Category Archives: Beach

As I have been taking walks around the neighborhood with Justice, I have observed his delight when he sees and gets to interact with the dogs walking our same route.  I figured, his enthusiasm over our kitties and other peoples pets means he may be ready to see the bigger animals at the zoo.  This Memorial weekend we decided to take Justice and our girls, whom are both avid animal lovers as well, to the Fresno Chafee Zoo.

Although it was hot and crowded, and many of the animals were taking refuge in the shade making them hard to spot, the kids had a great time. I think the petting zoo was truly baby’s favorite. That should not be surprising as he is a hands on kind of a guy and has very little fear.  I think our first trip was a success and we look forward to going much more since we have a family pass now!

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Dad, Justice and I took a last minute opportunity to get out of the house and have an adventure for a couple of days in Carlsbad, on the beautiful Southern California coast. But we brought the Fresno heat with us and the temps were sweltering…  I love the ocean and was delighted to introduce baby Justice to its majesty.  He was bright eyed and curious the entire time we were there, taking in all the sights, smells and feelings he could, never fussing for a moment! We were lucky enough to watch a beautiful sunset while there, everyone on the beach stopped to watch and someone even played the trumpet as the final sliver of sun dipped below the horizon. Unforgettable moments for sure.  Afterwards he slept for hours, probably processing all the new experiences. We were also able to get in a few family shots, the first since baby was born 8 weeks ago, a real gift.

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Baby Emilia is growing so fast, I can hardly believe it.  It has been two months since she made her grand arrival, and now her parents are celebrating their 1st wedding anniversary!  I was able to take pictures of the three of them on this special occasion in my magical spot on the Central Coast.  Congratulations once again Mommy and Daddy, I am so proud of you for being such wonderful parents to little Emilia!

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We met in the early morning hours at Morro Bay to get pictures with 3 year old River and her parents.  I photographed River when she was about 2 months old and was delighted when mommy called me wanting to get updated family pictures. We decided the beach was the perfect place to do that, and I am so glad we did.  River is one of the most active children I have had the opportunity to photograph.  She had no interest in the camera or taking pictures, but she loved running, jumping, exploring, twirling, swinging, climbing, laughing, chasing, building and observing at the beach.  She kept me on my toes and my finger on the shutter button more than ever before. I must say that I was exhausted after her session. Their family photos are more candid than most because of River’s constant activity, making them some of my recent favorites!

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Meet 2 year old Jaydon and his parents.  It was his first time seeing the ocean and playing at the beach.  He could not get enough of the water and if it was not for mom and dad holding him back, he would have dove head first into the ocean.

I first photographed curious Jaydon as a newborn and was delighted to see what a handsome little boy he has become.  When mommy told me she was expecting a second we jumped on the opportunity to do her maternity session at the beach.  The resulting images are stunning.   I love doing outdoor maternity sessions in new and different locations, and am so inspired when these mommies allow me to fully embrace the natural settings.

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I spent the weekend at the beach cooling off and photographing 5 family sessions last week. It was a wonderful break from the valley heat and I had a great time photographing, relaxing, and spending time with friends and family.

This first session was of my cousin, his wife and two girls.  It is the first family photograph of the 4 of them together, and I am delighted to be the one to capture it!  They drove all the way from my hometown of Modesto to meet me at the beach, and I know the girls had a blast.  I photographed Angie (7) and Isabel (5) last January when we went bowling together, as well as two summers ago.  They grow so fast, right before my eyes,  it is only when I look back at the photographs I realize how quickly times passes.

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A month after I arrived home, I am finally making my final post from my grand trip to the Southern Hemisphere. What an amazing experience this was for me. I have gone up in hot air balloons, swam in the Great Barrier Reef, hiked through the worlds most ancient rainforest and up the side of a volcano, swam in natural hot water springs, visited countless amazing beaches, played with the bees, met unbelievable people and fostered new friendships. My pictures from the last 3 months on this blog are evidence to the lovely lands I have had the great fortune of visiting.  And even more spectacular than the landscape of Australia and New Zealand, are its people.

While I have so many more places on planet earth I would like to visit, I do not think I am done with Australia or New Zealand. I have so much more I want to see.  I never had a chance to visit the true Outback of Australia, and I want to go and hike through the Fiordland of New Zealand one day. For now, I will relive my journey through my images and memories.  Thank you to every individual who made my trip possible, from those at home, to my hosts and new friends throughout my trip. Thank you, Thank you, Thank you!

The above image is the very last one I took during my trip and is my last glimpse of  Hot Water Beach as we were walking away.  I did have one more day in New Zealand but did not take my camera with me.  We went to the worlds largest Polynesian markets.  It was great to get a little culture in before I had to go home.

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Since our big plans for the day got canceled due to bad weather, Star and I ended up hitch hiking the 45 min drive to and from Hot Water Beach.  It took two rides each way, so we were able to meet 4 different friendly kiwi’s and learn a bit about their life on the ride. “Thumbing it” as the locals call it, is pretty common in this area and when in pairs and using your intuition, it is fairly safe.  We loved it!

It was a quiet day when we finally arrived at the hot springs, with only two large spas dug out and about a dozen people. It was cold, windy and overcast, yet the hot water bubbling up to the surface made it well worth striping down and taking a dip.  I did not take many pictures here, because most of our time was spent getting to know the other travelers. The young lady on the far left of the picture below is from Switzerland.  She just happened to be our roommate that night, and took the long journey from our hostel to the beach via bike! Wow, I thought we were ambitious sticking our thumb out and getting rides from strangers.  She was so tired when she got back from her long bike ride that Star and I invited her to join us for dinner, and we ended up having a fantastic conversation with her that night. If I ever make it back to Switzerland, I will be visiting her!

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Our plans for the day were interrupted by the incoming storm and rough waters.  We were supposed to go out on a small boat and explore all the islands and coves via the water, but it had to be canceled. I had told Star about Hot Water Beach and she expressed some interest in going, but there was no public transportation that would take us the 45 minute drive down to the area.  So, we bravely set out on foot, hoping to get a ride from some friendly locals.  About 30 minutes into our walk we discovered quaint little Flaxmill Bay at low tide.  Like much of the coastline in this area, made out of soft limestone, Flaxmill had its own water carved rock that was simply amazing. We enjoyed our time in and around these rocks, and I had a field day taking panoramic photos.

I turn my back for one second and Star goes into my bag and sneaks a piece of chocolate…

Although it was low tide, we still had to cross some flowing rivers to get to the limestone rock.  I just took off my shoes and waded through the water while Star decided to leap across.  Nice form!

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It has been exactly one month since I arrived home in California, yet I still have more travels to share with you! The last 4 days of my journey to the Southern Hemisphere was spent with a good friend of mine named Star, whom also lives in Fresno and is like a sister to me. Since our time in this beautiful country was limited, I ended up taking Star back to The Coromandel Peninsula to show her the amazing coastal wonders that are abundant in this area.

Within 4 hours of Star’s arrival into the country, the two of us were on a bus taking another 5 hour journey to our destination, Whitianga. Needless to say that we went to bed early that night since she was exhausted… But early the next morning I was eager to wake Star up and go watch the sunrise.  I could hardly wait after my last sunrise experience earlier in the week, and this one certainly did not disappoint!  Our 6:30 am wake up time was well worth the effort and we were able to see the start of a glorious day right there at high tide on a beach piled with tens of thousands of shells! Magic.

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