The Sillstrop Family

Yay for beautiful happy families!   

The Sillstrops are one of the first families I made friends with when I moved to Encinitas.  All of our kids have been in the same classes and they truly have the "aloha" spirit here in San Diego. 

Thinking of buying or selling your home?  Make sure you visit their website and give them a call!


Enjoy and Happy Day! 

Fun Fun Fun Till Your Daddy Takes Your T-Bird Away......

For some reason I feel like living in a beach town in Southern California means the Beach Boys are playing constantly in the background.  I don't know why I feel that way.  I grew up in Oregon and whenever we visited our relatives (in a very long car ride in the back of a station wagon usually) in Southern California it was like I was "heading towards the light."  The sight of the first palm tree meant we were in the Holy Land.  The land of sand, blonde surfer boys and Hollywood.  Why was that so exciting to me?  Why weren't the Subarus, Birkenstocks and bearded men enough for me?  Was it the sun I craved?  Less clothes?  I was ALWAYS envious of the surf mentality my parents grew up with.  Beach blanket bingo.  Annette Full-of-Jello, Frankie Avalon.  Such a great time.  Maybe that's why I ended up on Maui for so many years.  

(Only to realize surfers annoy the SHIT out of me.  Get a job...  Sorry son.)  


Wish they all could be California girls.....

 that's what they said.  

Now I am.  And so is my baby girl.  

Jardine Family from Texas

I LOVED this shoot.  Not only was this family super easy to work with, they rented this awesome pad at Baby Beach in Lahaina.  I remember when this house was built.  I always loved the "Nantucket" styling.  And even their clothes matched the house.  After a few temper tantrums, the little baby of the family became my best "poser" and her teenage sister joined in as well.  Can't go wrong with this many hams.  Thanks Jardine family from Texas.  You guys are gorgeous and I hope to work with you again someday.  This is a very classic "Stephanie Sheveland" type shoot.  

Beautiful people.  

Let The Kids Dress Themselves

I'm one of those people who is constantly posting my everyday life on Instagram.  The kids hate me for it.  My parents love me for it.  And apparently so does one of my favorite photography blogs!  "Let The Kids Dress Themselves" is the premiere family photography blog featuring the best of the best in family and children photographers around the world.  I'm so honored.  Check out the post here.

Wendy Laurel has taught me so much about photography.  One of the things she told me when I first started was "leave your camera out.  Leave it on the counter.  Don't put it away nicely in your case.  Capture everything.  That's how you'll learn to be a better photographer."  I always took this advice seriously because it worked.  I did notice though, that the kids would shy away from the best moments because they saw the big girl camera come out.  Enter the iPhone.....(insert evil laugh) With the iPhone I've been able to be super sneaky and capture EVERYTHING.  Including brother sister cuddling in bed.  Yep.  I always knew they loved each other and now I have the proof.  (These will also be used as bribing tools when the kids are teenagers.)

Also, for those of you who like my Instagram work, and would like to see more of it, you can view ALL of my art here

Encinitas Candy Birthday Party!!! Yippppeee!

  I've always wanted to do a candy themed birthday party and I finally did!  This was SO much fun!  I got most of the ideas from the awesome website, The Hostess with The Mostess.  

Not sure how happy all the parents were (sorry charlie) but it's a great excuse to steal their kids candy when they go to bed.

Perfect weather, awesome company and my beautiful little baby girl, Demi Lynn turning 9.  Wow.  Time sure flies.





San Diego Family Photographer

Another one of my FAVORITE families from Sacramento!  I LOVED working with them!  It was one of my last days on Maui and we had so much fun.  Wonderful kiddos, a beautiful sunset and sincerely sweet clients.

Really excited to start photographing families in North County San Diego!

San Diego Newborn Photography, Featuring Baby Claire

This is an extra special shoot for me because not only is Mariah one of my childhood friends, I also had the privilege of shooting her and her husband Scott's engagement photos AND wedding photos.  I'm the lucky one.  They are like family to me and my children.  I feel so lucky to call them my neighbors now too.  (Okay, they are five minutes away, but neighbors to me!)  Kudos to Scott and Mariah for being great new parents.  I'm so proud of them both.

Congrats to Scott and Mariah.  Your sweet baby girl is a doll.

 Welcome to world Claire.  We love you.

p.s. Their dog Briley is used to playing the starring role, so she of course will still play a big part in all our shoots.  :)

Grandma Cook was on hand of course.  Loved having her around!

California Dreamin.....

I moved!

Took the kiddos and moved to Encinitas, the last "real" surfing town left in California.  (Don't argue with me, it's true.)

We survived our first two weeks.  Brought the kitty, our surfboards and our wits.  I couldn't be prouder of my kids.  They are AMA-ZING.  They took the challenge and ran!  They love their new school and are digging the cool weather.  There is so much I forgot about on the mainland.  Hummingbirds, skunks, deer, fog, farmers markets and TRAFFIC.  :)

Here's a splash of what we've been up to.  Cole's best friend Max also moved here.  Pretty convenient....  I'm about six months behind on blogging so forgive me!  I'm catching up!

Project Demi 365

Someone just HAD to sneak into to Demi's photo.....Oh Cole.

It's just too bad my kids have no personality.  I mean really people.  I don't know how this happened.  I'm so....boring.  ;)

Project Demi 365

I know.  I know.  I'm like six months behind it seems on this project.  Believe it or not, I HAVE taken a photo everyday of her.  I just haven't posted them.  Shame on me!  How can I keep this angel hidden?  Well, school, life, laundry, shoots, life, Cole and all sorts of things are in my way!

Cole Van Sheveland, Middle Schooler

Yep.  It happened.

My little guy has completed elementary school.  Sniff sniff.  Makes me so sad. grow up.  11 years old and he's going places.  He just got on a plane all by himself to San Francisco.  When did all this happen?  I'm not ready, but I guess I'll just have to be.

I shot these right before Cole's 5th grade graduation.  He picked out his outfit.  Yes the "sport coat" is too small.  Yes the jeans skinny.  But that's what he wanted.  After two minutes of photos he said, "we are done Mom."  Sigh....

Pretty proud of the dude.