego universe.  {Yes. A Universe.}

Then I got a text, “We’re meeting at the park, want to join us?”
Why, YES!

Yes, I do!!

I dropped everything because more than anything, we needed social time - outside.  As I left the house I thought to grab my camera and chose to leave it behind.  After all, I let the Project 365 die once again.  (plants and daily 365 projects – they don’t flourish well in my hands…)

Now I wish I had that camera, just to snap a few pictures of our day, our kidsUs

It wasn’t anything special, it was just four hours in a park with moms and kids.  Our kids played together, rode bikes & scooters, ran around senseless, hung out and we sat under the shade of a big tree on big picnic blankets in the late summer breeze talking, laughing, relaxing.

We were privileged to have lunch together compliments of one of the husbands.  Pizza, chicken tenders, cheezy bread and ice-cold water.  Perfect meal to share in the park.

There was nothing special – just the satisfaction of having girlfriends – even the busy moms that we are. 
The joy of sitting in the shade of that tree, feeling the breeze, enjoying the blue sky peppered with fluffy-white clouds in the distance. 
The gratification of listening to our happy kids playing nearby and hysterically looking around at our kid’s shoes, scooters, helmets, bikes, snacks strewn all about us in the grass.

And knowing that at least for those four hours it was a Perfect day.


(And because every post needs a picture, one random picture  from another perfect day this summer when my older brother came out for a visit.)

Sunday Self #15

sunday self #14-2

I started this post months ago, before I went Blog MIA.   The last time I actually blogged was back in April and it was a Sunday Self, how appropriate that the first post since then is another Sunday Self.  And I think I can honestly say that this image is as poignant now as the day I looked at it’s imperfection on the back of my camera. 

Even though technically the focal point shifted (most likely I moved) and the picture above is just an incorrectly focused image, I saw more to it.  I realized how my own view of myself has gotten blurred. How I don’t see myself the way that God sees me, “the unfading beauty” of my inner self.  How I let my self-criticism distort my vision, how I couldn’t see myself clearly.  

I had a lot more to say about it all those months ago. When it was fresh in my mind. 

What I did (and continue to) do really, is to reset my thinking, to love and embrace who I am right now.  Inside and OUT.  I’ve struggled with pictures of myself for the last two years – I am as critical as the next woman – all I can see is that droopy eyelid that changes my face, those puffy circles under my eyes, that spot of white hair in my eyebrow… and the twenty pounds I need to lose.  (All I can see.)

The thing is, we need to see that inward beauty in a physical manifestation from time to time.  Sometimes we need to FEEL and BE pampered. There is nothing more relaxing (to most women) then going to the spa, having manicures or pedicures (the later I’ve never experienced) or getting our hair and/or makeup done.  When we look in the mirror and feel good about what we see, we walk a little smarter, there’s a kick in our step and our inner beauty spills out all that much more.  And when we feel good, those around us feel good. 

I’ve slowly been working on a project with a friend and one day we made some images of ourselves.  I stared and stared at the images of me. Not sure what I felt, if I liked them or not. There is nothing wrong with it in fact, it’s one of the best pictures I’ve ever had taken of me.  That’s when I realized that how I view myself was skewed.  I’ve talked to so many other women who see themselves in the same way – all their outwardly, physical shortcomings. Photographing children and families it comes up over and over again with the moms.  We are so hard on ourselves as women – especially here in Southern California. The pressure to stay looking young and perfectly fit is oppressive.

I don’t want to wait until the perfect weight or whiter teeth or what ever the excuse may be to have pictures of me with my husband or son.  Life is too short.  But I do want women to see themselves how I see them in my lens - beautiful.  More than once I have been taken aback by someone who’s picture I captured.  The beauty that shines through their eyes.  Only recently a 60+ woman took off her glasses for her portrait with me; I’d never seen her without her glasses in the seven years I’ve known her and I was blown away.  She is beautiful!  I couldn’t even hide my response  when those glasses went down out of camera range and when she saw in me that positive reaction, she glowed even more. 

Those are the portraits I want to make. The moments I want to capture. The reason I love being a photographer in the first place.
Because the life that God gave to each of us is Beautiful.

Happy Labor Day!

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